Barby Hill Archaeological Project

Reconstruction of a Late Iron Age Settlement
Barby Hill Archaeology Project has now formally ended.

To access the published case study please click on the CLASP (Community Landscape & Archaeology Survey Project) Report on the Barby Hill Iron Age Settlement

The project was initiated in 2010 by the late Gren Hatton, a local historian living in Kilsby, following the discovery of Iron Age round-house circles on top of Barby Hill during repairs to a water reservoir.

Following initial funding from county level and from the local parish, Barby Hill Archaeological Project, consisting of representatives of local archaeology and other bodies, was formerly established to provide oversight of the work and of the finances. A wide range of activities were carried out between May 2011 and August 2014 across nearly 6 hectares of arable and pasture fields including:


  • Field-walking within grids (looking for anything of potential archaeological value) by experienced individuals from a local association (the Community Landscape & Archaeology Survey Project - CLASP) working with local volunteers.
  • Metal detection by experienced individuals from the Northamptonshire Artefact Recovery Club (NARC).
  • Washing and archiving of finds again involving a mix of experts and local volunteers.
  • A sample of the magnetometry resultsGeophysics surveys (Magnetometry) led by an experienced member of CLASP with trained local volunteers. A sample of the magnetometry results are shown on the right - the circles are thought to represent residual traces of Iron Age Roundhouses.
  • Excavation of two trenches, one just outside the boundaries of the reservoir and one at the edge of a field where the geophysics work had revealed a possible entrance and hearth of an Iron Age roundhouse. This involved the Barby team, CLASP and NARC.






It has been established that the Iron Age round house settlement spread over at least 4 hectares, with no signs yet detected of the limits of occupation, and further evidence has been gathered of on-going activity on the hill during the Roman period. Information has also been gained on the later development and usage of the hilltop in the early post-medieval period.

Excavation Site






Emergence of possible stones feature 

The project has been successful in finding strong evidence of a continuing Iron Age settlement on Barby Hill.  Three reports have been written and will be deposited with the National Archaeological Archive and accessible by anyone who wants to do further work in the future.  A case study has been printed and is available at the top of this page.  The Barby Hill Archaeological Project Interim Report for Third Year 2013/2014 is available here.

The Management Committee of the Barby Archaeological Project has now wound up the project.  This was prompted by the recent death of Gren Hatton, who had been the driving force behind the project, but also by agreement that there would be reducing returns from doing further work.   

BHAP was financed by generous donations from many sponsors - Barby Parish Council, Barby Townlands Charity, Northants CC, Daventry DC, the Robert Kiln Foundation and significant personal donations. We are very grateful for their support and for the strong leadership shown by Gren Hatton during the project.
Rob Close, BHAP Treasurer 

For further information about the project or to get involved in archaeology in Northamptonshire please contact me at or contact CLASP at

For more detailed information on this project Gren has written the following articles which you can download:

These reports and the analyses carried out upon them together with all the photographs contained in the reports were prepared by the late G.W. Hatton, and his estate is now the copyright owner. All intellectual property rights in this material are reserved to the copyright owner.

The West Northamptonshire Local History (WNLH) website contains detailed historical information on Barby, Crick and Kilsby as well as a variety of historical topics all associated with West Northamptonshire (Note you need to register for free with WNLH to get access to these topics).