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There has been a village settlement here since ancient times. An important archaeological discovery was made in 1942, during the reopening of an old gravel pit. A mechanical scraper, removing the top-soil, uncovered parts of an old Anglo-Saxon cemetery. About 50 graves were found, with quite valuable grave goods such as spear heads, shield bosses, bronze drinking cups and jewellry. Some were taken by Oundle School, but some examples are in Peterborough museum.

The cemetery was rather near the river, and liable to flooding, so the settlement must gradually have moved higher up the hill, where the first Anglo-Saxon church was built, and around which the present village still clusters.

The Prebendal Manor House, 1230, is the oldest inhabited house in Northamptonshire, and stands over much of the old Anglo-Saxon site. Excavations of parts of the garden prove this, and the excavations are still going on. From these works it has been deduced that King Canute owned a royal manor here. It would have been a large wooden building with a single aisled timbered great hall. Some of the post holes of the foundations have been uncovered, determining its size. Near this settlement an old stone quarry has been excavated, from which the first church was built.

Within living memory there were seven pubs in Nassington, but four have now been converted into private dwelling houses. The Black Horse dates from 1674, though of course it has been altered and added to over the years.

Nassington was obviously a very close-knit community at the beginning of the 20th century, before agriculture became so mechanised. Most of the people used to work on the surrounding farms, but now most people have to commute, some as far away as London. There used to be a blacksmith's forge, a tailor's and clock-makers shops, a laundry and an undertaker's. These have all gone now, but there are still two general stores, one with a post office, a good butcher's, a glassware and china shop, and a bread and cake shop.

There is still a good community spirit in the village and many and varied organisations are flourishing. Nassington still manages to maintain its rural atmosphere.

(The above extract from 'The Northamptonshire Village Book', compiled by the Northamptonshire Federation of Women's Institutes, is reproduced by kind permission of the publishers, Countryside Books, Newbury, Berkshire)

Description and Travel

An illustrated description of the Prebendal Manor House at Nassington.
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(Updated 4 July 1997 - Maurice Kellner)