(OS 1:10000 a SP 87 NW, b SP 87 SW, c SP 87 NE)
The parish, covering 1100 hectares, occupies a narrow
strip of land immediately S.W. of Kettering. The higher,
S.W. part of the parish between 122 m. and 137 m. above
OD is covered by Boulder Clay, but to the N.E. several
small streams, draining N.E., have exposed the underlying Upper Lias Clay along their steep-sided valleys.
The interfluves stand as high ridges of Northampton
Sand, between 76 m. and 122 m. above OD.
Prehistoric and Roman
Part of a stone axe of porphorytic basalt has been
found in the village (SP 835760; NM; BNFAS, 4 (1970),
2). A leaf-shaped arrowhead was discovered in the parish
before 1911 (NM Records).
a(1) Ring Ditch (?) (SP 83447501), S. of the
village, on Boulder Clay at 114 m. above OD. Air photographs (RAF VAP F22 540/RAF/1312, 0161–2) show a
possible ring ditch, 30 m. in diam.
Fig. 22 Braybrooke (1) Castle, (2) Settlement remains
a(2) Roman Finds (SP 84557579). Topsoil removed
from this site contained a 4th-century coin. Excavation
led to the discovery of some Roman pottery (OS Record
Medieval and Later
a(3) Settlement Remains (centred SP 837760)
formerly part of Broughton, lie on either side of a steepsided valley 200 m. N. of the church on either side of
Gate Lane. They fall into three distinct parts. Immediately S.W. of Gate Lane and along the N. side of the
N.E. end of Church Street (SP 83707590) are several
rectangular raised platforms up to 0.75 m. high lying
parallel to the existing roads and within small embanked
closes. These are the remains of former houses and
gardens along these roads. To the W., on the W. side of
the valley (SP 83607595), is a series of low-spread banks
extending down the hill-side from the existing gardens of
houses in High Street. These appear to be abandoned
closes, once belonging to the houses. To the N.E. of
Gate Lane (centred SP 837760) is a more complex
series of earthworks, much damaged by later quarrying.
These include a sub-rectangular ditched enclosure lying
on the edge of the valley side. This enclosure is bounded
on the S.W., S.E. and N.E. by a broad ditch 5 m. wide
and 0.25 m. deep and is divided into two by a low
internal bank. Ridge-and-furrow abuts onto it in the S.E.
From it runs a shallow terrace-way leading in a S. direction towards the end of Church Street, but broken up by
later quarrying. There is also a series of low banks or
scarps extending down the hillside, which may be old
closes. This area was known as Hall Closes in 1728 (NRO,
Map of Broughton) but all the remains had been abandoned by this date.
(4) Cultivation Remains. The common fields
of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament in
1786 (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 162). On an estate
map of 1728 (in Boughton House, photocopy in NRO)
almost the whole parish except along the valley bottoms
and in the extreme S.W. is shown divided into six open
fields with the internal furlongs named and strips indicated. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields can be seen on
the ground or traced on air photographs over much of
the parish, and S. and S.W. of the village the pattern is
virtually complete. The layout of the surviving ridge-and-furrow agrees exactly with the strips shown on the 1728
map. S. and S.W. of the village the ridge-and-furrow is
arranged in interlocked and end-on furlongs, with well-marked headlands up to 30 m. wide, still clearly visible
in the modern arable. These lay in Stone Pit, Middle and
Headland Fields in 1728. The name Middle Field is
recorded in 1545 (VCH Northants., IV (1937), 160).
N.E. of the village the ridge-and-furrow is less complete,
but appears to be mainly in end-on furlongs, all lying
N.W.-S.E., at right-angles to the contours, except in the
extreme N.E. of the parish where it extends down the
slope to the stream. All this ridge-and-furrow lay in
Kettering Hill, Nether Middle and Carr Side Fields in
1728 (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1925, 1227–37, 2361–3,
3227–33, 4352–64; F21 540/RAF/1312, 0160–6;
F22 540/RAF/1312, 0158–63, 0214–5).