ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL
MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND
Report to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
May it Please Your Majesty
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical
Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture,
civilisation and conditions of the people of England from the earliest times to the year 1714, and such
further Monuments and Constructions subsequent to that year as may seem in our discretion to be
worthy of mention therein, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, do
humbly submit to your Majesty the following Report, being the thirty-eighth Report on the work of
the Commission since its first appointment.
2. With regret we have to record the retirement from the Commission upon expiry of term of office
of Professor William Francis Grimes, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the
Society of Antiquaries, Doctor Arnold Joseph Taylor, Commander of the Order of the British
Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Doctor Harold
McCarter Taylor, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the Society of
3. We thank Your Majesty for the appointment to the Commission of Professor Maurice Warwick
Beresford, Doctor Robert Angus Buchanan, and Professor Albert Lionel Frederick Rivet, Fellow of
the Society of Antiquaries, and for the reappointment of Professor George Zarnecki, Commander of
the Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our recording of archaeological sites in the
north-west part of the County of Northampton, an area comprising sixty-nine parishes containing
5. Following our usual practice we have prepared an illustrated Inventory of the earthworks in
north-west Northamptonshire, which will be issued as a non-Parliamentary publication entitled
Northamptonshire III. As in recent Inventories, the Commissioners have adopted the terminal date of
1850 for the monuments included in the Inventory.
6. The method of presentation of material has in general followed that adopted in the previous
7. The descriptions of the more important monuments have been submitted to specialist authorities.
We are satisfied that no significant monument which survived until 1976 has been omitted.
8. Our special thanks are due to owners and occupiers who have allowed access by our staff to the
monuments in their charge. We are indebted to the Directors and Curators of many Institutions for
their ready assistance to us, and particularly to Mr. P. I. King, the Northamptonshire County
Archivist. We have to record our indebtedness to the Director-General of the Ordnance Survey for
access to his archaeological records, and for valuable work carried out by the field surveyors of his
Department. We wish to record our gratitude to Professor J. K. S. St Joseph, Director in Aerial
Photography in the University of Cambridge, for permission to use a large number of air
photographs, and to Mr. J. Pickering for supplying other air photographs. We further wish to express
our thanks to those persons who have given help to our executive staff during the field investigation;
their co-operation is greatly appreciated. They include Mr. W. N. Terry and Mr. W. G. Moore
(respectively Curator and Keeper of Archaeology, Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery).
Particular thanks are due to Mr. A. E. Brown (Department of Adult Education, Leicester University)
and to Mr. D. N. Hall, who have generously made available much of their unpublished material on
this part of Northamptonshire.
9. As a result of the limitations imposed on us by the continuing need for economy, only two
members of our staff have been available to carry out work in the field.
10. We humbly recommend to Your Majesty's notice the following monuments in north-west
Northamptonshire as being specially worthy of preservation:
Roman, prehistoric and undated monuments:
(1)–(10) Brampton Complex
(1)–(10) Brampton Complex
(1)–(21) Borough Hill Complex
(35) Burnt Walls Enclosure
(1) East Harlestone Complex
(4) Roman Town of Bannaventa
(13) Linear Banks and Ditches
Medieval and later earthworks
(1) Deserted Village of Onley
(2) Manor House Site
(1) Deserted Village of Braunstonbury
(1) Deserted Village of Canons Ashby
(2) Site of Augustinian Priory and of 16th-century House and Gardens
(5) Garden Remains
(4) Site of Priory, House and Garden Remains
(1) Deserted Village of Church Charwelton
(6) Deserted Village of Nobold
(7) Settlement Remains
(4) Site of Monastic Grange
(3) Deserted Village of Snorscomb
(4) Motte and Baileys
(4) Deserted Village of Glassthorpe
(4) Garden Remains
(8) Motte and Bailey
(4) Deserted Village of Stanford
(2) Site of Sulby Abbey
(3) Deserted Village of Sulby
(4) Settlement Remains
(1) Settlement Remains
11. In compiling the foregoing list, our criteria have been the archaeological or historical importance
and rarity, not only in the national but in the local field, and the degree of loss to the nation that
would result from destruction. The list is based on academic considerations and does not take into
account the problems of preservation.
However, destruction of field monuments continues to be rapid and widespread, and the
increasing rarity of these monuments makes it desirable that as many as possible of those listed in the
Inventory should be preserved. Also, the extent and impressiveness of surface remains are not the
only indications of archaeological importance; their significance can often only be appreciated after
excavation. Destruction should therefore not be permitted before archaeological investigation has
12. We desire to express our acknowledgement of the good work accomplished by our executive
staff in the production of this volume. The fieldwork and preparation of the Inventory has been
carried out by Mr. C. C. Taylor and Mrs. F. M. Brown. It has been edited by Mr. S. D. T. Spittle.
The illustrations have been drawn by Mr. R. E. Beeton and Mr. P. N. Hammond; Messrs. W. C.
Light and R. Parsons have been responsible for the ground photography, Mr. J. Hampton for much
of the aerial photography. Mr. H. Marsden has carried out specialized photographic work.
13. We desire to add that our Secretary and General Editor, Mr. R. W. McDowall, has afforded us
14. The next Inventory in the Northamptonshire series will record earthworks in the south-western
part of that county.
H. C. Darby
S. S. Frere
R. J. C. Atkinson
J. K. S. St Joseph
A. R. Dufty
C. N. L. Brooke
M. W. Beresford
R. A. Buchanan
A. L. F. Rivet
R. W. McDowall (Secretary)