History Group

Covington and Keyston History Group

Covington and Keyston History Group Logo

Covington and Keyston History Group was formed with the aim of researching, recording and presenting the history of both villages. Meetings take place on the second Monday of the month from October to March at 7:00pm alternating between Covington and Keyston Village Halls. The programme for each 'season' can include visiting speakers, primary document research, identification of archaeological finds. Visitors are very welcome to come along to Group meetings.  We also go on interesting summer outings, which usually include a very good lunch!

Recent topics have included talks on Kimbolton Airfield during WWII and another on American forces in our area during that period, the Manchester Family, the diary of Cornelius Binns, and details regarding an active Archaeological dig in Norwich.  Some summer highlights have included visits to the Northamptonshire Archives and Hemingford Grey Manor House along with the continuance of the archaeology activities including metal detecting, field walking and test pits.

We have produced a fun and interesting History Trail for Covington village and also revised the History of the Covington Church information leaflet. A comprehensive booklet on the History of Covington School, published with assistance from the Goodliff Fund, is available to purchase from the Covington and Keyston History Group. This is an excellent resource for research and of particular value for anyone studying history of education. If you are interested in purchasing a hard copy, please drop the History Group a note via our contact form below. Alternatively, a digital copy can be downloaded below alongside our other resources.

History of Covington School information booklet (PDF)
History of Covington Church information leaflet (PDF)
Covington History Trail  information leaflet (PDF)

Archaeology

With help and guidance from Jigsaw (Cambridgeshire), the Covington and Keyston History Group has found evidence of people living continuously in both parishes since the Bronze Age. There was an impressive Romano British settlement, with several families of ordinary people living in roundhouses and farming the pastures pretty much as has continued for the intervening 2000 years.

In Saxon times, it would appear there was iron smelting activity in Covington – possibly with the ore coming from nearby Raunds. Covington really expanded in medieval times and plenty of utilitarian pottery from the Lyveden area has been excavated.

The Group has had enormous fun learning archaeological skills and has put together reference collections of pottery and bone found in the area (see links below). Reports of the excavations have been lodged with the Archaeological Data Service.  Investigations continue!

Follow the links below to find out more:

Archaeology of Covington Leaflet (PDF)
COVTP14 Report (PDF) 
Replica Roman Kiln
Manor Field Training Dig
Prehistoric and Saxon Pottery Reference Collection
Roman Pottery Reference Collection
Medieval Pottery Reference Collection
Archaeology Data Service - (search for 'Covington' or 'Keyston' in the 'Where' search box)

Families of Covington 1600 to 1900

Covington is a small village, consisting of never more than 200 souls for most of its history, so attempting a genealogy of the entire village is a reasonably achievable target.

Simon Parsons is currently distilling parish records, gravestones, photographs, personal histories and stories into a genealogy database. The site is being regularly updated, with 900 People and 255 Families entered as of the last update in January 2020.

You can access the database by clicking here.

Families of Keyston 1600 to 1900

Keyston Church

Following the creation of The Covington and Keyston History Group, it was decided that we should also have a database of Keyston residents. The village has always been slightly larger than Covington with a peak population of just short of 240 in 1881, since 1951 we do not have an exact population, as for reporting purposes, it was merged with Bythorn.

We do have access to St John the Baptist church records for Births, Deaths and Marriages along with Census data for the village from 1841 to 1911 so populating the database should not be difficult.

Once the database is available you will be able to access it by clicking here.

Contact the History Group

If you have any questions about our History Group, we would love to hear from you! We will respond to you as soon as possible.

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History Group – Latest News

Presentation on the The Hearth Tax – By Liz Ford

Covington and Keyston History Group – Presentation on The Hearth Tax

To be held at Keyston Village Hall at 7:00PM on Monday the 12th of March 2024. The last speaker for the 2023/2024 winter season. Non-members welcome (£5)

Pottery Identification Event

Covington and Keyston History Group Pottery Identification Part 2

Saturday 9th March 2024 at 10:00AM. To be held at Bottom Farm Covington. With the aim of documenting the remaining finds from last year’s archaeological dig in Covington.

Families of Covington 1600 to 1900

A former, long-standing resident of Covington, Simon Parsons, is currently distilling parish records, gravestones, photographs, personal histories and stories into a genealogy database. The site is being regularly updated, with […]

See all our news