Parishes: Woodford

Pages 255-262

A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1930.

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Wodeford (xi, xii, xiv cent.); Wudeford (xiii cent.); Woodforde (xvi cent.).

The parish of Woodford contains 2,264 acres of land, which lies under 300 ft. above the ordnance datum. The sub-soil is Upper Lias, Great Oolite and Cornbrash. The river Nene forms the eastern boundary of the parish and the village lies on the slope of the hill rising from the river along the by-road from Irthlingborough. The church stands on the east of the road near the river. The rectory house was built in 1820; some portions of the medieval rectory remain in a farm house immediately north of the church and include three buttresses and a late 13th century pointed doorway. A two-story thatched cottage in the Old Town to the north-west of the church has a panel inscribed 'F.B. 1687,' and on the west side of the Green in the upper part of the village is a gabled house dated 1654. The upper part of the village is known as New Town. The Northampton and Peterborough branch of the London Midland and Scottish Railway crosses the parish for a short distance, but the nearest station is at Twywell on the Kettering and Huntingdon branch. There were formerly brickworks near the village and in 1874 the large beds of ironstone in the parish were extensively worked. (fn. 1)

John Cole, the bookseller and antiquary, lived at Woodford at the end of his life and died there in 1848. Continually unsuccessful both as a bookseller and schoolmaster, his real interests lay in antiquarian pursuits and natural history. He published many books on local history and also left manuscript collections for the history of many places in Northamptonshire. (fn. 2) The parish was inclosed by private Act of Parliament in 1768. (fn. 3)


The manor of WOODFORD at the time of the Domesday Survey, and probably in pre-Conquest times, belonged to the fee of Peterborough Abbey, (fn. 4) which remained the overlord of the manor till the dissolution of the abbey, (fn. 5) the last mention of the overlordship being in 1515. (fn. 6)

In 1086, Roger held 7 hides of the abbey and he, Hugh and Siward held a further 3 virgates. (fn. 7) He may be identified with Roger Maufé, the first knight enfeoffed by the abbey at Woodford. (fn. 8) In the Northamptonshire Survey no under-tenant is mentioned and more land is assigned to the abbey, so that Roger's holding was presumably included in a holding of 8 hides and ½ a virgate belonging to the fee of Peterborough, while the ½ hide held by William de Houton and the ½ virgate held by Reginald de la Bataille represented part of the holding of 3 virgates. (fn. 9) A Guy Maufé in the same survey held land at Hemington (fn. 10) which was part of the Maufé fee, and he may have been Roger's successor at Woodford. He certainly granted land there to the abbey, as the grant was confirmed by Henry I in a charter of 1114. Guy was living in 1117, (fn. 11) but the tenant in 1125–8 was another Roger Maufé, whose holding had been reduced to 5 hides and 3 virgates, together with the soke of 3 hides of land of which Gislebert, son of Richard, was the tenant. His Northamptonshire lands were in Woodford and Kingsthorpe and probably Hemington, held by the service of two knights' fees and castle guard at Rockingham. (fn. 12) Roger was succeeded by Guy Maufé, who, with his wife Adeliza, gave a portion of his tithes to Peterborough in 1141. (fn. 13)

Simon Maufé was holding the two fees in 1179 and 1189. (fn. 14) Before 1196 Lucas Maufé had succeeded him (fn. 15) and in 1211–12 William Maufé appears. (fn. 16) William died before 1224, when his heir Oliver was a minor. He was succeeded by Robert Maufé, who held the two fees but granted the abbot of Thorney certain lands in Kingsthorpe. (fn. 17) Robert died before 1254, leaving four daughters as his heirs, amongst whom his fees were divided. (fn. 18) In a lawsuit of 1346, John de Woodford is said to have been the last tenant of the undivided manor and to have left two daughters and heirs. Presumably John is a mistake for Robert, while the other daughters are not mentioned in 1346, as their families no longer had any interest in the Woodford manor. (fn. 19) There seems no doubt that the eldest daughter married Thomas Deyville. (fn. 20) Alice married John de Bois, and Joan married, but the name of her husband does not appear. (fn. 21) The fourth daughter married Roger de Kirkton (fn. 22) but does not seem to have had any share in Woodford. Another Thomas Deyville did homage for his lands there in 1275, (fn. 23) but ten years later John de Bois and his wife bought the Deyville's share in Woodford and so came into possession of half the manor, (fn. 24) which was held as a half and a quarter of a knight's fee. (fn. 25)

Their holding was known as the manor of WOODFORD, PIELL'S or VAUX. John de Bois did homage for it in 1289. Roger de Bois was holding in 1316 and did homage in 1322, and John de Bois was tenant in 1346. (fn. 26) In 1369 Sir Roger de Bois, knt., sold it to John Pyel of London, (fn. 27) who died before 1385, when his executors assigned a rent of 50 marks to his widow, but his heir is not mentioned. (fn. 28) The manor, however, came to Nicholas Pyel, who before 1394 made a settlement of the manor on Roger Lichefeld and others in anticipation of his marriage with Elizabeth Gorge, sister of Roger Lichefeld. (fn. 29) Whether the marriage took place does not appear, but the terms of the settlement were not carried out, and Nicholas died seised of it about 1402. (fn. 30) He is said to have been poisoned, but the Register of Abbot Genge of Peterborough gives two different accounts of the descent of the manor. In one, Nicholas is said to have died without heir and except for the life interest of an unnamed tenant (probably Nicholas's widow) it had escheated to the abbey. In the other, John, son of Nicholas, was said in 1406 to be a minor in the abbot's custody. (fn. 31) The manor, however, seems to have passed before 1417 (fn. 32) to an Elizabeth Pyel, probably a daughter or sister of John Pyel and the wife of Sir William Huddlestone. (fn. 33) In 1426 it had passed to William Braunspath and his wife Elizabeth, in her right. (fn. 34) She presumably was the widow of Huddlestone and was living in 1445. (fn. 35) Before 1451, her son Henry Huddlestone had succeeded her (fn. 36) and died seised before 1488, when his heir was his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Thomas Cheyney. (fn. 37) In 1514, the manor passed to their daughter Elizabeth, a minor, who afterwards married Thomas Vaux, the first Lord Vaux of Harrowden. (fn. 38) Their son William in 1585 granted a rent of £10 per annum out of the manor to Joan, the wife of William Goddard. (fn. 39) He sold the manor, however, in 1592, to Simon Mallory, (fn. 40) whose son, Simon, sold it in 1621 to Sir Rowland St. John, (fn. 41) the younger son of the third Baron St. John of Bletso. His son Oliver was created a baronet and his descendants owned the manor until the early 19th century, (fn. 42) when it was sold, probably by Henry, the 12th Baron St. John, to the Duke of Dorset. (fn. 43) On the death of the last duke in 1843, it passed to his niece Mrs. Stopford Sackville, (fn. 44) and is now the property of Mr. Nigel V. Stopford Sackville.

St. John. Argent a chief gules with two molets or therein.

Joan, presumably the third of the Maufé heiresses, left two daughters between whom her share of Woodford manor was divided on her death about 1275. (fn. 45) In that year, Richard Trailly, husband of her eldest daughter Alice, did homage to the Abbot of Peterborough. (fn. 46) Their lands were afterwards known as THORLEY'S MANOR. They had both died by 1289, when Roger Bozoun did homage for the lands of his wife Alice, daughter and heir of Richard and Alice Trailly. (fn. 47) In 1298 John Spigurnel did homage for these lands, presumably in right of his wife Alice, the widow of Bozoun. (fn. 48) In 1322, however, her son John Bozoun succeeded to the manor. (fn. 49) Thomas Bozoun, probably his brother, was the tenant in 1348 (fn. 50) and died seised in 1361, leaving his son Henry a minor, whose wardship was granted to Sir Richard la Zouche, knt., and Richard de Tissington, one of the king's clerks. (fn. 51) Henry died before 1393, his heir being his sister Alice, the wife of Walter Ilger. (fn. 52) Before 1443, the manor had passed, presumably by marriage, to the Thorley family, as at that time it was apparently held by Isabel Thorley. (fn. 53) She was succeeded before 1453 by John Thorley, (fn. 54) who died in or before 1508 when his son William did homage. (fn. 55) William died in 1515 leaving a son and heir named Richard. (fn. 56) By sale or inheritance it came into the possession of Anthony Muscott and his wife Eleanor, the daughter and heir of William Burton. (fn. 57) Anthony died before 1605, when William Muscott and his wife and Eleanor Muscott, widow, sold Thorley's manor to Thomas Abbott. (fn. 58) In 1652, John Abbott sold it to Oliver St. John, the lord of Woodford manor (q.v.). (fn. 59)

Joan, the younger daughter of Joan Maufé, married Geoffrey Trailly, who did homage in 1275. (fn. 60) They were succeeded in 1292 by their son William, (fn. 61) whose heir William was holding in 1315. (fn. 62) In 1316, the tenant of this fourth part of the manor was Alice Trailly, presumably the widow or daughter of William, (fn. 63) but in the same year his brother Henry did homage for tenements in Woodford. (fn. 64) In 1322, when Henry did homage to the new abbot, Adam de Boothby, for a quarter fee, he was said to be the brother and heir of William Trailly. (fn. 65) In 1332, he settled the fourth part of the manor on himself and his wife Aubrey for their lives with remainder to William, son of Miles de la Hay, and his wife, Emma, possibly Henry's daughter. (fn. 66) In 1348, John de Waldegrave was holding one share of the Maufé inheritance, but only in right of his wife, while William de la Hay held land in Woodford by charter. (fn. 67) It passed to John de la Hay, who died in or before 1365, leaving his heir a minor. (fn. 68) The latter was probably Hugh de la Hay, whose daughter and heir married William Rockingham. (fn. 69) The latter did homage in 1415, (fn. 70) but there were possibly other daughters, as the property was subdivided at this time. (fn. 71) Rokingham's share seems to have passed before 1437 to William Farnham. (fn. 72) Another William Farnham, probably his grandson, succeeded in 1507 or 1508, (fn. 73) and it seems possible that it was this land which Robert Barley sold in 1562 to Simon Mallory as a fourth of a fourth of the manor of Woodford. (fn. 74) If so it was presumably afterwards held with the main manor of Woodford (q.v.).

Lenton. Azure a bend ermine between two dolphins or.

Another part of the de la Hay share of Woodford was known as LENTON'S MANOR. It may probably be identified with the tenements, consisting of a messuage and a carucate of land which passed before 1332 from Bartholomew de Datchingham to John Lenton. (fn. 75) In 1428, Lenton's Manor was held by Roger Lenton, (fn. 76) and he still seems to have been the tenant in 1455. (fn. 77) Thomas, probably his grandson, died seised in 1505 and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 78) Robert succeeded his father John in 1558 and John, son of Robert, was followed by his son Simon Lenton, who was holding in 1616. His heir was his sister Anne, wife of Sir Miles Fleetwood, and either her daughter Anne or she in her widowhood may have married John Shaw, who, with Anne his wife, was holding the manor in 1641. (fn. 79) It was sold in 1657 by Simon Shaw and Anne Shaw, widow, to Oliver St. John, lord of the chief manor of Woodford (q.v.). (fn. 80)

A third share of Hugh de la Hay's lands came into the possession of a family named Holt, (fn. 81) and its subsequent history presumably followed that of their other holding in Woodford, called Trailly Place (q.v.).

In 1622, when Simon Mallory sold his manors in Woodford to Sir Rowland St. John, a manor called CLEMENT'S MANOR was included in the sale, (fn. 82) but it does not seem possible to trace its previous history. In 1369, however, John Clement of Woodford and his wife Beatrice granted seven acres and one rood of land of her inheritance to Richard de Tissington, clerk, but this is apparently the only mention of the family. (fn. 83)

A second holding in Woodford, which appears later to have been called TRAILLY PLACE or NORWICH'S MANOR, belonged in the reign of Edward the Confessor to the soke of Peterborough Abbey. (fn. 84) It consisted of a hide and a virgate of land, which were held by Burred, but in 1086 it had been granted to the Bishop of Coutances who held it in chief of the king. (fn. 85) In the 12th century survey, it appears as a holding of 1½ hides belonging to the fee of Peterborough, (fn. 86) but this probably represented an attempt by the abbey to recover the land after the bishop's forfeiture. It was unsuccessful and at some subsequent date the land was granted to the Clares and was held of the honour of Gloucester as half a knight's fee. (fn. 87)

Trailly. Or a cross between four martlets gules.

In 1086, the bishop's tenant was named Ralph, (fn. 88) but early in the 12th century Guy de Trailly was the sub-tenant. (fn. 89) Either the name Guy is a mistake for Geoffrey, or else the mesne tenant's name is omitted and Guy was the tenant in demesne and the ancestor of the Traillys of Woodford. The mesne tenants under the Clares were undoubtedly the Traillys, who held the manor of Yelden in Bedfordshire, (fn. 90) and Sir John Trailly was holding the half-fee in 1398, (fn. 91) but after this date the mesne lordship disappears. The tenants in demesne belonged to another branch of the family, of which Guy may have been the first. In 1241, William de Trailly seems to have been the tenant, (fn. 92) and he was probably the father of Richard and Geoffrey Trailly, who obtained by marriage two shares of the manor of Woodford (q.v.). Certainly the halffee passed to Richard Trailly and his heirs, represented in 1403 by Walter Ilger. (fn. 93) It passed shortly afterwards to Sir John Holt, who died seised of Trailly Place in 1419, (fn. 94) and was succeeded by his two sons Hugh (fn. 95) and Richard. The latter died in 1429, when his heir was his cousin Simon Norwich. (fn. 96) John Norwich died seised in 1504, when the manor was said to be held in chief of the king. (fn. 97) His greatgrandson, Simon, sold it in 1570 to Simon Mallory, (fn. 98) who was lord of the chief manor of Woodford (q.v.).

All the tenants in Woodford did suit of court at the abbot's court for the Hundred of Huxloe and were geldable, but Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, withdrew the suit of his Woodford tenants to his leet at Denford. (fn. 99) He also claimed certain privileges that were held by the Abbey in the Hundred, namely, the return of writs, pleas de namio vetito, view of frank-pledge, gallows and the assizes of bread and ale. (fn. 100) In the 18th century, Lord St. John of Bletsoe had a court leet and court baron in the manor of Woodford. (fn. 101)

A mill was attached to Roger Maufé's manor in Woodford in 1086, when it paid 2s. a year, (fn. 102) and a water-mill was attached to the manor in 1718. (fn. 103) When Simon Mallory sold his Woodford possessions to Sir Rowland St. John in 1621, three water-mills were included in the sale. (fn. 104) These were probably the three mills of which his father died seised, called Dodes Mills. (fn. 105) Two other water-mills, called Willicoat mills, seem to have been in the Crown in the reign of Henry VIII, and were granted in 1544 to William, Lord Parr of Horton. (fn. 106) They had reverted to the Crown before 1560, when Elizabeth granted them to William Garrard and others, but this grant was surrendered two years later. (fn. 107) They were afterwards granted to Sir Robert Lane and Anthony Throckmorton, who sold them to Henry Clerke of Stanwick. He died seised of them in 1574, when his heir was his son William. (fn. 108) They passed, however, to Gabriel, the brother of William, and on his death in 1625 he was succeeded by their nephew Christopher, a minor. (fn. 109)

A free fishery is mentioned as appurtenant to the manor of Woodford, after its division amongst the daughters of Robert Maufé. Thus in 1332 a quarter part of a fishery in the Nene worth 4s. a year was included in the settlement made by Henry Trailly of his share of the manor. (fn. 110) Again in 1592, a free fishery was sold with Woodford or Pyel's manor by Lord Vaux to Simon Mallory, (fn. 111) and is frequently mentioned after the manors had passed to the St. Johns. (fn. 112)


The church of ST. MARY-THEVIRGIN consists of chancel 40 ft. by 17 ft. 6 in., clearstoried nave 79 ft. by 14 ft. 3 in., north and south aisles 12 ft. 6 in. wide, north and south porches, and west tower 11 ft. by 12 ft. surmounted by a spire. The width across nave and aisles is 44 ft. 10 in., and the total length of the church 138 ft. 6 in., all these measurements being internal. There is a modern vestry and organ chamber on the north side of the chancel.

The church, which is of rubble throughout, was restored in 1867. The chancel was then partly rebuilt, and has a modern high-pitched tiled roof, but all the other roofs are leaded and of flat-pitch behind plain parapets. Internally, with the exception of the tower, all the walls are plastered.

The architectural history of the building appears to be briefly as follows: the original structure was an aisleless early 12th century church with nave and chancel of equal breadth, to which about 1200 a north aisle and chancel chapel were added. The tower also is of this period. In the 13th century a new chancel of great length was built east of the older chancel, which was thrown into the nave, the old chancel arch being replaced by a new one; at the same time the north aisle was widened and a south aisle with porch of two stories added. A lateral chapel, with narrow east and west aisles, was also planned just east of the porch projecting from the south wall of the church. This was probably completed, but only its west aisle remains, the rest having been taken down in the 15th century when the aisle walls on both sides were largely rebuilt or new windows inserted. The spire and north porch are additions of the early 14th century.

Plan of Woodford Church

The original nave was 46 ft. long, and its eastern limit is still marked by compound piers in both arcades and by the 13th-century transverse arch between them. The north arcade is of four bays, with three round arches and a narrow pointed one at the west end, all of a single square order, springing from cylindrical piers with moulded bases and sculptured capitals, and from moulded imposts at either end. The capitals differ in character; that of the western pier has on two sides a face with foliage issuing from the mouth, but on the others the foliage is of conventional stiff-leaf character. The eastern arch is considerably wider than the others, the spacing of the arcade being thus very irregular. Beyond the compound pier, which has half-round responds on its north and south faces, is the arcade of the old chancel, which consists of two round arches similar to the others springing from a cylindrical pier with moulded capital and base; the work is rather later than that just described, the capital having nail-head ornament, but followed closely on it. The responds have moulded imposts, but that at the east end has been cut away. The arcade probably occupied the whole extent of the north wall of the early chancel, which was afterwards joined up to the new work built from the east.

The chancel is of three bays with coupled angle buttresses of two stages and a modern east window of three lancets. (fn. 113) The north and south windows of the eastern bay in their present form (fn. 114) are also modern, dating only from the restoration, but the chancel is substantially of 13th-century date, the south wall retaining a keel-shaped string at sill level and a priest's doorway in the middle bay with continuous moulded head and jambs. The piscina and triple sedilia are also original. They form a single composition of four uncusped pointed arches, the seats being on one level and divided by detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The piscina has a plain bowl and hollow-chamfered recess, with a small shaft in its east jamb. The north wall below the window is blank, but farther west, in the middle bay, is a pointed doorway now opening to the modern vestry. (fn. 115) The western bay is occupied by a 13thcentury wall arcade of three uncusped hollow-chamfered arches on clustered shafts of quatrefoil section with moulded capitals and bases and single jamb shafts. In the south wall opposite is a similar arcade of four arches opened out and restored in 1867, the arch next the priests' doorway being very narrow, but there is no indication that the arcading extended farther east on either side. Within the western arch of the north arcade is a trefoil headed low-side window, originally fitted with one vertical and four horizontal iron bars, one of which remains. (fn. 116) The western window in the south wall is a 15th-century insertion of four lights with Perpendicular tracery. The 13th-century chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, the inner springing from half-round responds with moulded capitals and bases. The ritual chancel extends about 8 ft. west of the chancel into the nave: there is a dwarf wall, but no screen.

The south arcade of the original nave has three wide pointed arches of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the west end and at the east resting on a half-octagonal respond. The piers and the respond have moulded capitals and bases, but the western pier is octagonal and the other cylindrical with an octagonal capital. Transverse arches are carried over the aisle from both piers as well as from the compound pier farther east, all similar to those of the arcades. The western arch rests on a moulded corbel in the south wall, but the other two spring from 13th-century piers of four clustered shafts which originally marked the entrance to the lateral chapel but are now built into the later walling; of these piers the capital of the western is carved with stiff-leaf foliage, but the other is simply moulded, and both have moulded bases. (fn. 117) The extended arcade, on the south side of the old chancel, is of two bays with pointed arches of two hollow chamfers and deep moulded hood, springing from a cylindrical pier (fn. 118) with circular moulded capital and base and from a half-octagonal respond at the east end. At the west the arch dies out. The 13th-century arch across the nave, which was substituted for the original chancel arch, is of two chamfered orders, the inner on half-round responds with moulded capitals and bases, and north of it a transverse arch is carried over the aisle, as on the south side. (fn. 119)

The south doorway and porch are very beautiful examples of 13th century work, with elaborate mouldings and richly decorated. The inner doorway is of two main orders, the inner forming a trefoiled arch and the outer a moulded round arch with delicate foliage on both planes, and label over; in the space above formed by the pointed wall-arch is a trefoiled niche containing a modern statue of the Blessed Virgin, with a moulded and cusped trefoil on each side. The jambs have three major shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and smaller attached shafts between; the outer shaft on each side carries the diagonal ribs of the porch vault, which is of simple quadripartite form. (fn. 120) The outer doorway has an acutely pointed arch of three orders elaborately moulded with rolls and hollows, on clustered jambshafts with moulded capitals, bases and mid-bands. The hoodmould terminates in masks.

The chamber over the porch was approached by a stairway in the west wall, which still remains, opening from the sill of a later window in the aisle, but the porch is now finished with a plain parapet. Of the building eastward only the narrow west aisle remains; it is 5 ft. 8 in. wide, opening to the church by a pointed arch, and was covered by an oblong quadripartite vault, the springing of which remains in three of the angles. The position of the corresponding east aisle is marked by the clustered pier and a blocked arch to the aisle, but there has been so much rebuilding and alteration in later times that the original arrangement must remain in some measure uncertain. The wide middle bay was apparently vaulted and open to the church and probably was used as a chapel. An upper story forming part of the porch chamber may also be assumed, but whether this, too, was used as a chapel or for some other purpose it is impossible to say. (fn. 121)

All the windows of the south aisle are 15th-century insertions, those east of the porch being of four cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery and fourcentred heads. The end windows are of three lights, that in the west wall and a three-light window west of the porch being without tracery. The west window of the north aisle and one in the north wall are of the early 14th century, of two trefoiled lights, with pointed trefoils and quatrefoil over, (fn. 122) but all the others are 15th-century insertions of three lights; that at the east end is now blocked by the organ chamber. The 13th-century north doorway is of two moulded orders, the inner continuous, the outer on jambshafts with moulded capitals and bases. The porch has a modern slated roof without gable coping and an outer doorway of two moulded orders, the inner springing from half-round responds with moulded capitals and bases. It has single trefoiled windows in the side walls, but no benches.

The east end of the north aisle is used as a morning chapel; in the south wall is a 13th-century piscina and remains of sedilia destroyed in the making of a tomb recess cut through the wall to the west of the new chancel arch c. 1290. In the north wall, between the windows, there are two plain four-centred 15thcentury niches.

The stairs to the rood loft remain in an almost perfect condition on the south side of the chancel arch, entered from the east end of the aisle by a plain four-centred doorway. The staircase was made in the 15th century and projects into the aisle, from which it was lighted by small windows, now blocked, in the south and west. (fn. 123) There is a small recess, (fn. 124) perhaps for a piscina, in the south wall of the aisle, and farther west a low wall-recess with two-centred moulded segmental arch. North of the east window is a niche with image bracket.

The clearstory windows are square headed and of two trefoiled lights; there are two on each side of the extended nave and three of plainer character to the old nave spaced to the bays of the south arcade.

The tower is of four main stages with coupled buttresses about half its height, so placed as to cut off the square angles of the lower part; the angles of the upper story thus overhang and are supported by corbels in the form of heads. The buttresses are of two stages. On the west side in the second stage is a single hooded lancet with wide internal splay, and another smaller one on the north side. The bellchamber windows are of two plain lancets divided by a square shaft and set within a pointed arch on shafted jambs with cushion capitals; the tympanum is plain. The tower terminates with a trefoiled corbel table and plain parapet with elaborate angle pinnacles. (fn. 125) The pointed tower arch has been rebuilt; it is of three (fn. 126) chamfered orders, the innermost on half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. The line of the high-pitched 13th-century nave roof remains above the arch. There is no vice.

The spire belongs to the same category as those of Denford and Grafton Underwood, with 'broaches' behind the parapet, and has ribbed angles and three sets of lights on the cardinal faces. The lights are of early 'Decorated' character and the lower lights are transomed.

The 13th-century font has a plain hexagonal bowl on six detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases grouped round a central cylindrical stem, and mounted on two hexagonal steps. On the underside of the bowl at the angles are small sculptured faces.

The roofs have been extensively restored, but the moulded tie-beams of the nave are old and the ridge and purlins in the western portion; there are also some old timbers in the south aisle roof and at the east end of the north aisle.

The wooden effigies of Sir Walter Trailly (d. 1290) and his wife have already been described. (fn. 127) They lie under a two-centred segmental moulded arch cut through the wall between the north chapel and the extended nave. (fn. 128)

In the chancel is a grave slab with brass of Simon Mallory the elder (d. 1580), who is represented in armour, with shield of arms and inscription, (fn. 129) and on another slab a brass plate with inscription to Dorothy wife of Simon Mallory the younger, of Woodford, 'whoe had 15 sonnes and daughters' and was buried 5 June 1639.

There is some old glass in the top lights of the easternmost window of the north aisle; it is mostly yellow and white and comprises six figures, including a king and two saints.

In the west face of the northern compound pier is a heart-burial niche discovered during the restoration of 1867. (fn. 130)

A chest in the nave is dated 1686.

The pulpit and all the fittings are modern.

There are six bells, the treble and third by J. Taylor and Co., of Loughborough, 1913; the second and tenor, dated 1616; the fourth by Thomas Norris of Stamford, 1662; and the fifth by W. and J. Taylor of Oxford, 1839. (fn. 131)

The plate consists of a cup of c. 1570 with the maker's initials 1 M linked, a paten inscribed 'W. Yates, rector, W. Wootton, J. Hollis Eccl. Guard. 1683,' without date-letter, but with the mark E B thrice repeated; a jug-shaped flagon of 1863, and a silver gilt cup and paten of 1872; there is also a pewter flagon with the maker's mark r b. (fn. 132)

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1680–1800, marriages 1680–1753; (ii) marriages 1754–1812; (iii) baptisms 1806–1812, burials 1801–1812. The first pages of the third volume are cut out.


The church of All Saints or St. Mary (fn. 133) probably existed at the time of the Domesday survey, when the priest appears amongst the tenants of the Bishop of Coutances. (fn. 134) To which holding in Woodford the advowson belonged at that time is not apparent, but probably the Maufés claimed it. In 1205 an agreement was made between Walter Trailly and Lucas Maufé, the tenants of the two holdings, that each should hold a mediety of the advowson, (fn. 135) and this division remained. The Traillys' mediety was known as the northern, or later as Cock's mediety, (fn. 136) and was held by Walter's descendants until 1400, (fn. 137) when Sir John Trailly, knt., died seised of it. He seems, however, to have granted it to Sir Gerald Braybrook, knt., and Edmund Hampden, who presented in 1411. (fn. 138) Thomas Hampden and Richard Restwold presented in 1461, and John Hampden in 1511. (fn. 139) John Hampden appears to have granted the presentation to different people in 1524, 1526 and 1549, and finally to Simon Mallory, who presented in 1558. (fn. 140) In 1622, his nephew Simon Mallory sold a mediety of the advowson to Sir Rowland St. John, (fn. 141) but he had also inherited part at least of the other mediety, so that it is not certain what was included in the sale. (fn. 142) By 1648, however, the St. Johns had acquired both medieties, (fn. 143) and Lord St. John is the present patron of the living.

The other mediety, which was assigned in 1205 to Lucas Maufé and his heirs, was known as the southern or Style's mediety, (fn. 144) and was divided like the manor (q.v.) among the heiresses of Robert Maufé. In 1286 an arrangement was made by which John de Bois and his wife Alice and their heirs, as tenants of two parts of the manor, should make the first and third of every four presentations to the mediety, while Richard de Trailly, Roger de Bozoun, his wife Alice and their heirs, as tenants of a quarter of the manor, should make the fourth presentation, and Geoffrey Trailly, his son William and their heirs, the second presentation, as tenants of the last quarter of the manor. (fn. 145) The reversal of the order of presentation by the two Traillys was due to the fact that Richard de Trailly was to make the first presentation and in fact had already done so in 1285. (fn. 146) This arrangement is recited in a lawsuit of 1346 and can be traced in the presentations down to the 16th century. (fn. 147) The share of the Bois passed with their manor (q.v.) to Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who sold it in 1592 to Simon Mallory, (fn. 148) and it presumably passed with the other property of the Mallorys in Woodford to Sir Rowland St. John, who first presented to one of the medieties of the church in 1629. (fn. 149) Richard de Trailly's share passed with his manor (q.v.) to the Thorleys, and William Thorley presented in 1494, (fn. 150) but it is not mentioned amongst his possessions at his death in 1515, (fn. 151) nor in subsequent sales of Thorley's Manor. (fn. 152) Geoffrey de Trailly's share in the mediety of the church also followed the descent of his quarter share in the manor (q.v.). After the subdivision of this holding on the death of Hugh de la Hay, William Rockingham presented in 1400, William Farnham and John Welles in 1437, Roger Lenton and John Welles in 1446, William Aldwinkle and Roger Lenton in 1455. (fn. 153) In none of the later conveyances of Lenton's, however, is any share of the advowson mentioned, (fn. 154) but in 1562 Robert Barley sold a quarter of a quarter of the mediety of the advowson to Simon Mallory, (fn. 155) who presumably also acquired in some way the remaining shares in this mediety of the advowson.

The abbot of Peterborough received, in the 13th century, 5 marks a year from the rectory of Woodford. (fn. 156) After the dissolution of the abbey, this portion was granted in 1541 to the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough. (fn. 157)


The Woodford Charity Estate, administered by nine trustees in conformity with the provisions of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 12 July 1896, comprises the charity of Peter Gray (deed 7 May 1577), endowment 39 a. 3 r. of land and 4 cottages and barn in Woodford and a sum of £35 7s. 10d. Consols with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, produced by the sale in 1916 of a small piece of land known as the Schoolmaster's Garden and the charity of Susannah Louisa Baroness St. John—will proved in Prerogative Court 29 Nov. 1805—endowment of £129 0s. 11d. Consols with the Official Trustees. The land is let in allotments, and with the cottages produced £90 8s. 4d. in 1924. The dividends on the stock amount to £4 2s. yearly. The income is applied in subscriptions to hospitals and in the distribution of coal.

Whaley's Money. A rentcharge or customary payment of 13s. 4d. has long been received by the churchwardens out of land and distributed yearly among five poor widows. This charity is ascribed to donations by persons named Wales and Forscott.

The Church Land was awarded by the Commissioners upon inclosures in Woodford and Denford to the churchwardens of Woodford. The Denford inclosure took place in 1766. The property consists of 14 a. 3 r. 5 p. of land in Woodford let for £18 17s. yearly and 3 r. of land in Denford let for £2 yearly. The Official Trustees hold a sum of £1,997 15s. 10d. Consols arising from investments of rents and royalties and producing £49 18s. 8d. yearly. The income is applied towards general church expenses.


  • 1. Whellan, Hist. of Northants. 1874.
  • 2. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 3. Act of Parlt. 3 Geo. III, c. 8; Recov. R. Trin. 6 Geo. III, ro. 275 (deeds and writings).
  • 4. V.C.H. Northants. i, 317b.
  • 5. Chron. Petrob. (Camden Soc.), p. 23; Feud. Aids, iv, 12; Cott. MS. (B.M.) Cleop. C i, fol. 146; Cal. Inq. Hen. VII, i, no. 297.
  • 6. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xxx, 117.
  • 7. V.C.H. Northants. i, 317a.
  • 8. Chron. Petrob. (Camden Soc.), 173n.
  • 9. V.C.H. Northants. 388b. In the notes to the survey these two holdings are said to represent the 1 hide and 1 virgate held of the Bishop of Coutances in 1086 by one Ralph. The 1½ hides assigned to Guy Trailly may, however, represent the Coutance lands, and are mistakenly assigned to the abbey.
  • 10. Ibid. 366–7.
  • 11. Pytchley, Bk. of Fees (Northants. Rec. Soc.), 60n.
  • 12. Chron. Petrob. (Camden Soc.), p. 173; Pytchley, loc. cit.; S. Gunton, Hist. Peterborough, 131; Sparke, Hist. Angl. Script Var. 59; Egerton MS. (B.M.), 2733.
  • 13. Pytchley, loc. cit.
  • 14. Ibid; Cal. Chart. 1226–57, 20.
  • 15. Cal. Curia Reg. i, 27; Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxii, fol. 100.
  • 16. Red Bk. of Excheq. (Rolls Ser.), 619.
  • 17. Pytchley, loc. cit. quoting the Liber Niger of Peterborough and Hugh Candidus.
  • 18. Rot. Robt. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 225; Cott. MS. (B.M.) Cleop. C i, fol. 146; Soc. Antiq. MS. 60, fol. 248. d.
  • 19. De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270.
  • 20. Soc. Antiq. MS. 60, fol. 248 d; Egerton MS. (B.M.) 2733, fol. 148.
  • 21. De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270; Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 36 Hen. III.
  • 22. Pytchley Bk. of Fees, p. 157. Here the fourth daughter of Robert de Maufé (by mistake called Vere) is said to have married Roger de Kirkton; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 7.
  • 23. Chron. Petrob. 23.
  • 24. Feet of F. Northants. 12 Edw. I, case 174, file 53, no. 113; ibid. Mich. 13 Edw. I; Cott. MS. Cleop. C. i, fol. 146.
  • 25. Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxi, fol. 78.
  • 26. Pytchley Bk. of Fees, 60 n; Feud. Aids, iv, 12, 29; Chron. Petrob. 144; Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxii, fols. 47 d, 88 d. The lands of Nicholas de Bois of Woodford, decd. were taken into the King's hands in 1307 (Cal. Fine, ii, 3); Cott. MS. Cleop. C i, fol. 146.
  • 27. Cal. Close. 1369–74, p. 68.
  • 28. Ibid. 1385–89, p. 143.
  • 29. Add. MS. (B.M.) 25288 fols. 8 b, 44d; Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, p. 267, cit. Episc. Reg.
  • 30. Add. MS. (B.M.) 25288, fols. 10, 44d.
  • 31. Ibid.; fols. 10, 44 d.
  • 32. Bridges, op. cit. 268; cf. Irthlingborough.
  • 33. Bridges, loc. cit; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 587, no. 40.
  • 34. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 4 Hen. VI; Feud. Aids, iv, p. 49.
  • 35. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 36. Ibid.; Early Chan. Proc. bdle 587, no. 40.
  • 37. Cal. Inq. Hen. VII, i, no. 297.
  • 38. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xxix, 3; G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 39. Feet of F. Div. Cos. Hil. 2 Eliz.; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccxliv, 115; Feet of F. Northants. East. 27 Eliz.
  • 40. Ibid. Hil. 34 Eliz.; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. (Var. Coll.) iii, 66–71; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), cclxxxviii, 119. In this inquisition on the death of Simon Mallory, no mention is made of any manor in Woodford, only of very considerable holdings of lands, etc.
  • 41. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 19 Jas. I; Recov. R. Hil. 19 Jas. I, ro. 17.
  • 42. G.E.C. Complete Peerage; Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 22 Chas. I; Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo I, ro. 128; ibid. Mich. 21 Geo. III, ro. 427.
  • 43. Whellan, op. cit.
  • 44. G.E.C. Complete Peerage (New Ed.); Whellan, op. cit. p. 77, cf. Drayton in Lowick parish.
  • 45. De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270.
  • 46. Ibid.; Chron. Petrob. 22; Feud. Aids, iv, 12.
  • 47. Chron. Petrob. 144; De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270.
  • 48. Cott. MS. Vesp. Exxii, fols. 38, 46 d, 112 d; Feud. Aids, iv, 29; see Thrapston.
  • 49. Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxi, fol 78 d.
  • 50. Ibid. Cleop. C i, fol. 146; Cal. Close, 1354–60, p. 659.
  • 51. Cal. Fine, vii, p. 200, 212; Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III (pt. i), no. 36.
  • 52. Add. MS. 25288, fols. 8, 15; Feud. Aids, iv, 49.
  • 53. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 54. Ibid.
  • 55. Ibid. p. 266.
  • 56. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xxx, 117.
  • 57. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 9 Eliz.
  • 58. Ibid. Mich. 2 Jas. I; Recov. R. East. 3 Jas. I, ro. 101.
  • 59. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 1652.
  • 60. De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270; Chron. Petrob. 22.
  • 61. Ibid. 150.
  • 62. Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxii, fol. 112d.
  • 63. Feud. Aids, iv, p. 29.
  • 64. Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxii, fol. 110d.
  • 65. Ibid. xxi, fol. 79d. In 1346, John de Drayton sued Robert de Bois for the presentation to the mediety of the advowson of the church, as having the custody of John Trailly, a grandson of William. The result does not appear, but neither John de Drayton nor his father, who was said to have died seised of ¼ of the manor, appears to have done homage to the abbot; cf. De Banco R. no. 395, m. 270.
  • 66. Cott. MS. Cleop. C ii, fols. 151d, 253d.
  • 67. Ibid. i, fols. 146, 133.
  • 68. Cal. Pat. 1364–7, p. 124; Cal. Close, 1364–68, p. 111.
  • 69. Add. MS. 25288, fol. 15.
  • 70. Ibid.
  • 71. Feud. Aids, iv, 49.
  • 72. Bridges, op. cit, ii. 267, cit. Episc. Reg.
  • 73. Ibid. 266.
  • 74. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 4 & 5 Eliz.
  • 75. Cott. MS. Cleop. C ii, fol. 151d.
  • 76. Feud. Aids, iv, 49.
  • 77. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 78. Close R. 11 Edw. IV, m. 5; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xviii, 95.
  • 79. For descent see Aldwinkle All Saints; Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 25 and 26 Eliz.; Hil. 39 Eliz.; Hil. 16 Chas. I.
  • 80. Ibid. Hil. 1657.
  • 81. Feud. Aids, iv. 49; Chan. Inq. p.m. Hen. V. nos. 43 & 103.
  • 82. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 19 Jas. I.
  • 83. Feet of F. Northants. East. 43 Edw. III. Tissington had the wardship of Henry Bozoun, who came of age in 1369 (see ante.)
  • 84. V.C.H. Northants. i, 311.
  • 85. Ibid.
  • 86. Ibid. 388b.
  • 87. Feud. Aids, iv, 12; Chron. Petrob. p. 114; Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. II, no. 68; 36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 36; 46 Edw. III (1st nos), no. 62; 16 Ric. II, no. 27; 22 Ric. II, no. 46; 4 Hen. IV, no. 41.
  • 88. V.C.H. Northants. i, p. 311.
  • 89. Ibid. 388b.
  • 90. V.C.H. Beds. iii, 176; Feud. Aids, iv, 12; Cal. Fine, vii, 212; Chan. Inq. p.m. 46 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 62.
  • 91. Ibid. 22 Ric. II, no. 46.
  • 92. Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.) 203; Bk. of Fees, ii, 937.
  • 93. Feud. Aids, iv, 12; Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 36; 4 Hen. IV, no. 41; Cal. Fine, vii, 212.
  • 94. Chan. Inq. p.m. 6 Hen. V, no. 43.
  • 95. Ibid. 8 Hen. V, no. 103.
  • 96. Ibid. 30 Hen. VI, no. 13.
  • 97. Ibid. (Ser. ii), xviii, 511.
  • 98. Ibid. (Ser. ii), lxxxix, 99; cxii, 115; Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 12 Eliz.; W. C. Metcalfe, Visit. of Northants. pp. 35, 112.
  • 99. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 7; Chron. Petrob. p. 114.
  • 100. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.) ii, 7.
  • 101. Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo. I, ro. 128; Mich. 21 Geo. III, ro. 372.
  • 102. V.C.H. Northants. i, 317b.
  • 103. Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo. I, ro. 128.
  • 104. Ibid. Hil. 19 Jas. I, ro. 17.
  • 105. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), cclxxxviii, 109.
  • 106. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix, pt. i, g. 141 (75).
  • 107. Pat. R. 2 Eliz. pt. 13.
  • 108. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), clxxi, 101.
  • 109. Ibid. ccccvi, 4.
  • 110. Cott. MS. Cleop. C ii, fol. 151d.
  • 111. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 34 Eliz.
  • 112. Ibid. Hil. 22 Eliz.; Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo. I, ro. 128; Mich. 29 Geo. III. ro. 564.
  • 113. The former window was of four lights with intersecting mullions.
  • 114. They are of two trefoiled lights similar to the west window of the north aisle. Formerly the north window was of two lights with forked mullion and that on the south a three light perpendicular insertion: Chs. Archd. Northampt. 85.
  • 115. It probably opened originally to a sacristy covering the middle bay.
  • 116. Assoc. Arch. Soc. Reps. xxix, 457. The window is now blocked on the outside by the organ: the opening is 3 ft. 5 in. high by 18 in. wide, and the sill is 2 ft. 8 in. above the floor.
  • 117. Three shafts of the western and two of the eastern pier alone are visible.
  • 118. The pier is of greater diameter than that opposite in the north arcade.
  • 119. The north aisle arch is new. In 1849 the responds alone remained: Chs. Archd. Northampt. 87.
  • 120. The plan of the porch is an oblong measuring 8 ft. 6 in. from west to east by 5 ft.; the vaulting ribs are chamfered.
  • 121. The theory that it constituted a dwelling house above a vaulted undercroft used for no special purpose is not convincing and seems only to have been advanced to account for an unusual feature.
  • 122. The new windows in the east bay of the chancel are copied from these.
  • 123. There is no indication of the doorway to the loft, but it may be hidden by the plaster.
  • 124. It is 6½ in. wide by 7½ in. high.
  • 125. The pinnacles were probably added when the spire was built; their plan 'consists of eight alternate rounds and hollows, the top is a composition of heads and crocketed canopies and is crowned by a finial': Chs. Archd. Northampt. 82.
  • 126. There are four orders on the west side, the two outer dying out.
  • 127. V.C.H. Northants. i. 401.
  • 128. 'For upwards of twenty years the effigies were reposing at the west end of the church, having been removed from their arch, but on paving the north aisle in 1845 they were placed near their original situation at the east end of the aisle' (Cole, MS. Hist. of Woodford). They were subsequently replaced under the arch.
  • 129. The inscription reads: 'Here lyethe Symon Malory the elder esquyer who dyed the daye of in the yere of our Lorde God MCCCCCLXXX and whos soule is in the greate mercye of Jesus Christ our Savyor.'
  • 130. It contained a box in which a human heart was found wrapped in a piece of cloth: Northampt. N. & Q. 1884–5, p. 75.
  • 131. The treble was added in 1913 to a ring of five, and all the bells rehung. The old second (now third) was by Tobie Norris 1673. The inscriptions on the old bells are given in North, Ch. Bells of Northants. 450.
  • 132. Markham, Ch. Plate of Northants. 321.
  • 133. De Banco R. 537, m. 222; Recov. R. Hil. 19 Jas. I, ro. 17; Bacon, Liber Regis, p. 823.
  • 134. V.C.H Northants. i, 311.
  • 135. Feet of F. Northants, Trin. 7 John. The name Tilly in the fine seems an obvious error for Trailly.
  • 136. Bridges, op. cit. ii, 267; Bacon, loc. cit.
  • 137. Bridges, loc. cit.; Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), pp. 203, 226; Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Hen. IV, pt. 1, no. 42.
  • 138. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 139. Ibid.
  • 140. Ibid.
  • 141. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 19 Jas. I.
  • 142. Ibid. Hil. 34 Eliz.; W. C. Metcalfe, Visit. of Northants. pp. 25, 112.
  • 143. Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.) 1629, 1638, 1648.
  • 144. Bridges, loc. cit.; Bacon, loc. cit.
  • 145. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 14 Edw. I.
  • 146. Bridges, loc. cit.; Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 14 Edw. I.
  • 147. De Banco R. 395, m. 270; Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 148. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 34 Eliz.
  • 149. Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 150. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 151. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xxx, 117.
  • 152. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 9 Eliz.; East. 40 Eliz.; Mich. 2 Jas. I; Mich. 1652.
  • 153. Bridges, op. cit. 268 (Wm. Bukyngham is given probably in error for Wm. Rockingham.)
  • 154. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xviii, 95, 511; Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 12 Eliz.; Mich. 25 & 26 Eliz.; Hil. 16 Chas. I; Hil. 1657.
  • 155. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 4 & 5 Eliz.
  • 156. Cott. MS. Vesp. E xxii, fol. 60 d; Pope Nicb. Tax (Rec. Com.), 40.
  • 157. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, g. 1226 (10).