Broadcast 22 January 2006
In March 2005, Videotext Communications Ltd. undertook an archaeological evaluation, as part of the Time Team television series, at Glendon Hall, Kettering, Northamptonshire (centred on 484570 281366). Wessex Archaeology was commissioned to undertake the archaeological site recording, post-excavation processing and assessment of the archaeological evidence recovered from the site.
The evaluation trenches were located in two areas of the site with the aim of defining the extent of the known medieval cemetery and locating Glendon church (Trenches 1-7, to the immediate south-east of Glendon Hall), and refining the form and date of the known deserted medieval settlement c. 150m to the east of the Hall (Trenches 8-11). A high status, Romano-British cremation burial was recovered in the north-eastern area of the known deserted medieval settlement. The burial included three glass vessels and the currently only recorded instance in Britain of charred figs, probably included as pyre goods. This, together with residual Romano-British pottery recovered from this area of the site, suggests the nearby-presence of a settlement, possibly a villa given implied status of burial.
All except the southern extent of the medieval inhumation cemetery were defined with a relatively high level of confidence; landscaping to the south of the known cemetery area is likely to have destroyed evidence for the extent of the cemetery in this direction, and the same activity may have destroyed evidence for further burials to the west.
The remains of a minimum of 21 individuals were recovered during the evaluation. A minimum of two other graves were observed in the western extension to Trench 1. A minimum of 23 graves had previously been excavated by Northampton Archaeology or observed by the owner during construction works. There was no apparent spatial distribution of individuals on the basis of age and/or sex, with none of the apparent zoning of burials – particularly children – commonly seen in medieval cemeteries. The possible location of Glendon church remains uncertain. There is some structural evidence to suggest a building once stood in a similar position to the extant 19th century Coach House Barns.
No more precise dating evidence was recovered for the settlement other than ‘medieval’. Some structural evidence, suggesting a variety of – not necessarily contemporaneous - structural types, was recovered including post-holes, a sill-beam slot for a rectangular structure, and rubble and daub foundations.