Excavations in the 1980s uncovered the remains of a large timber hall, dating to the 8th century AD, which stood to the east of St Peter’s church and west of the lost early church of St Gregory. The timber hall was later replaced by a similarly large stone hall, which fell out of use in the 10th century. Andy will discuss the rise of the town to national importance following the Norman Conquest, when the royal castle became the location for parliaments and other state events, such as the trial of Archbishop Thomas Becket by Henry II in 1164.
Andy Chapman became a field archaeologist in the 1970s, arriving in Northampton in 1976. Until his recent retirement, he worked as site director and later project manager for Northamptonshire Archaeology and MOLA (Museum of London) Northampton. He has led excavations on sites ranging in date from the Neolithic to the medieval, including the excavation of the medieval cemetery at St James’s Abbey, Northampton, and his final excavation at Northampton rail station, which lay within the outer bailey of Northampton’s royal castle. For many years he was also responsible for overseeing publications issued by Northamptonshire Archaeology and MOLA Northampton, and he continues to edit the county journal, Northamptonshire Archaeology.