by Choppers

The exploration and history (what little was Known) of Cosgrove mine, was covered in CSS journal Vol 21 No 4 Sep 1992, included in it was a plea for further information on the site.

Some information has come to light on the site, so here=s an update on the history so far.

Apparently no records of the site are recorded by the Inspector of Mines, but not a lot was ever recorded in this area. The information learned so far is all from old books, which I will list below along with their account.

Mortons (natural) History of Northamptonshire, 1732 P110.   "The quarries of most ancient note in the southern parts of the county are those at Cosgrave, which have been digged underground in the form of caves or vaults, large stacks of the quarry stone being left standing at due distances to support the roof".  Morton also mentions Cosgrove under Red & yellow Freestone of Northampton sand (p101)

Bridges History of Northampton Vol 1 p285 (18th century) says of Cosgrove; " To the southwest are quarries of good freestone fit for building"

The last article found is the most interesting, as this dates the mine at not later than 1365 which is the middle Ages.

The History Of The Kings Works Vol 2. The middle Ages. HMSO 1963 pp 742-745.



"Little is known about the obscure castle of Moor End, in the parish Yardley Gobion, Northamptonshire, before it came into royal hands. By Edward 3rds time the place was in the possession of Thomas de Ferrers, who was granted a licence to crenellate his house there in 1347; and in 1363 Edward obtained it from Thomas Le Despenser... On 30th September of that year , John of Newnham was commissioned to take seizin of the castle on the Kings behalf, and on the very next day he was appointed clerk of the works which the king immediately put in hand there... In the course of the next two years over ,861 were spent upon the building... By November 1365 it is evident that the main works at Moor End were reaching completion...However, a further ,105 5s 22d were spent between november 1365 and june 1369... From 1363 until the completion of the works John East was employed as the master Mason... Freestone came from the quarry at Cosgrove..."

Cosgrove 7km Nw of Milton Keynes is at SP 7942. Yardley Gobion another 3km Nw is at SP7644. Both places are close to the river Tove and are now linked by the Grand Union Canal.

This site could be very important historically, so I would be glad to hear from anybody who can find any more on the site or its surrounding area.

My thanks go to Mike Breakspear as he got all the information received so far one way or another.

Cerberus Spelaeological Society 1996

Originally published in the Journal of the Cerberus Spelaeological Society, Volume 24. No. 1, October 1996.

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