Romano-British Knotting and Later
The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The record has a number of references to Roman occupation in Knotting.
The Viatores are a group dedicated to trying to find Roman roads in the modern landscape. Their proposed routes can be highly speculative and is based on the presence of green lanes, cropmarks indicating possible track ways and modern roads as well as those comparatively few roads known to be Roman. The group has identified a Roman road running from Sandy (a Roman settlement) to Sharnbrook and possibly on to the Northamptonshire town of Irchester which, again, has Roman origins [HER 728]. Forty Foot Lane has also been claimed by the Viatores as a Roma road, stretching from Fenny Stratford [Buckinghamshire] to Dungee Corner and forming the county boundary between Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire; part of this possible road runs beneath Podington airfield [HER 59].
The relatively good soil seems to have encouraged Roman settlement in Knotting. Roman pottery, tile and building debris suggests a villa or farm west of the modern village including the site of the former school [HER 392]. North-east of the village a scatter of Roman pottery, as well as animal remains, located by field-walking suggests habitation [HER 828]. Another scatter has was found east of the village by field-walking between 1976 and 1981 [HER 1966]. Also east of the village is an area of Roman pottery and charcoal suggesting metal working took place there [HER 2661].
North-west of Arnoe Farm a small block of rectangular enclosures has been identified as cropmarks [HER 2657]. Roman pottery has been found here by field-walking, though a visit in 2011 could not identify any further material. A loom weight, a Roman vessel and slag indicate a possible iron working site south of the village [HER 2663]. The area also produced a 13th century seal.
A large area south-east of Knotting Green, amounting to about ten acres, has produced debris including Roman pottery sherds and fragments of a quern, used in grinding corn, which suggests some Romano-British domestic settlement [HER 2658].
Roman pottery has been found through field-walking south-east of Manor Farm [HER 2659]. About a third of an acre to the north-east of West Wood in the north of the parish has revealed Roman pottery [HER 1965]. Similarly in the south , east of Temple Spinney, half an acre has yielded Roman pottery to field-walkers [HER 2693]. More pottery has been found east of the village [HER 6665].
Near Sheeprack Wood a Roman coin was found by a metal detectorist in 2012 [HER 19748]. It is a silver coin called a denarius and dates from the reign of the Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD). Remains of querns made froma type of stone called Hertfordshire Conglomerate have been found in three locations: Mann Meade, east of Knotting Green [HER 1967] and two areas north of the village, found between 1976 and 1981 [HER 1961 and 1962]. Some articles which may perhaps be tesserae, the constituents of Roman mosaic, were found near Temple Wood by field-walking between 1976 and 1981 [HER 1971].
The name Knotting indicates it was settled before the Norman Conquest of 1066 by a group of people following a man named Cnotta or Knotta. The only other evidence of Anglo-Saxon settlement is a small amount of pottery, found with a few Iron Age sherds, south-east of the village [HER 16186].