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Volume 26 (1995)

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Archaeology at Grendon Quarry, Northamptonshire. Part 2: Other prehistoric, Iron Age and later sites excavated in 1974-5 and further observations between 1976-80
Dennis Jackson
Excavations were carried out at Grendon in 1974-5 in advance of gravel quarrying and a report describing the Neolithic and Bronze Age features was published in 1985. This article describes an Iron Age enclosure and at least three pottery kilns also excavated at that time, together with the results of a watching brief and salvage excavations carried out subsequently, whilst quarrying was in progress. The principal features located during the latter work included:

  1. at least three ring ditches and four Bronze Age vessels found in small pits;
  2. a complex of pit alignments and their relationships;
  3. an unusual pre-medieval agricultural system consisting of 27 parallel trenches (spade-dug), possibly used for growing vines;
  4. four Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured structures and evidence for iron-working at this time.

[Pp. 3-32]

A Roman Coin Hoard from Fineshade, Northamptonshire
Mark Curteis & Graham Cadman
262 Roman coins recovered by a metal detectorist from a field in Fineshade parish are believed to originate from a single hoard. The core of the hoard, comprising some 200 silver coins, was salvage recorded following its discovery. Traces of associated organic material suggest that the coins were placed in a leather bag which was then deposited on or in a quantity of grass set within the concealment hole. The hoard is believed to represent a savings hoard concealed sometime after A.D. 261. A catalogue is included of all coins.
[Pp. 33-45]

The Excavation of a Roman Road and a Medieval Causeway at Ditchford Pit, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Graham D Keevill & Robert J Williams
Ditchford Pit, run by ARC Central, lies on the north bank of the River Nene, approximately 3 km east-south-east of Wellingborough. Irchester Roman town lies immediately to the south on the opposite side of the river, and Chester-on-the-Water deserted medieval hamlet lies to the east of the Roman town. An existing earthwork running north-south across the floodplain towards the river was evaluated by the Oxford Archaeological Unit on behalf of ARC Central in 1989. The earthwork was shown to be a metalled road, and part of it was excavated by OAU in 1994. The feature is Romano-British, and is oriented on the east gate of the Roman town. OAU has also been maintaining a watching brief on the excavation programme since 1991, and in August of 1992 part of a previously unsuspected causeway was revealed. Radiocarbon dating has established that this was a medieval structure. The two excavations are described in this report, and the structures are placed in their local and regional contexts.
[Pp. 47-77]

The Excavation of a Saxon Settlement and a Mesolithic Flint Scatter at Northampton Road, Brixworth, Northamptonshire
Steve Ford
A watching brief carried out in 1988 on the line of the Brixworth bypass located structural remains of Saxon date. In 1990 an evaluation was carried out as a requirement of the planning process on an adjacent parcel which was proposed as a site for housing. This also located a number of Saxon structures. Prior to the housing development an area excavation was carried out which located at least five post-built rectangular structures and four sunken floor structures of Early/Middle Saxon date. A quantity of struck flint indicates a previous use of this location during Mesolithic times.
[Pp. 79-108]

The Early Topography of Northampton and its Suburbs
Glenn Foard
This article provides modern mapping of the medieval and post-medieval suburbs of Northampton, based upon the earliest available historic maps, and represents the first attempt to accurately define their extent and morphology. The suburbs cannot however be understood in isolation and so a topographical analysis of the walled town is also presented. Building upon previous studies, a sequence of evolution of the Saxon and medieval town is suggested. At least four main phases are defined: the Early/Middle Saxon, which is associated with the 'palace'; the Late Saxon burh; the Norman new borough; and later the medieval suburbs. Consideration is given to the evidence of large scale regular planning in the Late Saxon and Norman periods. An alternative explanation for the apparent regularity, that it was the pattern of the pre-existing roads and furlongs which determined the layout of the medieval town, is also considered. Seven distinct medieval suburban areas are identified and briefly described. The major monuments in each suburb, mainly ecclesiastical sites, are identified and where possible located, as are the isolated suburban monasteries of St. James and Delapre. Consideration is also given to the likely chronology and reasons for the development and demise of each suburb. The article is intended as a broad summary which sets a topographical framework for future detailed documentary and archaeological research.
[Pp. 109-122]

The Abbot of Ramsey's Manor, Elton, Huntingdonshire
D F Mackreth
This article is a report on and interpretation of the structures and finds located during improvements to the flood defences and farmland in the parish of Elton, Huntingdonshire, carried out in 1977. The foundations of a number of stone buildings were located and identified as the medieval manor of the abbot of Ramsey. Finds from the site indicated a period of use between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, though the nature and status of the site changed over time. Documentary sources from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries helped to determine the structure, layout and function of the medieval manor site.
[Pp. 123-139]

A Later Medieval Pottery Kiln at Potterspury, Northamptonshire
E M Jope & R J Ivens
In 1949, a medieval pottery kiln was excavated at Potterspury, Northamptonshire, which had long been recognised as a centre of a pottery industry in the later Middle Ages. A small oval-shaped kiln was excavated; the pottery produced here was prominently of a fine, sandy-tempered ware, in the form of jugs, pans and cooking pots, and also roofing tile. Since the excavation, Potterspury wares have been identified from archaeological sites in Northamptonshire, north Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. It served a local market and competed with the products of kilns from other medieval potteries in the region.
[Pp. 141-148]

Notes
[Pp. 149-152]

Archaeology in Northamptonshire, 1995
[Pp. 153-158]