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Volume 27 (1996-97)
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of Neolithic and Medieval Mounds at Tansor Crossroads, Northamptonshire, 1995
Two of a group of three circular mounds set on a spur of high ground overlooking the valley of the river Nene at Tansor, Northamptonshire, were partially excavated prior to a road improvement scheme. The larger mound had originated as a Neolithic mortuary or funerary enclosure, with the encircling ditch and barrow mound dating to the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age. Respect for the site continued into the late Bronze Age and it was also a focus for early Saxon burials. Its chronology has been defined by a series of radiocarbon dates. The smaller mound was a medieval windmill mound. The cross-tree slots of a post mill lay at the centre of a low clay mound encircled by a broad ditch. It was apparently in use for no more than a few decades around the middle of the thirteenth century. The absence of any timber remains suggests that the windmill had been systematically dismantled.
Saxon and Medieval
Settlement Remains at St. John's Square, Daventry, Northamptonshire, July 1994
- February 1995
Evaluation of c.3 hectares of land in Daventry town centre in July 1994 identified widespread buried deposits of both Medieval and potentially early-middle Saxon date adjacent to St. John's Square, Daventry. Subsequent investigation has shown that the immediate area was occupied in the 6th century AD and that after a period of abandonment was reoccupied in the 10th century. Occupation continued with changes of emphasis and layout until the present day although it waned from the 14th century. In the 6th century the site, divided by a large east-west aligned ditch, was used for dumping rubbish from a nearby settlement which probably lay just to the south on higher ground. In the late Saxon period, occupation comprised a ditched enclosure around at least one timber building. Nearby were north-south aligned ditches which may represent a fluid boundary. Re-planned in the 12th century, occupation shifted to the foot of the natural slope, the north edge of the site, where a 3-bay building was constructed. By the mid 13th century this had been abandoned and the emphasis shifted to a new enclosure on higher ground to the south-west, where occupation persisted, initially in the form of ditched circular building of unknown fucntion. Always marginal to the town, the site seems to have been associated with large-scale processing of crops from the 10th to the 12th centuries, probably dealing with produce from an increasing range of soil types and qualities which reflects the pressures placed on arable production by early medieval society. There was little artifactual evidence to indicate that status of those who may have lived on or close to the site.
Recent Work in Medieval
Northampton: Archaeological excavations on St Giles' Street, 1990, and at St Edmund's
Archaeological excavations at St Giles' Street in the heart of the medieval town and in the eastern suburb of St Edmund's End indicate the nature of occupation in Northampton away from the area of the late Saxon town. Occupation commenced at St Giles' Street in the 11th century at which time it may have formed part of an extra mural market area outside the late Saxon town. Timber buildings are attested from the mid-12th century and a stone building from the late 13th century. The latter was associated with a series of ovens in a yard area to its east. This stone building was abandoned early in the 16th century but after a short hiatus there was subsequently continuous occupation to the present day. The suburban site presents an interesting contrast. Despite its peripheral location occupation began in the 12th century, reflecting Northampton's importance and prosperity at this period. A stone structure was constructed in the mid 13th century but the narrowness of the foundations suggest that this was a dwarf stone wall for a timber superstructure. This building went out of use around the end of the 14th century and thereafter there was no occupation until the 19th century. Accordingly the value of looking at a sample of sites from different areas within a town and the importance of marginal sites in defining periods of growth and decline is emphasised.
Evaluation at Borough Hill, Daventry, Northants
Archaeological evaluation of an area within the hillfort at Borough Hill Daventry, revealed evidence of late Bronze Age and early Iron Age activity as well as a small amount of late Iron Age or Roman pottery. Notable amongst the finds from this excavation was a socketed axe which probably dates from the late Bronze Age, Ewart Park Phase.
Archaeology in Northamptonshire, 1996-97
Raunds Furnells: The Anglo-Saxon Church and Churchyard by A. Boddington