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Northill Before 1086

Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on all prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites and find spots known in the county. It is now on-line as part of the Heritage Gateway website.

The HER details two sites which are probably prehistoric. Faint cropmarks south-west of College Wood [HER 16773] may represent a curvilinear enclosure with rectilinear features to the north. They are located on a narrow south-west to north-east ridge of high ground. Cropmarks north of College Ponds [HER 15373] show a double ditched trackway.

The remaining sites in Northill are all Romano-British or later:

  • Animal bone and Roman pottery were found around fox earths in Home Wood in 1949 [HER 430]; the pottery was dated to the 4th century. Subsequently, on a visit to the fishery complex [HER429], further Roman sherds were found in molehills on the eastern half of the fishery island. Three sherds were found, including one of Samian ware, a high status red glazed pottery from Gaul manufactured between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD.
  • Sherds of pottery scattered over a site in Northill suggest that a settlement was present from the 1st century AD onwards [HER 15990].
  • On Copelands Farm five bronze Roman coins were recovered [HER 15993]. The coins comprised: a radiate, possibly of the British usurper Allectus (293-296); a coin dating to 348-350 that is either of Constans or Constantius II; a coin of Licinius I dated to 317AD and two coins too corroded to make out an inscription.
  • A number of Roman bow, plate and disc brooches, coins, two rings, two bracelets, a button loop fastener have been found in the parish [HER 16036]. There were also five Anglo-Saxon brooches and a few later objects associated with them.
  • A Roman bronze plate brooch in the form of a horse or a stag was found in Northill [HER 16024]. It had traces of enamel on the neck, in a circle above the forelegs and in two vertical bands on the body in blue. Traces of yellow enamel were in a circle on the hindquarters. On the top of the head were the broken remains of either antlers or a head loop.