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Archaeology of Medieval Northampton marked with book launch

Culture and tourism

24 February 2022

Archaeologists at the late Saxon pitsExcavation of late Saxon pits in Northampton
p>A special edition journal focusing on the archaeology of Medieval Northampton will be unveiled at a book launch event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery this weekend.

Northamptonshire Archaeological Society has just published the special edition of the county archaeological journal, Northamptonshire Archaeology, exploring the last 50 years of archaeological research in Northampton.

Both the Northampton Development Corporation (NDC) and Northamptonshire County Council had their own archaeological teams from the early 1970s, who were tasked with recovering evidence of Northampton’s past, in advance of new development work.

Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said:

“We are very pleased to be launching this journal celebrating the important milestone of 50 years of archaeological excavation in Northampton at the town’s museum.

“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 learn more about the archaeological survey of the museum building which took place as part of the redevelopment project.”

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.

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 are also included in the book.

The book will be on sale for £20 from the museum bookshop or from the Northamptonshire Archaeological Society's website.

Keep up to date with all museum news on the Northampton Museum's website or on social media by following @northamptonmuseums

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