Results revealed of archaeological dig at site of new Northampton station

Archaeologists Pat and Andy Chapman with dignitaries at the dig in October
Archaeologists Pat and Andy Chapman with dignitaries at the dig in October

Archaeological findings from the site of the old Northampton Castle and future railway station have been officially recorded and published.

An ironstone wall, pottery fragments and a brooch dating back to the Medieval and Saxon period were unearthed during a dig in October, ahead of work starting on the new station this spring.

A saxon brooch discovered at an archaeological dig at Northampton Station

A saxon brooch discovered at an archaeological dig at Northampton Station

The results have been posted on the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) website.

There will now be an archaeological investigation covering the full footprint of the new station building early this year, which will aim to reveal and record any remains in the area.

In medieval times Northampton Castle was situated on part of the current station site, but it was largely destroyed and displaced over time as the railway was developed.

The new station will be twice the size of the existing building and forms a key part of the ‘Northampton Alive’ regeneration plan.

Chris Garden, director of regeneration at WNDC, said: “Northampton has a rich and important past. That’s why we are working with archaeological experts as we prepare for the new and improved station. The next stage of investigations will help us ensure the history of the site is recorded and respected as the development moves ahead.”

Council leader, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said: “Our new railway station is another exciting project that will breathe new life into our town. The archaeological work has been a fascinating look into our town’s rich history. With plans being developed to create a heritage gateway, we can bring together the history of the Castle and story of our town to help residents and visitors discover Northampton’s heritage.”

The detailed design of the 2,500 sqm station building will be finalised early this year, with construction works due to commence in the spring and complete in 2014.

In the longer term, there are plans for a potential 1,270 space multi-storey car park and a 28,000 sqm commercial development on the remainder of the site.

The report is available to view at the WNDC website.

See your Chronicle & Echo on Thursday for a piece by features editor Anna Brosnan, about a new gallery of the last images of the castle remnants before they were demolished.