Year of success to be marked by archaeology group meeting

Recent work done by CLASP at Thrupp, off the B4036.
Recent work done by CLASP at Thrupp, off the B4036.

The unearthing of a lost medieval village, the discovery of Anglo-Saxon skeletons, and work on the local Romano-British landscape will be discussed at a public meeting.

CLASP – the Community Landscape and Archaeology Survey Project – will hold its AGM on Wednesday next week.

The volunteer group focuses on the late Roman community along Watling Street/the A5 from near Daventry to north of Towcester.

Dave Hayward, chairman of trustees for CLASP, said: “As a result of metal-detecting and geophysical surveys carried out by our own members we have unexpectedly located the remains of the lost medieval village of Thrupp whose occupants, after suffering the ravages of the Black Death, were evicted by the Prior of Daventry so that he could farm sheep on their land! Also hear the intriguing story of the early Anglo-Saxon skeletons located at Nether Heyford that are telling us information about very early Christianity in that area and how it later reverted again to pagan worship.

“Buried with one of these skeletons was a shield whose boss was found in-situ in a remarkable state of preservation.

“After reporting on these fascinating discoveries our archaeological director Stephen Young will also report on ongoing work researching the Romano-British landscape of west Northamptonshire. During the past year this work has centred on the Roman town of Bannaventa that straddled the Watling Street near Daventry.

“CLASP’s work has also been looking back earlier in time at the early hill-forts that reach across the county. This project has been led by our member and well known local historian Gren Hatton who will report on this work. The overall purpose of this project is to provide information about Northamptonshire hill-forts to a National Hill-fort Mapping Project being led jointly by Oxford and Edinburgh Universities.

“After what already seems to be a packed evening our principal speaker will be the joint leader of the National Hill-fort Project, emeritus professor of archaeology at Oxford University, Gary Lock.”

Bannaventa was a Roman way station on Watling Street, around the area of the Norton/Whilton crossroad. It is believed the small town operated much like Daventry does today – as an administrative, economic and market centre for the area.

At Nether Heyford over 11 years of work the group has traced the people living there from their Iron Age roundhouses, through the construction of a Roman villa, to the site’s use by Saxons.

The meeting is open to all and free to attend. It takes place at Bugbrooke Community Centre, Camp Close, Bugbrooke at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 7.