An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 6, Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1984.

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, 'Glapthorn', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 6, Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire, (London, 1984) pp. 75-79. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Glapthorn", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 6, Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire, (London, 1984) 75-79. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Glapthorn", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 6, Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire, (London, 1984). 75-79. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section


(Fig. 94)

Glapthorn is a parish of 600 hectares and until the present century was a chapelry of Cotterstock. The village consists of two separate streets, on the N. and S. of a wide stream-valley, and known respectively as Upper and Lower Glapthorn. A third road, shown on a map of 1614 (NRO) and surviving as a hollow-way, ran along the S. end of the plots of Lower Glapthorn. Initially there were probably no house-plots on the N. side of Upper Glapthorn, where Coneygrey Close suggests a different land-use. The manor seems always to have been owned by non-residents. In 1574 it passed to Thomas Brudenell and has remained in possession of his successors, but the manor house was usually let to tenants. A fragment of the 16th-century house survives. In 1630 Brudenell redistributed much of the demesne land of Glapthorn among the customary tenants, creating a series of uniform holdings of 66 acres (27.5 hectares) (NRS 19 (1956), 160). The effects of this policy can be seen in the 1673 Hearth Tax returns, where less than a quarter of the households were exempt, and there was a relatively high proportion of families with two hearths. This points to more than average prosperity at the lower end of the social scale. Only two houses that can be associated with the 66 acre (27.5 hectares) holdings survive (11, 12). There were 39 households in 1673 and 49 in 1801.

Provost Lodge is an isolated farm in the N.E. of the parish, and owes its origin to John Gifford who in 1319 had licence to assart and build on 86 acres (35.8 hectares) of forest. This extra-parochial land he later gave to the college he founded at Cotterstock (Cal. Pat. (1317–21), p. 405; (1338–40), p. 61), and it was subsequently transferred to Glapthorn parish.

Fig. 95 Glapthorn Church


(1) The Parish Church of St. Leonard (Fig. 95; Plate 22) stands on the S. side of the village street, in the N.W. part of a churchyard. It comprises a Chancel, North Chapel, Nave with North and South Aisles, West Tower and South Porch. The walls are of coursed rubble. The chancel roof is steep-pitched and stone-slated, and the nave and aisles have low-pitched roofs. There is evidence of a mid 12th-century church, the nave of which occupied the two E. bays of the present nave; it was certainly aisled on the S. and possibly also on the N. The base of the S.E. respond of this nave survives and the W. wall is indicated by the wide piers in the centre of the existing nave. Although the 12th-century arches have been rebuilt, voussoirs with chevron ornament were reused in the S. arcade. Late in the 12th century the nave was extended westward by two further bays; the S. arcade of this extension remains, separated from the two E. bays by a wide pier. The W. wall of this extension is abnormally thick and has a round-headed opening which would have been above the level of the nave roof, presumably indicating a bell-cote. There was no tower at this date as shown by the straight joint between the W. wall and the post-medieval tower.

In the 13th century the church was again considerably enlarged. Probably during the first half of the century the two E. bays on both sides of the nave were rebuilt. Later in the 13th century the two W. arches of the N. arcade were constructed, leaving a wide pier between the two pairs of arches. At the same time the round-headed opening high in the W. wall of the nave was replaced by two small lancets. Also in the 13th century a large chancel and a N. chapel were built; the chapel connects with the N. aisle, with which it is contemporary, without structural division. In the 14th century the S. aisle was widened and the S. porch built. The W. tower and clearstorey are post-medieval. There was formerly a N. porch which was described in the 17th century (NRO, Glapthorn Church Survey Book, 1681–3). The church was restored by J. C. Traylen in 1895 (NRO, Faculty, May 1895), the early fabric being sympathetically preserved.

The building is of interest for its growth by piecemeal development to more than double its original size within a century or so. The 13th-century window tracery in the chancel illustrates variations in simple window forms current at one time.

Architectural Description – The Chancel has single-stage diagonal buttresses, gable with parapet, and plain eaves. In the E. gable wall is the line of a former lower roof; the heightening of the chancel walls are also indicated by the smaller quoins in the upper courses of the wall. The 14th-century E. window, below which is the sill of a previous window, has restored intersecting tracery with trefoil subcusping, a quatrefoil in the head and an external label with stops, one carved as a sow suckling piglets, the other as a boar (Plates 37, 45). Above is a small pointed headed niche cut from one stone. In the N. wall the 13th-century archway to the N. chapel has chamfered orders and moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall the first window has Y-tracery, the second has a vesica in the head rebated externally, and internal shafted jambs, and the third has a quatrefoil in the head and sunk spandrels, both lights being rebated externally (Plate 24); the first two have labels with mask stops and the third has head stops, one female with head-dress and chin-band, the other a grotesque male. The chancel arch has chamfered orders, bell-shaped capitals and roll-moulded bases.

Fig. 96 Glapthorn Church. Section through W. tower showing position of earlier bell-cote on W. wall of nave. Perspective reconstruction and sections through openings: a. central Romanesque opening; b. 13th-century twin openings.

The Nave has plain parapets and rectangular clearstorey windows probably of post-medieval date. Inside, each arcade consists of two pairs of arches separated by a wide pier (Plate 23). On the N. the first pair, of the 13th century, has chamfered arches, coved capitals, and roll-moulded bases. The second pair, also of the 13th century has a squat pier and responds, chamfered arches and labels with carved stops. The pier has a roll-moulded base which rests on a plinth consisting of two inverted respond capitals with scalloped decoration of the mid 12th century. On the S., the E. pair of arches, with pointed heads of two chamfered orders, have reused and recut 12th-century voussoirs decorated with chevron ornament. The pier and responds were rebuilt in the 13th century, but the base of the E. respond has spurs at the angles and is probably original. The capitals and other bases are similar to those in the N. arcade. The W. pair of arches are of late 12th-century date. They have round heads of two chamfered orders with coved capitals and roll-and-hollow moulded bases.

The North Chapel and North Aisle have low single-stage buttresses, and a late medieval low-pitched roof with eaves. The height of the 13th century E. window and its relation with the former eaves level of the chancel would suggest that the chapel and aisle originally had a gabled roof. This window has a quatrefoil within a roundel in the head and the label has head stops. The three windows on the N. are 15th-century and have casement-moulded jambs and graduated cinquefoil lights. The W. window, probably modern but of 13th-century type, has a square head with two cusped and square-headed lights. The N. doorway with continuous hollow-chamfered jambs has a reused label with male head stops of uncertain date.

The South Aisle of the 14th-century has a plain parapet. The aisle wall is thick, without buttresses, and has some banded masonry. The E. window has ogee-headed lights and a quatrefoil in the head, and the first window in the S. wall is similar. The second window, with cinquefoil-headed lights in a four-centred head, is 15th-century. The S. doorway has continuous wave-moulded jambs. In the W. wall is a square-headed window with two shouldered lights of 13th-century design.

The West Tower, unbuttressed with plain parapets, of two stages with a high plinth, is post-medieval. It is built against the old W. wall of the nave which is considerably thicker than the other walls. The tower arch is pointed but has straight jambs without mouldings. In the W. wall of the tower is a reset 13th-century window with Y-tracery. Below it is a blocked doorway. The belfry windows have round heads with two cusped lights. On the first floor, in the E. wall of the tower, are two blocked pointed 13th-century openings with splayed rear-arches on the E. side; they have on the W. side chamfered and rebated jambs, and chamfered labels (Plate 5). Between the heads of these openings is part of the head and label of a blocked late 12th-century round-headed opening (Fig. 96). The pointed openings are set in squared masonry but the walling below is of coursed rubble. Within the rubble walling are two large sockets for beams which penetrated the full thickness of the wall and must have projected over the nave to support a wooden belfrey or turret built on the E. side of the stone wall. The rafters of the nave roof which were cut by this turret probably rested on the edges of the cantilevers. Stonework around these holes suggests that they are contemporary with the walling and not later instrusions.

The South Porch has a parapeted gable, plain eaves and no buttresses. The archway has a chamfered head and side shafts with moulded capitals. Inside are stone benches, and beneath that on the E. is a slab inscribed '1638 IB'.

The roofs are mostly replacements of 1895; the chancel has a semicircular wooden vault.

Fittings – Bells: three with canons; 1st by Henry Penn of Peterborough with shield of arms of Griffin, 1710; 2nd by John Sleyt, inscribed in Lombardic capitals on neck and rim. 14th-century; 3rd inscribed in black letter, London founder, 15th-century (inf. R. W. M. Clauston). Brackets: in N. chapel (1), coved and moulded; in S. aisle (2), a pair flanking E. window, part octagonal; all medieval. Communion Rails: oak, symmetrically turned, early 17th-century. Doors: two in nave, oak, fielded panels., c. 1800. Font: octagonal, bowl with sunk quatrefoils, stem with cusped recesses, leaf and flower forms on splayed base and under bowl, 15th-century. Font-cover: modern with 15th-century poppy head finial. Hearse: with large wheels and raising mechanism, second half 19th-century. Inscription: on angle buttresses at N.W. corner of N. aisle, moral verse engraved by John Brokesby, 4 February 1604. Lockers: in chancel (1), E. wall, with pointed head, continuous dog-tooth ornament, rebated, iron hinge-pins, possibly a reliquary, 13th-century; (2) N. wall, rectangular rebated recess, medieval.

Monuments. Floor slabs: in chancel (1), of Robert Burdet, 1714, and another, 1725; (2), of – Burdet, wife of David, 1699, pitch-filled inscription; (3), of M.F., 1677; in nave (4), H.C., 1742 and P.C., 1778; in N. aisle (5), of Robert Palmer, 1812, pitch-filled inscription; (6), of William G-, 1724; (7), of M.C., 1684; in S. aisle (8), 1698; (9), of John Southwell, 1778 and wife; (10), of – Southwell, 1817; (11), of Caroline Kirby, 1836, and three other infants; (12), of William Sanderson, 179-; (13), of Elizabeth Sanderson, 1785. Paintings: extensive but only partly visible; in N. chapel, S. wall (1), masonry and flower pattern, 13th-century; over chancel arch (2), a Doom, very faint, overpainted with an overall red lozenge pattern; in N. aisle, N. wall (3), large figure of St. Christopher, red, 15th-century, possibly overpainting earlier figure; also 13th-century scroll pattern; S. wall (4), overall pattern of simulated masonry and flowers, with later overpainting, perhaps 14th-century, showing scene of the Three Living and Three Dead. Piscinae: in chancel (1), S. wall, part-octagonal shelf, added to sill of first window, octofoil sinking, perhaps 14th-century; (2), in sill of second window, with trefoil sinking, 13th-century; in N. chapel (3), pillar piscina, half column with moulded base and capital, late 13th-century (Plate 41); in S. aisle (4), single stone, pointed head with label, projecting shelf with sexfoil sinking, 14th-century. Pulpit: octagonal, oak, upper panels with scroll-work in shallow relief, lower panels with shallowly carved arches and pilasters, early 17th-century. Seating: in chancel (1), oak, made-up bench with 17th-century panels decorated with chip carving and semi-circles, and Victorian carved panels; in nave (2), three pews incorporating late medieval pew-ends; in N. aisle (3), high-backed seat incorporating medieval moulded woodwork, with ogee finial, possibly 17th-century. Miscellaneous: reset in desk, tracery and linenfold oak panels, 15th and 16th-century.


(2) The School was established as a National School in 1847 by the Countess of Cardigan. It consists of a single-storey schoolroom with a classroom behind of the same date. One original window has casements with shaped heads and diamond panes. The porch opening has a pointed head. The two-storey house is of later date and may have been built in 1876 when £483 was expended (School prospectus).

(3) Kimberley Cottage and neighbours, a row of four two-storey, class 4c cottages, early 19th-century.

(4) Rose Cottage and neighbours, originally comprised three 19th-century cottages similar to (3) but with Welsh-slated roofs. Some windows retain leaded lights.

(5) The Cottage, two storeys. Welsh-slated hipped roof, probably originally class 6, early 19th-century.

(6) The Crown Inn, two storeys, hipped roof, three-room plan, early 19th-century. It is probably the Crown Cottage occupied in 1851 by the Meadows family, who were carpenters and beer retailers, but by 1871 it was called the Crown Inn (Census). Extensively modernized.

(7) A tall two-storey class 4c house of early 19th-century date with red brick stack and Welsh-slated roof; chamfered beam and wide cooking-fireplace. The proportions suggest conversion from a dovecote.

Fig. 97 Glapthorn (8) Manor Farm

(8) Manor Farm (Fig. 97) has a complicated building history and retains fragments of several periods. The earliest part consists of the lower end of a hall, possibly dating from c. 1538 when the manor was acquired by Thomas Lord Cromwell. Later in the 16th century it was owned by the Brudenells of Deene, who from 1544 to 1557 let it to John Johnson, a London Merchant of the Staple who continued to trade and farm until his bankruptcy in 1553 (B. Winchester, Tudor Family Portrait (1955), 92, 169–73). At the end of the century John Brudenell almost entirely rebuilt the house, the work being completed in 1599 (NRO, Bru. E.VI.14). The W. part of the rear range is doubtless of this period. Brudenell demolished the greater part of the hall, building a new external wall containing a first-floor window on the line of the screens. The service end was remodelled and a new range was probably built on the N. side of it. From 1606 to 1617 the house was occupied by his widow and thereafter was usually let as a farm to tenants. In the 18th century the present main range was built on the N. replacing an earlier range, and in the 19th century a kitchen and secondary room was built approximately on the site of the old hall, and the principal rooms were refitted.

The main range, of two storeys and attics, is of class 6a plan. In the rear wall is a triple-flue stack of earlier date than the range; it is possibly part of the rebuilding work of John Brudenell and may have belonged to the main room of his new house. In the rear wing a central passage has a doorway at the S. end with chamfered jambs, now mutilated, and on the W. side are two doorways to the former service rooms, all of the earlier 16th century; they have moulded hood moulds, four-centred heads, continuous chamfered jambs and triangular rear arches. In the W. wall at first-floor level are two blocked two-light windows with chamfered mullions in ogee frames, probably of c. 1599. The range to the E. of the passage is entirely 19th-century.

(9) One storey and attics, thatched roof, class 4b, the entry in the gable wall now blocked, 18th-century. (Not entered)

(10) Melton Cottage, one storey and attics, thatched roof, class 1b, probably 17th-century. A later range to W. of similar height and material is now a separate tenement. (Not entered)

(11) South Farm House (Fig. 98; Plate 101), of two storeys and formerly with a shallow bay window on the front and a deeper one on the back has a class 1a plan. It is of 17th-century date and was formerly thatched. The axial beam in the W. room has a bar stop; a curved recess in the rear wall of the middle room indicates the former position of the stair. The room has a cross beam with stepped stops and the E. room has an axial beam, one end carried on a bracket resting on the mantel beam of the fireplace.

Fig. 98 Glapthorn (11)

(12) Floral Cottage, of one storey and attics with parapeted gables with moulded kneelers and with thatched roof, class 1a plan, is of 17th-century date. The attic was apparently always a store room. (Not entered)

(13) House of one storey and attics with leaded-light casement windows and thatched roof, c. 1800. Class 4a, but the original stair compartment, defined by stud walls, is central in the building. The W. room originally was almost unlit.

(14) The Old Post Office, two storeys, Welsh slate roof, formerly a pair of class 4c cottages, now united, early 19th-century. (Not entered)

(15) A two-storey pair of class 4c cottages with hipped roof with overhanging eaves, second quarter 19th century. (Not entered)

(16) The Little Manor, formerly the Royal Oak Inn, of two storeys with large sash windows, dates in its present form from the early 19th century but scars on its N. and S. gables show it is an adaptation of an earlier, lower, house. It was occupied in 1847 by John Hancock, a farmer, who in 1851 farmed 180 acres (Kelly; Census). Class 6 with added S. section and formerly with thatched cellar, projecting at the rear. The building has been modified and incorporates brick in the rear wall.

(17) A two-storey house with symmetrical elevation, now class 8 with two parallel roofs. Mid 19th-century in appearance but incorporating two late medieval doorways in rear range.

(18) Churchside, two storeys, leaded-light casement windows, perhaps originally class 4a, early 19th-century. (Not entered)

(19) Lower Farm, of two storeys with parapeted gables, originated in the 17th century, perhaps as a three-room class 1a house at right-angles to the road. The N. room with wide fireplace and cross passage survives. In the 18th century the central room was heightened, and at the end of the century the S. room was demolished when a new two storey and attics front range of class 6a plan was built parallel to the street. The staircase has turned balusters. Externally the house was altered in the late 19th century.

(20) Laburnum Cottage, a pair of two-storey, class 4a, early 19th-century cottages. (Not entered)

(21) Hope Cottage, one storey and attics. Only the E. room with an axial beam retains evidence of a 17th-century origin; a large stack at the W. end of this room has been removed. The W. room was rebuilt or added in the 19th century. A class 1b origin is possible.

(22) Shortwood (TL 014911), single storey and attics, c. 1840, of picturesque appearance. The central entrance porch has a four-centred headed opening, windows have deeply chamfered surrounds and the chimney stacks are octagonal or set diagonally. Two front rooms with larder projection and rear wing. Presumably the gamekeeper's house recorded in Glapthorn in 1851 (Census).