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Fieldwork Reports: April 2003

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The following reports on recent archaeological fieldwork undertaken in Northamptonshire were published by NCC's Historic Environment Team (Northamptonshire Heritage) on 10 April 2003.

The reports have been passed to the Northamptonshire Sites and Monuments Record and will be entered into the SMR database system.

PEARSONS GARAGE SITE, WOLLASTON
NGR SP 9066 6257
Evaluation
Woodfield A & A Services
A recording action was undertaken in advance of a housing development on land at the centre of the village. The site had previously been used as a garage, and the ground was subsequently largely disturbed due to the insertion of storage tanks. However, due to the potential significance of the site in relation to the crossroads in the development of the village, two trenches were excavated running back from the street frontages. Many of the features noted within the trenches, and pits opened up for the removal of the tanks and a stone-built well, related to the garage and earlier, 20th century cottages. However, a sherd of 11th century St Neots ware was recovered from a truncated V-shaped ditch, testifying that there was some activity in this area during the early medieval period.

THE SARACENS HEAD, BROOK STREET, DAVENTRY
NGR SP 5710 6248
Watching Brief
Archaeological Services & Consultancy
A watching brief was undertaken during the refurbishment works and construction of an extension at the Saracens Head. The footprint of the new building was excavated under archaeological supervision, and it was immediately clear that the area had been extensively terraced during the 20th century. A series of modern footings were revealed as well as a small undated feature that may have been the truncated remains of a medieval feature. No further archaeological remains were observed during work within the existing building. Map evidence shows that the plot within which the inn is situated may have been created from the combination of three medieval tenements.

LAND OFF SISSINGHURST, THRAPSTON
NGR TL 0064 7904
Geophysical Survey
GSB Prospection
A geophysical survey was undertaken in two fields on the north-eastern outskirts of Thrapston as part of a wider archaeological evaluation by John Samuels Archaeological Consultants. The site comprised two fields. The majority of the western field was either not suitable for survey, being too overgrown, or, where survey was possible, the ground was found to be extremely disturbed magnetically. The eastern field was fully scanned but no clear archaeological type responses were identified, although there were a few trends and pit type anomalies.

LAND AT THE LOWER MOUNTS AND 4, 6 & 8 ST MICHAELS ROAD, NORTHAMPTON
NGR SP 7584 6084
Desk-based Assessment
University of Leicester Archaeological Services
A desk-based assessment was carried out on a site at Lower Mounts and 4, 6 & 8 St Michael's Road. The site was found to have been on the very edge of the medieval town of Northampton. Nearby excavations in a comparable location to the Mounts have revealed evidence of the town walls and a possible defensive ditch and to the south-east, the probable medieval defensive ditch was excavated at York Road. Remains dating to the Civil War period defences may also be present on the site, if an alternative 17th century dating of adjacent defensive remains excavated at the Mounts is accepted together with map and other evidence. The 1878 of the area shows St Michael's Church, presumably a short-lived 19th century building as it does not appear on later maps, including the 1885 Ordnance Survey map.

LIME COTTAGE, PEBBLE LANE, BRACKLEY
NGR SP 5892 3730
Watching Brief
R J Ivens
A watching brief was carried out during the groundwork's for a garage and small extension to Lime Cottage. The site appears to have been largely undeveloped until the 20th century. No firm evidence of archaeological remains have previously been recovered from the surrounding area, although a Saxon well, St Rumbold's Well is reputed to lie somewhere in the vicinity. The watching brief did not reveal any archaeological features, apart from the remains of a recently demolished well. Although the uppermost in-filling of the well was modern, as a cast iron pump attested, the construction date remained unknown, but its proximity to the supposed location of St Rumbold's Well might suggest it was, if not itself of early date, then at least a successor to the Saxon well.

GREENACRES, NASEBY
NGR SP 688 771
Desk-based Assessment
Dr Martin Tingle
A desk-based assessment was carried out prior to trial fieldwork and development of the site. Roman and Anglo-Saxon remains have been found during evaluations of sites within 100m of the current development area. Earthwork and map evidence suggests that a hollow-way was aligned across the site and to the south a house may have been present, probably dating from the mid 17th century.

BRACKMILLS LINK ROAD, NORTHAMPTON
NGR SP 7723 5737
Radiocarbon Dating
Northamptonshire Archaeology
Northamptonshire Archaeology undertook an open area excavation and watching brief on the route of the Brackmills Link Road. The road corridor affected the environs of an early Bronze Age round barrow and during the excavation a satellite cremation was discovered located c 27m away from the barrow. The pit had evidently been truncated and the presence of the larger pieces of cremated bone at the exposed surface suggests that the bulk of the cremated bone may have been lost to ploughing. The charcoal recovered from the cremation was radiocarbon dated to 1270-1020 cal BC, while the date obtained for the charcoal from the barrow ditch was dated to 1685-1525 cal BC, illustrating how respect for early Bronze Age barrows could be retained for hundreds of years in this case well into the middle Bronze Age.

CHAMBERLAINS FACTORY
NGR SP
Supplement/ interim report- Pottery Assessment
Oxford Archaeology
Supplement to the interim report on the excavations carried out on the site of the former factory on the northern outskirts of Higham Ferrers. The supplement contains the assessment report and proposal for further analysis of the pottery associated with the late medieval pottery kiln revealed in the excavation.
All the material from the kiln was in the tradition of late medieval Reduced ware, which is classified in the Northamptonshire County Ceramic Type Series as F365, and broadly dated to the 15th century. The range of vessel forms comprised almost entirely jars, pancheons, jugs and cisterns, although fragments of a very few dripping jars were also noted.