8 BRAMPTON, CHURCH
(OS 1: 10000 a SP 76 NW, b SP 76 SW)
The long narrow parish occupies some 460 hectares of
land, between 70 m. and 125 m. above OD. most of which
slopes S.W. to a small stream on the S.W. and S.
boundaries. It is mainly on Northampton Sand, except in
the N. where the sand is overlaid by heavier glacial deposits
and along the stream where down-cutting has exposed the
underlying Upper Lias Clay. The parish once formed a
single unit with Chapel Brampton, formerly a parochial
chapelry of Church Brampton. The parish is remarkable
for the extensive prehistoric and Roman sites (1–11) which
are mainly visible as cropmarks.
Prehistoric and Roman
For a general note on the prehistoric and Roman
material in this parish, see Chapel Brampton.
Worked flints have been found at a number of places in
the parish in addition to the sites listed below. From S.W.
of the village (SP 718653) six flakes and two possible blades
are recorded, and from S. of the village (SP 721652) two
scrapers, worked flints and blades. To the W. of the village
(SP 714664, 714674, 714676 and 721663) other tools and
flakes have been discovered (BNFAS, 5 (1971), 2; 7 (1972),
2; NM Records).
b(1) Hoard of Neolithic axes (SP 72716461; Fig. 25),
in the extreme S.E. of the parish, on Northampton Sand at
85 m. above OD. In about 1962 a hoard of six polished flint
axes was found on this site. Only two survive (NM).
a(2) Enclosures (?) (SP 724653; Fig. 25), S. of the
village, on Northampton Sand at 100 m. above OD. Air
photographs (in NMR) show two incomplete rectangular
enclosures which may be connected with the linear features
to the E. (Chapel Brampton (5)). Worked flints including
two barbed-and-tanged arrowheads have been found on
the site (BNFAS, 2 (1967), 32; 7 (1972), 2; OS Record
a(3) Worked flints and Roman settlement (?) (SP
716666; Fig. 26), W. of Brampton Hill, on Northampton
Sand at 112 m. above OD. Worked flints classified as
Neolithic, including scrapers, and some Roman pottery are
recorded from this area (BNFAS, 7 (1972), 2).
a(4) Worked flints and Roman settlement (?) (SP
716662; Fig. 26), 300 m. S. of (3), on Northampton Sand
at 100 m. above OD. A few worked flints and Roman
pottery have been noted here (BNFAS, 2 (1967), 9).
a(5) Roman settlement and kilns (SP 713661), 300 m.
S.W. of (4), on Northampton Sand at 96 m. above OD. A
scatter of 3rd to 4th-century pottery, including
Oxfordshire mortarium sherds, and fragments of kiln bars
and a clay dome were found here in 1973 (NM; Northants.
Archaeol., 9 (1974), 88). A small sub-rectangular enclosure,
covering only 0.25 hectares, is visible on air photographs
(in NMR) in the centre of the site.
a(6) Iron Age and Roman settlement (?) (SP 711662),
200 m. N.W. of (5), on Northampton Sand at 98 m. above
OD. Iron Age and Roman sherds associated with a scatter
of pebbles were discovered in the area in 1966 (BNFAS, 2
(1967), 9, published grid reference incorrect; inf. W. R. G.
a(7) Prehistoric site (?) (SP 71926622; Fig. 26), N. of
the village, on Northampton Sand at 110 m. above OD. In
1970 a pipeline trench cut through a single post-hole, 1 m.
deep at this point, which contained a single sherd of
prehistoric pottery. Another sherd was found nearby
(BNFAS, 5 (1971), 2).
a(8) Enclosures, ring ditches and linear ditches
(centred SP 717664; Fig. 26), N. of the village, on
Northampton Sand between 105 m. and 120 m. above
OD. Air photographs (in NMR; CUAP, ZW32–5) show
cropmarks of great complexity, covering some 10 hectares.
They include a multitude of conjoined and intersecting
sub-rectangular enclosures and linear ditches some of
which may be trackways. There is a double ring ditch (at SP
71706633) on the S.W. edge of the complex, and other ring
ditches within enclosures lie to the N. (SP 71956643 and
71716646). Within the area (sp 717664) worked flints, said
to be of Bronze Age type, and Roman pottery of the 2nd to
4th centuries have been discovered (BNFAS, 4 (1970), 31; 5
(1971), 2; 6 (1971), 5–7).
a(9) Ring ditch (?) (sp 71816599; Fig. 26), N. of Manor
Farm, on Northampton Sand at 95 m. above OD. Air
photographs (in NMR) show, rather indistinctly, a circular
feature 12 m. in diam. (BNFAS, 5 (1971), 41).
a(10) Ditched trackway, enclosures, ring ditch and
linear features (centred SP 723662; Fig. 26), immediately
N.E. of the village, on Northampton Sand at 110 m. above
OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a ditched trackway
running S.W.–N.E. which can be traced across the parish
boundary into Chapel Brampton where it may have joined
two other trackways (Chapel Brampton (8) and (9)). Two
small rectangular enclosures are also visible (SP 72306615)
as well as a ring ditch 20 m. in diam. (SP 72336623). All
these cropmarks are crossed by a series of linear features
running N.N.W.–S.S.E. These are difficult to interpret
since some appear as broad bands up to 20 m. wide whereas
others are certainly narrow ditches set close together. Their
purpose is unknown but they may indicate a field system
the boundaries of which have been re-cut on a number of
a(11) Enclosures (?) (SP 709684), in the N. of the
parish, on Northampton Sand at 97 m. above OD. Air
photographs (not seen by RCHM) are said to show
cropmarks of two conjoined sub-rectangular enclosures
(BNFAS. 7 (1972), 55).
Medieval and Later
a(12) Settlement remains (SP 717657; Plate 15),
formerly part of Church Brampton, lie immediately W.,
S.W. and N. of the church and S. of Manor Farm, along
the W. side of the main village street. The remains consist
of a row of raised platforms and grassed-over rubble
foundations, presumably once the sites of buildings along
the road. In 1584 (Map in NRO; Plate 15) the area was
occupied by five buildings, four of which appear to have
been houses. By the early 19th century the area was devoid
of buildings (1st ed. OS 1 in. map (1834)).
(13) Cultivation remains (Plate 15). The common
fields of the parish were enclosed by agreement in 1662
(NRO). On a map of 1584 (NRO; Plate 15) four fields are
shown, lying around and N.W. of the village, Rie Field,
West Field, Middle Field and Furr Field; these by that date
already had small blocks of old enclosures within them.
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields exists on the ground or
can be traced on air photographs only in the N. of the
parish on the heavier glacial deposits, in the area of the
former Middle and Furr Fields. There three separate areas
of rectangular or curved interlocked furlongs are visible
(e.g. centred SP 709665, 713673 and 708678). In 1584 all
the S. half of the parish was heathland, but a small area of
very slight, low ridge-and-furrow remains (sp 728643),
indicating that at some time this land was under
cultivation. More ridge-and-furrow exists further W. in
the extreme S.W. of the parish, along the side of a small
stream (sp 734643). This was meadowland in the late 16th
century, but again the remains indicate cultivation here in
the past (CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 6 (1976), 28; RAF VAP
CPE/UK/1994, 2368–70, 2250–52, 4254–58, 4371–74).