Fig. 212 Woodnewton Village Map
Woodnewton is a parish of 565 hectares in the
Forest of Rockingham. The village lies on the N.
side of Willow Brook and consists of a single street
with a back lane on the N. Closes shown on the
Enclosure Map of 1778 suggest an early extension
of the village to the E., which had apparently
contracted by the mid 16th century (NRO, W(A)
XVI. 5). The sheltered position and fertile soil on
the S. side of the street gave rise in the 19th
century to a market gardening business based on
the rapid transport of early radishes by local
carriers. By the 16th century there were mills at
both E. and W. ends of the village, but the E. mill
was demolished in the mid 18th century. At the E.
end of the village the road crossed the river by a
ford until 1735 when the Earl of Westmorland
replaced it by a bridge, designed by George
Portwood of Stamford, on the site of the present
one (NRO, W(A) 7. XV). The church was part of
the endowment of the prebend of Nassington;
along with the house to the N. it occupies a
compact block of glebe within the regular layout of
the village. In the Middle Ages the manor belonged
to Fineshade Abbey, the manor house having been
the W. tenement on the S. side of the street. Sir
Guy Wolston gained possession of 17 tenements
which came to form a separate manor in the 16th
century. Both manors were acquired by Sir Walter
Mildmay in 1551, and passed thence to the Earls of
Westmorland. The amalgamation of the manors
seems to have led to the extinguishing of the
copyholds of Wolston's holdings; comparison of
the survey of 1574 (NRO, W(A) XVI.5) with the
Enclosure Map of 1778 shows that the 21
copyholds of 1551 had been reduced to 14. The
concentration of vacant plots and wide-frontage
farms on Westmorland's property indicates a policy
of amalgamating holdings to form larger farms.
Although the copyhold houses are generally smaller
on average, by the early 19th century they included
the more fashionable and up-to-date houses; only
one copyhold house is thatched. The Westmorland
estate appears to have been spending less money on
its houses in the village during the 19th century
than it had done previously.
By 1673 the village appears to have been socially
depressed, for it had a high proportion of families
rated at one hearth and few at three or more, in the
Hearth Tax returns. This did not imply poverty,
for few were exempted. In 1551 some 53 tenements
were listed (NRO, W(A) XVI.5); there were 70
families in 1673 and 88 in 1801.
The Manor House (11) is a Palladian house of c.
1740, built for one of the tenant farmers of the Earl
of Westmorland; manor courts were probably held
there (Bridges II, 485).
(1) The Parish Church of St. Mary (Fig. 213; Plate 18)
stands on high ground at the W. end of the village. It
comprises a Chancel, Central Area, South Transept, Nave
with South Aisle, West Tower and South Porch. The walls
are of limestone rubble with freestone quoins and
dressings. The stonework of the tower and of the N.
wall of the nave is more carefully coursed than elsewhere
and the stones are larger. The chancel roof is steep-pitched and stone-slated, the remainder are low-pitched.
The church in its surviving form dates mostly from the
first half of the 13th century although two earlier features
survive. The first, a triangular-headed rear arch of a
window, may be of Anglo-Saxon date, and if so, an
aisled church of this period is indicated. The second
feature is the arch between the central area and the S.
transept, which probably dates from c. 1100. Although
this arch is the only tangible survival from this period
the proportion of the nave, and the relationship of its N.
and S. walls to those of the central area imply a church
of the Norman period with a chancel arch on the W. side
of the central area. It may be assumed therefore that this
arch opened off the chancel to a transept or chapel, and
that a similar arrangement probably existed on the N.
Rebuilding during the 13th century was extensive.
Firstly, the chancel was extended eastward and the arch
into the N. transept was rebuilt. In the middle of the
century the whole of the S. transept and the S. aisle were
also rebuilt and the S. nave arcade was reconstructed.
Nothing on the N. side of the nave remains of this
period but there is evidence of a N. arcade and N. aisle
being built in the 14th century. Also of the 14th century
are the S. respond of the tower arch, part of the S. wall
of the tower and its plinths. A thin arch was built in line
with the E. walls of the transepts to carry the E. wall of
the 15th-century clearstorey, thus unifying structurally
the W. part of the chancel with the nave. It is assumed
that the old chancel arch was removed at this time.
In the 17th century the N. transept and N. aisle were
demolished, and the N. transept arch was blocked. A
new wall was built on the N. of the nave, slightly inside
the line of the former arcade and most of the tower was
rebuilt; this work involved narrowing the medieval
In 1808 the S. transept was curtailed, the S. wall being
rebuilt in continuation with the aisle wall (LAO,
Archdeacon Bonney, private register). Ten years later the
chancel roof was said to be out of repair (LAO,
Woodnewton, C 111/40/1) and by about 1830 it appears
to have been roofless (Clarke, Churches). An organ
chamber was built on the site of the N. transept in the
early 20th century. Restorations in 1910 resulted in the
removal of the internal plaster, much to the
disfigurement of the building.
The church is of interest for its abnormal plan and
development, and for the early 13th-century window
Architectural Description – The Chancel (Plate 24), of
c. 1200, has a chamfered plinth, roll-moulded string,
pilaster buttresses and a low buttress beneath the E.
window. The high gable and side parapets are 19th-century and meet incongruously, the former E. gable
being of low pitch and of 15th-century type (Clarke,
Churches). The 15th-century E. window is set within the
jamb of an earlier, presumably 13th-century, window. It
has cinque-foiled lights, vertical tracery and a quatrefoil in
the head. In the N. wall are two lancet windows, one
having a label with mask stops; similar lancets on the S.
have labels with dog-tooth ornament. A priest's door
(Plate 14) on the S. has a round head enriched with
chevron ornament on the face and on the soffit, the
points of which meet on the arris, moulded imposts and
plain chamfered jambs. Between the doorway and the S.
transept is a late medieval low-side window with round
head and flat rear arch. The 15th-century chancel arch
has two orders, the outer continuous, the inner wave-moulded, carried on half-round responds. The archway,
of unusual thinness, is built over an earlier roll-moulded
string which runs below the windows. There are
housings for a rood beam above the capitals. The Central
Area, originally part of the chancel, has an arch on the
N. formerly leading to a transept. This arch of the early
13th century, has an almost round head of two
chamfered orders and semi-octagonal responds with
coved capitals. Short spur walls and a flat-pitched roof-weathering of the N. transept survive. Set into the W.
spur wall are two large carved brackets of the 14th
century, one relating to a former N. nave arcade, the
other to an arch between the aisle and the transept. The
semicircular arch S. of the crossing consists of square
recessed orders, square responds, moulded capitals and
renewed bases; its 'classical' form suggests that it may
date from c. 1100 (Plate 3).
Fig. 213 Woodnewton Church
The South Transept is of the mid 13th century. The S.
wall was rebuilt in line with the aisle wall in 1808. The
parapets are plain, that on the E. being altered since it
was recorded by Clarke. The E. window and the reset S.
window have intersecting Y-tracery and head stops. On
the W. the arch leading to the aisle has plain chamfered
orders; half-round moulded capitals are supported by a
cone-shaped corbel on the N. and a semicircular respond
on the S.
The Nave is not divided from the central area. The N.
wall built in the 17th century slightly inside the line of
the arcade it replaced, has two square-headed windows
with ovolo-moulded mullions and timber rear lintels.
Between them is a reset head corbel. Beneath the W.
buttress is a large stone possibly associated with the
former N. arcade.
The S. arcade of the mid 13th century has arches of
two chamfered orders; the first pier is circular and the
second is a cluster of four half-round shafts, both having
capitals enriched with nail-head decoration, and water-holding bases. The responds are half-round, that on the
E. having a capital enriched with heads (Plate 13). Labels
terminate on head stops. The 15th-century clearstorey
extends over the nave and the narrower central area. The
parapet is embattled except where it has been replaced
over the N. wall of the nave. There are two clearstorey
windows on the N. and S. of the central area and three
on the S. of the nave; all have triangular heads, two
trefoiled lights, vertical tracery and head stops to the
The South Aisle, mostly of the second half of the 13th
century, has angle buttresses at the S.W. corner and plain
parapets. The form of the original roof is not known.
The first window on the S. has three lancets with trefoil
sub-cusping, and above are three sexfoil roundels in an
acute triangular head, the label terminating on head
stops. The second window has twin lancets and a sexfoil
roundel in a two-centred head (Plate 27). The S.
doorway (Plate 15) has a semi-circular head of two
orders with nail-head ornament which also enriches the
label; the imposts are moulded and the shafts have small
capitals decorated with nail-head. The W. window is a
lancet. At the N. end of the W. wall, and visible
internally, is the N. jamb and one sloping stone of a
triangular-headed rear arch, possibly of Saxon date.
The West Tower is mostly 17th-century. It was rebuilt
on the foundations and plinths of an earlier tower
probably of the 14th century. The earlier plinths are
those of a tower having a S.W. part-octagonal stair
turret; plinths of shallow buttresses on the N. and S. do
not relate to this or the present tower and the
arrangement of the chamfered plinths, as restored, is
confusing. The present tower, of two stages with
buttresses on the W., has battlemented parapets and
crocketed pinnacles. The two-light belfry windows have
round heads in square recesses. The tower arch has a
14th-century S. respond above which can be seen the
outline of the springing of a pointed arch. The N.
respond and the arch were rebuilt in the 17th century to
form a narrower round-headed opening. The arch, of
three chamfered orders, is now off-centre and is set in a
rectangular recess; on the S. side is a shallow 14th-century buttress. The S. respond is of three orders, the
inner part-octagonal with a moulded capital and roll-moulded base; the N. respond is similar in outline to that
on the S. but the capital and the base are crude copies.
Above is an unexplained rectangular recess with large
Fig. 214 Woodnewton (2) Methodist Chapel
The South Porch (Plate 25), of the mid 13th century,
has two-stage side buttresses, but that on the W. is a
restoration (see Clarke, Churches). The eaves are plain
and the gable parapet is modern. Over the archway is a
panel inscribed 'EC LS 1660'. The archway has two
orders and a label is enriched with dog-tooth ornament;
the jambs consist of attached and detached shafts with
continuous capitals decorated with nail-head, and roll-moulded bases.
Fittings – Bells: 1st by Thomas Norris, 1640, recast in
1910 when the inscription was incorrectly repeated
(North, 451); 2nd by Henry Penn, 1720. Coffin lids: three
in porch, all early 13th-century with omega ornament
and crosses with brackets between the arms, and scroll
terminals; one lid is almost complete (Plate 7), two are
fragmentary. Font: octagonal but irregular, with an
incised cross on the W. face, standing on a low moulded
base, probably 13th-century. Glass: in S. window of S.
transept, fragments, medieval; already in fragments in
1808 (LAO, Archdeacon Bonney, private register). Image
stand: against E. respond of S. aisle, moulded, perhaps
15th-century. Inscriptions: (1), on tower arch, '1777'; (2),
on N. wall of belfry, oval panel of mortar, inscribed 'TS
Thomas Spencer 1843'; (3), on jamb of W. belfry
window, 'J. Briar 1843'. Monument: in central area,
marble tablet of James Cheesman, 1810, and Margaret
his wife, 1835, signed 'Pocock, Huntingdon'. Niche: over
S. doorway, with trefoil head, 13th-century. Piscinae
(Plate 41): in chancel (1), twin recesses with trefoil heads,
central pillar with capital carved with volutes and a mask
stop, sunk quatrefoil with trefoil sub-cusping, and round
bowls, 13th-century; in S. transept (2), round-headed
recess with trefoil sub-cusping enriched with floral
terminations, reset, 13th-century.
(2) Methodist Chapel, Main Street (Fig. 214), was built
in 1840, licensed in July (LAO, Faculty Book 5, fo. 372)
and opened on 14 October of that year (Notice in
chapel). It is a rectangular building with a three-bay
gabled front elevation. The walls are of coursed rubble
with roof of slate and dressings of freestone and brick.
Later in the 19th century the front windows were
altered, the rear gable wall was rebuilt, and the interior
refitted. Reset in the N. wall is a stone slab inscribed
'WESLEYAN, CHAPEL. ERECTED. AD. 1840'.
(3) Former mill and mill house. A mill is mentioned in
Domesday Book; in 1574 (NRO, W(A) XVI. 5) and 1706
(NRO, W(A) 2.IV.5) two mills are recorded in the
village. The present building is early 18th-century and
comprised a mill and class 4a mill house, all under one
roof. The two parts were combined in 1936 (Brassey
letter 1940, at Apethorpe Hall). The door jambs are
incised with dates including 1732, 1733, 1737. The bridge
to S., with a single unchamfered arch, is later than the
(4) Two-storey, two-room house with an unusually
deep plan and internal stack, early 17th-century. The W.
part was substantially rebuilt in the 19th-century and
(5) Stone Cottage, one storey and attics, originally
class 1b, 17th-century. Reset in the garden: two pilasters
with chamfered capitals and bases and round-headed
semicircular niches removed from the fireplace;
tombstone to John Desbrow, 26 October 1719, found as
hearthpace on first floor.
(6) One storey and attics, coursed limestone rubble
walls with some ironstone, class 4a, 18th-century.
(7) Barn, of four bays with small doors, some
ironstone masonry, second quarter 19th century.
(8) One storey, and attics, 17th-century origin perhaps
with gable entrance, class 4b, remodelled in the 19th
century as class 4a with central entrance now blocked.
(9) Two storeys and attics, W. gable parapet,
heightened lean-to at rear. Class 4a, probably c. 1800 but
with wide fireplace. Behind the house, an early 19th-century Dovecote for 412 pigeons; a single-storey wash-house with date-slab inscribed 'IH 1832' was added
against the S. side.
(10) Two storeys, formed from two pairs of early
19th-century class 4c houses. The front doors of the N.
tenements have been converted to windows. The E.
tenements have been much altered and have rear
outshuts. (Not entered)
(11) The Manor House (Fig. 215; Plate 108), of two
storeys and attics with ashlar front elevation and coursed
rubble side and rear elevations was built c. 1740 when the
manor was held by the seventh Earl of Westmorland.
The house is Palladian in inspiration, and it is significant
that the seventh Earl was adding ranges in the Palladian
manner to Apethorpe in the middle of the century. The
S. front, of three main bays beneath a pediment, breaks
forward in the middle. The central projection contains a
doorway flanked by sash windows without architraves;
above are three blank panels and a broken pediment
enclosing a sash window with moulded architrave. The
side bays have sash windows with broad unmoulded
architraves, those on the ground floor with round heads
enclosing blind tympana. There is a platband at ground-floor sill level. The gable is defined by a heavily moulded
cornice and moulded parapets, and is truncated below a
chimney stack with pulvinated frieze. Two other
chimney stacks are similar. The rear and side walls are
plainer in design and have wooden mullion-and-transom
windows but the projection of the front wall is mirrored
in the rear elevation. Inside, the large entrance hall and
kitchen have substantial unchamfered ceiling beams; the
rooms are tall. With the exception of the wide kitchen
fireplace and an early 18th-century sash window frame
no early interior features remain. On the E. is a single-storey extension of c. 1895.
Fig. 215 Woodnewton (11) Manor House
(12) Knight's Cottage (Fig. 216), one storey and attics,
limestone rubble with some courses of ironstone,
originated in the 17th century. The bay window predates
the adjacent fireplace, but the house was apparently of
class 4b plan. The original door with iron swing-bar
remains in the former gable wall. In the first half of the
18th century the house was re-roofed and extended to the
E. to give a class 1a plan, apparently entered only from
the N. The W. room was largely reconstructed and
refitted in the early 19th century.
(13) A two-storey two-room house with wing on the
front, probably mid 19th-century. The E. part was a
shop. Behind, a pantiled wash-house. (Not entered)
(14) Two storeys, W. parapeted gable, probably
originally class 4a, 18th-century; modern carriageway
through E. part. (Not entered)
Fig. 216 Woodnewton (12)
(15) The White Swan Inn, two storeys and cellar,
neatly coursed rubble walls with freestone dressings, at
right angles to the street, early 19th-century. Class 6b
with third room on N. and a single-storey kitchen
(16) Rosedene, one storey and attics, coursed rubble
with some ironstone, two rooms with internal stack,
17th-century; a class 4c cottage to W. is early 19th-century. Detached is a building of one storey and attics,
latterly a bakehouse and now a garage with date-stone
inscribed '1684'. Behind the house is a Barn with
ventilation slits; the walls consist of coursed ironstone
blocks externally and limestone rubble internally, early
(17) Former Horse and Jockey Inn, coursed rubble
walls with much ironstone, thatched roof, originated in
the 18th century as a class 4b house of one storey and
attics; extended to S. and N. in 19th century.
(18) Sunnyview, one storey and attics, originally class
4a, early 19th-century. The unheated E. half is
partitioned to two small rooms. The main doorway has
been blocked. The original staircase was probably beside
(19) A pair of cottages now united, one storey and
attics, thatched roof, class 4c, late 18th or early 19th-century, on the site of an earlier building. (Not entered)
(20) A pair of class 4c cottages now united, one storey
and attics, mansard roof with stone slates, late 18th or
early 19th-century, but earlier than those to N. (19). The
party wall between the cottages is dog-legged.
(21) Willow Brook Farm, formerly the Hare and
Hounds Inn, two storeys, 17th or 18th-century, perhaps
originally class 5 later extended to E. (Not entered). On
the S. is a walled garden, formerly the village Pound, but
with the N. wall removed.
(22) Originally one storey and attics, later raised to
two full storeys, two-room plan, probably 19th-century.
(23) Manor Cottage, one storey and attics, rear and
gable walls with much ironstone, front wall rebuilt in
19th century. Class 4a, 17th-century with date-stone
'1688' on E. gable. Attached on the W., former village
reading room of 19th-century date with reset mullioned
window on the W. gable.
(24) Manor Farm, two storeys, coursed rubble with
Welsh slate roof, apparently late 19th-century in present
form. The chimney stacks with pulvinated friezes and the
chamfered mullioned windows may be reused; the large
stack at the E. end may also be earlier. Entrance
formerly from rear into central stair compartment; a
large room at each end, giving a plan approximating to
class 5. S. of the house is a Barn with triangular
ventilation holes and large opposed doors, 18th-century
but with 19th-century roof. To W. of the yard are the
remains of the Tithe Barn with high weathered plinth and
triangular ventilation holes, 17th-century.
(25) Two storeys with front wall of banded masonry
and W. gable of ironstone rubble, class 4c with narrow
service rooms; 17th-century origin but much altered.
Two-room rear range of early 19th-century date.
(26) One storey and attics, coursed rubble with some
ironstone, parapeted gables. Probably originally class 1b,
17th-century, recently modernized. A small blocked
window resembling a fire window suggests a former
central chimney stack.
(27) One storey and attics with parapeted W. gable
with moulded kneelers. Symmetrical front elevation with
central entrance above which is a panel inscribed 'John
Franey 1745', the date of the building. Franey was a
stonemason. Two-room plan. (Not entered)
(28) Dovecote behind (27) (Fig. 7), dated 1769.
Ironstone footings, lower part of the walls of limestone,
the upper half in bands of limestone and ironstone.
Parapeted gables. The interior facing is entirely of
limestone and has nesting boxes for approximately 250
pigeons in the upper half of the wall. Square opening
high in the E. gable has a lintel inscribed '1769'.
(29) Two storeys, coursed rubble with freestone
dressings to openings, class 4c, apparently part of range
planned to continue to E., early 19th-century.
(30) Two storeys, coursed rubble with some ironstone.
It comprises two rooms of different builds and may
incorporate part of a building shown on the 1778
Enclosure Map. The house is 19th-century in its present
form but possibly has an earlier non-domestic origin.
(31) Broughton House, two storeys, coursed rubble
and sandstone, is now L-shaped. Parapeted gables have
roll finials. It consists of a two-cell house, possibly of
class 3b plan, of early 17th-century date which was
extended to N. by an unheated one-room wing later in
the century; the fireplace has a mantel beam with
pyramid stops. The gable wall of the later wing is in
banded masonry. A lean-to, added in the late 17th-century fills the W. angle between the extension and the
main range; it has a cellar with a blocked ovolo-moulded
window and on the ground floor a single-light window
with cyma and ovolo-moulded frame.
(32) Two storeys and attics with ashlar front wall and
two two-storey bay windows with canted sides,
probably class 6, early 19th-century. (Not entered)
(33) A two-storey pair behind (32), the ground floor of
limestone and the upper of ironstone, pantiled roofs, mid
19th-century. Class 4c plans.
(34) One storey and attics, class 4a with front entrance
now blocked, built before (32) to the W. Early 19th-century.
(35) Spinney Farm Cottage, one storey and attics,
thatched roof, class 2, early 17th-century, later extended
to W. and the original gable wall removed. Above a
former partition between the centre and E. rooms is a
cruck truss, the blades of which emerge from the wall at
a steep angle; the upper part is concealed.
(36) Two storeys, ashlar front wall, parapeted gables
and thatched roof, class 4a with additions at rear, early
19th-century. Reset 17th-century features including
ovolo-moulded surrounds to the windows and an axial
beam carved with a diamond pattern. On a building
behind is a reset slab inscribed 'W and M STRICKSON
(37) Bryony Cottage, one storey and attics, hipped
dormers, banded masonry, class 5, late 17th or early
18th-century. (Not entered)
(38) The Gardens, one storey and attics, class 2 with
the entrance passage defined by masonry walls, early
17th-century. The small middle room has wall beams
along the passage wall and against the stack. Behind the
house is the W. gable wall of a former rectangular
(39) One storey and attics, walls of rubble and
ironstone, thatched roof hipped at the W. end. Probably
of 17th-century origin with added wing at rear, now in
two tenements each with two rooms in the main range.
The E. part has square unchamfered beams and may be
an 18th-century reconstruction. The window in the W.
part has a slightly projecting ashlar base and may have
been a bay window. The E. tenement has a cellar. (W.
part not entered)
(40) Sunnybank, one storey and attics, walls of rubble
with some freestone, formed from the N. two of three
19th-century one-room cottages. The Enclosure Map of
1778 shows buildings on the site and the present house
may be partly 18th-century.
(41) Meadow View (Fig. 217), one storey and attics,
class 3b, 17th-century. The original stair was probably in
the E. room where there is now a recess in the N. wall
and scar on the cross beam. Beams have ovolo-moulded
stops. The compartment on the W. is later.
Fig. 217 Woodnewton (41)
(42) The Yews, two storeys, with front elevation of
squared ashlar and with openings with slightly segmental
heads, class 6, mid 19th-century. An earlier but illegible
date-stone with mouldings top and bottom is reset in the
E. gable. (Not entered)
(43) Barfield Cottage, No. 19, a pair of two-storey
class 4c cottages built of neatly coursed ironstone. Now
one dwelling. Early 19th-century. (Not entered)
(44) No. 21, ironstone and coursed rubble with
freestone quoins and pantiled roof. A pair, each class 4c,
now one dwelling, first half of the 19th century: possibly
converted from a non-domestic building. (Not entered)