Cosgrove Quarry & Scout Camp

Northamptonshire Building Stone Atlas 2011 confirms that the Romans may have used Cosgrove Stone. The Romans may have first worked the disused quarries and underground limestone workings around the village of Cosgrove, near the Buckinghamshire border. Cosgrove Stone may be seen in some of the older buildings of the village, and the church has a 14C tower with mouldings thought to be of Cosgrove Stone. The stone is a cream-coloured, cross-bedded limestone with granular shell debris and little matrix. There were masons, whose materials came from the nearby quarries in Calverton, Cosgrove and Wolverton, carpenters and woodcarvers, thatchers and yelmers (men who prepared straw for thatching) all of whom are recorded in the rolls in the 15th and 16th centuries. Cosgrove Hall, built in the early 18C is faced in ashlar composed of a similar material to that of the church. The bridge built over the Grand Union Canal in 1800 at Cosgrove may also be of Cosgrove Stone.

Victoria County History - A History of Northampton: Volume 5: The Hundred of Cleley - Philip Riden

A long-term industry in Cosgrove was quarrying. The names Quarry Bridge and Quarry Field occur in the 16th century, and by the mid 19th century there was a directly managed quarry on the Mansel estate, which supplied stone for the building of Stantonbury church, not far across the border in Buckinghamshire. By 1881 the limestone was almost worked out, though sand and gravel continued to be mined. In the middle of the last century two local builders set up the Cosgrove Sand & Gravel Company, and also operated a haulage and plant hire business. The company was voluntarily wound up in 1960-2.

1820 Dec 26th - Gravel account Revd Henry L Mansel for 16 loads of Strong Gravel £2-0-0

UNDATED
(6) BURIALS (SP781427). West of Rectory Farm, on glacial gravel at 85m above OD. Several skeletons were found in a gravel-pit in about 1893-4 (OS Record Cards)

Quarrying appears to have taken place in the south of the parish over a long period, given the occurrence of the names Quarry Field and Quarry Bridge in the 16th century. In the mid 19th century there was a directly managed quarry on the Mansel estate, which in 1860 supplied stone for the building of the church at Stantonbury (Bucks.). In 1881 the quarry, which had evidently supplied limestone to Heyford ironworks in previous years, was described as almost worked out.When the estate was sold in 1919 one of the parcels of accommodation land included a chalkpit and limekiln and another what was described as a profitable sand and gravel pit, both of which were then in hand.


According to Morton (1712), 'The Quarries of most ancient Note in all Southern Parts of the County are those at Cosgrove, which have been digg'd under Ground in the form of Caves or Vaults; large Stacks of the Quarry-Stone being left standing at due Distance to support the Roof'. The hills and hollows of former quarries can still be seen south west of the village. In 1927, Beeby Thompson said he could remember two doorways giving access to the underground workings from the rock face on the south side of the road but they were no longer accessible; two metres of building stone however could still be seen below three or four metres of overlaying limestone beds (this quarried area south of the road was infilled in the 1980s).

Cave in Cosgrove Quarry
Chris Bardell exploring the caves 17th January 1992

The quarries were ideally located on the valley slope just 700 metres from the River Ouse and equidistant from Watling Street. They may have been started by the Romans (a Roman building stood on the same slope, about a kilometre to the east), but they were probably at least medieval. Today old buildings in the village provide the only examples likely to be local Cosgrove stone. The church has some Norman work in the chancel and a fourteenth-century tower with mouldings.

The stone is cream-coloured and streaky, cross-bedded, with thin layers of coarser and finer texture, composed of granular shelly debris (oysters and other bivalves, occasional urchin spines) in a not very prominent matrix. Some stone encloses lumps of fine-grained white limestone; the rubblestone also includes a laminated variety.

Cosgrove Hall

Cosgrove Hall was built in the early eighteenth century, perhaps (as noted by Pevsner) by master-mason John Lumley of Northampton (1654-1721), for barrister Henry Longueville. It is faced in cream ashlar, the blocks streaked by cross-bedding, composed of shelly material similar to the church masonry. The Grand Union Canal runs through Cosgrove beneath an architecturally interesting bridge built in 1800, mostly in coarsely granular limestone with ribbed weathering, possibly a local variety.


King Henry VIII Grafton House Building Accounts - Materials from Cosgrove
Date Doc ref: Forename Surname Place Details Payment Type
1537 Bodleian Thomas Pavy Cosgrove for 8 lodes of freestone of hym had to make mantells, james, dripes and quoynes for the said chymney at 12d the lode undigged 8s Freestone
1537 Bodleian Humfrey Warde Cosgrove 24 quarters of lyme imployed by free masons, plasterers and tilers at 16d the quarter 32s. 32s Lime
1537 Bodleian Humrey Warde Cosgrove Cosgrave 16 quarters lyme at 16d the quarter 21s 4d Lime
1539 N. U. L Thomas Aswoode Cosgrave for the brekyng of hys grownde wher the sand was digyd 10d Sand

King Henry VIII Grafton House Building Accounts - Carriage by men from Cosgrove, including stone and sand from the Cosgrove Quarries
Date Doc ref: Forename Surname Place Carriage of Per load Payment Loads Type
1537 Bodleian Thomas Spencer Cosgrove for 14 lodes of sand 7s.   7s 14 Sand
1537 Bodleian William Gardyner Cosgrove 35 lodes from Castell Thorpe 14s.-4d   14s 4d 35 Stone
1537 Bodleian Cuttbert Emerson Cosgrove 35 lodes from Castell Thorpe 11s.-8d.   11s 8d 35 Stone
1537 Bodleian Thomas Spencer Cosgrove 35 lodes from Castell Thorpe 4s.-8d   14s 8d 35 Stone
1537 Bodleian William Spencer Cosgrove 20 lodes from Castell Thorpe 6s.-8d   6s 8d 20 Stone
1537 Bodleian Thomas Hayswood Cosgrove 11 lodes from Castell Thorpe 3s.-8d.   3s 8d 11 Stone
1537 Bodleian John Olys Cosgrove 14 lodes from Castell Thorpe 4s.-8d   4s 8d 14 Stone
1537 Bodleian John Olys Cosgrove 14 lodes from Castell Thorpe 4s.-8d   4s 8d 14 Stone
1537 Bodleian Thomas Becham Cosgrove 11 lodes from Castell Thorpe 3s-8d,   3s 8d 11 Stone
1537 Bodleian Jaques Rigby Cosgrove 16 lodes from Castell Thorpe 5s.-4d.   5s 4d 16 Stone
1537 Bodleian Walter Ryvers Cosgrove 16 lodes from Castell Thorpe 5s.-4d   5s 4d 16 Stone
1537 Bodleian Robert Archer Cosgrove 71 lodes from Castell Thorpe and Roodhill and Harttwell quarres 23s-8d   23s 8d 71 Stone
1537 Bodleian William Hall Cosgrove 17 lodes from Castell Thorpe 5s.-8d.   5s 8d 17 Stone
1537 Bodleian Thomas Assewood Cosgrove Carridge of sand at 5d a lode to the aley from Cosgrave 5d 5s 10d 14 Sand
1537 Bodleian Jaques Rygsby Cosgrove Carridge of sand at 5d a lode to the aley from Cosgrave 5d 4s 7d 11 Sand
1537 Bodleian William Gardyner Cosgrove Carridge of sand at 5d a lode to the aley from Cosgrave 5d 5s 10d 14 Sand
1537 Bodleian Thomas Becham Cosgrove carriage of stone 28 lodes   9s 4d 28 Stone
1537 Bodleian John Elys Cosgrove carriage of stone 22 lodes   7s 4d 22 Stone
1537 Bodleian Roberd Archer Cosgrove carriage of stone 18 lodes   6s 18 Stone
1537 Bodleian William Hilles Cosgrove carriage of stone 18 lodes   6s 18 Stone
1537 Bodleian Thomas Hayswood Cosgrove carriage of stone 14 lodes   4s 8d 14 Stone
1537 Bodleian John Wattson Cosgrove 10 lodes of sand from the pytt to the mannor at 5d the lode 5d 4s 2d 10 Sand
1537 Bodleian William Spencer Cosgrove for 7 lodes of Potters claye from the Potters pytt of Perry to Grafton for to make the slope bankes of the bowlyng aley 3d. the lode 3d 21d 7 Clay
1537 Bodleian William Spencer Cosgrove for 5 lodes of Potters claye from the Potters pytt of Perry to Grafton for to make the slope bankes of the bowlyng aley 3d. the lode 3d 15d 5 Clay
1539 N. U. L John Somer Cosgrave for carriage of 2 loodes of tymber out of the parke of Grafton   8d 2 Timber
1539 N. U. L William Spensor Cosgrave for 4 loods sande   16d 4 Sand
1539 N. U. L Robert Yod Cosgrave for 2 loods sande   8d 2 Sand

Cosgrove stone survey 2003
Entry No. Name Architectural Description Building Period Listing Material Roof Material Rock Type Building Source of Info Notes
37282 Cosgrove Hall Country house. Early C18 with C19 and C20 alterations. Limestone ashlar, hipped slate roof and stone internal stacks. H plan. 2 storeys and attic; 7-window range. 2-storey double-depth service wing projects at left end of entrance front. Of coursed squared limestone with 2-span hipped plain tile roof and brick lateral and internal stacks. early 18th Conservation area. Listed Grade II. Stone Slate LIMESTONE Cosgrove Stone , Slate IOE  -  235247; BLB; Sutherland, 2003, p. 101 Stone appears to be have been worked from mines in the vicinity of Cosgrove, and may be as old as the Roman occupation (Sutherland 2003), but may have remained under extraction into the 19th Century. Otherwise stone used in the settlement must have been imported
37283 Church of St Peter and St Paul Church. C13, C14 and C15. Repaired 1770-4. Restored 1864 by E.F. Law and 1887-92 by Edward Swinfen Harris. Coursed squared limestone, plain-tile roof to chancel, lead roofs to body of church. Chancel, nave, north aisle and west tower. 13th Century Conservation area. Listed Grade I. Stone Plain tiles (ceramic) ????? LIMESTONE Cosgrove Stone IOE  -  235245; BLB Stone appears to be have been worked from mines in the vicinity of Cosgrove, and may be as old as the Roman occupation (Sutherland 2003), but may have remained under extraction into the 19th Century. Otherwise stone used in the settlement must have been imported
37284 Old Dower House House. Late C17 with C19 alterations and additions. Coursed squared limestone, plain-tile roof, brick end stacks, that to left on stone base. 2-storey, 3-window range. 2-unit plan. Stone-coped gables with kneelers. late 17th Conservation area. Listed Grade II. Stone Plain tiles (ceramic) LIMESTONE Cosgrove Stone IOE  -   235244; BLB Stone appears to be have been worked from mines in the vicinity of Cosgrove, and may be as old as the Roman occupation (Sutherland 2003), but may have remained under extraction into the 19th Century. Otherwise stone used in the settlement must have been imported
37285 [The Green?] Cottage. Mid C17, altered C20. Coursed squared limestone, corrugated asbestos roof over thatch, brick ridge stack on stone base. 2-unit lobby-entry plan. 2 storeys and attic, 3-window range. mid 17th Conservation area. Listed Grade II. Stone Other LIMESTONE Cosgrove Stone IOE  -  235251; BLB Stone appears to be have been worked from mines in the vicinity of Cosgrove, and may be as old as the Roman occupation (Sutherland 2003), but may have remained under extraction into the 19th Century. Otherwise stone used in the settlement must have been imported
37286 The Manor Farmhouse. Early C17 with C18 and C19 alterations. Coursed squared limestone, slate roof, brick end and central ridge stacks. 2-unit plan. 2-storeys and attic; 3-window range. Quoins, storey-band and stone-coped gables with kneelers. 2-storey wing to rear right alongside road; probably C18. early 17th Conservation area. Listed Grade II. Stone Slate LIMESTONE Cosgrove Stone , Slate IOE  -  235255; BLB Stone appears to be have been worked from mines in the vicinity of Cosgrove, and may be as old as the Roman occupation (Sutherland 2003), but may have remained under extraction into the 19th Century. Otherwise stone used in the settlement must have been imported


Bill Coxhill
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