Parishes: Moulton Park

A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1937.

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'Parishes: Moulton Park', A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937), pp. 94-95. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Parishes: Moulton Park", in A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937) 94-95. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Parishes: Moulton Park", A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937). 94-95. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,


Moulton Park, which was formerly extra-parochial, was constituted a parish between 1851 and 1861, although for ecclesiastical purposes it is annexed to Moulton. It covers an area of nearly 853 acres, and consists almost entirely of the estate owned by the Governors of St. Andrew's Mental Hospital, Northampton, who have a branch establishment here. The land lies fairly high, Moulton Park House standing at 418 ft., while in no part of the parish is there a level lower than 344 ft. On the north west the property is inclosed by a stone wall, but few traces of the ancient park remain. Leland, writing before the middle of the 16th century, says: 'From Northampton to Kingesthorpe a mile and a little farther by Multon Parke, enclosed with stone, where is neately plentie of wood; it longgid a late to the Lord Vaux, now to the Kinge. In it is no building but a mene Lodge.' (fn. 1) By 1560 there were few or no oaks left in the park and the wood was mostly thorn, (fn. 2) and at the present day the old trees have disappeared and the plantations scattered over the estate are of modern growth.

In 1086 there were two small estates in Moulton, half a hide and one virgate respectively, held of the Countess Judith by Biscop and Hugh. (fn. 3) These small holdings probably escheated to the overlord, and were turned by him into a park, attached to the Castle of Northampton, and therefore at first known as Northampton or Moulton Park. (fn. 4) The sheriff was ordered in 1223 to cause the park to be inclosed by those who ought to contribute to such an undertaking, (fn. 5) and in 1229 he was told to turn out all the beasts except those belonging to the king, keeping enough pasture to fatten the oxen and beasts for the royal household in winter. (fn. 6) In 1235 an order was given to stock the park with 20 bucks and 68 does, (fn. 7) and in 1251 the sheriff was directed to inclose or fence Moulton Park and to certify the cost. (fn. 8) During the same year Robert Basset, then sheriff, was appointed keeper in the place of Robert de Mares, (fn. 9) the office in 1261 being conferred on Alan la Zouche. (fn. 10) The expenses of repairing the walls were partly defrayed by several townships in the county, and in 1276 the men of Roger de Furneus in Raunds, of Henry le Scot and Ralph de Normanvill in Cotes, of Oliver By dun and Simon de Cotes in Little Cotes and of Richard Trayley and Robert Punteney in Ringstead were arraigned before the Hundred Court for neglecting for the last 16 years to repair their share, (fn. 11) but at the same court the former sheriff, Roger de Seyton was reprimanded for levying 22s. from the vill of Chalcombe which was not contributory, (fn. 12) and the exemption of the men of that vill from this toll was especially recorded in 1285 in the inquisition taken after the death of Nicholas de Segrave. (fn. 13) The Butlers of Grimsbury, however, held their land there of the king by the service of repairing part of the wall whenever it was necessary, and the portion for which they were responsible was said in 1362 to be 16 feet. (fn. 14) Sir Nicholas Lilling was appointed keeper in 1390 (fn. 15) and during his term of office, in 1393, the walls were thoroughly overhauled and extensive repairs made. Two carts were employed for carrying stones to the faulty places, and at 10d. a day cost 30s. for 36 days, and 4 masons with 3 assistants were employed for 45 days. (fn. 16) The office of keeper was conferred by the sovereign upon his retainers as a reward of faithful services, (fn. 17) and in 1439 was obtained by Robert Roos, (fn. 18) and by Sir William Hastings and Ralph Hastings in 1462. (fn. 19) During the reign of Henry VIII, while Sir William Parr was keeper of the park, disputes arose with the inhabitants of the neighbouring parishes of Kingsthorpe, Boughton, and Moulton as to the limits of the warren of the park. (fn. 20) In 1560 the state of the park appears to have been lamentable. The two lodges were in such decay that one could not be repaired under £20 and the other under £10, while the park was inclosed with a wall so low 'that neither deer nor other beasts can be kept there', and in many parts the wall 'lyeth wyde open, the dere thereof daylye and nightlye go oute and fede of the corne and grasse growinge in the feildes nexte abowte adioyninge'. The wall would cost £66 13s. 4d. to repair while 30 oaks would not be sufficient to mend the rails and gates. At that time there were in the park 100 deer of all sorts, whereof 20 were antlered. (fn. 21) In 1574 it was stated that there was a 'frebourd' round about the park, 7 ft. from the walls and that the keepers were accustomed to cut down the bushes growing upon it in order to stop up the gaps in the walls and keep in the deer. (fn. 22) In 1576 Sir Christopher Hatton, afterwards Lord Chancellor, obtained a grant in fee of the custody of the park with the herbage and pannage (fn. 23) and at his death in 1591 it passed, according to a settlement, to his cousin Sir Christopher Hatton (fn. 24) who died in 1619 and was succeeded by his son, another Christopher, (fn. 25) afterwards Lord Hatton of Kirby, who in 1634 obtained a grant of the Park, to him and his heirs, to hold in chief of the king for one knight's fee at a fee-farm rent of £5. (fn. 26) During his lifetime, or that of his son Christopher, (fn. 27) the park was sold and passed into the possession of Sir Andrew Hackett of Moxhull, Warwickshire, who held it in 1690, (fn. 28) and at his death in 1705 it was inherited by his son, Lisle Hackett, (fn. 29) by whom it was sold in 1720 to William Thursby of Abington. (fn. 30) The Thursbys sold it some time after 1767 to Thomas Powys, afterwards Lord Lilford, of whom it was purchased about 1785 by Colonel Thomas Keating, who raised a regiment in Northamptonshire during the American War. (fn. 31) It apparently changed hands many times during the 19th century, and in 1871 was bought by Messrs. P. & R. Phipps, the brewers at Northampton, who pulled down the old house and built a plain brick house and farm premises near its site. (fn. 32) It was afterwards acquired by Sir John Blencowe Robinson, bart., of Kingsthorpe, who died there in 1877, (fn. 33) and has since become the property of the Governors of St. Andrew's Hospital.


  • 1. Leland, Itinerary, ed. 2, i, 12.
  • 2. Memo. R. L.T.R. East. 2 Eliz. m. 47.
  • 3. V.C.H. Northants. i, 352, 353.
  • 4. Simon 'Parcarius' or 'de Parco' occurs between 1203 and 1214 as holding land in Moulton, but there is nothing to suggest that he held in right of his office: Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 41; Curia Regis R. vii, 132, 187, 264.
  • 5. Close 7 Hen. III: cited by Baker, Northants. i, 52. Cf. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 19.
  • 6. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 240.
  • 7. Ibid. 1234–7, p. 136.
  • 8. Ibid. 1247–51, p. 437.
  • 9. Ibid. p. 414.
  • 10. Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), i, 17.
  • 11. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), ii, 10; cf. Assize R. 3 Edw. III, m. 9.
  • 12. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), ii. 6.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. 13 Edw. I, no. 47.
  • 14. Ibid. 33 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 7; ibid. 36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 26; ibid. 10 Rich. II, no. 99.
  • 15. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 325; ibid. 1399– 1401, p. 2, 343; Fine R. 1 Hen. V, pt. ii, m. 24.
  • 16. Add. Chart. 6047.
  • 17. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, p. 163; ibid. 1330–4, p. 47; Pat. 44, Edw. III, pt. i, m. 19; Cal. Pat. 1377–81, p. 135; ibid. 1385–9. p. 346.
  • 18. Ibid. 1436–41, p. 257; Fine R. 27 Hen. VI.
  • 19. Cal. Pat. 1461–7, p. 13.
  • 20. L. and P. Hen. VIII, iii, 2482, 3146; ibid. xvi, 1053.
  • 21. Memo. R. L.T.R. East. 2 Eliz. m. 42.
  • 22. Excheq. Dep. Mich. 16 and 17, Eliz. no. 10.
  • 23. Pat. 19 Eliz. pt. 8, m. 29.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxxii, 82.
  • 25. Ibid. (Ser. 2), ccclxxvi, 100.
  • 26. Pat. 10 Chas. I, pt. viii, no. 8.
  • 27. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 1649; Cal. of Com. for Compounding, 1580–1; Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 1656.
  • 28. Ibid. Mich. 2 Will, and M.
  • 29. Bk. of Deeds belonging to Ishams of Lamport, p. 205.
  • 30. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 6 Geo. I; Bridges, Northants. i, 420; Recov. R. Trin. 10 Geo. II, m. 128.
  • 31. Baker, Northants. i, 53.
  • 32. Whellan, Northants. 1874.
  • 33. G.E.C. Baronetage, iii, 54.