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Volume 34 (2006)
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Future for our Past: Publication and Archaeology
[pp. 1- 4]
A late Iron Age settlement at Manor Farm, Newton Bromswold,
An archaeological evaluation comprising geophysical survey, fieldwalking, watching brief and excavation was carried out by Northamptonshire Archaeology during preliminary groundworks ahead of the Raunds to Newton Bromswold Anglian Water pipeline. This report covers the southern end of the pipeline from Chelveston to Newton Bromswold, where an excavation was carried out at Manor Farm on part of an Iron Age enclosure system previously identified through aerial photography and geophysical survey. The enclosures may be characterised as a farmstead that originated in the late Iron Age, the 1st century BC, and fell out of use in the early Roman period, the middle decades of the 1st century AD. The enclosure ditches and other features produced a small assemblage of late Iron Age and early Roman pottery and a single copper alloy brooch is dated to the first half of the 1st century AD. This enclosure provides an example of the early settlement of the boulder clay covered uplands. During the medieval period the site was under cultivation and truncated furrows of a field system overlaid the earlier archaeology.
Middle Iron Age and Late
Iron Age/Early Roman enclosures at the former sports ground, Alma Road, Peterborough
Andrew Mudd and Tim Upson-Smith
Archaeological fieldwork was carried out ahead of housing development on the former sports ground off Alma Road, Peterborough. A single radiocarbon date suggests that occupation had begun in the middle Iron Age, but the majority of the examined ditches and pits belonged to a late Iron Age/early Roman settlement. The quantity and nature of the finds suggest that the later features were peripheral to a farmstead of modest status which would have lain principally to the north of the site. There was a possible indication of pottery production nearby. A medieval pit was also excavated.
A Romano-British settlement at West Haddon, Northamptonshire
Field survey and subsequent trial trenching in 1998 identified archaeological remains of an early Romano-British settlement located to the north of West Haddon. Northamptonshire Archaeology undertook an open area excavation of this settlement in 2005, followed by a series of watching briefs, in conjunction with the West Haddon Bypass road scheme. The earliest occupation was an oval enclosure subsequently truncated by a sinuous gully that probably formed a large rectangular enclosure. These are presumed to be of Iron Age to early Roman date but little pottery was recovered. The Romano-British settlement, established in the late 1st century AD, comprised a series of sub-rectangular ditched enclosures, covering an area of 2ha, set on higher ground either side of a sinuous trackway. This was a low status rural settlement, with little access to higher class metalwork or imported pottery. There is environmental evidence for crop processing, but the poor survival of animal bone leaves the pastoral economy undefined. A possible small timber building founded in beam slots, was the only surviving structural feature, but the main domestic buildings may have lain beyond the excavated area. There was limited use of stone, with this including the stone-lined flue of a corn-drier, while fragments of millstone, indicate the presence of an animal powered mill. The settlement reached its zenith in the late 2nd century. In the late 3rd century there was probably a contraction of settlement, with new ditch systems replacing parts of the former enclosure system, but even this had been abandoned by the mid- 4th century.
The Roman Villa at Deanshanger,
Northamptonshire: Excavations 2004-2005
Excavation at Kingsbrook School, Deanshanger examined archaeological remains to the south-east of a Roman villa that was first identified in 1957. Late 1st-century to early 2nd-century ditch systems lay within the excavated area, and two rectangular enclosures, at the end of a line of similar enclosures excavated previously, are dated to the mid-2nd century. This arrangement was probably contemporary with the establishment of the villa to the west, as the walled courtyard was a later addition, dating to the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries, but followed the same alignment as the enclosures. The robbed walls of the south-east corner of the courtyard were located. Two circular stone structures of uncertain purpose were also found.
Early to Middle Saxon Iron Smelting Furnaces at Fineshade
[pp. 81- 96]
A series of archaeological investigations within the former kitchen garden at the site of Fineshade Abbey, Northamptonshire, in 1998, resulted in the excavation of a group of iron smelting furnaces and other features, including hearths and ditches. Associated finds were sparse, but a single calibrated radiocarbon date of Cal AD 560-690 suggests an early to middle Saxon date. Roman tile present in the furnaces and other features is thought to be residual. While the hearths and other features are also likely to relate to ironworking, there was insufficient evidence to suggest specific functions. The results support recent research which suggests that the Rockingham Forest region was an important iron production centre in the Saxon period.
Higham Ferrers, Saffron Road: an archaeological
An archaeological trial trench evaluation was undertaken on the Saffron Road car park, Higham Ferrers, prior to the development of a new doctor's surgery. This site lay within the historic core of the medieval town, just north of the market and south of Chichele College. The historic map evidence indicated that part of a probable medieval layout of small square plots had survived into the 16th century, making this a rare opportunity to investigate the origins and early development of Higham Ferrers. Unfortunately, in the early 20th century the backage of the plot had been levelled and utilised as a coal yard. All that was left was the remnant of a single medieval pit, which contained four sherds of 12th-century pottery.
The Archaeology at 46-50
Sheep Street, Northampton
A possible cellar, perhaps beneath a timber building, had been filled in by the 12th century. It may have been either a building outside the late Saxon town or an early development within the enlarged Norman new borough, which had been established in the later 11th century. It was succeeded by intensive pit digging through the 12th and into the early 13th century. Many pits lay adjacent to the street frontage, indicating that the frontage was not fully occupied by buildings at this time, perhaps reflecting a broader pattern in which many burgage plots within the enlarged town were still unoccupied. A well, constructed in the mid 13th century and in use into the 14th century, presumably served a nearby building that had not survived. The well was in use until the late 14th century and, in its later use, it lay adjacent to a wall corner that may have been part of a boundary wall. It is possible that some of the present property boundaries had been established by this time. The 15th to mid 16th centuries saw less activity, perhaps reflecting the general decline in the fortunes of the town at this time. Cottages were established on the Sheep Street frontage c1540, when the street name first appears in documentary sources. A large clay extraction pit was excavated in c1670 on land to the rear of the cottages and served some of Northamptonshire's earliest clay tobacco-pipe makers. Activity through the 18th and 19th centuries included the refurbishment of the cottages along the frontage, the addition of several ancillary buildings to the rear in connection with resident traders, and the construction of two tenements in Wells Yard in c1871, immediately behind the cottages.
Chapel of St. John, Northampton
Iain Soden and David Leigh
[pp. 125- 138]
An archaeological watching brief was undertaken during the refurbishment of the Hospital Chapel of St John, Northampton. Floors dated to the 18th and 19th centuries were removed to insert under-floor heating and new flooring. During the course of the watching brief post-medieval makeup layers were excavated and an early occupation or floor level was exposed. Pottery, probably dating to the 13th century, was found beneath this surface, which was cut by the south wall of the building. Outside the building, service trenches exposed a substantial medieval wall that was shallowly buried and, to the east of the chapel, this was encroached upon by human burials of post-medieval date. The work facilitated a re-appraisal of understanding of this important medieval monastic building and enabled aspects of its history to be updated.
Review of recent archaeological publications Andy Chapman
Putting a further name to a face Martin Tingle
in Northamptonshire, 2006
Compiled by Pat Chapman (Northamptonshire Archaeology), with additional contributions from Richard Ivens and Archaeological Project Services
Antiquities Scheme 2006
Bulletin of the Northamptonshire Federation of Archaeological Societies: volumes
1-8, 1966-1973 (CD in back pocket)