Parishes: Luddington

Pages 83-84

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

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Lullintone, Lullinthone (xi to xiii cent.); Lylington, Lollington, Lullyngton (xiv cent.); Lodyngton in the Brooke (xv cent.); Leddyngton, als. Luddyngton, als. Lullyngton (xvi cent.); Ludington als. Lullington (xviii cent.).

The parish of Luddington, or Luddington-in-theBrook, lies on the borders of Huntingdonshire and a small part of it falls within the Hundred of Leightonstone in that county. It covers 1,104 acres on a subsoil of Oxford clay, with a border of cornbrash in the east. Of this area rather more than a third is pasture, about eight acres are woodland, and the rest is arable, producing chiefly wheat and barley. The average height above the ordnance datum is 200 ft.

A long and rather narrow tract of land in the east of the parish stretches south of Lutton and east of Hemington along the county boundary in Gipsy Lane to the Rectory Farm. Farther south on the east the road from Great Gidding enters the parish and runs through the village in a north-westerly direction into Hemington, passing the church of St. Margaret and the Church Farm. A very winding stream called Alconbury Brook rises in the Great Hall Spinney north of the church and flows in a south-easterly direction through a tract of land liable to floods. In the early part of the 18th century the county historian described the situation of the village as 'low and dirty' from the overflowing of this rivulet, and attributed its title of Luddington-in-theBrook to this cause. (fn. 1)

In 1921 the population of Luddington consisted of 65 persons.


A hide and a half in LUDDINGTON which was parcel of Oundle were held of Peterborough Abbey by Walter in 1086. (fn. 2) The lordship of the Abbey over this fee continued without interruption until its surrender in 1539. (fn. 3)

The names of Walter's successors in the 12th century and early 13th have not been preserved. A mesne lordship over the fee was held by Richard Poure, possibly the Shropshire and Stafford landowner of that date, in 1243. (fn. 4) It came afterwards to the Marmion lords of Lutton manor, of which the manor of Luddington was a member, until John Marmion, who did homage to the abbot of Peterborough in 1300, (fn. 5) released all his rights in Luddington to the Abbey. (fn. 6)

In 1243 William de Lullington was subtenant to Richard Poure, holding half a knight's fee of the old enfeoffment, of him. (fn. 7) He presented to the church four years later, (fn. 8) but in or before 1275 had been succeeded as patron by Gregory de Lullington. (fn. 9) Within the next thirty years the manor had passed into the possession of John, son of Thomas de Oundle, probably Gregory's grandson, (fn. 10) who held it of John Marmion by homage and fealty and service of half a knight's fee. (fn. 11)

In 1304 he granted it to the abbot of Peterborough, its chief lord, John Marmion, the mesne lord giving his consent. (fn. 12)

Abbot Godfrey de Crowland assigned the manor to the convent for his anniversary. (fn. 13) He was returned as lord of Luddington in 1316, (fn. 14) and it remained among the temporalities of his house until the surrender of the Abbey in 1539. (fn. 15) In 1544 it was granted to Sir Edward Montagu, (fn. 16) and followed the descent of Barnwell St. Andrew (q.v.), but was not sold by the Duke of Buccleuch in 1913, and the duke is still owner of the manor. Mr. James Cheney is one of the chief landowners in the parish.

Land in Luddington formed part of a knight's fee in Great Gidding and Luddington, given by Ingeram de Owe (Auco) to the Austin Canons of Huntingdon (fn. 17) and confirmed to them by Henry I. (fn. 18) The lands and rents of the Priory in Fotheringhay and Luddington together were valued at £4 9s. 1d. in 1291 (fn. 19) and in 1539 its rents in Luddington alone amounted to 102s. 11d. (fn. 20) The possessions of this house in Luddington remained with the Crown until 1546, when they were sold with the manor of Great Gidding to Edward Watson of Rockingham and Henry Herdson, skinner, of London, (fn. 21) who in the same year obtained licence to convey them to Sir Edward Montagu. (fn. 22)


The church of ST. MARGARET consists of chancel, 22 ft. 3 in. by 14 ft. 2 in.; clearstoried nave, 39 ft. by 15 ft.; south aisle, 9 ft. 6 in. wide; south porch and west tower, 6 ft. 2 in. by 6 ft. 8 in., all these measurements being internal. The tower is surmounted by a short broach spire. The building is almost entirely of 15th century date, but it appears to have taken the place of a 13th century church, which seems to have had both north and south aisles. The building was very completely restored in 1874, the chancel being in a great measure modern work, but four lancet windows, three on the north and one on the south, which had survived the 15th-century rebuilding, were retained in modern form. The buttresses and part of the walling at the west end of the nave may belong to the 13th-century church, the north buttress indicating the line of the former north arcade.

The building is of rubble masonry, with plain parapets, large grotesque gargoyles, (fn. 23) and leaded roofs to nave and aisle. The chancel is covered with grey slates. All the roofs are modern. The spire dates only from 1874, but is said to be a copy of a spire long ago destroyed; before the restoration only its base remained, covered with a slated pyramidal roof.

The chancel retains no ancient features except its 15th-century arch with moulded capitals and bases. The rood loft doorway remains on the north side, approached by a stairway, still perfect, in the north nave wall, here thickened out. The nave arcade consists of three pointed arches of two chamfered orders, the outer running down the piers to the ground, the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. All the windows of the nave are four-centered, those of the clearstory of two cinquefoiled lights, the others of three lights, and at the east end of the aisle, in the usual position, is a piscina with four-centered head and quatrefoil bowl.

The tower is divided by string courses into five short stages, and has clasping buttresses and bellchamber windows of two cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head. The tower arch is lofty and of a single chamfered order. There is no vice.

The font is of 15th century date, with plain octagonal bowl and stem.

The oak pulpit and the seating are modern, but some old linen pattern panels have been used up and have been copied in the bench ends. There is a good carved oak chest, probably of 16th-century date.

The only ancient glass consists of some fragments of late 15th-century canopy work in the east window of the aisle and in one in the north wall. (fn. 24)

The two bells in the tower were cast by Henry Penn, of Peterborough, in 1710. (fn. 25) The frames were renewed in 1861.

The plate consists of a silver gilt cup and cover paten of 1640, both bearing the initials of Richard Faulkner, and the date 1641. (fn. 26) There are also a pewter alms plate and a brass alms dish.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1673–86, 1702–31, 1733–58, marriages 1673–1702, 1711–43, burials 1635–92, 1711–57; (ii) baptisms and burials 1759–1812; (iii) marriages 1754–1812.


The church, which until the latter part of the 18th century was dedicated to St. Andrew, (fn. 27) has been known as the church of St. Margaret of Antioch since 1791. (fn. 28) It was included in the grant of the manor (q.v.) by John, son of Thomas de Oundle, to the Abbey of Peterborough, and remained one of the possessions of that house until its surrender. (fn. 29) Sir Edward Montagu bought it with the manor in 1544.

The rectory, which was united to the vicarage of Hemington before 1854, has, with the advowson, followed the descent of the manor. In 1920 it was conveyed by the Duke of Buccleuch with Hemington to Mr. Benjamin Measures.


An annuity of 13s. 4d. is payable out of the estates of Lord Montagu for distribution to the poor. The origin of the charity is unknown.


  • 1. Bridges, Hist. of Northants. ii, 402–4.
  • 2. V.C.H. Northants. i, 316a.
  • 3. Egerton MS. 2733, ff. 134, 134b; Cott. MS. Vesp. E. xxi, fol. 12d; Chan. Inq. a.q.d. file 49, no. 4; Feud. Aids, iv, 23; Pat. R. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. 6, m. 1.
  • 4. Pytchley, Bk. of Fees (Northants Rec. Soc.), ii, 968, 69; Egerton MS. 2733, fol. 134b.
  • 5. Cott. MS. Vesp. E. xxi, fol. 12d.
  • 6. V.C.H. Northants. ii, 584–85.
  • 7. Egerton MS. 2733 fol. 134b.
  • 8. Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 226.
  • 9. Rot. Ric. Gravesend (Cant. and York Soc.), 127. A John de Lullington and Benigna, his daughter, appear about 1260–70. Buccleuch Deeds, A 37, G 8, H 28.
  • 10. Walter de Whyttleseye (Sparke, Hist. Angl. Script. pp. 157–8) describes him as Gregory's son.
  • 11. Chan. Inq. a.q.d. file 49, no. 4; Cott. Chart. xv, 18.
  • 12. Chan. Inq. a.q.d. file 49, no. 4; Cott. Chart. xv, 18. Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 241; Cott. MS. Vesp. E. xxi, ff. 16b, 17; Ibid. Cleo. C. ii, fol. 81.
  • 13. Sparke, loc. cit.
  • 14. Feud. Aids, iv, 23.
  • 15. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 279.
  • 16. Pat. R. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. 6, m. 1.
  • 17. Chart. R. 114, m. 31.
  • 18. Cart. Antiq. H. no. 8.
  • 19. Pope Nich. Tax (Rec. Com.), 55b.
  • 20. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 253.
  • 21. Pat. R. 38 Hen. VIII, pt. 4, m. 40.
  • 22. Ibid. pt. 6.
  • 23. The gargoyles are a very conspicuous feature of the building; there are four on each side of the clearstory, four to the aisle, and four to the porch, all very large in comparison with the other architectural details.
  • 24. Bridges records the fragment of an inscription: 'Johe et Agnet uxoris ejus . . . fenestra . . .' in the uppermost north window, and another window, 'from the letters S and S in many places of it appears to have had the portraits of different saints.' He also records the arms of Montagu in the east window: Hist. of Northants. ii, 403.
  • 25. For inscriptions see North, Ch. Bells of Northants, 330.
  • 26. Markham, Ch. Plate of Northants. 181.
  • 27. Northants N. and Q. 1888, ii, 115; Bacon, Liber Regis, 328.
  • 28. Bridges, op. cit., ii, 402–4.
  • 29. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 293.