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Field Walking Russell's Seeds
2005, 24th September 2007, 11th September 2011

Location.The field lies to the west of Great Bowden village just beyond the parish boundary.  It is on slightly rising ground north of the foot of Bowden Ridge. There are a number of springs rising on the north facing slope opposite. At the eastern end of the field there is a visible plateau area.  The field is bisected by a footpath running north to south.  The two halves of the field have been walked at different times.   

Associated documents. Field walking reports from Chater's Hill, Webb's Meadow and Lower Green's Hill (Great Bowden Heritage & Archaeology) and the ULAS report 2011-097 on excavations at Waterfield Place on the top of Bowden Ridge.

1. 2005 - East of the Footpath
Method. In 2005 the field was in arable set aside.  it was walked in north to south traverses at 10 metre intervals starting at the junction of the footpath with the northern field boundary and working eastwards. Stints would have been at 20 metre intervals.  Unfortunately while the finds were awaiting identification the labels on the bags faded in the sun and we were unable to allocate them to specific traverses and stints.  The finds were therefore identified by type, and are not located on a grid.
2005 Finds
Prehistoric = 13 flints
Roman = 27 sherds (Grey ware, Lower Nene Valley Grey ware, colour coated ware, tessera, hypocaust tile)
Early medieval and medieval = 16 sherds (Midland Purple, Lyveden Stanion ware, Potters Marston ware)
Early post medieval and post medieval = 76 sherds (Late Midland Purple, High Fired Earthenware EA1, Cistercian ware, mottled ware, Staffordshire slipware, Midland yellow, clay pipes, earthenwares including some pancheons, stoneware)
Modern, white and blue and white sherds not counted.
2. 24th September 2007 - West of the Footpath
Method. In September 2007 the western half of the field was walked.  There were 24 traverses at 10 metre intervals starting at the junction of the footpath and the northern field boundary, working westwards. Stints were at 20 metre intervals. 
2007 Finds.
Prehistoric = 25 flints, 8 sherds (Late Iron Age grog tempered ware)
Roman = 11 sherds (greyware, Lower Nene Valley greyware)
Anglo-Saxon = 1 sherd
Early medieval and medieval = 38 sherds (Stamford ware, Lyveden Stanion ware, sandyware, Midland purple)
Early post medieval and post medieval = 160 sherds (Hard fired earthenware EA1,2 and 6A, Cistercian ware, mottled ware, stoneware, Staffordshire slipware, pancheon type wares, Midland yellow,clay pipes)
Modern, white and blue and white sherds not counted.
3. 11th September 2011 - East of the  Footpath
Method.
The eastern half of the field was re walked at right angles to the original field walk in 2005. 
Nineteen traverses at 10 metre intervals were walked in an east-west direction starting at the footpath. Stints changed at 30 metre intervals along the traverse. The field had been recently shallow ploughed but not yet drilled.  Conditions were extremely dry and dusty making it difficult to spot pottery on the ground.  There was a large team of walkers with about 50 per cent novices.
2011 Finds.
Prehistoric = 6 flints, 1 sherd Late Iron Age
Roman = 4 sherds (Lower Nene valley greyware, greyware)
Early medieval and medieval = 23 sherds (Bourne ware, Lyveden Stanion ware, Midland purple)
Early post medieval and post medieval = 88 sherds (Hard fired earthenware EA1 & 2, Cistercian ware, mottled ware, Midland yellow, stoneware, Staffordshire slipware, earthenwares including pancheons, clay pipes)
Modern, white and blue and white sherds not counted.
A metal detecting survey was also carried out 17th September 2011, east of the footpath and partly west of the footpath. 
Note. The finds from this second field walk on the eastern half of Russell's Seeds were disappointing.  They did not reveal any further information from the Roman period. Dry conditions and shallow ploughing may have contributed to the lack of finds. Both experienced and novice field walkers found very little. It was decided not to re walk the field the field in the future until it has been deep ploughed. 

Metal Detecting Russell’s Seeds, Market Harborough - 17th September 2011
The field had recently been shallow ploughed but not yet drilled.  The ground was very dry.  The whole area east of the footpath was surveyed and the northern half of the area west of the footpath.  There was pigeon shooting nearby which prevented us from surveying the southern half of Russell Seeds West for safety reasons.
Finds:
Russell's Seeds West: copper alloy ring - hand filed (this could be ancient or medieval, coin weight = Ryal 16th or 17th century Low Countries or Germany, medieval or post medieval buckle and plate, colour suggest post medieval, post medieval shoe buckles and harness buckles, Georgian coinage, post medieval buttons, modern spoon, lead, drawer handles, possible lead pot mend, various modern fittings.
Russell's Seeds East: medieval iron horseshoe, 17th century belt mount fragment, would have had a hook on the base, 18th century buttons, lead suspension weight and domed weight, not dateable,  various bronze fragments and iron fittings.