Fieldwork Reports: February 2002
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The following reports on archaeological fieldwork undertaken in Northamptonshire have been received by NCC’s Historic Environment Team (Northamptonshire Heritage) up to February 2002. They are reproduced here with permission.
The reports have been passed to the Northamptonshire Sites and Monuments Record and will be entered into the SMR database system.
TRINLAN PADDOCKS, ASTON LE WALLS, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
NGR SP495 509
An archaeological watching brief was undertaken by Northamptonshire Archaeology during topsoil stripping in advance of the construction of a Menage at Trinlan Paddocks, Aston Le Walls. No deposits of an archaeological nature were revealed.
A428 CRICK BYPASS,
NGR SP5800 7200 & NGR SP5900 7200
A watching brief was undertaken during the construction of the A428 Crick bypass revealed no archaeological features relating to the Iron Age, Roman and early middle Saxon settlement remains at the nearby Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal site. Evidence for past use of the landscape was limited to traces of the medieval open field system, and possible quarry pits containing sherds of Roman pottery.
PHASE 2 ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT
VOL 2: TECHNICAL STUDIES
CHAPTER 14: ARCHAEOLOGY
The technical study on the archaeology and cultural heritage issues associated with the proposed DIRFT West site has identified the archaeological resource present on the site. This resource has been identified from baseline surveys including a desktop study, monitoring of geotechnical test pits and the construction of a newt pond, geophysical surveys and trial trenching work carried out on the site. This works has identified nine archaeological/cultural heritage sites, three are considered to be of regional/county importance, four have local importance and two are considered to be unimportant. None of the sites have national importance. The three of regional/county importance comprise an Early to Middle Neolithic site, a Middle Iron Age settlement site and extant ridge and furrow. One of the sites of local importance comprises two hedgerows defined as historic under Hedgerow Regulations.
THE CHURCH OF ST MARY MAGDALENE, ECTON, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE: FINAL
NGR SP8285 6355
Evaluation and Watching Brief
R. J. Ivens
Limited excavation within the church tower revealed the inner face of the massive tower foundations. These foundations had been sealed with a thick clay and stone layer which lay over what may be a pre-tower level, the poorly preserved remains of a slight wall, a lead-workers hearth and a truncated burial. Below these features were a series of strata which continued below the limit of the trial trench. Ceramic evidence indicates that the internal levels of the tower had been reduced at some time no earlier than the fifteenth century. No significant remains were noted in the service trenches dug through the graveyard.
NEW STOCK BUILDINGS AT
OAKLEY BANK FARM, PLUMPTON, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
NGR SP6072 4856
University of Leicester Archaeological Services
The desk-based assessment has concluded that the proposed development area is located within a landscape of considerable archaeological and historical interest, particularly in the medieval and post-medieval periods. Documentary sources refer to pottery production taking place at Oakley Bank during, and probably prior to, the eighteenth century. Oakley Bank itself appears to be an outlying settlement of the adjacent shrunken medieval village of Plumpton. However, there are few indications of earlier activity within the development area itself.
TRINITY CHURCH, ROTHWELL
NGR SP816 811
University of Leicester Archaeological Services
Archaeological trial trenching was carried out in advance of proposed drainage works on the south side of Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell. A series of test pits were excavated to determine the location of existing drain runs and to characterise any archaeological deposits, which may be affected by the proposed works. Survival of evidence relating to the former plan of the south side of the church demolished in 1673 included the identification of a possible mortar floor surface, a short section of masonry plus possible wall lines visible in the form of robber trenches backfilled with rubble deposits. Finds included several pieces of medieval pottery and floor tile. Unstratified human bones, also unearthed, were reburied following completion of the trial trenching.
SCHOOL LANE. ROTHWELL, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
NGR SP8154 8126
Desk-based assessment and trial excavation
A desk-based assessment and trial excavation were undertaken ahead of proposed development at School Lane, Rothwell. Historic maps revealed that the site formed the back of a medieval plot that fronted on to Bridge Street to the south. Three trenches were excavated within the area to determine the presence of any buried remains of archaeological interest. Rubble relating to the demolition of modern buildings was found in all trenches. No archaeological features were present.
A6 RUSHDEN – HIGHAM FERRERS BYPASS
NGR SP966 681
(Appendix D of White Young Green Consulting Engineers Archaeology Brief)
Six trial trenches were excavated on land off Newton Lane, Higham Ferrers, as archaeological mitigation works in connection with the proposed A6 bypass. The site had been identified as part of a probable Roman settlement through previous surface collection and geophysical surveys (reproduced as Appendices B & C of the Brief). The excavation confirmed the presence of Roman remains in the form of substantial ditches and suggested that the site limits were correctly defined by the geophysical survey. No structural fatures were discovered although quantities of finds suggest that there was occupation nearby, probably with a focus west of the proposed road corridor.
FURTHER TRIAL TRENCHES AT KERRY FARM, YARDLEY GOBION
NGR SP7599 4491
R. J. Ivens
Two trial trenches were excavated in the grounds of Kerry Farm, Yardley Gobion. Slight remains of medieval and post-medieval activity were observed. These were similar in character to those found in 1997-98 At this time it was suggested that these were probably the remnants of a distinct phase of occupation such as a small farmstead. No evidence of potting-related activities was observed.
TEST PITS AT HALL HILL, BRIGSTOCK
NGR SP947 853
A watching brief on two test pits at Hall Hill, Brigstock, Northamptonshire showed that an introduced topsoil and subsoil overlay natural limestone. The ground had previously been graded in 1976, prior to the construction of the current house, removing all the original soil profile up to a thickness of 1.5m over the garden area, so that only very deep features would have survived cutting into the bedrock. A single feature observed in Test Pit 1 was not fully excavated, but is thought to be an infilled well, the second such feature within the plot. Several sherds of medieval and Roman pottery were found within the subsoil, and a prehistoric flint from the topsoil, but since the soils were introduced, it is unlikely that these finds have any bearing on the archaeology of the site.
TO M40 DUALLING PROJECT SOIL DISPOSAL AREAS: ADDITIONAL GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY OF
NGR SP621 404
Additional detailed geophysical survey, carried out on 6ha of land earmarked for permanent soil disposal, resulted in the discovery of a number of linear features, two rectangular enclosures, a possible circular enclosure and other anomalies of possible archaeological interest. In conjunction with the results of the earlier trial trench evaluation, it is suggested that these features represent fragments of a Roman agricultural landscape with associated activity which included iron smelting and pottery production.
A43 TOWCESTER TO M40 DUELLING PROJECT SILVERSTONE AND BRACKLEY HATCH SECTIONS
ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS: STAGE 3
HAZELBOROUGH WOOD TRENCH 2
NGR SP655 427
A second evaluation trench excavated through a possible woodland boundary bank and ditch on the north side of the A43 in Hazelborough Wood revealed no dating evidence for its construction. The ditch appeared to have at least two phases of cutting and had probably been modified recently for drainage purposes.
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORDING ACTION
AT LYVEDEN OLD BIELD
NGR SP9824 8594
An archaeological recording action at Lyveden Old Bield revealed no evidence of its nearby pottery industry or any remains relating to the present manor house and its associated gardens.
COLLEGE FARM, AYNHO, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
NGR SP5115 3331
Oxford Archaeology Unit on behalf of CgMs Consulting
The watching brief recorded further evidence for the water channels, probably the artificial water course shown on early maps, and robber trench discovered during a previous evaluation by OAU at this site in July 1999 which had produced an absence of datable finds, particularly of medieval material. A wall footing was also discovered which is almost certainly contemporary with the standing buildings.
BLATHERWYCK BOUNDARY CROSS (NATIONAL MONUMENT 29713)
NGR SP9883 9693
Blatherwyck Cross was displaced in February 1998 by a combination of tree root disturbance, nearby drainage works and vegetation clearance. In August 2001 Northamptonshire Archaeology recorded the cross, its former location and nearby earthwork. The broken base of the cross shaft was located partially underneath a willow tree, while the earthworks were interpreted as part of a former spring culvert of recent date. The cross was located in a grain store nearby and an inscription from 1835 was noted on one side.
HORTONS LANE, THRAPSTON
NGR SP9971 7855
An archaeological watching brief was undertaken for the development of a single house on land to the rear of The Rectory, Hortons Lane, Thrapston. The watching brief was carried out during the excavation of the foundation trenches for the new building. The excavations revealed a highly disturbed mix of natural sands and Cornbrash with a large amount of post-medieval build up and rubble. Two pits were identified containing post-medieval pottery, glass and other domestic rubbish.
BRIEF AT 19 WOODS LANE, POTTERSPURY
NGR SP76045 43206
A watching brief noted the presence of a possible buried surface of unknown date, and the remains of a post-medieval wall and pit in footings being dug for a new garage. No significant archaeology connected with the local pottery industry was observed.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION AT STANWICK QUARRY
NGR SP9669 7150
An archaeological evaluation was carried out during August 2001, in advance of gravel extraction. In the two areas examined, trial trenching demonstrated that the natural gravel underlay substantial deposits of alluvial clays and silts, typically from 1.5-2.5m thick. No archaeological remains were encountered, and in both areas it is likely that the gravel surface has been lowered by past alluvial action. So any earlier archaeological remains will, at the least, have been severely truncated. Waterlogged wood was recovered from organic silts at the base of the alluvium, deposited at the margins of former river channels that followed a similar case to the present river. A single former river channel, or palaeochannel, was located.
SCHOOLS AT WOOTTON FIELDS, SOUTH OF NORTHAMPTON
NGR SP771 561
Environmental Statement: Appendix 7C- Geophysical Survey
Northamptonshire Archaeology for Chesterton Planning and Economics
An assessment prepared to the instructions of Northamptonshire County Council in relation to the proposed development of new secondary and primary schools on approximately 18ha of land at Wootton Fields.
Geophysical Survey recorded anomalies that may indicate significant archaeology concentrated in the south-west corner of the study area, including ditches, pits and possible kilns. A ring ditch and evidence for ridge and furrow cultivation were also detected.
LAND TO THE REAR OF
THE GEORGE INN, GLAPTHORN ROAD, OUNDLE
NGR TL030 890
An archaeological watching brief was conducted on land to the rear of the George Inn, Glapthorn Road, Oundle during July 2001. Observation of groundworks revealed no archaeological features. However, a metal detecting survey recovered a small assemblage of finds dating from the Roman, medieval and modern periods.
MANOR FARM, HELMDON
NGR SP589 431
An archaeological recording action comprising small scale excavation and a watching brief was undertaken during construction of a new access drive at Manor Farm, Helmdon, Northamptonshire. The driveway crossed infilled banks and ditches associated with the medieval Overbury Manor. The infilling of these features was shown to have occurred sometime in the post-medieval period. No other archaeological features were affected by the groundworks.
COTTONS FARM, ROCKINGHAM
NGR SP8670 9181
A watching brief was undertaken during the construction of a new compound at Cottons Farm, Rockingham, Northamptonshire. No archaeological finds or features were observed as the development only required removal of the topsoil.
LAND ADJACENT TO
HOME FARM, CLOPTON
NGR TL0630 8035
A watching brief was undertaken during the excavation of footings for new dwellings on land adjacent to Home Farm, Clopton, Northamptonshire. A series of features including pits, two possible gullies and a brick floor were found. None of the features pre-date the 19th century.