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Archaeology of Medieval Northampton

Published: Thursday, 24 February 2022

Phorograph. Soil underneath the surface is exposed in th photograhk as part of an archeological excavation. There are a number of small human figures working on the site. The imaf=ge is framed by green grass at the front and houses at the back.

Archaeological excavation at Northampton.

A special edition journal focusing on the archaeology of Medieval Northampton is on sale in the Museum bookshop.

Northamptonshire Archaeological Society has recently published the special edition of the county archaeological journal, Northamptonshire Archaeology, exploring the last 50 years of archaeological research in Northampton.
Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “This volume will substantially contribute to the understanding of the origins of Northampton and its importance in the Medieval period, with new research on the defences and the castle.
“It is also intriguing to see the archaeological survey of the museum building which took place as part of the redevelopment project.”
From the early 1970s there were archaeological teams attached to both the Northampton Development Corporation (NDC) and Northamptonshire County Council, who were tasked with recovering evidence of Northampton’s past in advance of new development work. In the book, John Williams, head of the NDC Archaeological Unit in the 1970s and 80s, provides an overview of the origins of the town of Hamtun, from the early 8th century through to the re-conquest by King Edward the Elder of Wessex in the early 10th century, when the town had become a centre for trade and crafts, before the Norman Conquest in the mid-11th century.
In later chapters, Andy Chapman, who has been working in the county since the mid-1970s, presents the history and archaeology of the royal castle that dominated the medieval town from the early 12th century, including a detailed report on the excavations of 2013.
The book also includes a study of the location of the medieval Jewish quarter and its synagogue, and several shorter contributions dealing with other aspects of the town, including a study of the county gaol and the museum buildings prior to the development of the new museum.
The book is available from the museum bookshop.