36 NEWTON BROMSHOLD
(OS 1:10000 a SP 96 NE, b SP 96 SE, c TL 06 NW, d TL 06 SW)
The parish covers a long, narrow strip of land, of some
630 hectares, adjoining the Bedfordshire boundary. It is
entirely on Boulder Clay, between 325 ft. and 230 ft.
above OD, and is disected by two small branches of the
R. Til. The S. part was formerly an extra-parochial
district, occupied since the 12th century by the medieval
deer park of Higham Park (9). This, and its associated
moated lodge (8), are the main monuments.
Prehistoric and Roman
a(1) Iron Age and Roman settlement (SP 998656), immediately S.E. of the village on the crest of a ridge, on Boulder
Clay at 275 ft. above OD. An area of dark soil is associated
with early Iron Age and Roman pottery (Beds. Arch. J., 7
(1972), 14, Newton Bromshold 2).
a(2) Roman settlement (?) (SP 996651), in the valley of the
R. Til on Boulder Clay at 250 ft. above OD. A small quantity
of Roman pottery and a 1st-century brooch have been found
(Beds. Arch. J., op. cit., Newton Bromshold 1). (Fig. 79 shows
locations of Roman settlements (2–6))
b(3) Roman settlement (SP 987637), S.E. of Higham Park
Lodge on Boulder Clay at 315 ft. above OD. Four patches of
dark earth, one with Roman pottery on it, have been found
(Beds. Arch. J., op. cit., Newton Bromshold 4).
b(4) Roman settlement (?) (SP 991641), 500 m. N.E. of (3)
and in a similar position. Seven patches of dark earth, one with
Roman pottery on it, have been found (Beds. Arch. J., op. cit.,
Newton Bromshold 5).
b(5) Roman settlement (SP 995643), 500 m. N.E. of (4) and
in a similar position. An area, two hectares in extent, is covered
with pebbles and Roman pottery. A quern of puddingstone
has been found (Beds. Arch. J., op. cit., Newton Bromshold 6).
b(6) Roman settlement (SP 992638), 500 m. E. of (3) and in
a similar position. An area, just over one hectare in extent, has
produced dark soil and Roman pottery, including samian and
Nene Valley-type wares. Some coarse brown pottery, similar
to sherds found nearby in Bedfordshire and at Easton Maudit,
Northants., was also discovered (Beds. Arch. J., op. cit., Newton
Fig. 78 Newton Bromshold
(8) Moat and (9) deer park
d(7) Roman settlement (?) (TL 000647) where a large area
of Roman pottery has been found (BNFAS, 8 (1973), 8).
Medieval and Later
b(8) Moat (SP 98216417; Figs. 78, 79), in the valley of the R.
Til, S.W. of the village, on Boulder Clay at 300 ft. above OD.
It lies just inside and near the entrance to the medieval deer
park of Higham Park (9), and is the site of the keeper's lodge
known as Great Lodge. The lodge is first mentioned in 1327
but is probably older. Periodic repairs to it are recorded from
1391 onwards. In the 15th century a hall, chapel, chamber,
kitchen, brewhouse and a bakehouse were listed. In the grounds
were a dovecot and two fishponds. These buildings were
demolished in the 17th century when the present farm to the
N.W. was built (VCH Northants., III (1930), 279–280; W.J. B.
Kerr, Higham Ferrers Castle and Park, (1925), 150–173; M. W.
Beresford, History on the Ground, (1971), 215–219).
The moat is now in poor condition and much damaged. It
forms a rectangular enclosure, formerly surrounded by a deep
water-filled ditch, and completely dominated by the rising
ground on both sides of the valley. The ditch has now been
reduced to little more than a drain on its N.W. and S.W.
sides, and largely filled in on the N.E. Only on the S.E. are its
original dimensions ascertainable, being some 10 m. wide and
up to 2 m. deep from the outside and only 1 m. deep from the
interior. There is a slight inner bank on the N.W., S.W. and
S.E. sides, but on the N.E. a much larger bank lies outside the
ditch ('a' on Fig. 78). This is presumably the dam which held
the water in the ditch. The interior is featureless, except where
modern disturbance has occurred, but one slight rectangular
platform is traceable near the N.W. side ('b'). Immediately to
the N.E. of the moat are the remains of a small pond, and
further N.W. is a much larger pond known as the 'Fish Pond'
Fig. 79 Newton Bromshold (9) Deer park,
(8) moat and (2–6) Roman settlements
b(9) Deer park (centred SP 990640; Figs. 78 and 79) occupies
most of the S. part of the parish and covers some 240 hectares,
all on Boulder Clay at around 300 ft. above OD. It is first
mentioned in 1155 but was certainly in existence before then
and probably dates from the early 12th century. Its history is
well documented throughout the medieval period and later.
It was disparked at some time between 1649 and 1671 (VCH
Northants., III (1930), 279–280; M. W. Beresford, History on
the Ground, (1971), 215–219).
The boundary of the park, still largely complete, can be
traced as a large bank up to 2 m. high and 8 m. wide, although
it has been badly ploughed down on the N.E. side. In places
vestiges of the original inner ditch are also visible.
a(10) Settlement remains (SP 995656–999600; Plate 17)
formerly part of Newton Bromshold village, lie between the
existing farmsteads on the S.W. side of the main street. The
site consists of at least 12 abandoned long closes extending S.E.
from the road, most containing traces of former buildings. At
the N.E. end there is a hollow-way along which are several
small rectangular paddocks. There were no buildings on these
earthworks in the mid 19th century (1st ed., OS 1 in. map,
(11) Cultivation remains. The common fields of the parish
were enclosed in 1800 by Act of Parliament. Ridge-and-furrow
of these fields can be seen on the ground, or traced on air
photographs, over much of the N. part of the parish, arranged
in end-on and interlocked furlongs, mostly of markedly
The S. part of the parish was formerly a detached part of
Higham Ferrers parish, and a medieval deer park known as
Higham Park (9) occupied most of this area. Ridge-and-furrow
exists along the N. boundary of this park (SP 983640–988645).
(RAF VAP CPE/UK 1994, 2217–20, 3211–3, 4220–3)