42 MORETON PINKNEY
(OS 1:10000 a SP 54 NE, b SP 54 NW)
The parish, covering 990 hectares, lies across the
valleys of several small streams flowing generally N.
to join a tributary of the R. Cherwell; this W.-flowing tributary, at about 130 m. above OD, defines the
N. boundary of the parish. Almost half the area is
covered by Boulder Clay, but there are high outcrops
of Northampton Sand rising to over 160 m. above
OD, small areas of Upper Lias Clay and, immediately S. of the village, bands of limestones. Little of
archaeological interest has been noted in the parish
apart from the settlement remains around the village
(1) and a possible deserted settlement (3).
Medieval and Later
a(1) Settlement Remains (centred SP 572492; Fig. 13),
lie W. of the village, on Upper Lias Clay at 135 m. above
OD. The village of Moreton Pinkney has an unusual plan
composed of two parts each centred on a green. It is not
clear how such a plan has evolved unless the village is
polyfocal, based on two separate settlements.
In the village there are several empty plots where houses
formerly stood, but the largest area of earthworks lies
immediately W. of the southern green. Long narrow closes
bounded by low scarps or shallow ditches extend down
the hillside towards the stream. These appear to be the
abandoned gardens of houses which once stood on the W.
side of the green but which had already disappeared by
1848 (NRO, Tithe Map). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1057–8)
a(2) Pond (SP 571490; Fig. 13), lies in the bottom of a
shallow W.-draining valley in the S.E. part of the village,
S.W. of the church, on Upper Lias Clay at 137 m. above
OD. A subrectangular pond, 50 m. by 20 m., has been
formed by the cutting away of the valley side on the N.
and the construction of a large bank or dam up to 2 m.
high on the S. and W. The main dam on the W. has now
been broken to allow water to drain from the pond. In the
surrounding area there are several undatable drainage
ditches. The pond is probably a medieval fishpond or
mill-pond. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1057–8)
a(3) Deserted Hamlet (?) (SP 567487), lies S.W. of the
village, on the W. side of the road to Culworth, on Boulder
Clay at 137 m. above OD. Nothing is known about the
history of this site and no name can be attributed to it.
Only excavation could establish whether it is an abandoned
The earthworks lie at the S.E. end of a group of small
paddocks and consist of a row of rectangular ditched closes
lying alongside the road, with a common boundary ditch
at their N.W. ends. Some disturbed areas within the closes
may be sites of former houses. (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926,
(4) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the
parish were finally enclosed by an Act of Parliament of
1760. However, part of the parish, an area of unknown
size apparently called The West Field, was enclosed in 1624
(J. Bridges, Hist. of Northants., I (1791), 250).
Ridge-and-furrow of these fields exists on the ground
or can be traced on air photographs over almost the whole
parish, arranged in end-on or interlocked furlongs often of
reversed-S form. Several lanes that radiate from the village
appear from their hollowed form and the way the adjacent
ridge-and-furrow terminates against them to be original
access-ways through the common fields. Even where the
ridge-and-furrow has been ploughed out the former headlands survive as broad banks up to 12 m. wide and 0.25 m.
high (e.g. SP 558489). In this parish, as elsewhere in the
area, the term Banky Ground is given to well-marked
ridge-and-furrow preserved in pasture (NRO, Tithe Map,
1848; SP 557478). (RAF VAP CPE/UK/1926, 1054–63; CPE/UK/
1994, 2096–97, 3095–8)
(5) Mound (unlocated). Bridges (Hist. of Northants., I
(1791), 250) records that somewhere in the parish there
was a 'barrow of the same kind as that in Sulgrave parish'
presumably meaning the mound on the N. boundary of
that parish (Sulgrave (8)). No mound has been located in
Moreton Pinkney and it is possible that Bridges was referring to the mound close to the parish boundary in the
S.E. near Plumpton (Weston and Weedon (9)).