Grave discovery in river project

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Four graves – thought to be Roman or early Saxon – were unearthed recently during excavation works taking place by the River Ise at Rushton.

The excavation work was part of a scheme led by the River Nene Regional Park and the Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust to improve habitats on the River Ise for wildlife by creating a new backwater.

The graves were only about 30cm below ground level and had survived many years of farming.

The £23k project, funded by Defra and administered through the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is to create a 45 metre-long backwater on an old meander of the River Ise at Rushton.

Simon Whitton, from the River Nene Regional Park, said: “Soon after excavation began four graves were uncovered, which brought a halt to proceedings. The assistant county archaeologist assessed them and it was decided that their locations should be formally recorded and that they could then be re-covered with soil. The depth of soil was increased from 30cm to 60cm to provide the graves with additional protection from heavy agricultural machinery.”