The hidden Roman history of Kettering estate completed 20 years ago

Author Dave Clemo will reveal his findings in a new book

By Alison Bagley
Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 7:00 am

Kettering' s Brambleside estate could be seen as an unusual subject for a history book as it it was only completed 20 years ago - but one resident has been delving into its past.

Dave Clemo moved to a house on what was then the very edge of Kettering in 1988 - there was no pub, shop or school.

No stranger to writing books about Kettering history, Mr Clemo is currently working on material that has revealed how Brambleside evolved and who lived there previously.

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The history of Brambleside is to be revealed in a new talk by Dave Clemo Dave's wife Sue and son Chris in 1989 as the estate was expanding

He said: "When we moved to Brambleside in 1988 the estate was only half the size it is now. The pub, shops and school were still to be built and there was nothing to block the view of the hilly hollies in the near distance. We watched the roads being built and the houses constructed.

"I've had a lifelong interest in industrial archaeology and poring over old maps. Brambleside has a history that can be traced back over 2,000 years."

Mr Clemo will give an illustrated talk - 'X' Marks the Spot on some of his findings at All Saints Community Hall in William Street, Kettering on Friday, February 18.

He said: "This talk will examine the reasons why the Romans established their settlement here and how the area developed over the years.

An aerial photo from the Northants Evening Telegraph in 1963 of the estate

"I'll be using old maps and documents, newspaper articles and adverts, and people's photographs and memories to tell the story.

"Brambleside is bounded to the west by the A6003 Rockingham Road and to the north by the A6183 Weekley Wood Lane. Blandford Avenue is to the south and the Scott Road allotments lie to the east.

"Development was completed about twenty years ago and all the plantings have matured, but enough remains to reveal its past - a past that goes back over 2,000 years.

"People will be able to hear about the original location of the Romano-British settlement of Cytringhan, the growth of Kettering, the ironstone quarries and the development of the estate which began in the early 1960s - it's 2,000 years of history in 90 minutes."

Brambleside as it is now

An Evening with Dave Clemo 'X' Marks the Spot - The Illustrated Story of Brambleside starts at 7.30pm at All Saints Community Hall in William Street, Kettering, on Friday, February 18.

Mr Clemo added: "Brambleside may have changed but it’s still the place we call home. Many of our neighbours were here when we arrived and we’ve all seen our children grow up, get married and have children of their own.

"If that's not a reason to live in this part of town I don't know what is!"

Entry to the talk is £5 payable on the door, raising funds for All Saints Church.

'X' Marks the Spot
A selection of Roman pottery that Dave found in his Brambleside garden