A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1937.
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It lies mostly at a height of about 300 to 400 ft., and the picturesque village is situated near the junction of the roads which intersect the parish. This is grouped round a village green, and has at its centre a well, dated 1685 but rebuilt in 1874, kept in repair under a bequest dating from Elizabethan times. The church stands high at the north-western end of the village, the smithy and school being across the road on the opposite side of the green. There is a Congregational chapel built in 1868. There are brickworks to the north of the village. The rectory (fn. 1) lies away from the church at the southern end of the village.
A windmill had stood in the parish from the 13th century, probably in 'the Mill field' in the north-east of the parish. The picturesque ruins of another windmill stood until 1916 near where the road which branches east from the Northampton road enters the parish. Scaldwell Lodge stands alone at the northern end of the parish and has Scaldwell Spinney to the west of it, and to the south-east Oak Spinney. In the south of the parish is Rectory Farm. There is an old quarry in the south-west, and in 1914 several ironstone pits were opened and are now worked by the Lamport Ironstone Company. In parts of these workings Roman pottery and other objects have been found. (fn. 2)
The population was 276 in 1801, and 368 in 1871; in 1931 it was 286. The area is 1,247 acres; the soil, clay and red marl; subsoil, stone. The chief crops are wheat and barley, and some land is in pasture.
Among the lands of the Countess Judith in Mawsley Hundred, 2 hides and 1 virgate in SCALDWELL were held in 1086 by Hugh. (fn. 3) By the 12th century this had passed with the rest of the Countess Judith's lands to King David of Scotland, and had increased in extent to 2½ hides and 1 virgate. (fn. 4)
Among the fees of the honor of Huntingdon in 1235 was half a fee in Scaldwell, Houghton, and Hothorpe held by Simon Major, (fn. 5) and this half fee was held in 1242 by Simon son of Simon, (fn. 6) who was succeeded at Brixworth, and evidently here also, by his nephew John de Verdun in 1280. (fn. 7)
A return of knights' fees for 1284 includes 13 virgates held by Richard Trussell in Scaldwell of William Trussell, (fn. 8) by William of John de Verdun, and by John of John de Hastings. (fn. 9) John de Verdun was succeeded by his son Thomas, returned as holding a quarter of a fee in Lamport, Houghton, Scaldwell, and Hothorpe in 1312. (fn. 10) As this Thomas died in 1315, (fn. 11) his heir being his son John, it was presumably John's brother (fn. 12) Thomas who held a third of a fee in 1325; (fn. 13) and this third was in the hands of his heirs in 1376. (fn. 14)
These heirs may have been the family of Seyton of Maidwell, one of whom, Sir Nicholas, living about 1320, is said to have married Susan daughter of Sir John Verdun. (fn. 15) They had certainly acquired the Trussell interest before 1428, when John Seyton held a quarter fee in Scaldwell formerly belonging to JohnTrussell, (fn. 16) and from them the manor acquired its name of SETONS. The manors of Maidwell and Scaldwell were in the hands of trustees from about 1464 to 1472, when a rent of 40s. from Scaldwell was paid by them to Alice widow of Thomas Seyton. (fn. 17) Some fifty years later Joan daughter and co-heir of Everard Seyton and wife of Francis Metcalf appears to have sold a moiety of the manor to Edmund Hasilwode (fn. 18) whose son John subsequently sold Seton's Manor to William Hochison, rector of Scaldwell, who died in March 1545, his heir being his brother Richard. (fn. 19) The rector had acquired other properties in the parish, to which reference is made below, and constituted them into one manor subsequently known as Setons alias HUTCHINS. Its later history is obscure, but it was conveyed in 1608 by George Watkin and Mary his wife and John Watkin to Christopher Greene, clerk; (fn. 20) and in 1658 by Edward Palmer and Mary his wife to Thomas Sprigge. (fn. 21) In 1717 one third of the manor was sold by Edward Mackeness and Elizabeth his wife to John Langford and Nathaniel Pyewell; (fn. 22) and in 1772 Martin Nunn and Mary his wife with Mary Davis conveyed a moiety to Thomas Wayte. (fn. 23)
In 1086, 3 virgates in Scaldwell, appurtenant to 'Wadenhoe', (fn. 24) were held by Aubrey [de Vere] of the Bishop of Coutances. (fn. 25) In the Northamptonshire Survey 3 great virgates in Scaldwell were held by Aubrey's heir and namesake of the fee of Oxford, and probably became part of the manor of Wold (q.v.). (fn. 26) This estate seems to be represented by the barn, messuage, and 2¼ virgates of land which William Hochison had purchased of the Master and Guardians of St. Mary within the parish church of All Saints in Northampton (fn. 27) and which were held of the Earl of Oxford by William Hochison at his death, as part of his manor of Scaldwell, and by him bequeathed to his brother Thomas Hochison and John son of the said Thomas. (fn. 28)
In the Domesday Survey 1 hide and 3 virgates in Scaldwell, which had been held before the Conquest by Earl Algar, and after the death of Queen Maud were bestowed on St. Edmund's Abbey by the Conqueror for the soul of the queen, were among the lands of the abbey. (fn. 29) It was returned in the Northamptonshire Survey as 1½ hides and 1 great virgate of the fee of St. Edmund, (fn. 30) and in 1284 the Abbot of St. Edmund's held 12 virgates in Scaldwell. (fn. 31) Of this property 9 virgates were held of the abbey in 1516 by William Lane, and at his death on 12 May 1527 descended to his son Ralf Lane. (fn. 32) This also had been acquired by William Hochison, clerk, and formed part of the manor of which he was seised at his death, being held of Sir Edward Montagu as of his manor of Warkton, formerly owned by the abbey of St. Edmund's. (fn. 33)
Bridges states (fn. 34) that when he wrote the courts for Scaldwell were held at Lamport, and the lands divided among fifteen or sixteen freeholders. In the Inclosure Act of 1775, when about 1,000 acres were inclosed, Sir Justinian Isham, bart., was returned as lord of the manor of Scaldwell, and saving of rights was assured to him 'or other lords of the manor'. (fn. 35) At a more recent date the rights of the Montagus were also exercised by their heirs the Dukes of Buccleuch; but courts have subsequently been held by the Ishams alone. (fn. 36)
At the Dissolution the abbey of St. Mary of Delapré held lands worth 1s. 5d. and rents to the value of £2 3s. 2d. in Scaldwell. (fn. 37) These had their origin in small gifts made in the 13th century by Richard de Scaldwell, clerk, and Lettice daughter of Adam de Scaldwell. (fn. 38)
Grants of land for the building of a mill were made in the reign of Henry III. William son of Andrew de Scaldwell granted to Christine de Scaldwell, mother of Sir Elias le Chaplain, land in Scaldwell at a yearly rent of one halfpenny: (fn. 39) and this grant was followed by one from Christine de Scaldwell, daughter of Robert, to Elias the chaplain, her son, of land with a windmill thereon granted to her by the said William. (fn. 40) This must have been on the Bury property, as land called Hattons Land, late in the occupation of Richard Scaldwell, and a windmill, with the balk on which it stood, was held by William Hochison of Sir Edward Montagu's manor of Warkton. (fn. 41)
A considerable number of grants of land in Scaldwell by or to the families of Blunt, de Cransley, Hedon, &c., are to be found among Additional Charters at the British Museum. (fn. 42)
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL consists of chancel, 23 ft. 3 in. by 15 ft. 3 in., with north aisle and south vestry and organ-chamber, nave of two bays, 25 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft., north aisle, 12 ft. 9 in. wide, south aisle, 7 ft. 6 in. wide, south porch, and west tower, 8 ft. 9 in. by 8 ft. 3 in., all these measurements being internal.
In 1863 the building was extensively restored, two wide galleries filling the north aisle and the whole of the west end being then taken down, the north aisle extended westward about 10 ft., covering the tower, the vestry and organ-chamber added, and the church reseated. Until that time the aisles were of equal length and the chancel stood free on the south side.
The oldest part of the building is the tower, which is of 12th-century date; the chancel arch, south arcade and aisle, together with a window in the chancel aisle, are of the late 13th century, while the north arcade and aisle and its extension eastward, and the porch date from the 15th century. The south clerestory was probably an addition of this period, but all its windows are modern, and real evidence of date is therefore wanting. There is no clerestory on the north, the arcade and the aisle wall on that side being of much greater height than on the south.
The architectural history of the building seems to be as follows: the tower belongs to a Norman church which probably covered the area of the present nave, with a small square-ended chancel. To this, about 1280, aisles were added, the nave walls being replaced by arcades and a new chancel built round the old one, which was then pulled down. In the 15th century the north aisle was widened, the arcade rebuilt on a bigger scale, new windows inserted, and a chapel or aisle added on the north side of the chancel, opening to it by two pointed arches, and extending its full length. The plan then remained unaltered until the 19th century.
The church is built throughout of rubble, (fn. 43) and the roofs are of low pitch, leaded to nave and aisles, and slated over the chancel. At the east end of the nave over the chancel arch is a sanctus bell-cote with a rectangular opening below that for the bell. The south aisle and vestry have plain parapets, but the other roofs are eaved.
The chancel has a restored 15th-century window of five lights with Perpendicular tracery and in the gable above a quatrefoil opening within a circle lighting the roof space, but a 13th-century string at sill level continued round the south buttress shows that the original walling remains. The arches on the north side are of two chamfered orders, on an octagonal pier and similar responds, all with moulded capitals; in the south wall at the west end is a modern arch to the organ-chamber. The trefoil-headed piscina and double sedilia are modern restorations, as are the responds of the chancel arch, but the arch itself, of two chamfered orders, is ancient. The dwarf stone screen and gates and all the fittings of the chancel are modern.
The arches of the south arcade are of two chamfered orders springing from an octagonal pier with moulded capital and chamfered base and from responds of similar character, the height to the springing being 7 ft. 6 in. The later and loftier north arcade has also arches of two chamfered orders, and the pier and responds are of octagonal form. In the south aisle is a trefoil-headed piscina, but the east window has been removed to the vestry. It is of three lights with the mullions crossing in the head and has a double bracket on the south jamb internally. The aisle is now open at its east end to the organ-chamber, but at the west is a tall lancet with wide internal splay, and in the south wall an inserted 15th-century window of three lights. The roundheaded south doorway is modern, or a restoration: it is of two hollow-chamfered orders and has shafted jambs, but seems to have been originally of 13th-century date.
The chapel north of the chancel is separated from the nave aisle by a 15th-century arch, and has a modern Perpendicular east window. In its north wall are two windows which are not in their original positions. One, at the east end, is a plain lancet, (fn. 44) now blocked and not seen on the inside, the other a two-light window with forked mullion, both probably moved here from the north wall of the chancel when the chapel was added. The window at the west end of the extended north aisle is also old, with forked mullion, a relic of the original aisle before its reconstruction.
The tower is of three stages with plain modern parapet and angle pinnacles, the upper stage slightly recessed. In the lower story are two small round-headed windows, south and west, widely splayed inside, and the bell-chamber windows are of two rounded lights, with slightly chamfered mullion, within a plain semicircular arch. The middle stage is blank. A diagonal buttress has been added at the north-west angle, probably in the 15th century. The tower arch is pointed and of a single square order. There is no vice. Bridges, (fn. 45) writing about 1720, speaks of a 'plain coped tower', which suggests an original saddle-back roof.
The font is of late-13th-century date and consists of a circular bowl moulded round the edge, and pillared stem with five attached shafts, two of the intervening spaces having quatrefoiled circles and roses tournantes. The oak cover is modern, but the Elizabethan font cover is preserved in the belfry. On the west wall of the porch is an inscribed stone to the memory of Edward Palmer (d. 1662).
The four bells are all of 17th-century date, the second cast by Henry Bagley, of Chacomb, in 1682, and the others by Hugh Watts, of Leicester, in 1621. (fn. 46)
The plate consists of a modern medieval chalice of 1868, a paten of 1878, and a flagon of 1893 presented by Major C. A. Markham. (fn. 47)
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1560–1600, 1604–51, marriages and burials 1560–1647; (ii) baptisms 1653–94, marriages 1655– 85, burials 1653–78; (iii) baptisms and marriages 1695–1725, burials 1678–94; (iv) baptisms and burials 1726–57, marriages 1726–53; (v) baptisms 1758–1808, burials 1758–1809; (vi) marriages 1754– 1812; (vii) baptisms 1808–12, burials 1810–12.
The advowson, apparently at first held with the manor (q.v.), was held by the abbey of St. Edmund from the time of its grant to that abbey in 1198–9 by Peter de Malesoures until the Dissolution, the grant made by Peter son of Ingram, Peter son of William and Alice his wife, and Ralph son of Peter and Lettice his wife in 1224 resulting in a confirmation of that made by Peter de Malesoures. In 1542 the advowson was granted to Sir Edward Montagu, Lord Chief Justice, (fn. 50) and was held by his descendants, by whom it was occasionally leased for one term, (fn. 51) until recently. In 1914 the patronage was exercised by the Earl of Dalkeith, but in 1920 it was transferred by the Duke of Buccleuch to the Bishop of Peterborough, who now holds the advowson.
Edward Palmer by his will dated 15 August 1685 bequeathed £100 for the benefit of the poor. The money was laid out in the purchase of certain lands in the open fields. On an inclosure of the open fields a close of 8 acres was awarded in lieu of the lands. The land is let yearly and the rent is distributed in cash.
Thomas Roe by will proved at Northampton in 1666 gave a rentcharge of 30s. a year. This charge is paid out of four cottages and a smithy in School Lane; 10s. is paid yearly to the rector for preaching a sermon on 5 December, and £1 is distributed in bread at the Thanksgiving Service.
Poor's allotment. On an inclosure of the parish in 1775 an allotment of 4 a. 1 r. 17 p. and an annual payment of 10s. out of a Mill Bank annexed to Scaldwell Mill were awarded for the benefit of the poor in lieu of their right of cutting furze on the commons. The land is let yearly and the income is distributed in coal to the poor by the rector and three other trustees.
The Town Well Estate. This property comprised in a deed of feoffment dated 13 March 1563 is regulated by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 27 March 1906. The property consists of 2 messuages at Scaldwell let for £9 4s., 2 r. 7 p. of garden ground let for £2 8s., and £30 4s. 3d. Consols with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds producing 15s. yearly. The income, originally applied in keeping the public well in repair, is still so applied; any surplus may be used for improvements in the village.