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Civil war grave found in Northamptonshire village

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Archaeologists believe they have discovered a site where soldiers were buried after the Battle of Naseby was fought in Northamptonshire.

Experts from Cranfield University carried out a study of the battlefield at the end of last month.

They believe they have found the spot where dozens of soldiers from Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army were buried immediately after the battle was fought on June 14, 1645.

Naseby expert, Martin Marix Evans, said: “It would be a guess at the moment, but I would imagine we’re probably looking at a site containing anywhere between 30 and 60 bodies.

“And we hope this will be the start of a series of archaeological studies of parts of the battlefield which will reveal more of the events of 1645.”

The farmland where it is believed the bodies were buried was first studied by historians in the 1830s, who believed there were only eight bodies on the site.

But the experts from Cranfield, who surveyed the site last month, used hi-tech geophysics devices – regularly seen in the television programme Time Team – to fully investigate what was beneath the ground.

Mr Marix Evans said: “This is the first time we’ve had geophysics work carried out like this at Naseby.

“They’ve come up with traces which have got all sorts of interesting looking things in and we’re not sure what all of them are. So it seems we’ve come up with a real puzzle, which is absolutely fascinating.

“The next job is to get people to have a look at all the results to see if they can interpret them and suggest which follow-up work should be done.”

A new documentary looking at the history of the Battle of Naseby is due to be shown on the Yesterday TV channel in December.

The programme is part of a series which will also investigate Boudica’s links with Towcester.

The Battle of Naseby was the most crucial of the Civil War. It saw Parliament’s New Model Army destroy King Charles I’s army, leading to the modern system of Parliamentary democracy.

About 1,000 Royalist and 150 Parliamentarians died in the battle.

 

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