(OS 1:10000 a SP 99 NW, b SP 99 SW)
The parish lies on the S. side of the Welland Valley,
covering some 1380 hectares. From the R. Welland,
here about 130 ft. above OD, the land rises steeply
across the outcrops of the Upper Lias Clay to a generally
flat upland at about 350 ft. above OD underlain by
limestone, which in the extreme S. of the parish is
covered by Boulder Clay.
The prehistoric enclosure (1), almost certainly a small
settlement, is a rare survival in the area; it has remained
intact largely because the heavy clay land on which it
lies was pasture, common to the parishes of Bulwick and
Harringworth until recent times.
Elsewhere the Roman settlement, iron-working and
burials (3, 4 and 5) have been discovered only as a result
of modern large-scale ironstone mining, which has
probably destroyed other similar sites.
Prehistoric and Roman
b(1) Enclosure (SP 94139475; Figs. 59 and 64), across the
parish boundary with Bulwick, in the bottom of a small valley
on Boulder Clay, at 300 ft. above OD. The site consists of a
small roughly-circular enclosure bounded by a low bank now
only 1 m. high with a slight outer ditch. An entrance in the
N.W. may be original. It has been ploughed over and is now
much reduced in height. There is no evidence for its date or
purpose but it is likely to have belonged to the later prehistoric
period. Air photographs (in NMR) show what appear to be
two linear ditches in the same area; one on the W. ('a' on Fig.
59) passes close to the enclosure, the other on the E. ('b'), ends
near its N.E. corner. (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 41; 6 (1971), 14 and
pl. 4 (1))
b(2) Enclosure (SP 93889493; Fig. 64), 300 m. N.W. of (1)
on the N. side of the valley, on Boulder Clay at just over
300 ft. above OD. It has been totally destroyed by later activity
and modern ploughing and is only just visible on air photographs taken in 1947. It then consisted of a circular area, 230 m.
in diam. bounded by a low bank and outer ditch. No definite
entrances or interior features are visible. The markedly eastward
bend in the modern road may be explained by the existence of
this enclosure. There is no evidence for its date or purpose, but
it is probably contemporary with (1). A polished stone axe and
a stone mace-head have been found in the area to the N.W.
at SP 936949. (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 40–1; RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925,
1139–41). See also (10) below.
a(3) Roman burials (SP 92429667). Two stone coffins and
some Roman pottery were found during ironstone working
in 1932 and 1933, 1 km. S.E. of the village on limestone at
350 ft. above OD. One coffin was removed to the churchyard
where it now lies. (J. Northants. Nat. Hist. Soc. Field Club XXV
(1931–2), 144; XXVII (1933–4), 91)
a(4) Roman settlement (SP 935980), found in 1968 during
ironstone quarrying, lies in the E. of the parish on the upper
slopes of the Welland Valley at 300 ft. above OD on limestone.
A series of ditches and pits, as well as corn-drying ovens, was
discovered, together with pottery of the 3rd and 4th centuries.
Immediately to the E. is a large Pagan-Saxon cemetery (see
Wakerley (3)). (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 40)
a(5) Roman iron-working site (SP 924959) found in 1972
during ironstone mining, lay S. of the village on limestone at
325 ft. above OD. A ditch, containing 1st and 2nd-century
Roman pottery and large quantities of iron slag, was discovered (BNFAS, 8 (1973), 6).
For another possible Roman iron-working site, see (12).
Fig. 59 Harringworth (1) Enclosure
Fig. 60 Harringworth (6) Settlement remains
Medieval and Later
a(6) Settlement remains (SP 91859718; Figs. 60 and 63)
formerly part of Harringworth village lie on either side of the
deeply-hollowed modern road to Laxton on the steep S. side
of the Welland Valley, between 175 ft. and 250 ft. above OD.
Several clearly defined closes, bounded by low banks and
scarps, still exist, some with building platforms within them.
On the W. side of the site a series of deep hollow-ways has
cut into, and partly destroyed, the W. ends of the former
closes. The date of abandonment is unknown but it had already
taken place by 1732 (NRO, map of Harringworth). Elsewhere
in the village are individual abandoned house sites, between
existing buildings, on both sides of the main street. Two of
these were still occupied by buildings in 1732, but most had
already been abandoned by that date. (RAF VAP CPE/UK 1924,
a(7) Settlement remains (SP 92609720; Figs. 61 and 63)
forming part of the hamlet of Shotley, lie S. of the existing
hamlet on either side of a deeply-cut hollow-way which is the
abandoned continuation of the present main street. The site is
in a small valley, on limestone at 200 ft. above OD. It consists
of a number of ill-defined paddocks or closes, bounded by low
banks, with traces of former buildings within them. Several
other hollow-ways branch off the main one. The name Shotley
is first recorded in 1430, but is presumably much older (PN
Northants., 168; RAF VAP CPE/UK 1925, 3131–3).
a(8) Fishpond (SP 91809757; Fig. 62) immediately N. of the
Manor House on the edge of the R. Welland. It consists of a
roughly cross-shaped pond 1.5 m. deep, linked to a branch of
the river by a narrow channel but much altered and mutilated.
ab(9) Deer park (centred SP 922953; Figs. 63 and 64) lies
across the S. part of the parish, mainly on Boulder Clay,
between 350 ft. and 300 ft. above OD. It dates from the first
half of the 13th century, when one William de Cantelupe 'obtained licence to enclose and throw into a park that part of
Harringworth Wood named Stockes extending by the common field as far as Langlegh trench' (J. Bridges, Hist. of
Northants., II (1791), 316). The subsequent history of the park
is not known but the area was still called Harringworth Park in
1732 (NRO, map of Harringworth).
The area covered by the park is unknown, for owing to
conflicting evidence its actual boundary and size are not clear.
The N. boundary still exists in part but much of it has recently
been destroyed by ironstone mining. It can be traced, on the
ground, or on air photographs, from the Laxton-Harringworth
parish boundary (SP 94199608) westwards along an existing
hedge line which formerly marked the S. edge of Lodge Field,
one of the open fields of the parish. At the junction between
the former Lodge Field and Walker Well Field (SP 92309596),
the boundary has a clearly defined bank, 10 m. wide and 1.5 m.
high, with traces of an inner ditch; it leaves the present hedge
and runs S.W. past Park Lodge to a point 350 m. S.W. of the
Lodge (SP 91179511). There the bank bifurcates. One part continues S.W., following an existing hedge as far as the Gretton
parish boundary, and then turns S.E. whence it follows the
boundary as far as the N.W. corner of Mavis Wood (SP
92309382). At this point the boundary is no longer traceable,
but if the bank is the limit of the park, this presumably ran
along the parish boundary with Bulwick as far as the DeeneHarringworth road (SP 93769443). Just W. of the road are
traces of the bank on the edge of Geese Wood. Further N., on
the W. side of the road where it bends E. to avoid the prehistoric enclosure (2), are further traces of a low bank and
inner ditch. The boundary then may have turned E. to meet
the Laxton parish boundary but no trace now exists.
Fig. 61 Harringworth (7)
Settlement remains of Shotley
The other part of the bank which leaves the one described
above, S.W. of Park Lodge, runs S.E. and is visible on air
photographs running towards the upper reaches of Fineshade
Brook which it meets N. of Dryleas Wood (SP 92039475). All
traces are then lost but another boundary bank is traceable
along the S. side of the brook from the Gretton boundary to a
point S. of Harringworth Lodge (SP 91609430–93259511).
Whether these two latter banks have any connection with the
park is unknown. The most probable boundary would be that
described first, covering the whole of the S. of the parish, but
it may be that the original boundary ran along Fineshade
Brook and was later extended to the S. The function of the
bank on the S. side of the brook is not known. (RAF VAP
CPE/UK 1925, 1139–45)
Fig. 62 Harringworth (8) Fishpond
b(10) Occupation site (?) (SP 936949), in the S.E. of the
parish on Boulder Clay at 310 ft. above OD, within and N.
of the prehistoric enclosure (2). The field is known as Pottersgate or Pottingate. Within it a stone trackway running N.WS.E. is said to have been ploughed up. A few sherds of medieval
pottery, possibly Stamford Ware, have been found in the area.
The name of the field may indicate the site of pottery kilns
but no archaeological evidence for this exists (BNFAS, 4 (1970),
Fig. 63 Harringworth
Medieval settlements, fields and deer park
(11) Cultivation remains (Fig. 63). The enclosure of the
common fields took place following an Act of Parliament of
1774 (Award of 1775 in NRO), and in 1732 there were five
large fields occupying the N. two-thirds (NRO, map of
Harringworth). Ridge-and-furrow of these fields remains, or
can be traced on air photographs, over wide areas especially S.,
S.W. and E. of the village within the former West, Lodge,
Walker Well and Nether Fields. All of it is in the form of
end-on or interlocked furlongs of C or reversed-S type and
can be correlated exactly with the named furlongs on the 18th-century map. Similar ridge-and-furrow survives N.E. and
N.W. of the village along the edge of the R. Welland in areas
already enclosed in 1732. More can be traced on air photographs
in the S. of the parish (SP 916945 and 935945) in the area
occupied by Harringworth Park (9) in 1732. (RAF VAP CPE/UK
1925, 1138–47, 2138–43, 3137–48; F 21/58/RAF 2319, 0011–7,
0029–33; F 22/58/RAF 2319, 0012–16)
Fig. 64 Harringworth (9) Deer park, (1 and 2) enclosures, (5) Roman iron-working site,
(10) occupation site, (12) iron-working site and Bulwick (1) Roman iron-working site
b(12) Iron-working site (centred SP 924946; Fig. 64) lies
within Hollow Wood in the S. of the parish, on the S. side of
a small valley at 230 ft. above OD. Much of the interior of the
wood is occupied by shallow pits dug through the Boulder
Clay and there are also large quantities of iron slag in the area.
The workings are probably medieval or later, but they could
be Roman since a large Roman iron-working site exists further
S., in Bulwick parish (see Bulwick (1)).