See the cache camera photos.
This cache consists of the usual wander around the town, hopefully picking up a flavour of the place as you collect the clues to the final coordinates. Your starting point (given by the coordinates above) is the Waitrose car park. You can park here free of charge for a couple of hours - plenty of time to complete the cache.
Major excavations were carried out before the previous owners (Safeway) were allowed to build on the site. Evidence was found of Roman settlements, including a burial ground. The answer to your first question can be found here:
1. How many dishes did the Roman "Fercula" normally comprise? Answer = A.
2. A short walk will take you to an unusual milestone at N52° 07.823 W000° 59.220. How many miles to Stony Stratford? Answer = B.
3. At N52° 07.844 W000° 59.244 you will find a green plaque, one of several placed by the Towcester and District Local History Society as part of their Millennium Project to commemorate Towcester's historic buildings. This one is close to where the Bickerstaffes Almshouses and the Towcester Cinema once stood. The cinema was demolished in 198C.
4. Take a left at Richmond Road to N52° 07.856 W000° 59.358 (still within sight of your starting location!) A section of the 2nd century Roman town wall was uncovered here in 199D.
5. Follow Meeting Lane to N52° 07.910 W000° 59.292. TAKE CARE CROSSING THE BUSY A5 (Watling Street). This building was occupied by the old National School from 1851-192E. By the way, those marks in the stone walls were apparently made by generations of schoolkids sharpening their slate pencils!
6. Continue along Watling Street to the Town Hall (N52° 07.922 W000° 59.290). This is an imposing building, and frequently features in photographs of Towcester. The foundation stone was laid by the Earl of Pomfret on which day of September 1865? Answer = F.
7. Carry on towards another Towcester icon - the church of St Lawrence. The ironstone tower was constructed in 1485, and today contains one of the finest rings of 12 bells in the world - they even have their own website - bells.towcesterparish.org. But you need to walk through the graveyard to N52° 07.955 W000° 59.170. How old was Elizabeth Richardson when she passed away? Answer = 6G.
Why not pause here a while to admire the views over Easton Neston? The estate, currently owned by the Heskeths, has been on the market for some time - so they would probably consider an offer of well below the asking price of £50M. For that you get not just the Manor House, but also the adjoining race course, and even the small hamlet of Hulcote. Remember to invite us to the house warming...
Continue around the graveyard, passing Towcester Mill as you leave the grounds of St Lawrence. Next stop is Bury Mount (N52° 07.995 W000° 59.310) - site of a Norman motte and bailey castle dating from the 12th century. You don't need to climb the steep muddy slope - continue in an anti-clockwise direction and you will find an easier route to the top. See if you can spot what appears to be a trigpoint of some sort on the top - although I've not been able to find it listed anywhere.
8. All the trees (mainly Scots Pine) on the Mount are protected by a preservation order - so I've refrained from fixing any clues to them. Instead look to the North and you will see the remains of the old Wayside garage. How many diagonal red stripes are on the leftmost pillar? Answer = H.
Back to the town now. You can take a fairly direct route to N52° 07.970 W000° 59.366. A modern day bank now, but when did John Jenkinson first open a private bank from his draper's shop? 178I.
10. Cross Watling Street again (use the pelican crossing) and walk up Park Street to N52° 07.950 W000° 59.450. The Towcester Studio Band was founded here in 191J.
Continue round the corner and follow Brackley Road back to the traffic lights on the A5. The Saracen's Head (N52° 07.997 W000° 59.414) is over 400 years old, and was featured in Charles Dickens' first novel: "The Pickwick Papers".
11. With so much history to hand, you might think I would have managed to find an interesting clue for you. But no. I'm resorting to ask you how many camels appear (on one side) of the pub sign? Answer = K.
12. Nearly done now! Continue up Watling Street to N52° 08.106 W000° 59.520. The site of the North End Baptist Chapel is now a carpet shop, but has also served as the motor workshop of Victor Ashby - designer of the Short-Ashby car. The chapel was built in 185L.
You can now plug your answers into the final co-ordinates, which are given by:
There are a couple of obvious routes to the cache, and it makes little difference which you choose. There is water near to the final location, so take care with small children. Happy hunting!
Well, that was the final location, but I've had to move it. The cache was being accidentally discovered too often. Whilst most muggles had entered into the spirit and even made impromtu exchanges, I feared that it would not be too long before the cache might be trashed. The final location had a certain something about it(!), and so you will still have to go there. But you now need to find a small plastic tag, affixed nearby, which contains the offset for the final (final) location. Subtract the 3 digit number from your Westerly coordinate (some 'carrying' may be necessary!), and add just the middle of the 3 digits to the last digit of your Northerly coordinate. The final (final) resting place is a good degree more difficult to find, and I have upped the difficulty and terrain ratings as a result. I'm sorry to say that the cache is not accessible by children, nor by vertically challenged or frail adults (though it can be reached quite easily by "someone I know" who is barely 5'8" and nearly 50!). Good Luck!
If you would like to discover more about the history of Towcester, visit the website of the Towcester and District Local History Society.