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palaeochannels and a ring ditch at Stanwick Quarry, Northamptonshire
Earlier stages of mineral extraction at Stanwick Quarry had been subject to excavation and survey in the 1980s and early 1990s as part of the Raunds Area Project, which investigated an extensive and long-lived prehistoric landscape, a large area of Iron Age and Roman settlement at Stanwick and the deserted medieval village of West Cotton. In this earlier work areas near the present river channels, where the gravel was overlain by 1.0-3.0m of alluvial clays, had been excluded from extraction. The final phase of working involved the extraction of gravel from these marginal areas so that the mineral resource was fully exploited. Given the quality of the previous results, the three areas involved were subject to an archaeological watching brief between 2002 and 2004 to determine the presence of any unrecognised dry-land sites and to examine the form and development of the palaeochannel system. The work has defined further details of the palaeochannels contemporary with the Neolithic and Bronze Age monument complex. A minor channel defining the eastern edge of Irthlingborough island had silted well before the commencement of monument building in the early fourth millennium, and a number of cut-off channels had silted at various dates during the Neolithic period and the sequence has been radiocarbon dated using waterlogged wood samples. In the early/middle Bronze Age a line of oak posts had been driven into the margins of a silted oxbow channel, and a small undated ring ditch, 10.5m in diameter, has added another monument to the prehistoric landscape.
Iron Age and Roman settlement at Mallard Close Earls Barton, Northamptonshire
Andy Chapman and Rob Atkins
Late Iron Age and early Roman enclosures and a Roman walled enclosure were investigated in an open area excavation. The small, square Iron Age enclosure was surrounded by a deep ditch with a narrow western entrance, conforming to the Wootton Hill type, but it was probably part of a more extensive settlement. The enclosure contained several deep storage pits, some of which held deposits of selected finds including a quern and antler working debris. The enclosure was in use from the 1st century BC to the mid-1st century AD, when it was encompassed within a more complex system of shallower ditches that formed a new enclosure. Nearby domestic occupation is indicated by the presence of numerous shallow pits. The ditched enclosure was abandoned before the mid-2nd century AD, when a walled enclosure was created to the south. The lengths of heavily robbed stone wall formed the northern side of a rectilinear enclosure that would probably have contained a high-status building, perhaps a villa. A T-shaped oven and a well to the north may have been contemporary ancillary features. The walled enclosure was levelled in the 4th century or later. The apparent main focus of the later Roman settlement within the walled enclosure has been largely lost to 20th century quarrying.
[pp. 23 - 56]
Iron Age and Roman
Enclosures near Higham Ferrers: The Archaeology of the A6 Rushden and Higham Ferrers
Archaeological excavations in advance of the construction of the A6 Rushden and Higham Ferrers bypass examined parts of and Iron Age and Roman farmstead (Site 3) and an Iron Age agricultural enclosure (Site 4). Site 3 showed a continuous sequence of shifting occupation from the middle Iron Age through to the later 2nd century AD. Iron Age ring gullies and a sub-circular enclosure were replaced in the 1st century AD by a more rectilinear layout of enclosures. No structures were identified and the enclosures appear to have been agricultural back-plots. While there were few exotic items in the finds assemblage, the quantity of early Roman pottery was large, and included several semi-complete vessels. The circumstances of their deposition remained enigmatic. Site 4 yielded very few finds and is interpreted as a stock corral.
[pp.57 - 94]
A Middle to Late Saxon Cemetery
at Seaton Road, Harringworth
Excavation on land to the west of Seaton Road, Harringworth found settlement related features dating from the Saxon to the late medieval periods. The principal discovery was some 30 burials, which formed part of a substantial cemetery radiocarbon dated to the middle to late Saxon period. The cemetery had fallen into disuse before the 12th century when some burials were disturbed by four pits containing quantities of metalworking slag. To the east of the burials there were occupation features including pits dating from the late Saxon period and a possible late medieval/early post-medieval quarry.
[pp. 95 - 106]
107. An Iron Age Hillfort at Whittlebury, Northants. Richard Jones
109. An initial estimate of the survival of agricultural field buildingds in Northamptonshire. Graham Cadman
114. 1930's prefabricated buildings at Whicksteed Park Kettering. Tim Upson-Smith
125. Archaeology in Northamptonshire, 2004.