Skip to main content

Full text of "The stone crosses of the county of Northhampton"

See other formats






Of this work not more than 50 large paper and 
200 small paper copies have been printed, of which 
this is IVo. //( , small paper. 



^ 6'n'/i r/rc/o//)/ j/^r/u^'^y ,/ .J/ur/t £/.j;.i.von. /f^'frr ^AcrfA^i >/////<>„■ 


Stone Crosses 


County of Northampton 




" The Cross of Christ." 

X M C) n : 


Hortbampton : 













C. A. M. 










INDEX 121 


Oueen's Cross, near Northampton, from Engraving published by the 
Society of Antiquaries in 1791 . . . . Frontispiece 

Oueen's Cross, Geddington, from Engraving published by the Society 
of Antiquaries in 1791 ....... To face 

Queen's Cross, Geddington 

Oueen's Cross, near Northampton, el 
Statues of Queen Eleanor 
Antiquaries viewing Oueen's Cross 
Churchyard Cross, Apethorp 
Village Cross, Bainton 

Churchyard Cross, Barnack 
,, ,, Blisvvorth 

,, ,, Boddington . 

Monument, Boughton 
Churchyard Cross, Brampton 
Market Cross, Brigstock 
Bocase Stone .... 
Village Cross, Brington 
Churchyard Cross, Brixvvorth . 
Market Cross, Bri.xvvorth . 

Churchyard Cross, Castor . 
Wayside Cross, Castor 
Crosses, Gunvvade Ferry 
Market Cross, Chipping Warden 
Mounting Block, ,, ,, 

Churchyard Cross, Cogenhoe 
Boundary Stone, Corby 
Churchyard Cross, Cottcrstock . 
Village Cross, Cotterstock . 
Market Cross, Culvvorth 

vation an 

d details 

To face S 






Cluirchyard Cross, Desborough . 

,, ,, Earl's Barton 

,, ,, Eydon 

Market Cross, Harring worth 

,, ,, Helpston 

Churchyard Cross, Cold Higham 

,, Higham Ferrers 
Market Cross, Higham Ferrers 
,, ,, Irthlingborough 

,, ,, King's CHff 

Village Crosses, Longthorp 
,, ,, Marham . 

Crosses, Maxey . 
Churciiyard Cross, Mear's Ashby 

,, ,, Morton Pinkeney 

,, ,, Moulton 

Village Cross, Naseby 
Churchyard Cross, Nassington . 

,, ,, Ne\vton-in-the-Willo\vs 

,, ,, Saint Peters, Nortiiampton 

,, ,, The Holy Sepulchre, Northampt 

Market Cross, Northampton 

,, ,, Oundle 

Churchyard Cross, Peakirk 

,, ,, Peterborougi 

,, ,, Raundes 

Market Cross, Rockingham 
Churchyard Cross, Rothersthorj 


Stoke Doyle . 


Village Cross, Sywell . 
Churchyard Cross, Upton 
Bridge Cross, Wansford 



75. 76 




















1 10 




IN the County of Northampton, including the Soke 
of Peterborough, there are many more churchyard, 
market, village, and wayside crosses than are generally 
known, even to natives of the shire. 

It is true that here there are not numbers of pre- 
historic crosses, similar to those sown broadcast over 
Cornwall ; mighty monoliths, similar to those found at 
Stonehenge or the smaller ones in Anglesea, Orkney, 
and other places ; or magnificent market crosses, similar 
to those found in many of the southern counties of 

Still, the remains of some forty churchyard, ten 
market, twenty village, four wayside, and Wve memorial 
■crosses, with sundry boundary stones, make a total 
by no means insignificant. 

Amongst these stones are many fragments of Saxon 
churchyard crosses, and the interlacing patterns of the 
ornamentation of several of these are very interesting 
and uncommon, the re[)resentation of the Crucifixion 
at Nassington being especially worthy ot notice. The 
cross at Cogenhoe is a beautiful and, as fir as this 
county is concerned, a unique piece of work. Several 
of the later crosses, particularly those in the churchyards 


at Raundes and Higham Ferrers, are good examples of 
the Decorated period. 

Some of the market crosses are also of considerable 
merit, those at Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough 
of the Early English and that at Helpston of the 
Decorated period being the most interesting, the 
cross at the latter village is a most charming and 
uncommon erection. 

This county is also in the proud position of 
possessing two, out of the three remaining, beautiful 
memorials built by King Edward in memory of his wife 

The list of crosses here given has been most care- 
fully compiled ; but, although the writer has personally 
visited every town and village in the county, it is 
quite possible or even probable that portions of other 
crosses still remain. These fragments turn up from 
time to time, now buried in the foundations of a 
church, now used as a fort, then as a bench in a 
cottage garden, and anon as a mounting block in a 

With the exception of a few entries in our County 
Histories, which have been as far as possible noted, 
the historical materials relating to these crosses are 
so extremely small, that, when the structures themselves 
have been described, there is little more to say about 

A very large number of engravings of the crosses- 
at Geddington and Hardingston have been published r 
but few of the other crosses have been illustrated in 
any work. 

Of the crosses still remaining, it will be found that 
no two are alike in design ; even the sockets are quite 

PREFA CE. xiii 

■distinct in shape and proportions, the one from the 

Many of the crosses have, at various times, been 
restored ; but such restorations are seldom successful. 
The market cross at Brio^stock was made in Queen 
Elizabeth's reign on ancient steps and socket ; and the 
pillar at Desborough was also constructed on the base 
of a much more ancient cross. The restoration of the 
cross at Rockingham is, however, most excellent, and 
worthy of all praise. 

As the history of crosses is so intimately connected 
with that of markets, the writer has thought that it 
would be well to give a complete list of the markets 
and fairs held in the county, including those places 
at which there is no record of a cross. 

The writer first dealt with this subject in a paper 
he read before the Architectural Society for the Arch- 
deaconries of Northampton and Oakham in 1895, 
which has now been expanded and published in a 
separate form, his desire being to do for this county 
what was done for the counties of Gloucester and 
Somerset by the late Mr. Charles Pooley, F.S.A. 

Our thanks are due to many who have given in- 
formation and assistance ; and especially to the late 
Sir Henry Dryden, Bart, and the late Mr. J. T. Irvine 
for the loans of drawings, the sketches of the crosses 
at Barnack, Castor, Longthorp, and Peakirk being 
from drawings by the latter ; to Mr. Albert Hartshorne, 
F.S.A., for information as to the cross at Cogenhoe, 
and to Mr. R. P. Brereton for information as to crosses 
at Stanion, Stoke Doyle, and Warmington ; to the Rev. 
R. M. Serjeantson and Mr. F. W. Bull for references 
to wills; to Mr. M. H. Holding for kindly criticism; 


to Messrs. Able & Sons for loan of copperplates and 
woodcuts of Queen's Cross, Northampton, and to 
Mr. John Taylor for loan of cut of the Northampton 
market cross, and of engraving of Antiquaries viewing 
Queen's Cross ; and to Mr. Stuart Beattie for loan 
of enofravino: of Oundle market cross. 

C. A. M. 


FROM the earliest times rough stone pillars have 
been erected by men of all nations, to be the 
evidence of a covenant, to mark the graves of the 
dead, or to commemorate an event. 

Probably the earliest notices of such pillars are those 
contained in the books of Genesis and Joshua. 

When Jacob was journeying towards Padan-aram, 
he tarried in a certain place because the sun was set. 
He had a vision, in which God appeared to him with 
promises of blessings, and when he awoke he said, 
" Surely the Lord is in this place." So he rose up 
early, and took the stone that he had put for his pillow, 
set it up for a pillar, poured oil upon it, and said, " This 
stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's 
house." ^ 

Again, when Jacob, having prospered in the land of 
Padan-aram, was returning to his native country, God 
appeared again to him at Beth-el, and renewed the 
covenant with him. So Jacob at once " set up a pillar 
in the place where he [God] talked with him, even a 
pillar of stone : and he poured a drink offering thereon, 
and he poured oil thereon." - 

' Gen. xxviii. 16-22. - Gen. xxxv. 14. 


These stones, then, were erected as evidence of 
covenants between God and man, and were sanctified 
with wine and with oil. 

Again, when Jacob made a covenant with his father- 
in-law Laban, he took a stone and set it up for a pillar, 
and they gathered stones and made an heap, and they 
did eat upon the heap. And Laban called the pillar 
and the heap of stones to witness that neither he nor 
Jacob should pass over to do the other harm.'* 

Again, when Joshua, having gathered all the tribes 
of Israel together to Shechem, rehearsed to them the 
benefits the Lord had done to them, he called on them 
to serve the Lord their God, and " took a great stone, 
and set it up there under an oak, that was by the 
sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the 
people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us ; 
for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he 
spake unto us : it shall be therefore a witness unto you, 
lest ye deny your God." ^ 

These stones, then, were erected as evidence of 
covenants between man and man ; and in these cases, 
note well that the stones were not consecrated with wine 
or with oil. 

Surely this was a very grand idea, and worthy of 
the greatest of poets, of a stone becoming indued with 
human faculties, nay, more than human, and remaining 
to all time as an enduring record of the words it had 
heard. The same feeling was present with the great 
warrior who, when he addressed his troops in Egypt, 
said that forty centuries looked down on their deeds 
from the pyramids. 

Again, when Jacob, with his wives and family, was 

3 Gen. x.xxi. 45. '' Josh. xxiv. 26. 

INTR OD UCTION. x v i i 

journeying from Heth-cl, Rachel died, and was buried 
in the way to Ephrath, Jacob, according to his wont, 
'' set up a pillar upon her grave : that is the pillar of 
Rachel's grave unto this day." ^ 

This stone, then, was erected to mark the grave of 
the dead. 

Again, when the Children of Israel passed over 
Jordan, a man was chosen out of every tribe, and 
commanded to take out of the midst of Jordan, from 
the place where the priests' feet stood hrm, twelve 
stones, to carry them to the place where they lodged 
that night, and to set them up as a memorial unto the 
Children of Israel for ever. And these twelve stones 
were accordingly taken out of Jordan, and pitched in 
Gilgal. And Joshua also set up twelve stones in the 
midst of Jordan.^ 

These stones, then, were erected to commemorate 
an event. 

Monuments such as we have mentioned have been 
more or less reverenced in all ages ; and small stones 
or crosses have remained where they were placed, for 
centuries, although so small that they might have been 
moved by one man. 

No doubt, in course of time, the size of the structure 
was considered to add dignity, and so we pass from the 
small stones of savage and nomadic people to the mighty 
obelisks of the ancient Egyptians, and the great works 
of the Assyrians and Greeks. 

The task of tracing the history of stone monuments 
of all countries and of all ages would take us too tar 
afield ; therefore, after these slight preliminary remarks, 
I propose to say a few words about crosses generally ; 

■* Gen. xxxv. 20. "^ Josh. iv. 2. 


and then simply to deal with those stones still remain- 
ing in this county which are uncommon or interesting, 
both those which are in the form of crosses, and 
which otherwise appear pertinent to the subject of 
this work. 

Immediately after the death of Christ, the cross 
became the token of the Christian's religion, for Saint 
Chrysostom informs us that the early Christians care- 
fully painted the cross on their doors, walls, and 
windows, as a symbol of their faith. Even in their 
persons they exhibited the same sign, praying with 
their arms extended, even as their Master's were on 
the tree. 

Constantine, in the fourth century after Christ, had 
the cross embossed on the helmets, engraved on the 
shields, and woven in the banners of his soldiers. 

Thus the cross became the emblem of the Christian's, 
as the crescent of the Moslem's faith. 

The Venerable Bede records that when Saint 
Augustine and his company visited England early in 
the seventh century, they were received by King 
Ethelbert for fear of magic, but "they came furnished 
with Divine, not with magic virtue, bearing a silver 
cross for their banner, and the image of our Lord and 
Saviour painted on a board." " 

The first absolute record that we have of the fixing 
of a cross into British soil was when King Oswald, about 
640, before engaging in battle against the barbarians, 
erected " the sign of the holy cross, and on his knees 
prayed to God that he would assist his worshippers in 
their great distress. It is further reported, that the 
cross being made in haste, and the hole dug in which 

^ Ecclesiastical History^ by Venerable Bede (1840), p. 43. 


it was to be fixed, the king himself, fijll of faith, laid 
hold of it and held it with both his hands, till it was 
set fast by throwing in the earth ; and this done, 
raising his voice, he cried to the army, ' Let us all 
kneel and jointly beseech the true and living God 
Almighty, in his mercy, to defend us from the haughty 
and fierce enemy ; for he knows that we have 
undertaken a just war for the safety of our nation.' 
All did as he had commanded, and accordingly 
advancing towards the enemy with the first dawn of 
day, they obtained the victory, as their faith deserved." 
The place where this cross was erected was called 
in the English tongue Heofonfeld, which signifies "the 
heavenly field," and many miracles were recorded to 
have been performed by chips of wood cut from the 
cross. ^ 

In certain parts of England the pagan monuments 
were utilised by the Christians, who carved crosses on 
some, as they altered the names and characters of the 
figures engraved on others, in order to represent their 
own faith. 

Some of these early stones were called " bowing 
stones," because all who passed made obeisance to them. 

In the times of the Plantagenets it was usual for 
men to erect crosses on their houses and lands, in 
order that they might claim the privilege of Knights 
Templars to defend themselves against their rightful 
lords. But this practice became so common and so 
injurious to the chief lord, that by a statute passed 
in 1285 it was enacted that: 

" Forafmuch as many Tenants fet up Croffes, or 
caufe to be fet up in their Lands, in Prejudice of their 

*■ Ecclesiastical History, by Venerable Bede (1840), p. 126. 


Lords, that Tenants fliould defend themfelves againft 
the chief Lords of the Fee, by the Privileges of 
Templars and Hofpitalers " ; "(2) it is ordained, That 
fuch Lands Ihall be forfeit to the chief Lords, or to 
the King, in the fame Manner as is provided for Lands 
aliened in Mortmain^ 

No doubt crosses such as these were of a temporary 
nature, and probably were made of wood. 

In the Middle Ages the use of the cross became 
so common that even the alphabets used by children 
were written in the form of a cross, and thus the term 
"Christ cross row" became general. 

At the time of the plague, too, the sign of the cross 
was placed on the houses inhabited by families infected 
with this frightful disease, the words " Lord, have 
mercy upon us," being also usually added. 

The earliest form of cross was, probably, simply a 
plain, oblong stone, set upright on or in the earth, so 
as to form a rough shaft. In course of time the shaft 
was inserted into a socket, to give it stability. The 
shaft and socket were then raised on one or more steps, 
eight or ten being occasionally used. And finally, cross 
arms, a carved head, or some other ornament, was added 
to the summit of the shaft. 

It is worthy of note that when stones were put 
together in the most extensive and beautiful wav to 
form a place of worship, it was on the basis of a 
cross. From the earliest times the plan of all cathe- 
drals and the larger churches has been cruciform. In 
the east of Europe the arms or transepts ot the 
building were equal in length to the nave and chancel, 
while in the west the transepts and chancel were con- 

^ Stat. Wcstm., 2, c. 33. 


siderably shorter than the nave, these forms being 
respectively known as the Greek, or " Ideal," and the 
Latin, or " Suffering," cross. So that, even in the plan 
of his place of worship, the Christian has always kept 
in mind the shape of his sign of salvation. 

In this county there is a curious and unique example 
of a cruciform structure in the unfinished building 
known as " Lyvedon New Bield," which was erected 
about 1605 by Sir Thomas Tresham, who was zealous 
in the Romish persuasion, and suffered for his religion. 
The plan of this building is a perfect Greek cross, of 
good proportions, with a bay window at the end of 
each arm ; but as a residence the place would neither 
have been beautiful nor commodious. 

In England rude stone monuments were erected 
from very early times, but it was not until about a.d. 
43 1 that crosses were set up in churches and houses. 
And about a.d. 568 they were placed on steeples and 
on the towers of churches. ^° 

Stone crosses in England might have weathered 
wind and rain, heat and cold, and remained fairly 
perfect to the present time, if it had not been for 
another element. This came after the time of the 
Reformation. The Puritan power in London, in the 
seventeenth century, was very great, and the whole 
feeling of the country was strongly against any super- 
stitious uses whatever. The Parliament therefore made 
certain orders as to the manner in which services were 
to be conducted in churches. The House of Lords 
first made an order on the 16th January, 1 640-1, 
that services should be performed according to la\\ . 

'" Haydn's I)ictio7tary of Dates, 1889, p. 243. 


and that parsons should not introduce rites or ceremonies 
that might give offence. 

In SeptemlDer, 1641, the debate on innovations was 
renewed by the Commons ; and after a great deal 
of discussion, an order was framed to suppress all 
innovations in the worship of God, and that " all 
crucifixes scandalous pictures of any one or more 
persons of the Trinity and all images of the Virgin 
Mary should be taken away and abolished and all 
tapers candlesticks and basons removed from the 
Communion tables." ^^ This order was not agreed to 
by the Lords, so it was resolved by the Commons to 
print and publish the full order. The effect of this 
new regulation was that crosses were removed from 
churches ; and market, street, and wayside crosses were 
mutilated and, in many instances, entirely destroyed ; 
for " now they break down all the carved work thereof: 
with axes and hammers." And this destruction 
continued, until indeed the authorities became weary 
of their task of spoliation. 

Crosses in England may be divided into the 
following classes : Memorial, Churchyard, Market, 
Boundary, Wayside, Preaching, and Weeping Crosses. 

Memorial crosses were formerly erected to mark the 
spots where the bodies of eminent persons rested on 
the way from the places of death to the places of burial, 
as well as to mark the grave or simply to commemorate 
the memories of the deceased persons. Of the first 
kind was the wooden cross erected on the brido-e where 
the relics of St. Wandrigisilius rested during their 

The most memorable of such crosses, however, 

" Journals of the House of Co?nmons, 1641. 


either in this or any other country, are those which 
were built in memory of good Queen Eleanor, and 
of those three still remaining, two are in this county. 
Of the second class, there is the memorial raised to 
the " Northamptonshire Peasant-Poet," John Clare, 
at Helpston, the crosses commemorating the late 
Mrs. Watson in the village of Rockingham, John Leet 
and Francis Buttanshaw in the churchyard at Cotter- 
stock, and Mr. H. P. Gates at Peterborough. 

Funeral monuments are appropriately marked with 
a cross, the earliest form being probably a tall pyramidal 
sculptured stone. 

Churchyard crosses were raised in almost every 
churchvard throuQ^hout the land, and of these many, 
in a more or less complete condition, are still in exist- 
ence. The proper position for these crosses is to the 
south-east of the south door, so that all should see the 
cross on entering the church, as at Church Brampton, 
Preston Capes, Spratton, and Upton. The position 
was, however, often varied, because of the position ot 
the church being to the south of the village, or for 
other reasons, as at Blis worth, Higham Ferrers, and 
other places. The object of these crosses was " to 
inspire recollection in those persons who approached, 
and reverence towards the mysteries at which they 
were to be present." Ihe churchyard cross generally 
consisted of a tall shaft standing on steps, sometimes 
surmounted by a canopied head with statuettes, some- 
times by a cross finial, and sometimes by a crucifix, 
and it was often very highly ornamented. 

Crec[jin^ to the cross was a l^ojMsh ceremony of 
penance, and is often mentioned by our old writers. '-' 

'- '^iinta' Glossary of ] I 'on/s, i!S22. 


In one of his sermons Latimer says : " As there was 
a doctor that preached, the King's majesty hath his 
holy water, he creepeth to the crosse." In The Merry 
Devil of Edmonton is the verse : 

" You must read the morning Mass, 
You must creep unto the cross, 
Put cold ashes on your head. 
Have a hair-cloth for your bed." 

This ceremony has, of course, long been obsolete. 

Market crosses were erected in all towns and 
villages where markets were held, as signs of upright 
intentions and fair dealings, and as checks upon worldly 
spirits. At many of these places there were abbeys 
or religious houses, and the tolls were generally 
taken by these ; so to teach Christianity, and also to 
promote the fairs and markets, the monks regularly 
preached at such crosses. It was said that " the general 
intent of market crosses was to excite public homage 
to the religion of Christ crucified, and to inspire men 
with a sense of morality and piety amidst the ordinary 
transactions of life." ^^ And market crosses were also 
erected at villages where markets were held, although 
there might be no religious house there. Occasionally, 
as at Brington, crosses similar to those built in market 
towns were erected ; although it is certain that no 
markets were held at such villages. 

It was a common practice for mendicants to station 
themselves by the side of crosses, and ask alms in 
the name of Jesus. And it is therefore said in the 
north of England of one urgent in entreaties that 
" He begs like a cripple at a cross." ^^ 

'3 Milner's History of Winchester, Vol. II., p. 183. 
'^ Britton's Architectural Antiquities, Vol. I., p. 4. 


The earliest form of the market cross was a single 
shaft on steps, sometimes with, but more often without 
an actual cross on the summit, as at Northampton, 
Rockingham, and other places. Later, and in the more 
important towns, the shaft was surrounded by an arcade 
and elaborately ornamented ; and sometimes this struc- 
ture was provided with an upper chamber, used for 
containing the standard weights and measures of the 
town, and was of considerable size. 

Boundary crosses were placed to mark the extent 
of manors, or the lines between one property and 
another. Such crosses are mentioned as having existed 
at Hieham Ferrers; and no doubt the Bocase stone 
at Brigstock was a manorial or forest boundary, and 
the stones near Cottingham and Hargrave parish 

Wayside crosses were frequently placed in con- 
spicuous places by the side of a road, and sometimes 
they were used to mark the way, as the Sutton cross, 
and other stones near Castor. But no doubt they were 
generally erected from religious motives. " For this 
reason ben Crosses by ye waye, that whan folke passynge 
see the Crosses, they sholde thynke on Hym that deyed 
on the Cross, and worseyppe Hym above all ihynge." 
It was also thought that such crosses would rc:strain 
the predatory customs of robbers. 

The wayside cross resembled the churchyard cross, 
but was generally of a less elaborate design. 

There are but few preaching or weeping crosses 
in England, and probably none in this count)-, so such 
crosses do not demand further notice here. 

Crosses may be divided, with respect to age, into 
the following : Anglo-Saxon, from about 800 to 1066; 


Norman, from about 1066 to 1180; Early English, from 
about 1 180 to 1272; Decorated, from about 1272 to 
1377 ; and Perpendicular, from about 1377 to 1530. 

It appears that the Saxons were great cross makers ; 
and whenever a twelfth, thirteenth, or fourteenth century 
church is pulled down or restored, remains of Saxon 
crosses are generally found. In this county there are 
some eighteen fragments of such stones, some of which 
are ornamented with very beautiful and uncommon 
interlacing work. 

The Normans do not appear to have erected many 
crosses ; and indeed we can only point to two specimens 
of their workmanship in this county — the massive cross 
at Maxey, and the small and finely worked fragment 
built into the steps of the cross at Bainton. 

But few crosses were made during the Early English 

Towards the end of the thirteenth and during the 
early part of the fourteenth centuries a good number 
of crosses were set up, and the crosses of this period 
still remaining are very fine, for the memorial crosses 
at Geddino:ton and Hardinaston and the market 
crosses at Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough were 
erected about 1280, 

In the fourteenth century very many crosses were 
erected, and many of the market crosses still remaining 
are of this date. Amongst the finest crosses of this 
time are the churchyard crosses of Higham Ferrers and 
Raundes and the market cross at Helpston, 

In the fifteenth century many crosses w^ere made, 
and the greater number of the market crosses in the 
county appear to be of this date. 

In the sixteenth century also a good many crosses 


were erected, until the time of the Reformation, when 
of course all such monuments were prohibited. 

All the crosses described are more or less damaged, 
and in many cases only the record of them remains. 
One cannot but regret the destruction of these ancient 
stone monuments, for — 

" E'en a post, old standard, or a stone, 
jMoss'd o'er by age and branded as her own, 
Would in my mind a strong attachment gain 
A fond desire that there they might remain." ^^ 

'•'' Helpstoii, by John Clare. 



IT is curious that the earHest crosses of any size erected 
in England are by far the most beautiful ; and 
amongst the memorial crosses of Europe, those com- 
memorating Queen Eleanor stand alone. Of these 
only three remain, one at Geddington, and one at 
Northampton, both in this county ; and one at Waltham, 
in the county of Hertford. 

The story of Edward I. and his sweet wife is so well 
known, especially to natives of this county, that I feel 
some apology is due for once again repeating it. 

Eleanor, or perhaps more properly, Eleanora, was 
the daughter of Ferdinand III. of Castile, by Joanna, 
Countess of Ponthieu, and in 1254 she was betrothed 
to Prince Edward, the bridegroom being fifteen and 
the bride about ten years of age. 

After completing her education at Bordeaux, Eleanor 
returned to England with her mother-in-law Eleanor 
on the 29th October, 1265, ^^"^ was received at Dover 
by King Henry and Prince Edward. The Prince found 
his bride a lovely and accomplished woman of twenty ; 
and after receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the 
inhabitants of London, took up his abode with her in 
that city. 

Eleanor was truly a soldier's wife, and accomi)aniecl 



her husband in his expeditions to the Holy Land, Wales, 
and Scotland. According to the well-known legend, 
she saved her husband's life at the siege of Acre in 1272, 
by sucking from his arm the poison of the assassin's 
dagger : "so sovereign a medicine is a woman's tongue, 
anointed with the virtue of loving affection." 

Little is known of the personal life of Eleanor, 
either as Princess or Queen, save the good influence she 
exercised over her husband, who was devotedly attached 
to her. According to our old historian, " she was in 
her lifetime a virtuous Lady, modest, pittiful, a lover of 
the English nation, and as it were a pillar of defence to 
the whole nation." 

King Edward, towards the end of the year 1290, 
took his journey to Scotland as superior lord, there to 
decide upon the rightful heir to that throne. His Queen 
journeyed northwards to meet her husband, but she 
died on the way, on the 28th November, at the house 
of a gentleman named Richard Weston, at Harby, in the 
parish of North Clifton and county of Nottingham. 
She seems to have suffered from an autumnal fever for 
some six weeks ; and although the King returned as soon 
as he heard of her illness, he never saw her alive again. 

King Edward, " with great sorrow, for he bewailed 
the loss of her all the days of his life," determined to 
carry the remains of his beloved Queen to Westminster, 
and to erect a memorial "cross of wonderful size" 
wherever the corpse rested for the night on the journey ; 
and these crosses were perhaps the most remarkable 
memorial crosses ever erected, either in this or any 
other country. 

The distance from Harby to Westminster was by the 
old roads about 159 miles, and it is said that the time 
occupied was fifteen days. However, it is probable that 
only twelve of the crosses were actually erected. The 
sites of these were most likely at Lincoln, Grantham, 


Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, 
Woburn, Dunstable, St, Albans, Waltham, West Cheap, 
and Charing. 

The funeral procession started on the 4th December, 
and no doubt the route by which it travelled was selected 
in order that the corpse might remain at certain religious 
houses and palaces on the way. This would account 
for the funeral cortege resting at the little Northampton- 
shire village of Geddington, because of the royal palace 
or hunting-lodge at this village. 

The words of the annalist of Dunstable, describingf 
the arrival of the funeral train at the monastery at 
Dunstable, although before quoted, will bear repetition 
as representing the occurrences at each place where the 
procession rested. The annalist, after mentioning the 
death of the Queen, says : " Her body passed through 
our town, and rested one night. And two precious 
cloths, to wit, baudekyns were given unto us. Of wax 
we had eighty pounds and more. And when the body 
of the said Queen was departing from Dunstable, the 
bier rested in the centre of the market place until the 
king's chancellor and the great men then and there 
present had marked a fitting place where they might 
afterwards erect, at the royal expense, a cross of 
wonderful size. Our prior being then present and 
sprinkling holy water." 

Ot the three remaining crosses, that at Geddington 
has been only slightly restored ; that at Northampton 
has been restored, as hereinafter mentioned, at least 
four times ; while that at Waltham has been so much 
restored that little more than the core of the original 
structure remains. 

These crosses have been frequently reproduced, 
and the writer has notes of nineteen illustrations of 
the Geddington, and fifty-one illustrations of the 
Northampton cross. 



Memorial Cross. 

The Geddington cross stands in the midst of the 
village, where the three principal streets centre. It 
is for the most part constructed of Weldon stone, the 
string courses and weatherings being of Stanion stone, 
which is of slightly harder texture ; it is placed on 
a calvary of eight plain hexagonal steps, and is nearly 
forty-two feet high. The cross itself is triangular in 
plan, and consists of three stories. The lower portion 
is solid, and is divided into two equal parts by a 
horizontal string course. In the centre of the panels 
of the second part are six small shields, bearing the 
arms of England, Castile, Leon, and Ponthieu. The 
arms of Castile and Leon are borne quarterly on one 
shield. Each face of the solid portion is slightly 
convex, and at the angles and on the centre of each 
face are small shafts, the flat portion between being 
entirely covered with very beautiful diaper work, formed 
of elegant and very beautiful roses, carved with much 
delicacy. The second story is also triangular in plan, 
though considerably smaller than the lower part ; it 
is turned a third round, so that the points come in 
the centres of the sides of the lower part. The three 
figures of the Queen are placed with their backs to 
the flat sides of the upper part, and are covered by 
triangular vaulted gables. Thus each of the figures 
face one of the small shafts, standing on the points 
of the lower part, and supporting the gables. The 
figures are very similar to those on the Northampton 
cross, charmingly designed and executed, the drapery 
being admirable. The Queen is represented as a 
beautiful woman, with a long flowing robe, and veil 

This Cross was creeled in memory of Quecu ELEAXUR, at Gcddington. 


falling over her shoulders, and a coronet on her head. 
The gables over the vaults are ornamented with 
beautiful crockets, of fine workmanship. The third 
story again is smaller. It is hexagonal in plan,^ 
formed by an assemblage of slender pinnacles crowned 
by small crocketed gables, ornamented with oak 
leaves and a flower like a fleur-de-lys on the top. It 
forms a good termination to the structure, and appears- 
quite complete, although it is possible that there was- 
some further cross or pinnacle above it. 

This cross is, in the opinion of many, the best and 
most elegant of the three Eleanor crosses still in 
existence. In design, feeling, and treatment it is quite 
distinct from the others, and the triangular arrangement 
gives a picturesqueness to the structure which could 
not be obtained from a more regular plan. 

Curiously enough, although the greater number of 
the crosses are mentioned in the accounts and records 
of the time, this one is never alluded to, so that we 
have no information as to the name of the architect 
or the cost of the structure. The reason of this is 
probably because the accounts only extend to 1294, 
and this cross was erected immediately after that 

This cross has looked down on the rough and cruel 
sports of our ancestors, when badger-baiting and cock- 
fighting were carried on in the open streets. Nay, the 
poor cross itself has suffered froni these sports, for during 
many years it was the annual custom on Easter Monday 
to catch squirrels in Geddington Chase and turn them 
loose near the cross. The squirrels endeavouring to 
escape would run up the building, and the people would 
pelt them with stones, as the poor little creatures ran 
in and out of the stone work, trying to hide from their 
enemies. David Townsend, the Geddington black- 
smith and poet, states that many of the little spires 



^ C.A.M'dVfchdm. 


and finials on the cross were broken in the course of 
these performances. 


The Rev. J. I\I. Neale, after visiting Geddington, 
wrote : — 

In sooth, a scene of England's olden time ! 
The summer show'r hath pass'd, but all the air 
Is fragrant with its incense ; and the clouds, 
That spread their white sails to the western wind, — 
Rich merchant-ships of Heav'n, — are freighted full 
With ruby, borrowed of the setting sun. 

* * * * 

Around the Cross, whose sides are decked with wreaths 

Of that eternal foliage, which, once hewn 

From that grey quarry, nor awakes in spring, 

Nor fades when days grow short, and cold winds blow, 

The parting sunbeams linger : and above 

They shed a cold and melancholy light 

On the sweet image of the sainted Queen. 

Welling out from under the cross is a beautiful 
stream of ever running water, which is received in 
cisterns beneath two little arches. On a small shield 
between the arches is the inscription : 




The cross has been twice repaired ; first in the 
year 1800, when the steps were repaired and reset ; 
and secondly in September, 1890, when certain repairs 
were made to the upper part of the cross by Messrs. 
Patrick under Sir Arthur Blomfield : on each occasion 
the cost was defrayed by the Duke of Buccleuch and 
Queensberry, K.T. 

Mai'ket and Fair. 

In 1248 the King ordered that a market should be 
held at his manor of Geddington on Wednesday in 


every week, and a fair on the eve, day, and morrow 
of St. Mary Magdalene in every year ; and the Sheriff 
was commanded to proclaim the same throughout the 
county. ^^ 

It is not known when this market and fair were 
abandoned, but they are not mentioned by Bridges in 
his History of Northamptonshire. 


Memorial Cross. 

The Northampton cross, which is really in the parish 
of Hardingston, stands about a mile from the town, by 
the side of the old turnpike road leading to London. 
The position is well chosen, on the brow of the hill 
overlooking the Nene valley and the borough of 
Northampton. The cross consists of four stories, 
diminishing in size as they ascend, the whole being 
mounted on a flight of nine (formerly seven) steps, 
octagonal in plan, which give great height and dignity 
to the structure. The lowest story is octagonal in form, 
and about fourteen feet high, each angle being supported 
by a buttress, and each side divided perpendicularly 
into two panels beneath a pointed pediment, and adorned 
with sixteen shields, suspended from foliage of different 
patterns, bearing the arms of England, Castile, and Leon 
quarterly, and Ponthieu. Each alternate face is further 
ornamented with an open book supported on a lectern. 
The second story, twelve feet high, appears as an 
octagon, but in reality it is formed by a solid pier or 
shaft, square in plan, attached to each side of which is an 
open tabernacle supported by slender pillars, vaulted and 
canopied with purfled gables terminating in bouquets, 
and pinnacles of very graceful design. Under each of 

"^ The Close Rolls, 33 Hen. HI., mem. 15. 

Rev^ CHHtiuhameJ)d.. 

ElLTSAWOm'S iSl(.(®SS. 


these stands a statue of Queen Eleanor, about six feet 
high, which, Hke the books on the lower story, face the 
cardinal points of the compass. In these figures, as 
Mr. Hartshorne well said, there is a " feeling of grace- 
fulness and repose," and " nothing but serenity and 
gentleness of soul beams in the soft and resigned ex- 
pression " of the features.'" The statues show a great 
degree of artistic taste and skill, and are amongst the 
most beautiful specimens of British sculpture we possess. 
They were attributed by Flaxman to Pisano, and are 

undoubtedly the faithful representations of Eleanor 
herself Above the tabernacles again is the third story, 
which is square in plan, panelled, and each side adorned 
with arches containing quatrefoils in their points, 
surmounted by a crocketed gable. Only a fragment 
remains of the fourth story, and even this is not 
original. It is not and probably never will be known 
what originally formed the summit. 

Before the restoration of the cross by Mr. Blore, 
about 1830, the shields on the south and cast bore 
the arms of Ponthieu, in Picardy, single, and those of 

" Hartshorne's Historical Memorials of NortltaiHpton. 


Castile and Leon quarterly ; on the north Castile 
and Leon quarterly, and Eni^land single ; and on 
the north-east the shields England and Ponthieu, each 
single ; the arms on the other quarters being entirely 
obliterated At the present time the shields on the 
north, north-east, east, and south are as described ; and 
the shields on the south-east and north-west bear 
Ponthieu single, and Castile and Leon quarterly ; on the 
south-west the shields bear Castile and Leon quarterly, 
and England single ; and on the west the shields bear 
England single, and Ponthieu single. It is worthy of 
note that these shields of Castile and Leon are the 
earliest examples of shields in England on which two 
distinct heraldic ensigns are marshalled by quartering, 
and these arms were first adopted by Eleanor's father, 
Ferdinand III., on the union of Castile and Leon under 
his rule. 

The architect of this remarkably beautiful cross was 
John de Bello or de la Bataille, who was also responsible 
for the crosses at Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, 
and St. Albans, all these being erected between the 
years 1291 and 1294. Alexander of Abingdon and 
William of Ireland were the sculptors of the statues. 

This cross has been frequently restored since it 
was erected. The first repairs of which we have any 
record were those done in 1713. Ihe justices ot the 
county, seeing the dilapidated condition of the building, 
considered the best means of repairing it. On turning 
to the records of Quarter Sessions, we find that this 
question was considered at the sessions held immediately 
after St. Thomas Martyr in the 1 ith year of Queen Anne 
(January, 171 3) ; and the following order was made : 

"Ord'* that the Treare of the East doe pay a Sume not exceeding 
^30 towds repfs of Queens Crosse to be laid out att the discreson of 
M"^ Arundell D'' Jocele and M"" John Ekins the money to be pd to 
such person as they shall appt to receive ye same." 



The cross was accordingly thoroughly restored and 
probably partially rebuilt. A cross pattee three feet 
high was erected on the summit facing the north and 
south, and four sundials were placed on the upper 

S-fj/Z/yuniio/?!^ vicict//a ^^iM:c}ti mo^ . 

Story, facing the cardinal points, with the following 
motto : 

E. "Ah ortv solis 

S. " lavdatvr dominvs 

^V. " vsqve ad occasvm 

N. "Amen. MDCCXIII. 


These mottoes were omitted when the dials were 
repainted in 1762. 

On the west side of the lower story was affixed a 
shield bearing the arms of Great Britain in a garter 
under a crown, with the sword and sceptre in saltier 
behind, the motto " Semper eadem " below, and palm 
branches round the shield to form mantling. Below 
the arms, on an oblong tablet of white marble, was 
the following inscription : 

" In perpetuam amoris conjugalis memoriam 

Hoc Eleanorce reginae monumentum 

Vetustate pene collapsum restaurari voluit 

Honorabilis Justiciariorum caetus 

Comitatus Northamptonire 


Anno illo felicissimo 

In quo ANNA 

Grande Britannise suoe decus, 

Potentissima oppressorum vindex, 

Pacis bellique arbitra, 

Post Germaniam liberatam, 

Belgian! presidiis munitam, 

Gallos plus vice decima profligatos, 

Suis sociorumque armis 

Vincendi modum statuit, 

Et Europai in libertatem vindicatce 

Pacem restituit."^^ 

This stone and the shield are now at Mr. Markham's 
house at Grendon. 

In 1762 further repairs were made which were 
commemorated by a shield affixed on the southern side 
of the lower storey, inscribed : 

" Rursus emendat & restaurat 

Georgh III. regis 2'' 

Domini 1762. 

N. Baylis." 

The next restoration took place in 1840, when Mr. 

'* Bridges' Northatupionshire, Vol. I., p. 358. 


Blore renovated the structure, removing the cross pattee 
from the summit, and the two tablets from the lower 
story. At the same time one of the gables was 
entirely renewed, and the remainder were much re- 
stored ; the shields, with the exception of two, were 
also recut. The cresting at the top of the first story 
was almost entirely renovated, and a broken shaft 
placed on the summit.^'^ 

But a short time elapsed before this cross again 
needed repairs, and in 1884 a committee was formed 
to carry these out. By the direction of the committee, 
Mr. Edmund Law made a careful e.xamination of the 
building, and drew up a very full report, stating that 
the cross was in fair repair, except the steps, which 
required entirely replacing with new stones. The steps, 
which had been renewed in 1762 in local stone, were 
very much worn and partly displaced, so that the 
stability of the structure was endangered. A subscrip- 
tion list was accordingly opened, to which her late 
Majesty Queen Victoria contributed the sum of ^20, 
and the foundations were made secure, and new steps 
of a harder material were added. 

Only a few years ago an attempt was made 
to insert the name of this cross in the schedule 
of the Act for the Protection of Ancient Monu- 
ments ; but the attempt failed, because the cross is 
not similar in character to the monuments already 

Since then the question of protecting and pre- 
serving this memorial has been, on more than one 
occasion, considered by the Court of Quarter Sessions. 
The difficulty, however, of proving to whom the cross 
belonged has, until recently, prevented anything definite 
from being done. 

'^ Associated Architectural Societies Reports, WA. VII., p. 119, and Vol 
XVIII., p. 136. 


The possible claimants were — 

(i) The Queen, by descent from the builder of 
the cross. 

(2) The Lord of the Manor, as claiming the 

waste by the side of the road on which it 
is erected. 

(3) The County Council, as representing the 

the public, who have the use of the high- 
way, and as the guardians of the present 
main road. 
None of these three has ever exercised rights 
over the cross ; and, with the exception of the grant 
from the Quarter Sessions for the first restoration, 
the repairs have always been carried out by sub- 

In order that the cross should be vested absolutely 
in the County Council, negotiations were opened with 
the Government on behalf of the Crown ; and on the 
26th July, 1897, the Right Hon. A. Akers-Douglas 
wrote to Mr. E. P. Monckton, M.P., that " neither the 
Crown nor the Office of Works has any rights over 
Queen Eleanor's cross at Northampton." Negotiations 
were then opened with the trustees of the Bouverie 
estate, on behalf of the Lord of the Manor ; and by in- 
denture dated the 29th day of March, 1900, the trustees 
gratuitously conveyed to the County Council all their 
estate and interest (if any) in this beautiful cross, and 
also the ground on which it stands, subject to the 
County Council undertaking to keep the structure in 


The little village of Apethorp is six miles from 
Oundle, and two miles from King's Cliffe Station on 
the London and North Western Railway. 



Churchyard Cross. 

In this churchyard a handsome cross still stands in 
its original position, south-east of the south door ot'^ 
the church. The socket is 
very massive, square below, 
and octagon above, the 
angles being bevelled off 
and ornamented with well- 
cut roll mouldings. The 
shaft is oblong in section, 
and is also ornamented with 
roll mouldings at the angles ; 
it has unfortunately been 
broken off In the church 
there is a fragment of the 

The design of this cross ^ 
is early in character, and it 
probably was made in the 
twelfth century. apethorp. 





Each face. 


Square at foot. 

ft. in. 
I 3 

ft. in. 
2 8 

ft. in. 
3 « 

ft. in. 




The village of Aynho is six and a half miles from 
Brackley, and half a mile from Aynho station on the 
Great Western Railway. 


Market Cross 

In the seventeenth year of Edward II. (1323-4) John 
de Clavering was lord of the manor of " Eynho," and 
obtained the King's charter for a weekly mercate, or 
market, to be held every Tuesday, "^ and a yearly fair 
•on the vigil and day of St. Michael and two days 

This market was continued until the twentieth year 
of James I. (1622-3), when Richard Cartwright obtained 
a new charter for holding the market and fair, with 
the addition of another yearly fair on the Monday and 
Tuesday after Pentecost.-^ 

Bridges, however, writing about 1700, says that 
the market had been discontinued for some sixty years, 
and that the market cross had been then long since 
taken down." Since then the fairs have also sunk 
into desuetude. 


The village of Badby is three miles from the town 
•and station of Daventry, on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Village Cross. 

The base of the village cross still remains on the 
green. It is of red sandstone, and is locally known by 
the name of" The Stocks," no doubt because the stocks 
stood near, perhaps being actually fastened to the socket, 
as there are three holes on its upper surface. This 
stone measures 2 ft. 2 in. square and i ft. 7 in. high. 
71ie mortise-hole is i ft. 4 in. square and 10 in. deep. 

-" 'S>x\^g'e:z' Northamptonshire, Vol. L, p. 135. 
-' Baker's NortJiamptoiishirc, Vol. L, p. 550. 
"* Bridges' Northamptonshire, Vol. I., p. 137. 




The village of Bainton is five miles from Stamford, 
and one mile from Barnack station on the Great 
Northern Railway. 

Village Cross. 

This cross, which stands near the church, consists 
of four steep steps, a socket, and part of the shaft. 


The steps are bold and handsome, and are composed 
of large stones. The socket is square in plan, and 
worked to an octagon by bold convex broaches. Only 
a small piece of the shaft remains ; it is octagonal, with 
broaches at the corners, and an ancient stone ball has 
been fixed on the top. 

A portion of the old stocks, which served as a 
whipping-post, stands in tront of the cross. 

Worked into the basement of this cross is a stone 


3 ft. I in. long, lo in. deep, 
L- and 9 in. thick. This is 
certainly Norman, and was pro- 
bably a portion of a cross shaft. 
Within a flat band on each side 

there is the characteristic zig-zag moulding, and at one 

end the nail-head ornament. 






Each face. 



Each face. 


at foot. 

Basement ... 
2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step 

ft. in. 
2 6 
I 10 

I 8 
I 6 

ft. in. 


10 3 

8 2 

5 10 

ft. in. 
I 2 1 

I 3 " 

I 4; 

ft. in. 
I 9 

ft. in. 
3 2 


3 4 

ft. in. 
I 6 

ft. in. 

There is no record of a market havin^ been held 

at this village. 


The village of Barnack is four miles from Stamford, 
and is close to Barnack station on the Great Northern 

Bridges mentions that "In Barnack fields were 
formerly many croffes erected ; of four or five the 
foundation ftones are ftill to be feen, particularly in 
meadow field towards Uffington, and at the corner 
of Lord Exeter s park wall ; and thofe of others 
have been dug up and carried away, and not the 
leafl; mark left where they flood." -'^ 

Churchyard Crosses. 

The most ancient and interesting church of Barnack 
contains portions of several crosses. 

-■' Bridges' Northa7nptonshirc, Vol. H., p. 490. 


Built into the tower, on the outside, in the upper 
part over the string course, are three short columns, 
which probably formed the shafts of three crosses. 

This tower is one of the finest and most typical 
specimens of Saxon architecture in England ; and as 
these columns are supposed to have been built into the 
tower when it was erected, the period when they formed 
independent crosses must be very remote, always pro- 
vided that our conjecture of these stones having been 
used as crosses is correct. 

The first of these stones is placed immediately below 
the clock, on the south side. It is ornamented with a 
growing stem, branching on each side with leaves 
and bunches of grapes of an elegant pattern ; it is 
surmounted by a cock, erect and vigilant. 

The second is placed in a similar position on the 
west side. It is much the same in design, but somewhat 
more simple, and it is surmounted by an eagle, looking 

The third is placed in a similar position on the 
north side. It is like the other two ; the bird at the 
summit is, however, bending over to peck the grapes. 

The carving of these stones is somewhat rude, and 
the relief is low. The ornamentation is Early English 
in character, but the late Mr. J. T. Irvine considered 
that the stones are Anglo-Saxon, and not later insertions 
in the tower. It appears to the writer, however, that 
they are of much later date. 

In the west wall of the tower inside a small piece 
of a Saxon cross shaft is built horizontally. This is 
carved with a plait of four bands, which cross each 
other quite regularly. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the garden immediately in front of the Rectory 
there is a very beautiful and uncommon cross, which 


stood in the churchyard and was 
moved to its present position some 
few years ago. 

The base and shaft are the only 
original parts ; the top is modern 
and carries a small sundial, but it 
does not harmonise with the lower 

The design of this cross is 
very good, and date of it is about 






Each face. 


at foot. 



ft. in. 
I 8 

ft. in. 
I I 

ft. in 
I 8 

ft. in. 


ft. in. 

ft. in. 


The considerable village of Blisworth is four and 
a half miles from Northampton, and one mile from 
Blisworth Junction station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 


The base of this cross stands in the churchyard, by 
the path leading to the north door. 

It consists of a calvary of four steps, and a socket. 
It is exceedingly plain, and has no mouldings of any 
kind. The socket is made of two equal pieces, fastened 
together with iron cramps. At some period, probably 
during the present century, a sundial was erected on the 




summit of these steps; this was in existence in 1843, 
but has since then perished. 





Each face. 



Each face. 

2nd step 

3rd step 

4th step 

ft. in. 

I 7 

ft. in. 

3 6 

2 4 

ft. in. 
I O^ 

9 1 


ft. in. 

ft. in. 



The village of Upper Boddington is nine miles 
from Daventry, and two and a half miles from Byfield 
station on the East and West Junction Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the churchyard, to the south-east of the chancel 
of this church, are the remains of a good cross. These 


consist of two steps, a socket, and a small piece of 


The lower step is square, quite plain, and composed 

of large stones. The 
second step is made 
out of one stone ; it 
is somewhat thin, and 
has the upper edge 
bevelled. The sock- 
et is square below, 
worked to an octagon 
by large convex stops, 
and fixed in the 
upper step by lead. 

The piece of shaft is square where it is fixed in the 

socket by lead, and is also worked to an octagon by 

plain broaches. 






Each face 



Each face. Height. 

at foot. 

Basement ... 
2nd step 

ft. in. 

I 5 
O lO 

ft. in. 
5 II 
3 4 

ft. in. 


1 4/ 

ft. in. 
O 9 

ft. in. ft. in. 
2 O O II 

ft. in. 
O lO 


Although not quite germain to the subject of crosses, 
perhaps I may be allowed to mention the monument 
now standing in Boughton parish. This is not a true 
obelisk, for though in the form of one, it is constructed 
of a number of quite small stones. It formerly bore 
the following inscription, the verse being from Pope's 
Essay on Man, Epistle IV. : 



"This Obelisk was erected in the year 1764 in memory of His 
Grace William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire. 
There in the Rich 
The Honour'd Fam'd 

and Great, 
See the false scale 
Of Happiness 

Compleat ! " 

The occupier of the farm on which this memoriril 
stands had so much trouble from persons trespassing 
to read the inscription that 
he erased it. 

This Duke, as a young 
man, read with one of the 
incumbents of Boughton, 
and for this reason the 
monument was erected. 

S)/ // 



In this parish a fair, 
widely known and cele- 
brated as Boughton Green 
Fair, has been held from 
time immemorial. 

There is a famous 
spring in the old church- 
yard adjoining the green, and both spring and church 
are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. 

These circumstances point to this fair being a 
very ancient one ; but whenever it originated, the 
charter, dated 28th February, 25th Edward III. (1351), 
granted and confirmed to Sir Henry Green and his 
heirs for ever a yearly fair at his manor of " Buckton," 
with all liberties and free customs incident thereto, for 
three days, namely on the vigil, day, and morrow of 
the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist."^ 

^' Baker's NorthamptonsJiirc, Vol. I., p. 36. 



The large village of Bozeat is six miles from the 
town and five miles from the London and North 
Western Railway station of Wellingborough. 

CiiURciivAKD Cross. 

At this village " an house and eight acres of land, 
were formerlv fj^iven to maintain a cross, standing, as 
reported in the churchyard " ; -'' but even when Bridges 
wrote, at the end of the sixteenth century, he stated that 
the profits of the charity were then applied to the repairs 
of the church. This charity is not mentioned by the 
Royal Commissioners."'' 


The ancient borough of Brackley stands on the 
southern border of the county, and contains two stations, 
one on the London and North Western Railway, the 
other on the Great Central Railway. 

Market and Churchvard Crosses. 

Leland states that " There were 3 goodly Crossis 
of stone in the Towne, one by Southe at the Ende of 
the Towne, throwne down a late by Theves that fowght 
for Treasure. A nothar at the West End of Seint 
Janiis Churche. The third very antique, faire and 
costly, in the inward parte of the High Streate. Ther 
be dyvers Tabernacles in this, with Ladys and Men 

-•' Bridges' NorthamptonsJiire, Vol. II., p. i6i. 

-" Commissioners Reports on Charities, "Northampton," Vol. XXI V^ 
Printed 1815-39. 


armyd. Sum say that the Staplears of the Towne 
made this ; but I thinke rathar Some Noble Man Lord 
of the Towne." "' This last mentioned cross was about 
twenty-eight feet in height, with an octagonal pillar 
in the midst, having images on each. It was taken 
down about the year 1 706, to make way for the town 
hall, which is built upon part of the ground where this 
cross stood. "^ 

Market and Fairs. 

In the third year of Edward III. [1329-30] a writ 
was made out against Maud, the widow of Robert de 
Holand, to show cause why she claimed to hold a 
market at Brackley on Wednesday, and a fair on the 
vigil, day, and morrow of Saint Andrew ; and she sub- 
stantiated her claim to this privilege,"'' 

The charter of incorporation of James II. regranted 
the Wednesday market and the Saint Andrew's fair, with 
additional ones on the Wednesday in Easter week, on 
St. Barnabas' day, or on the morrow if that day was 
a Sunday, and the Wednesday before Michaelmas day.^*^ 

In 1800 fairs in Brackley were held on the 
Wednesday after 25th February, third Saturday in 
April, the Wednesday after the 22nd June, the 
Wednesday before the loth October, and the iith 

The market is still held on every alternate Wednesday. 
Two fairs are now held, one a wool fair the third week 
in June, and the other called the "Old Fair" on the 
iith December. 

^'' Leland's I/incrary, Vol. VII., fol. 10. 

-^ Bridges' Nortliamptoiisliirc, Vol. I., p. 143. 

" /^/^_^ p ,_^7 

^" Baker's No7'thampto7ishirc , Vol. I., p. 574. 

^' VitX's Agriculture of the County of Northainpton, 1809, p. 237. 



The village of Church Bnimpton is five miles from 
Northampton, and one and a half miles from Pitsford 
and Brampton station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Church VARD Cross. 

In this churchyard, to the south-east of the south 
porch, is a portion of a well-designed churchyard cross. 

Only the socket and a small piece of the shaft now 
remain. The socket is square, with the angles of the 
upper bed stopped by broaches, so 
that the upper surface is octagonal, 
with moulded edges. It measures 
I ft. 3 in. high, and 3 ft. i in. across. 
The shaft tapers slightly ; it is oc- 
tagonal the lower part being square, 
and is now only 2 ft. 10 in. high. 
This cross is similar to, but on a 


smaller scale than, the one at Spratton. 
There is also in the churchyard a stone, now con- 
siderably perished, which perhaps formed the head of 
this cross. It is i ft. 5 in. square, and i ft. high, and 
is formed with four litde gables filled in with tracery. 



The village of Braunston is three miles from Daventry, 
with a station in the village on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Village Cross. 

Bridges, writing about the year 1600, states that 
" Towards the upper end of this town, on the south 


side is a remarkable cross, about 24 ft. in height. 
From the base it ascends by four steps, on the upper- 
most of which is fixed the shaft, of an octagonal form, 
II ft. 4 in. high and consisting of one piece of stone. 
The capital which is in the Gothic manner hath on four 
of its angles small bustos supposed to be the head of the 
Virgin Maryy ^" This interesting record of a past time 
was razed to the ground about i 780, and the materials 
applied to the repair of the highways. ^^ 


The village of Brigstock is eight miles from Kettering 
and the same distance from Oundle, and five miles from 
Geddington station on the Midland Railway, and the 
same distance from Thrapston station on the London 
and North Western Railway. 

Market Cross. 

In the centre of this ancient and once important 
village, on a place called Hall Hill, stands the old 
market cross. The base of this is formed by three 
square steps of unequal height ; they are uneven and 
much worn, and are surrounded by a square of pitching. 
The socket is square and is i-rregularly splayed, forming 
four steps at the corners. The shaft is square ; the 
angles are splayed for the greater part of its length, 
becoming square again at the top. It is joined to the 
socket with lead. The head is formed by an ovolo 
moulding, enriched with ^^^ and tongue pattern. It 
is connected with the shaft by a small bead and fillet ; 
above is a square block, on each face of which is a 
well-shaped shield, each shield surmounted by a ducal 
coronet. Above these again is a little square truncated 

3- Bridges' Northamptonshire, Vol. I., p. 31. 
33 Baker's Northamptonshire, Vol. I., p. 272. 


pyramid, supporting a sphere, into which is inserted a 
square twisted iron rod, round which revolves a weather 
vane. The shields are engraved cis follows : The one 

- . 'v«si; 


on the south is — Quarterly i and 4 three Jieur de lys, 
France Modern; 2 and t^ tlwee lions passant guardant 
in pale, England. Those on the east and west bear 
" E. R. 1586"; and the one on the north also bears 
-iirms much defaced, which were probably similar to 



those on the south. Near the summit of the shaft the 
following letters are cut : on the south, " I. W. 1778 " ;. 
on the east and west, " A. R. 1705 " ; and on the north,. 
" R. H. V. R. 1887 Anno Regni 50." 

This cross is stated by Bridges ^^ to have been erected 
in 1586, the earliest inscribed date ; and the style, which 
is certainly Renaissance, is consistent with this statement, 
although it is more than probable that the steps are of 
yet earlier workmanship. 












at foot. 



2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step 

ft. in. 

I 3 

ft. in. 

8 3 

3 10 

ft. in. 

I Ii[ 

I 7 j 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
2 3 

ft. in. 

5 8 

ft. in. 
I 4i 

ft. in. 

4 4 

ft. in. 
I 3 

Market and Fairs. 

The weekly market on Saturday here was granted 
in the sixth year of Edward IV. (1466-7), together with 
fairs on Saint George's day (23rd April), and on the 
festival of Saint Martin. In Bridges' time the market 
was held on Thursday, with fairs on the festivals of 
Saint Mark, Saint Bartholomew, and Saint Martin."" 

In 1800 fairs were held on the 6th May, the 5th 
September, and the 22nd November. 

Fairs are now held on the 25th April, 4th September, 
and 22nd November. 

Boundary Stone. 
On the boundary of Brigstock Forest, some halt- 
mile from the villaore, stands an ancient stone called 

^* Bridges' NortJiamptonsliirc, Vol. II., p. 284. 
35 Ibid., p. 285. 


Bocase Stone. It is of Raundes or Stanwick stone, 
3 ft. 9 in. high and i ft. 9 in. wide, the front of it is 

smooth, and on the 


part are 






letters : 


In th 

IS plaes 



tree " ; 

and just 





the w 






" Here stood 



as to the 
tree from which this 
stone took its name 
will be found in N'otes and Queries^'' though no doubt 
it was simply one of the forest boundaries. Further 
references to this stone will be found in The Family of 
Brocas, of Beaurepaire, by M. Burrows. 


The village of Great Brington is seven miles from 
Northampton, and one mile from Althorp station on 
the London and North Western Railway. 

Village Cross. 

The cross at this village stands under a large elm 
tree, to the south-west of the church, forming a pleasant 
feature in the landscape. 

^^ Second Series, \'ul. \'III., p. 498, and \'oI. IX., p. 274. 



The calvary consists of three octagonal steps, the 
lower one having a slight set-back a foot below the 
upper edge. The socket is square below, and worked 
to an irregular octagon by plain broaches, the upper edge 
being bevelled. The shaft is likewise square below, 
and worked to an octagon by plain broaches. For the 
first seventeen inches the sides are flat, and for the 


remainder they are slightly hollowed. The shaft is 
composed of two pieces, which are joined in the centre 
by four unsightly iron cramps, the lower piece being 
set with lead. The capital is Decorated in character, 
with two plain beads where it joins the shaft, the upper 
portion overhanging to form a drip. Above this is a 
broken piece of octagonal column, much smaller than 
the shaft. In the picture of this church and cross 
engraved in our county history ^' the column is repre- 

^' Baker's Nortltaniptunsliin', \'ol. I., p. 90. 


serited as being surmounted by a second deep cylindrical 
capital, but this has since then been destroyed. 












at foot. 



2nd step 
3rd step 

ft. in. 
2 9 
I I 

ft. in. 

4 3 
3 4 
2 3 

ft. in. 


1 13- 
I 2] 

ft. in. 
I 6 

ft. in. 
3 2 

ft. in. 
9 6 

ft. in. 
I 7 

ft. in. 
I 9 

ft. in. 
2 10 

It does not appear that any market was held at this 



The village of Brixworth is seven miles from North- 
ampton, and one mile from Brixworth station, and 
about the same distance from Spratton station both 
on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Crcss. 

In the garden of Brixworth Vicarage, to the north- 
west of the house, a portion of the shaft of a Saxon 
cross of red sandstone was found in 

1897. ... 

This is a tapering shaft 2 ft. 8^ in. 
long ; at the foot it is i ft. 2^ in. by 
ii-| in., and at the top ii^ in. by 

It has been broken off, the fracture 
destroying a great part of the carving, 
which consists of a panel, in which is 
a representation of an animal with 
long legs and slight body, not unlike 
a greyhound. Both the hind legs and 
the left fore leo^ are on the around, and the ri^ht 




fore leg is raised horizontally. The tail bends down 
between the hind legs, forming a curve under the 
belly, and another curve the contrary way between 
the fore legs, and then passing upwards. The head 
the animal has, unfortunately, been destroyed. 

At the top there is a square dowel hole, where 
another stone was probably fixed. 

The ornamentation of this cross is very similar to 
that at Gosforth, in Cumberland. 

Market Cross. 

This is a good example of a small market cross, 
standing in the centre of the village, near the church. 
It has a calvary of four 
irregular octagonal steps, 
made of large stones. The 
socket is rectangular ; the 
north and south sides are 
slightly longer than those 
on the east and west. 
Round each face are angu- 
lar incised lines, deeply 
graved, and on the northern 
side is the date 1727, in 
commemoration of the 
accession of George II. 
The stump of the original 

shaft only remains, nearly two feet high ; it has been 
set in lead, and on each side is a deep vertical groove. 
The steps and piece of shaft are of native ironstone ; 
the former, however, becoming dilapidated, the joints of 
the masonry were so plastered up with cement that the 
individual stones cannot now be seen. This process 
has much destroyed the picturesque appearance of the 

In this parish there were three manors, which 




Bridges states were held jointly, and also that the 
court for these manors was held at the cross. '*^ Late 
thirteenth century. 






Each face. 



Each face. 


at foot. 

2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step 

ft. in. 



ft. in. 
4 7 
3 4 
2 8 

I 9 

ft. in. 
I 2^ 
I I 1 

I of 

10 J 

ft. in. 
I 4 

ft. in. 
2 4 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 

Market and Fair. 

Simon FitzSimon, in the fifty-third year of Henry III. 
(1268-9), obtained a charter for holding a weekly market 
here on Tuesday ; and an annual fair for three days, 
beginning on the eve of Saint Boniface. ^^ It is not 
known when this market was discontinued, but it has 
probably not been held for several centuries. 

In 1800 the fair was held Whit Monday, but it is 
now held on the 5th June. 


The village of Byfield is seven miles from Daventry, 
with a station in the village on the East and West 
Junction Railway. 

Market Cross. 

In the centre of this village, under a spreading elm 
tree, so close to it, indeed, that the roots of the tree 
have almost overturned it, is the market cross. Only 
the socket and a small piece of the shaft now remain^ 
but the first of these is of most unusual form. 

•^* Bridges' Nortliamptonshirc, Vol. II., p. Si. 
39 Ibid., p. 82. 



This socket is cut out of a single block of native 
ironstone. It is 2 ft. 7 in. square at the base, and the 
full height is 2 ft. 2 in. 
Three inches above the 
ground the size of the 
stone is reduced by a 
hollowed curve, above 
which is a plain bead 
moulding. At the height 
of I ft. 8 in. from the 
ground are bold convex 
stops, by means of which 
the upper surface becomes 
octagonal. In the centre 
is the remaining portion byfield. 

of the shaft, square where 

it fits the socket, and becoming octagonal by plain 
broaches. It is 9 in. square and i ft. 5 in. high, and 
is fixed in the socket with lead. Thirteenth Century. 


For the last fifteen or twenty years a stock sale has 
been held here every Tuesday fortnight. This is not 
held under a charter, but is well attended, forms 
practically a market, and goes by that name. 

There are no statutable fairs here, except a horse 
fair, held in September each year. 


The village of Castor is four miles from Peter- 
borough, and one mile from Castor station on the 
London and North Western Railway. 

The church here is dedicated to Saint Kyneburga, 
the sister of Peada, the last heathen King of Mercia, 
and thus goes back to very remote times. 


Churchyard Cross. 

In the churchyard is an interesting specimen of 
Saxon work, consisting of the base of a cross. On 
a step 2 ft. 9 in. square the base is fixed ; it is made 
of Barnack stone, and is of rectangular section. At 
the bottom there is a pHnth measuring i ft. 9 in. by 
I ft. Above this comes the contracted part, measuring 
I ft. 8 in. by 11^ in. ; and at the top again it expands 

to I ft. 10^ in. by i ft. 2 in. A socket i ft. i in. by 
7-I in. is hollowed out at the top to receive a shaft. 
The height of this socket is 2 ft. 2 in., and at each of 
the four corners at the top are round projections. 

This stone was apparently a Roman altar, wrought 
by the Saxons, with characteristic interlacing pattern ; 
and it forms a good example of the way in which the 
Christians utilised the heathen monuments. 

This stone has perished a good deal, and the design 
is not very distinct in places. 


On the north side the interlacing work is very 
irregular, and the crossing ov^er and under are not 
accurately arranged. 

On the east side is a draq^on or monster, with his tail 
worked into an elaborate knot, looking backwards. 

On the south side there are two panels, with some 
interlacing pattern which is much obliterated. 

x^nd on the west is carved a similar dragon or 
monster, with his tail also worked into a perfect knot, 
looking forwards. 

Wayside Cross. 

At the corner of one of the streets in this village, to 
the west of the church, is the base and stump of the 
shaft of a small village or roadside 
cross. The socket is square, with 
angles formed by a roll ; it is about 
I ft. high and 2 ft. 3 in. square. 
The shaft is about 12 in. high, and 
oblong in plan, being 15 in. by castor. 

']\ in. ; the angles are also chamfered : 
it is quite loose in the socket. The whole is very rough 
in workmanship, has been much injured, and probably 
moved. It may be of the twelfth century. 

Wayside Cross. 
To the east of Castor, where the old Roman road, 
which goes by Milton, left the Peterborough road, there 
is part of another old cross. This is 2 ft. 6 in. high, 
I ft. \ in. wide, and 9 in. thick at the base, tapering to 
I ft. wide, and 8 in. thick at the top, where it is 
broken off irregularly. With the exception of a roll 
moulding at one angle, this stone is quite plain. 

Wayside Cross. 
In the parish of Castor, at the point where the road 
from Castor to Sutton crosses the old Roman Ermine 


Street, there is the socket of an ancient cross. The 
outside of this measures 2 ft. 9 in. by 2 ft. 5 in., and the 
mortise-hole is i ft. 8 in. by 10 in., and 7^ in. deep. 
The stone has now sunk into the soil so deeply that 
the upper surface is almost level with the ground : a 
cross was probably placed at this point to mark the 
way. It is well known locally as " Sutton Cross." 

An'cient Stones. 

On a green balk in this parish descending to 
Gunwade Ferry are two long stones : the western one 
is 3 ft. 6 in. high and 12 in. by 11 in. square at the 
base, and is locally known by the name of " Robin 
Hood" ; the eastern one is 2 ft. 7 in. high and 12 in. 
by 10 in. square at the base, and is called *' Little John," 
from a tradition that two arrows were shot thither by 
these heroes from the adjoining churchyard of Alwalton, 
in the county of Huntingdon. But they were really 
set up as evidence that carriages of stone going from 
Barnack to Saint Edmund's Bury might pass without 
paying toll.^*^ In the recent order 
made by the Board of Agriculture 
for enclosing this parish, provision 
has been made for preserving these 
stones ; they are nicked like arrows 
at the top, in memory, it is sup- 
posed, of Saint Edmund, who was 
shot to death with arrows by the 


GUNWAi,E KERRY. ^^ ^^c garden of Mr. Sykes' 

house at Gunwade Ferry, in this 
parish, there are two pieces of the heads of Anglo 

*^ Bridges' Xofthafnptonshire, Vol. II., p. 499. 



Saxon crosses. One is an arm of a cross, with an 
elegantly designed interlacing ornament on one side ; 
the other is composed of two arms of a cross pattee 
enclosed in a ring, with a central boss. 


The village of Chipping Warden is ten miles from 
Daventry, and three miles from Byfield station on the 
East and West Junction Railway. 

Market Cross. 

The market cross stands in the centre of the village, 
the church being on one hand and a spreading elm on 
the other. 


--"'-^^*— -^feiit'.W,, 



It now consists of an imposing calvary of six steps. 
The lower one is raised by masonry some height above 
the ground, with two moulded string courses, the lower 
one forming a drip. The remainder of the steps are 


quite plain. At the top is a handsome socket, slightly- 
splayed at the angles, to bring it from a square to an 
irregular octagon, and having a mortise-hole in the 
centre. Thirteenth century. 





Each face. 



Each face. 

2ncl step ... 

3rcl step 

4th step ... 

5th step 

6th step 

ft. in. 
3 2 

ft. in. 

14 9 

12 II 

10 6 

8 6 

6 6 

4 5 

ft. in. 


1 2 

ft. in. 
I 6 

ft. in. 
2 9 

Thomas Mayon of Chipping Warden in 1529 by 
his will left "to y"" repacon off the crosse that stands 
nexte my howse XX'^." 


The distinctive name of this village makes it more 
than probable that it was a market town in Anglo-Saxon 
times. ^^ The word Chipping is a corruption of the 
Saxon ccdpiug, meaning a " buying," which is derived 
from cedp, a " sale," or " bargain." The more correct 
spelling is Cheping, as printed in Wicliffe's translation of 
St. Luke's Gospel. There are a considerable number of 
market towns in England with the prefix Chipping or 
Cheping, many of them being places of importance at 
the present time. 

In any case, this market seems to have lapsed, and it 
was not until the eleventh year of Henry III. (1226-7) 
that Henry de Braybroc received a grant from the 
King to hold a weekly mercate, or market, in Warden ; ^- 
which grant was almost immediately revoked because 
Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, proved that it would be 

^' '^\r)X\.oxi's, Natural History of Northamptonshire, 1712, p. 526. 
'- Bridges' Northampto)ishire, Vol. I., p. 113. 


prejudicial to the Banbury market, whereof the Bishop 
of Lincoln was lord. 

In the twenty-second year of the same king (1237-8) 
Girard de Turnivell obtained another grant for holding a 
weekly market in the village. 

In 1329-30 Thomas le Latimer established his right 
to hold this weekly market. 

Sir Thomas Latimer, in 1388-9, brought an action 
against William Sleugh, Vicar of Blakesley, for disturbing 
this market. 

There is no record as to when this market was 

Mounting Block. 

By the east side of the main road between Byfield 
and Warden, near the turn to Aston-le- Walls, is a 
" pack horse stone." This is like a modern mounting 
block ; the lower part is 4 ft. 9 in. 
lono^, 2 ft. 6 in. wide, and 6 in. , fy',<j, _ 

high. The second and third .-^--««- 

steps are both set back i ft. on 

the left, and are each 10 in. 

high. Each of the two upper ciupping warden. 

steps is formed out of a single 

stone. On the side of the second step, nearest the 

road, is the Ordnance Bench mark, the line of which is 

477 '3 feet above sea level, and the following legend, 

engraved in small incised Roman capitals : 



In the county of Somerset, near Chew Magna, on 
the high road leading from Bristol to Wells, there is 
a mounting block very similar to that near Warden ; 
the size also is much the same, but it is more roughly 
built, and bears no inscription. 



The village of Cogenhoe, or, as it is usually called, 
Cooknoe, is five miles from Northampton, and one 
mile from Billing station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

The church at this village is an unusually fine 


building, in the Early English and Decorated styles, 
and is dedicated to Saint Peter. 

In the churchyard, by the path leading to the south 
porch, formerly stood the cross, the remains of which 
were in existence some forty years ago ; but we are 
sorry to record that they have since been swept away. 

The head of the cross has, however, been preserved, 
and is now on the apex of the nave roof, over the 
chancel arch. This stone is 2 ft. i in. high ; it is 


rectangular in plan, the eastern and western faces are 
I ft. I in. wide, and the northern and southern faces 
9| in. wide. The sides are ornamented with niches 
having little cusped gables, which enclose the following 
subjects sculptured in relief 

On the side, now facing: the east, is the fiofure of 
the Father clothed and seated, and holdino: between 
His knees the figure of His Son crucified. The form 
of Christ appears undraped, with His arms resting on 
the Father's knees. This is a most unusual subject, 
and but few examples are known. Something of the 
same kind will, however, be found on one of the bosses 
beneath the central building in the western arch of 
Peterborough Cathedral. There the Father appears 
behind the Son and grasps His left hand, which is 
raised, the other hand being laid on His left breast. 

On the opposite side, now facing the west, is the 
rood. The figure of Christ with His arms extended 
as on a cross, His head drooping over His right 
shoulder. His feet side by side, and a linen cloth round 
His loins. On the Saviour's left side is the figure 
of Mary draped, and on His right was the figure of 
Saint John, which is now almost obliterated. 

On the side, facing the north, is the figure of Saint 
Peter, the patron saint, seated and draped, both hands 
raised, the right holding some undefined object, and 
the left a key. And on the opposite side, facing the 
south, is the figure of Saint Paul, standing and draped, 
and leaninq- on a lono^ cross-handled sword : he was the 
constant companion of Saint Peter, the same day the 
29th June serving as the festival of both. 

This stone is a most interesting specimen of fourteenth- 
century workmanship, and is quite unique in this county. 
The carving has much perished, and it is to be feared 
that it will ere long be destroyed, owing to the very 
exposed position in which it is now placed. 



Boundary Stone. 

Close to some farm buildings, by the side of the 
road leading from Corby to Cottingham, and one and a 
half miles from Corby station on the Midland Railway, 
and on the dividing line between the two parishes, 
stands a very interesting boundary stone. It is of 
local ironstone, i ft. 5 in. high, 8 in. wide, and 6^ in. 

thick, being rounded at 

the top. On the side 

nearest Corby a Greek 

cross is incised ; and on 

the side nearest Cotting- 

ham a key is incised. 
CORBY. These figures have recently 

been painted black, so as to be rather obtrusively 

The stone does not seem to be of any great age ; 
perhaps it was made about the beginning or middle 
of the eighteenth century. 

According to local tradition it was placed here 
as an illustration of the following rhyme : 

" Corby Cross, 
Cott'nham key, 
Oakley O, 
Gretton G." 

But it appears quite as likely that the verse was 
made to fit the stone, as that the stone was made to 
fit the verse. 

It may be presumed that there was a good market 
cross at Corby, inasmuch as a market was, with two 
fairs, granted to Henry de Braybroc in the eleventh year 
of Henry HI. (1226-7).^^ There does not, however, 
appear to be any actual record of a cross here. 

'^ Bridges' Aorihampiotishire, Vol. II., p. 295. 



The key for Cottlngham may be explained by the 
fact that the Abbey of Peterborough, at the time of 
the great survey, and for many years afterwards, held 
Cottingham/^ St. Peter, therefore, set his key on the 
boundary stone, that none might move his landmark. 


The little village of Cotterstock is one and three- 
quarter mile from the town, and one and a quarter 
mile from the station of Oundle on the London and 
North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

Close to the porch of this church is the socket of 
an ancient cross, bearing 
an inscription, which has 
been variously read. 
Bridges gives it as : 

" Jobs Leef . . . 
uxor ejus banc fecerunt 

Gough gives it as : 
" Job's Leef [et Jacklen] 
uxor ejus, banc fecerunt 
ecl'am [fieri]," and states 
that he takes it from 
Bridges, supplying the 
words in brackets from 
another copy, but that 
the words were not dis- 
tinguishable in his time."' 

The correct inscription is given by George James 
de Wilde,'*" and is as follows : 

" Bridges' Notihamptonshirc, Vol. II., p. 298. 

^•'' Ihid., p. 440. 

■"^ Gibson and Gougli's Caslur, 18 19, p. 17G. 

*' De Wilde's Rainblcs Roundabout, 1872, p. ico. 

C.A.M. J.l. 
15^ S.^r. 1300. 



" lohs leet et . . . 
len uxor eius . . . 
fecerunt fieri. . . ." 

This ancient socket has been incorporated into the 
present cross, which was erected in 1890 by the Vicar, 
the Rew Francis Buttanshaw. 

The larger socket stands on a low basement step, 
the angles are slightly splayed on the top, on the west 
side is engraved the legend : 

" Ad niaiorem Dei gloriam 

et in memoriain 

Filii Primogeniti 

►J* hanc restitui curavit 

F. B. huius Eccla Vic 

Pascha. A.S. 1890." 

And on the east side the legend : 

"Francis Buttanshaw 
Born at Fobbing Essex 

Mar. 16. A.S. 1855 

Died at Grahams Town 

Cape Colony Nov. 2. A.S. 1884. 

By Thy Cross Good Lord deliver us." 

Above this is the old socket before mentioned ; 
and this again carries a good shaft with pinnacled head 
and cross. 







E-h Width. 




at foot. 



and step or 

ft. in. 


1 9 

ft. in. ft. in. 
4 4 !o (y\\ 

3 3i'o5fJ 


ft. in. 
I 3 

ft. in. 
2 4 

ft. in. 
6 3 

ft. in. 
I I 

ft. in. 

4 5 

ft. in. 
2 I 

The Rev. Francis Buttanshaw graduated at Uni- 
versity College, Oxford, and was ordained deacon in 
185 1 and priest in 1852. He was curate of Fobbing, 



Co. Essex, 1854-5, and became Vicar of Cotterstock 
C7n7i Glapthorne in 1887. 

Mr. Buttanshaw's eldest son, Francis, became a 
member of the Cape Mounted Police. He was in the 
small war with Moirsi, was wounded, and twice com- 
mended for bravery. He died at Cape Colony, while 
still a young man, from brain fever. 

Village Cross. 

On the little three-cornered green in the centre of 
this village there lay for many years the base or socket 
of an ancient cross. The purpose for which this 
cross was erected is not 
known : it could not have 
been a market cross, as 
no market was held at 
this village ; but it was 
perhaps a preaching cross, 
erected in connection with 
the college or chantry 
which was founded here 
about the year 1336."'^ 

It has been suggested 
that it marked the juris- 
diction of the Abbey of 
Medehampstead (Peter- 
borough) over the old 
college, but this we think 
was hardly probable. 

The original position of this cross is not known, 
for it has been twice moved within living memory : 
first from the meadow side of the litde coppice by the 
green to the road side ; and secondly on to the green 
where it now stands. 

The cross was rebuilt by Viscount Melville in 

^* Dugdale's Motiasticon, Vol. VI., p. 1,374. 



1896/'' The old socket has been placed on two steps, 
^nd surmounted by a shaft. 

Round the step is cut the text : 

" The preaching of the Cross is to 

them that perish foolishness 

but unto us that are saved 

it is the power of god." 

The socket is of Barnack rag, but as these quarries 
have been long since exhausted, the new work is of 
Weldon stone. 












at foot. 



2nd step 

ft. in. 


ft. in. 
5 9 

3 6 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
I 6 

ft. in. 
2 5 

ft. in. 
6 4 

ft. in. 



ft. in. 


ft. in. 
I 7 


The village of Culworth is eight miles from Brackley, 
and one and a half mile from Culworth station on the 
Great Central Railway. 

Market Cross. 

The cross standing in the centre of the village now 
consists only of four plain, square steps, surmounted by 
the remains of a socket, one side of which has been 
entirely destroyed. The socket is in two pieces : the 
lower, 7 in. high, is of white stone ; the upper, 2 ft. 1 in. 
high, is of local red stone. The stones of the steps 
have been secured by iron cramps. 

This cross must, when perfect, have formed a 
picturesque and imposing object. 

^^ Peterborough Diocesan Magazine, Vol. VIII., p. 177. 




C.A.M-ll..., J 


In the Churchwardens' book for Culworth there is 
the following entry for 1586: 

" Receyts by Richard Trafford. 
fifirst of John Harrys for the d. 

cros stone .... xxiii." 

This looks very much as if the parish at this time 
sold the head or shaft, or both. Date about 1264. 





Each face. 



Each face. 


2ncl step ... 
3rd step ... 
4th step 

ft. in. 

I 9 

ft. in. 
10 9 
8 9 
6 9 
4 9 

ft. in. 
I l"j 
I " 
I oj 

ft. in. 
2 3 

ft. in. 
2 9 

Market and Fair. 

Towards the end of the reign of Edward III. John 
Bernes and others, the feoffees of Alice Perers, obtained 



a grant of a weekly market at this village, and an 
annual fair on the vigil, the day, and the morrow of 
the feast of Saint Petri ad Vincula (ist August). ^° Both 
market and fair have long since been discontinued.''^ 


The village of Dallington is one and a quarter mile 
from Northampton, and rather less from the Castle 
station, Northampton. 

Churchyard Cross. 
In this churchyard, close to the eastern corner of 
the south aisle, is the upper step of the old cross. It 
is square, each face being 3 ft. wide, and it is 5^ in. 
thick ; the north-west angle rests on masonry i ft. 2 in. 
high. This stone now supports an ugly cast-iron monu- 
ment, erected in 1864, in memory of an inhabitant of 
the village, and probably covers the old socket, and 
possibly also the stump of the cross. 


The borough of Daventry is twelve miles from 
Northampton, with a station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Market and Fairs. 

The market here is an immemorable appendage of 
the manor. About the fortieth year of Henry III. 
(1255-6) the jurors of Fawsley Hundred presented 
that the lord of Daventry held a market at " Davintr'." 
By an inquisition of 3rd Edward I. (1275) the jurors 
certified that, although no market should be held within 
ten miles of Northampton, Robert FitzWalter held one 
at Daventry. From a quo warranto of 3rd Edward III. 

■''" Baker's NortJuiDiptonshire, Vol. I., p. C07. 

^' Macnamara"s Mei/iorials of the Da7ivers Family^ 1895. 


(1329) it appeared that the market was held on 
Wednesday, and it is still held on that day.''- 

Bridees states that in his time " there are five 
fairs kept here in the year : the three principal are held 
on the Tuefday in EaJIer week, on the twenty-firft of 
Septejnbcr.'-AXidi on the fixteenth of October. The other 
two of lefs note are kept on the 26th of May and on 
the 23rd o{ Jiilyy-"'^ 

In 1800 the fairs were held on Easter Tuesday, the 
6th June, the 3rd August, the 2nd October, and the 
27th October. 

Baker says that in his time nine fairs were held — 
namely, on the first Monday in January, the last Monday 
in February, Easter Tuesday, the 6th and 7th June, 
August 3rd, first Monday in September, the 2nd, 3rd, 
and 27th October, and the last Wednesday in Novem- 
ber. Augustine's fair (now the 6th and 7th June) is 
probably coeval with the market. ^^ 

At the present time fairs are held on the second 
Tuesday in each month, and on the 27th October, or 
the day after if that is a Sunday. 

There is no record of a market cross in this borougfh. 


The town of Desborough is six miles from Kettering, 
with a station in the town on the Midland Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the Vicarage garden at this place are the remains 
of a Saxon cross, covered with very interesting carving. 

This stone is 2 ft. 4 in. long, i ft. 7^ in. wide, and 
I ft. 3 J in. thick. It is only sculptured on two sides, 
but three of the angles have rudimentary cable moulding. 

•'- Baker's Northmnptoiishirc, Vol. I., p. 326. 
'"'^ Bridges' NortJiamptonsliirc, Vol. I., p. 45. 
*^ Baker's Northamptonshire, Vol. I., p. 326. 


On the front there are two panels. The lower one 
is filled with an interlacing band, at each end of which 
there is a Stafford knot, and the centre of which is 
combined by a circular ring. This is a pleasing and 
by no means unusual Saxon ornament. 

The upper panel contains two beasts adossed, or back 
to back, and above and between them there is the head 
of a man or animal. Each beast has one of his forepaws 
raised and the other on the ground, and they have 


their heads erect and mouths open. The ear of the 
beast on the right is much prolonged, and after forming 
an interlacing knot round the neck, reaches to the 
ground, in frc^t of the beast. The tail of the beast on 
the left is also prolonged and curves up over the back, 
forming an interlacing knot round the neck, reaching 
to the ground behind the beast. Below the animals 
are four circular pellets or bosses. Similar subjects 
occur on stones in Scotland and in the Isle of Man, in 
some of which the beasts are facingf each other, Mr. 
J. Romilly Allen thinks that this stone represents 


Daniel in the lions' den,^' Daniel being suggested 
rather than represented by the single head. 

On the right side there are also two beasts ; but in 
this case they are placed one over another, and the 
upper one faces towards the right and the lower one 
towards the left. The head of the upper beast has 
been broken off! The lower beast has one forepaw 
raised ; his tail stands up over his back, forming a knot, 
and passing behind the upper beast, forms a bend and 
ends in a barbed point ; round his neck there is an 
independent band which forms a twist, and then passing 
before and behind his body, is worked into a Stafford 
knot beneath his belly. In the back there are also two 
circular bosses. 

There is a second piece of oolite stone, 1 ft. 8 in. 
long, I ft. 6^ in. wide, and 4 in. thick, which might 
possibly have formed part of a cross. It has an inter- 
lacing pattern of twisted bands combined by circular 
rings on one side only. 

Village Cross. 

In the centre of this village there is a square pillar 
of ashlar stones with a large capital supporting a stone 
ball. This pillar has been built on what was evidently 
the base of an old market cross, and it now serves 
for a sign-post, having names and distances painted on 
the sides. On the north side is : 

on the east : 
and on the west 


Miles From 

Harbro 5 " • 


Kettering 6." 

^^ Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, Vol. XIX., p. 412. 













at foot. 



2ncl step 

ft. in. 


1 3 

ft. in. 
6 8 
4 8 

ft. in. 
I o| 

C IlJ 

ft. in. 
I 4 

ft. in. 
2 lO 

ft. in. 
9 6 

ft. in. 
2 3 

ft. in. 
4 3 

ft. in. 
2 6 

No market is held here. 


The considerable village of Earl's Barton is three 
and a half miles from Wellingborough, and one and a 
quarter mile from Castle Ashby station on the London 
and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the churchyard at this village, immediately 
opposite to the south door of the 
church, there is the socket of a small 

This, measures 14 in. by 9 in., and 
stands about 10 in. above the ground. 
The angles are chamfered, and the 
mortise-hole is 5 in. square and 5 in. deep. 

This stone was probably part of a small churchyard 
cross, and is evidently not in its original position. 


The village of Eydon is ten miles from Daventry 
and the same distance from Towcester, and three miles 
from Byfield station on the East and West Junction 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this churchyard the old cross stands just south 
of the east window of the church. It consisted of a 

earl's barton. 



step, socket, and a piece of the shaft in local red stone. 
When the cross was rebuilt in 1865, a new shatt and 
head were added, at the 
expense of the late Sir 
Henry Dryden, Bart. 

The basement or 
step has a set-off close 
to the ground, and the 
upper edge is bevelled, 
it is formed of large 
stones. The socket, 
like the step, has a set- 
off, and is brought to 
an octagon by bold 
convex broaches. It 
has been much fractured, 
having been broken 
across horizontally. 

1 he new shaft is 
fastened on to the fragment ot the old shatt. The 
plain cross at the summit, however, is not in character 
with the old step and socket. 

This cross formerly stood opposite to the porch of 
the church. 











at foot. 




ft. in. 
2 I| 

ft. in. 

5 4k 

ft. in. 
I 5 

ft. in. 

ft. in. ft. in. 



ft. in. 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
2 2 



The village of Fotheringhay is four miles from 
Oundle, and two miles from Elton station and the same 
distance from Nassington station, both on the London 
and North Western Railway. 

Market Cross. 

In the second year of Edward II. (130S) the Earl 
of Richmond obtained the privilege of a fair to be held 
yearly on the eve of Saint Michael (28th September) 
and two following days, and a weekly market to be 
held every Wednesday.'- 

This nobleman probably erected a market cross, in 
the centre of the villaQ^e, at the north-west corner of 
the churchyard, on a space called the market-stead. 

The Ven. Archdeacon Bonney states that he 
possessed an ancient manuscript which contained the 
note for the year 1580 : 

"Received of John Lyn for 
stones standing round the 
Crosse. . . . .4^. 3^." 

And this, he thinks, is sufficient to show that the cross 
was destroyed in that year, which is likely enough, 
though it is right to say that the evidence as to this 
cross is not conclusive."' 

The market appears to have fallen into disuse before 
1460, and never to have been renewed. 

In 1800 the fair was held on the third Monday after 
the 5th July. 


The village of Grendon is five and a half miles 
from Wellingborough, and one and three-quarter mile 

■''"' Bridges' Nort/iat/iptoushire, Vol II., p. 449. 

'•" Bonney's Historic Notices in Reference to Fotheringhay, 1821, p. 5. 



from Castle Ashby station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Village Cross. 
In the part of this village known as Nether End 
there is the socket of an ancient cross. This lies by 
the side of the road, almost in the hedgerow. A second 
socket lies in a field adjoining. Both stones are rude, 
and of no architectural importance. 




The village of Harringworth is ten miles from 
Oundle, with a station in the villacjc on the Midland 


Market Cross. 

A fine cross stands in the centre of the village, 
composed of calvary, socket, shaft, and head. The 
calvary is formed of five square steps, which are con- 
structed of large stones. The socket is plain, square 
below, octagonal above with convex broaches, beneath 
circular drip. The shaft is made of eight clustered 
columns, the four larger being at the corners and the 
four smaller at the sides ; the whole are joined. The 
column is formed of three stones, the lower being 9 ft. 
high. It is set diagonally in the socket with lead. 
The shaft is surmounted by a capital with square 
abacus, above which is a small modern ornamental 
cross with equal arms, which was placed thereon about 
1850. Date, fourteenth century. 












at foot. 



2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step 
5th step 

ft. in. 
I 6 

ft. in. 

II 2 


8 3 
6 6 

5 3 

ft. in. 
9 •\ 
8i - 

1 ; 

ft. in. 
I 4 

ft. in. 
3 2 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
I 2 

ft. in. 
3 4 

ft. in. 

Market and Fairs. 

In 1386 Sir William la Zouche, Knight, obtained 
licence to enclose with a stone wall and make a castle 
of his manor house at this village, with the liberty of 
holding a yearly fair for three days (beginning on the 
eve of Saint John Baptist {23rd June), and a weekly 
market every Tuesday. This charter was renewed to 
his successor in 1431.^^ It is not stated when the 
market was discontinued, but it was before the com- 
mencement of the eighteenth century. 

•■"^ Bridges' Northamptoiishire, Vol, II., p. 317. 

HE LPS TON. 59' 


The village of Helpston is seven miles from Peter- 
borough, and half a mile from Helpston station on the 
Midland Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this churchyard a large cross formerly stood near 
the door of the church, as we learn from Robert Hochyn, 
who, in his will dated 1504, desired that his body might 
be buried in Helpston churchyard "ante introitum 
porticus, prope magnam crucem." ^^ 

This is the only record of the cross, which has long 
since been destroyed. 

When the tower of this church was rebuilt in 1865 
some early headstones, carved with crosses, were found. 
The earliest of these is Saxon. It has a circular head, 
which is ornamented on both sides with a cross pattee 
in relief, each slightly different ; and below, on each 
side is the usual knot work, each design again being 
different. Another stone is of thirteenth-century work. 
It has a circular head, also worked on both sides in 
relief with a cross floree, each cross being of different 
design. Both stones are figured in Mr. Sweeting's book. 

Market Cross. 

To the south of the church, in the village street,, 
stands a very charming cross of fourteenth-century 
work. The calvary is formed of four circular steps, 
each of which has a plain angular drip, and it is 
surrounded by a square of pitching. 

The cross is solid, octagonal in plan, and at each 
angle is a pointed pilaster, which is surmounted by 
a crocketed pinnacle. On these pinnacles, at about 

*' Sweeting's Parish Churches in and around Pcterbo?vugh, 1868, p. 92. 


two-thirds of their height, are capitals, from which spring 
crocketed gables. The first story is crowned by small 
battlements. On the centre is the socket, square below, 
and brought to an octagon by bold concave broaches, 
while round the upper edge is a well-cut circular drip. 
The shaft is a tapering octagonal monolith, brought to 
a square where it joins the socket. 

Within living memory the cross was surrounded by 

a pent house. This was removed more than fifty years 
ago, and probably never formed part of the original 

This building appears to be quite unique ; the only 
structure at all like it, as far as we can learn, being the 
White Friars' cross, near Hereford. The lower portion 
reminds one of the Queen's cross at Waltham, much 
simplified. An excellent photograph of the Helpston 
cross appears in Mr. Sweeting's book. Date about 1350. 
















at foot. 

and step 
3rd step 
4th step 

ft. in. 

I 3 
I 2 
I 2 

ft. in. 

12 3 
9 6 
7 9 
5 7 

ft. in. 
II 1^ 

ft. in. 
5 9 

ft. in. 

I 8 

ft. in. 

I 4 

ft. in. 

2 4 

ft. in. 
8 6 

ft. in. 


Bridges states that : " The ftatutes are always kept 
here, with a great concourfe of people ; and the 
inhabitants have a tradition of there being formerly 
a market here." *'° But no market has been held at 
Helpston for some centuries. 

Memorial Cross. 

In this village, also near the church, stands a stone 
memorial cross to the Northamptonshire poet, Clare, 
which was erected in 1869 by subscription. 

This is of Ketton stone, square below, with rope 
moulding at the angles and large quatrefoil panels 
on each face. The next story is also square, turned a 
quarter round, and supported at each angle by a 
buttress. The third story is a circular shaft, sur- 
mounted by a cone and carved finial. 

On the south side is the legend : 

" This Memorial 
is erected to perpetuate 
the memory of 


THE Northamptonshire 

Peasant Poet 

a native of this village. 

Born July 13, 1793. Died May 20, 1864."' 

^ Bridges' Northawptonshirc, Vol. II., p. 514. 


On the east side : 

"the hard his glory ne'er receives 



Clare." ^i 

On the north side 


Clare:' «2 
And on the west side : 



Clare:' «3 

John Clare was born in Helpston on the 13th July, 
1793. His parents were amongst the poorest in the 
village, and the little poet had but a sad boyhood. 
While still a lad he fell in love with the beautiful Mary 
Joyce ; but, after a few months of blissful meetings, her 
father forbade any further intercourse, and so he lost 
his Mary. Clare worked as a labourer and limestone 
burner, at a small wage. He soon became engaged 
to Martha Turner, whom he afterwards married, and 
by whom he had several children. 

Clare wrote poetry from his earliest years, but he 
had great difficulty in finding anyone who would 

'=' " To a Poet" {Rural Muse), by John Clare, 1835. 

«2 ''Genius" {Rural Muse), by John Clare, 1835. 

«^3 "A Wish" (Sonnet XXL, The Village Minstrel), by John Clare, 1821. 


publish his works. In 1820, however, his first volume, 
entitled Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, 
was brought out by Messrs. Taylor & Hessey. Next 
year The Village Minstrel was published in two 
volumes ; this was Clare's most important work, though 
at first it was scarcely noticed by the public. Six years 
elapsed before The Shepherd' s Calendar was printed. 
Clare's last work, The Rural Muse, appeared in 1835, 
after he had removed to Northborough. The poems 
in this volume were very superior to Clare's earlier 
poetry, but the book was quite neglected, and the 
copies remained unsold on the publisher's shelves. 

Soon after this time the first indications of insanity 
appeared in the poet, and he was taken to a private 
lunatic asylum in Epping Forest. After remaining 
there for some years he escaped, and made his way 
by road, in a starving state, to his old house at 

Clare was not, however, suffered to remain long at 
his home, but was again certified as insane, and sent 
to the General Lunatic Asylum at Northampton, now 
known as St. Andrew's Hospital. He remained in 
Northampton for two-and-twenty years ; and his figure 
was quite familiar to the inhabitants of the town, one 
of his favourite resorts being the portico of All Saints' 

John Clare died on the 20th May, 1864, and his 
remains were taken to his birthplace and interred in 
Helpston Churchyard."'* 


The village of Cold Higham is three miles from the 
town and station of Towcestcr on the London and 
North Western Railway. 

" Martin's Z/A' o/C/rt;r, 1865. 


Churchyard Cross. 

In this churchyard, to the south of the chancel, are 
the remains of a once elegant cross. 

The socket of this is 
square where it rests on the 
ground, and it is brought 
to an octagon by plain 
broaches ; the upper edge 
is moulded and undercut to 
form a drip. It is i ft. 4 in. 
high, and 2 ft. 7 in. square 
below. The shaft is 1 1 in. 


square, and is fitted to the 
socket with lead ; it is also brought to an octagon by 
plain broaches, and is only 7 in. high. 


The borough of Higham F'errers is five miles from 
Wellingborough, with a station on the Midland Railway 
in the town, and one mile from Higham Ferrers station 
on the London and North Western Railway. 

This ancient borouo^h still contains two excellent 
stone crosses, the one in the market-place, the other 
in the churchyard. 

There were apparently other crosses in the parish, 
for the Mayor of Higham owned a manor called 
Borough Hold, which extended from Stump Cross in 
the north to Spittle Cross in the south. These crosses 
have, however, been destroyed, and even the places 
where they stood forgotten. 

Churchyard Cross. 
The churchyard cross stands near the Grammar 
School, and due west of the church tower. It is quite 



a small monument, being only 1 1 ft. high. The 
calvary is composed of four steps, which are circular 
and quite plain ; the upper is hollowed, as if by the 
knees of devotees. The socket is large and solid, 
square below, and broached so as to form an octagon. 
The shaft is square below and above, and splayed for 
the greater part of its length, so as to form an irregular 
octagon, the sides being slightly hollowed. It has 

-^.r=; .Cssi- 


plain moulded members where it joins the socket, and 
is elegandy ornamented with oak-leaf foliage on the 
broader faces, and with leaves and ball-flowers or 
crockets on the narrower faces. The capital is deep 
and square, with plain moulded members beneath, and 
triangular ornaments on the four faces. 

This cross is of the Decorated period, and was 
erected about 1320. It has been much mutilated.'''' 

c^ Churches of the Archdeaconry of Northampton, 1849, pp. i, 28, from 
which this drawing of the cross is reproduced. 














at foot. 



Basement ... 
2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step ;.. 

ft. in. 
I I 


ft. in. 
10 8 
8 8 
6 8 
4 8 

ft. in. ft. in. 
I O^ 

I oj 

ft. in. 
2 9 

ft. in. 

5 6 

ft. in. 



ft. in. 

ft. in. 



Market Cross. 

The present market cross stands in the centre of 
the town. The base now consists of a conical pile of 


masonry, which is probably formed by casing round the 
original circular or polygonal steps. The peculiar shape 



of this base gives the cross a somewhat unusual appear- 
ance. The shaft is a single stone, fourteen feet high, 
octagonal for the greater portion of its length, but 
becoming circular near the top. The capital is formed 
by graceful Early English foliage beneath a pear-shaped 
form supporting a square abacus. It was surmounted 
by a long iron rod, on which was a somewhat quaint 
weather-vane which has recently been replaced by a new 
one. This cross was erected about 1280. 

In Bridges' time there was on the summit a small 
stone cube, carved with figures representing the 
Crucifixion. This has now disappeared.'* 

According to Coles, during the Commonwealth the 
Mayor of Higham used to publish the banns of marriage 
of the burgesses at this cross, he being one of the 
magistrates entitled to solemnise marriages. 

The shaft of this cross is now stayed up by three 
iron struts, which also support two unsightly lamps. 












at foot. 



Basement ... 

ft. in. 
I 10 

6 5 

ft. in. 
14 4 
II 3 

ft. in. 
I ol 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
13 II 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
2 3 

ft. in. 
I 4 

Markets and Fairs. 

Bridges says that : " Here are three weekly mer- 
cates, on Monday, Tliurfday, and Saturday, the two 
former are difufed and the Saturday s mercate much 
decayed. There are likewife at Higham feven fairs, 
all well accuflomed ; on the Thurfday before St, Pauls 
converfion, the feftival of S. Matthias, the Thurfday 

t^" Bridges' Northamptonshire, Vol. II., p. 170. 


before S. Philip and James, the 17 of June, the 
Thm-fday before S. James, on Michaelmas-day, and on 
S. Catherine s!' *"" 

In 1800 the fairs were held here on the Tuesday 
before the 5th February, the 7th March, the 3rd May, 
the 28th June, the Thursday before the 5th August, the 
loth October, and the 17th December. These fairs 
have fallen into disuse, but a large pleasure fair is held 
during the week after the 15th August in each year. 

The markets were held thrice a week until the early 
part of the nineteenth century, when they were discon- 
tinued. In October, 1888, a weekly market on Monday 
was established. This market has also been dropped. 

The crosses at this town may htly illustrate the 
only passages of Shakespeare relating to crosses. 

The first instance alludes to the usual sentence 
passed on criminals of being whipped, at the market 
or high cross, a certain number of times. When the 
would-be lovers of Bianca are consulting as to the best 
method of obtaining her hand by fulfilling her father's 
condition of obtainins^ a husband for his elder daughter, 
Hortensio suggests that one of them should marry 
Katharina, whereupon Gremio retorts that he would 
" as lief take her dowry with this condition, to be 
whipped at the high cross every morning." '^ 

The second instance alludes to the more pleasing 
custom of persons in the Middle Ages wandering about 
the country and praying at the various churchyard or 
wayside crosses. When Portia is at Venice, about the 
business of her husband's friend, she sends her servant, 
Stephano, to carry word to Lorenzo of her speedy return. 
So Stephano tells him that his mistress "doth stray 
about by holy crosses, where she kneels and prays for 
happy wedlock hours." ^'^ 

^'' Bridges' Northamptonshire, Vol. II., p. 170. 
'* The Tamiii<( of the Shrew, Act I., scene i. 
^^ The Merchant of Venice, Act V., scene i. 




The large and growing town of Irthlingborough is 
five miles from Wellingborough, and two miles from 
Higham Ferrers station on the London and North 
Western Railway. 

^Market Cross. 

In the centre of this old town, at the intersection of the 
road leading from Higham Ferrers to Wellingborough 



with the road leadin^^: to Finedon, stands the market cross. 
This has an imposing calvary of seven octagonal 
steps on one side and eight on the other, the lower or 
basement one being divided into two on the south side, 
and raised a good height above the road on masonry. 


The steps are very irregular, and appear nearly circular 
in plan. The socket is square, and quite plain, forming 
almost a cube. The shaft is mortised into the socket ; 
it is square below, and splayed so as to form an irregular 
octagon. On each face, at unequal distances, are carved 
ball-flowers, somewhat like crockets. The capital has 
carved trefoil foliage, and is surmounted by a square 
abacus. At the top of the capital there is a mortise- 
hole 6 in. square. The whole has greatly perished, and 
the carving has worn down. 

This cross is Early English in character, and was 
probably erected about 1280.'*^ It is worthy of note 
that the abacus is set on the shaft diagonally to the 
base, in the manner said by Mr. Ruskin to be always 
adopted by northern architects. 

According to Bridges,'^ this shaft was used as a 
standard for adjusting the pole, by which the portions 
or doles of the adjoining meadows were measured, 
previous to the inclosure of the parish in 18 13. 

" In the centre of the village, 

\\'here the well-worn roadways meet, 
And the shadows from the sunset 

Fall slanting o'er the street, 
Among the passing people, 

With their ceaseless ebb and flow, 
Still rise the ancient stones which bore 

The cross in years ago. 

* * * * 

And still these stones are standing, 

In witness of the past, 
With mute appeal to heaven, 

Though skies be overcast ; 
They tell our children's children, 

'Mid earthly gain or loss, 
How their forefathers' fathers 

Built up the Village Cross." ''- 

There is no record of a market having been held 
at this place. 

'" Chmxhcs of the Archdeaconry of Northa7npton, 1849, p. 130. 
" Bridges' A'ortliamplons/iirc, Vol. II., p. 235. 
" The Village Cross, by Rev. B. Edwards, M.A. 












at foot. 



Basement ... 
2nd step 
3rd step 
4th step 
5th step 
6th step 
7th step 
8th step 

ft. in. 



ft. in. 


1 4 
I I 

I oi 

ft. in. 

I 6 

ft. in. 
2 8 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
I 2 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 

Agnes Barwick of Irthlingborough by her will in 1526 
left "to the repacon off the crosse att the west townes 
ende xij'^ to the repacon off the crosse att flanns door 
xij'' to the repacon off the causey to the church xij'\" 


The large and rapidly increasing town of Kettering 
is fourteen miles from Northampton, with a junction 
station in the town on the Midland Railway. 

The market cross in this town stood close to the old 
market house, on the square near the entrance to the 
churchyard. This cross, which had a dungeon beneath 
it, was taken down about 1790. A smaller cross was 
then erected in the same place without a prison ; this 
also was destroyed about 1808. The earlier of these 
crosses is shown on the map of the town published by 
T. Eayre, and also on a plan of the town dated 1785.'^ 

Three other crosses are shown in the town on a 
map drawn about 1587 for Sir Christopher Hatton ; one 
of these, at Newland Pond, is mentioned by Bridges.''' 

Richard Alderman of Kettering, by his will, which 
was proved in 1543, bequeathed "to the making of 
the market crosse 3''." 

" Bull's Kclicrhtg, 1891, p. 161. 

^' Bridges' Norihanip{ons]uri\ Vol. II., p. 241. 


Market mid Fairs. 

In the eleventh year of Henry III. (1227-8), a 
charter was granted by the King to the Abbot of Peter- 
borough to hold a market every seventh day on Friday. 

In 1661 Charles II. granted to Lord Rockingham the 
right to hold a fair on the Thursday before Easter, on the 
Thursday before Saint Michael the Archangel, and on the 
Thursday before the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle.''^ 

In 1800 fairs were held on the Thursday before 
Easter, the Thursday before the loth October, and on 
the Thursday before the 21st October. 

The market is still held, but the fairs have fallen 


The village of King's 




with a 

station in the village on 
the London and North 
Western Railway. 

Market Cross. 

The old market cross 
at this place used to 
stand on the open space 
to the south of the 
Cross Keys Inn. Only 
the socket of this cross 
remained there until 
about 1820, when the 
late Rector, the Ven. 
Archdeacon Bonney, re- 
moved it to the lower 

Rectory garden, where it now stands under a line lime 

tree, near a little pond. 

'•■' Bull's Kettering, 1S91, pp. 8, 22. 




The stone Is octagonal, about i ft. high, and about 
2 ft. 6 in. across. The mortise-hole is large and deep. 
Archdeacon Bonney placed another socket within this 
stone, and erected on this socket a very elegant little 
cross. This is carved on the front and left side, the 
remaining sides being plain : on the front a shield 
bears the Archdeacon's arms, on a bend three fieiir de lys, 
and below are his initials, H.K.B. ; on the side is the 
shield, a chevron between three spear heads. 







Each face. 


Each face. 


at foot. 



ft. in. 
I O 

ft. in. 
I 3 

ft. in. 

ft. in: 
I 2 

ft. in. 
2 1\ 

ft. in. 
O 6 


o 5 

ft. in. 
I 7 

ft. in. 
I 7 

Henry Kaye Bonney was born at Tansor, where 
his father was Rector, in 1780, and was educated at 
Charterhouse, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He 
was ordained deacon in 1803, priest the next year, 
and in 1807 was collated to the Prebend of Nassington 
in Lincoln Cathedral. The Rev. H. K, Bonney, his 
father, having become Rector of King's Cliff, he lived 
with him until his death in 18 10, when he was presented 
to that living by the Earl of \\' estmorland. In 181 5 he 
published the Life of the Right Rev. Father in God 
ferejjiy Taylor, D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to King 
Charles the First, and six years later his Historic Notices 
in Reference to Fotheringhay ; and he also published 
several sermons and charges. The Archdeacon died at 
King's Cliff on Christmas Eve, 1862, and was buried 
in the churchyard there by the side of his wife. 

Market and Fair. 
Bridges states that in his time a weekly market was 
held at King's Cliff on Tuesday, and a fiir for three 


days, beginning on Saint Luke's eve. He also mentions 
that •' on Chriftmas day the paridiioners with the clerk 
affemble at the church, at three o'clock in the morning, 
and fmg a Pfalm ; then they proceed to the crofs, and 
to every gentleman's houfse in the town, for which they 
receive a largefs in the holidays." "'^ 

This place was a market town in 1720, the market 
being held on the Tuesday ; but the fair was held on 
Saint George's day (April 23rd)." 

In 1800 the fair was held on the 29th October. 


The village of Kingsthorp is two miles from 

Churchyard Cross. 

Bridges, writing about 1700, states that: "Within 
the churchyard, near the south door of the church, are 
fhill remaining the fleps and ftump of a crofs." '^ 

A correspondent, however, writing to William Hone 
about 1830, says : " I have sought for this relic in vain. 
It has yielded to the great destroyer ' Time,' or perhaps 
to the yet more destructive judgment of some Dogberry 
of a churchwarden." ''^ 

Even the memory of this cross has now been 


The village of Lichborough is five and a half miles 
from Towcester, and three and a half miles from Blakesley 
station on the East and West Junction Railway. 

'^ Bridges' Nort]ia7npto7ishirc, Vol. II., p. 432. 

"''' Alas^na Britannia, by Rev. T. Cox, 1720, p. 472. 

" Bridges' Norilianiptonshirc, Vol. I., p. 413. 

''•» The Year Book, by William Hone, 1838, p. 1,169. 



To the south-west of the tower of this church is a 
dilapidated socket, ii in. high, and oblong in form, one 
side being 2 ft. 8 in. and the other i ft. 7 in. ; in the 
centre is a square mortise-hole, io\ in. across and 7 in. 
deep. It rests on some large stones. This socket for 
a long time stood by the village inn, until a few years 
ago, when it was placed in its present position in the 
churchyard. It is impossible to say if it originally 
formed part of a churchyard or village cross. 


The little village of Longthorp, formerly part of 
Saint John the Baptist parish, is two miles from Peter- 

Village Crosses. 

At the eastern end of this village, in a cottage garden, 
are the remains of the socket and shaft of a cross. The 

socket measures 2 ft. 9 
in. by 2 ft. 10 in. In 
the centre is mortised 
the shaft, which measures 
I ft. 5 in. by 10 in. at the 
bottom, and i ft. 3 in. 
by 8 in. at the top, where 
it has been broken off 
The present height is 
6 ft. 9 in. At each 
angle is a vertical roll 
moulding. On one of 
the narrow faces is a 
continuous band of angular plait-work of four bands. 
About halfway up the shaft are the remains of irons, 
which were possibly used to secure the hands of persons 
who were whipped at this cross. 





At the western end of the village, under spreading 
elm trees, there is the socket of another cross. This 

is square, each face measuring 
2 ft. 2 in., the angles being 
worn off The mortise-hole 
measures i ft. i in. by lo in., 
and is 4 in. deep. The upper 
surface of this stone is about 
9 in. above the surface of the 

This socket, by the way, had a narrow escape from 
■destruction some few years ago. An enterprising native 
of the village, thinking that it would make a good pig- 
trough (which no doubt it would have done), quietly 
took it away to his own premises ; but the writer is 
glad to be able to state that public opinion was too 
strong for this would-be desolator, and so it was restored 
to its accustomed spot. It is not probable that any 
other Thorp man will attempt to remove this ancient 


Village Cross. 

The little village of Marham, or Marholme, is four 
and a half miles from Peterborough, and one and a half 
mile from Walton station on the Midland Railway. 

At the entrance of this village, by 
the side of the road, is the socket of an 
ancient cross of unusual shape. It is 
formed out of a single block of stone ; 
the lower portion is 9 in. high, and 
six sides each i ft. 6 in. wide. At each angle 


there is a semi-circular knob, bringing the upper portion, 
which is I ft. high, to twelve sides slightly tapering. 

MAKE y. 



The village of Maxey is eight miles from Peter- 
borough, and two miles from Helpston station on the 
Midland Railway. 

At or near this village there were formerly three 
crosses, one of which was known as the " Butter Cross." 

The earliest of these was undoubtedly Late Norman. 
The fragment now remain- 
ing is about 5 ft. 4 in. long ; 
I ft. 9 in. wide at the lower, 
and I ft. 5 in. at the upper 
end ; 10 in. thick at the 
lower, and i ft. 5 in. at the 
upper end. The two nar- ^^:tt!i^^^ 
rower sides are covered with 
the zig-zag ornament, which maxey. 

has been apparently worked 

by a chisel. The two broader sides were probably 
left plain. 

This stone has been utilised as a bench at the back 
of a cottage at the eastern end of the village ; but it is 
worthy of a better fate, as it is one of the very few 
fragments of a Norman cross still remaining in the 

The socket of another cross now stands in the 
garden of an old farmhouse in the hamlet of Deeping 
Gate, in the parish of Maxey, belonging to Mr. George 

This stone is i ft. 3 in. high, and 2 ft. 2 in. square 
at the base ; the angles are worked with a kind of 
turned-up claw, and there is a moulding round the upper 
edge, where the stone is octagonal. The mortise-hole 
is I ft. 6 in. in diameter, and is circular, which is a very 
unusual form. 

This socket is well designed and worked, and it 


must hav^e formed part of an important cross, probably 
the Butter Cross, before mentioned. Early thirteenth 

The third of these crosses now consists of a small 
circular socket and octagonal shaft about 3 ft. 6 in. 
high. It has no architectural features, and is much 

This cross has been recently moved by the Vicar, the 
Rev. W. D. Sweeting, to a position within the railings 
in front of the village school. 


The village of Mear's Ashby is seven miles from 
Northampton, and three miles from Castle Ashby 
station on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this church is the cross-head of a small Saxon 
shaft. ^° It is of Celtic form, with arms having expanded 
ends connected by a circular ring. It is i ft. 4^ in. in 
diameter across the arms, in the centre it is 5 in. and 
at the edges 3I in. thick. The tenon 
for fixing this stone into the shaft still 
remains ; it is i^ in. long, 4 in. wide, 
and 3 in. thick. The four holes be- 
tween the cross and the ring are 
about i^ in. in diameter, and pass 
right through the stone. Both sides 
of the stone are covered with inter- 
lacing work, but it is of very de- 
based form, the crossings over and under not being 
regularly observed. It is similar to inferior metal 




Associated Architectural Societies Reports, Vol. XIX., p. 413. 




This village is nine miles from Towcester, and half 
a mile from Morton Pinkeney station on the East and 
West Junction Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the south-east corner of the churchyard of this 
village, the base, socket, and a small 
piece of the cross still remain. 

The base is 2 ft. 2 in. square at 
the ground-line ; 3 in. above this line 
there is a bevelled set-back from 
which the socket proper starts. This 
is I ft. 8 in. square, and is worked 
to an octagon by bold convex stops, 
the upper edge being again bevelled. The whole 
of the socket is formed of one stone. 

The shaft is 10 in. square and 9 in. high, and is 
fixed in the socket with lead. 


The village of Moulton is four and a half miles from 
Northampton, and three and a half miles from Pitsford 
station on the London and North Western Railway. 

In this parish there are two hills called Cross-h.\\\s ; 
and Bridges states that " the remains of one of the 
Croffes (landing upon them were lately [about 1 700] 
to be feen."*^ 

Churchyard Cross. 

When this church was restored in 1884-6 a portion 
of an ancient cross, of Saxon date, was discovered 
under the altar steps. 

This stone is of oolite, 2 ft. 2 in. long, i ft. 6 in. 
by 9 in. at the bottom, and tapers to i ft. 4 in. by 8 in. 

"' Bridges' Noriliamp1onshin\ Vol. I., p. 417. 


at the top. It is only carved on two sides, the others 
being plain. 

On the front are two panels, the upper containing a 

beast, turned to the right 
side, his fore paw upraised, 
his head looking backward, 
and biting his tongue ; the 
lower containing a piece 
of interlaced work, com- 
posed of a double row of 
spiral knots, the knots on 
the right side being alter- 
nately right- and left- 
handed, and those on the 
left side alternately left- 
and right-handed. 

On one side is a con- 
tinuous band of interlaced 
work, composed of a 
double row of spiral knots, 
those on the right side 
being all left-handed and those on the left side all right- 

Patterns formed from the spiral knot are only found 
in interlaced work of the best quality, where, as in this 
stone, the lapping of the bands is regularly perfect.^" 

This cross was perhaps broken when Moulton church 
was destroyed in i 264, buried in the ruins, and forgotten. 
It was placed in its present position in the south 
chantry,, on a pedestal against the north wall, by the 
late Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., and the following entry 
appears in the accounts of the restoration : 

" Providing base, etc., to Saxon stone and fixing 

the same in South Ais!e over and above s. d. 
10/- paid by Sir Henry Dryden, Bart. . . 6 o." 

^2 Associated ArcJiiicctural Societies' Reports, Vol. XIX., p. .'4 14. 




The village of Naseby is four miles from Welford, 
and the same distance from Kelmarsh station on the 
London and North Western Railway. 

At the east end of the village is a stone socket and 
shaft, mentioned hereafter as the village cross. This 
formerly stood on the green due north of the church, 
and is well shown in a sepia print called " Avon Head, 
Naseby, Northamptonshire," published about 1800 by 
Sam. Ireland, where it is shown with two steps, the 
lower being about 3 ft. high, a socket, a circular shaft 
about 8 ft. high, surmounted by a square abacus and 

Churchyard Cross. 

The old stones which formed the base of this cross 
on the village green probably still remain in their 
original position, although now enclosed in the church- 
yard, in consequence of the wall having been moved. 

These old stones now form the foundation of the 
modern cross. This consists of a large square socket, 
a tall, square, massive shaft, with the edges slightly 
chamfered, and having a well-designed 
head of the Ionian type. 

Village Cross. 

The remains of this now stand at 
the junction of the road leading to 
Market Harborough with the road 
leading to Hazelbeach. 

It only consists of a socket, i ft. 
3 in. high and 2 ft. 9 in. square, the 
upper surface much worn, so as to 
form steps at the corners. The shaft 
was once octagonal, but has been so 
much rubbed as to be now almost round. It is 7 ft. 



high and about 9 in. in diameter ; and is fixed in the 
socket with lead, and about half-way up encircled by 
two flat iron bands. On the base is scratched the 
date 1 80 1. 

The Monument. 

A short distance from the village, on the right hand 
side of the Market Harborough road, standing on a 
mound, and surrounded by trees, is the so-called obelisk. 
This is built of large squared stones, mounted on a 
square rough stone base, and on the side is a large 
slab, which bears the legend : — 

"To commemorate 

that great and decisive battle 

fought in this field 

on the xiv day of June mdcxlv. 

between the royalist army 

commanded by His Majesty 

King Charles the First, 

And the Parliament forces 

headed by the Generals Fairfax and Cromwell, 

which terminated fatally 

for the royal cause, 

led to the subversion of the throne, 

the altar, and the constitution, 

and for years plunged this nation 

into the horrors of anarchy 

and civil war ; 

leaving a useful lesson to British kings : 

never to exceed the bounds 

of their just prerogative, 

and to British subjects, 

never to swerve from the allegiance 

due to their legitimate monarch. 

This pillar was erected 

by John and Mary Frances Fitzgerald, 

Lord and Lady of the ALanor of Naseby : 


This monument is at some distance from the actual 
field of battle. 




The village of Nassington is five and a half miles 
from Oundle, with a station in the village on the London 
and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

When this beautiful church was restored in 1884, 
part of the shaft of a Saxon cross was discovered near 


I ■ 



the foundation of the north wall, and this was placed 
on a stone base in the north aisle.^^ 

This stone is of oolite, and is 3 ft. high, i ft. 4 in. 
by 9 in. at the bottom, tapering to i ft. 3 in. by 7 in. 
at the top, and is carved on each face. 

On the front there are two panels. The lower one 
contains a representation of the Crucifixion, with the 
sun and moon appearing above the arms of the cross. 

*^ Gordon's Nassington-ciim-YariucU, 1890, p. 59. 


Beneath our Saviour's right arm stands he who " ran, 
and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put 
it on a reed, and gave him to drink " ; and beneath 
His left arm " one of the soldiers " who " with a 
spear pierced his side." The undraped figure of Christ 
is extended on a broad-faced cross, His head erect, 
His arms slightly bent, and His feet separated, as in 
the earlier Byzantine type. The upper panel contains 
the figure of a man, wearing spreading clothes, reaching 
to his knees. The stone is unfortunately broken just 
below the waist of this figure, so that it is impossible 
to say with certainty what this panel represented, but 
it was probably intended for the Ascension. 

On the right side there is a continuous pattern of 
two bands, which form figures of eight — the design 
which the Wake family adopted as their crest, and 
which became known as the " Wake knot." 

On the left side there is a growing undulating stem, 
with short branches curvinor off rio^ht and left, each 
terminating with a small bunch of grapes, each composed 
of four berries. This was evidently intended to repre- 
sent " the True Vine." but the design is rather poor. 

On the back there is a very beautiful pattern of 
interlaced work, the bands of which form four circular 
knots, the crossings of which are perfectly regular. 
The two upper knots are similar, but it will be noticed 
that the lower knot is surrounded by a complete ring, 
which by interlocking with the bands makes the 
crossing of this knot opposite to the other two. These 
concentric circles are characteristic of Celtic work of the 
best period.^^ 

The ornamentation of this cross is very like that 
of the crosses at Eyam, co. Derby, and at lona. 

** Associated Architectural Societies' Reports^ Vol. XIX., p. 414. 



The little village of Newton Bromswold is four and 
a half miles from the town and station of Hicham 
Ferrers on the Midland Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

A little south-east of the south porch was the church- 
yard cross, of which only the socket remains in its 
original position, l^his measures 2 ft. by 2 ft. 2 in., 
and is 6 in. high. The upper edge is bevelled, and 
in the centre is the mortise-hole, 9 in. square. 


The little village of Newton-in-the-Willows is five 
miles from Kettering and one and a half mile from 
Geddington station on the Midland Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this little churchyard, on the south-west of the 
south door, is the socket of an ancient cross.^^' 

This stone has the upper bed octagonal, with plain 
broaches at the angles ; it measures _^^ 

2 ft. -x in. square below, and is i ft. >^----^^fc 

3 m. nigh, it has a plam circular ^^^B* — -^^'^'CH 
moulding round the upper edge. ^Jl \ '■ ^M 
The mortise is also octagonal ; each 'SSiW^^si^:^!^^' 
race measures 5 4 in., and it is 4 in. 

deep. 1 his socket has evidently 

been moved, and in its present position it does not 

stand square with the church. 

*^ Bridges' NortIia?np/ons/ii>r, Vol. H., p. 324. 



In the county borough of Northampton there are 
three stations, the Castle and Bridge Street stations 
of the London and North Western Railway, and the 
station at the bottom of Guildhall Road of the Midland 


Church YARD Cross. 

Near the Castle station stands the fme old Norman 
church of Saint Peter, which was restored by Sir 
Gilbert Scott in 1850-2. 

When the chancel was rebuilt, the bases of the 
two western responds of the Norman arcade were 


discovered to be formed out of Saxon cross shafts. 
These stones, which are oolite, were removed to the 
Northampton Museum, where they now remain.**^ 

The first of these is i ft. 10^ in. high, i ft. 9 J in. 
broad, and 10 in. thick. At the angles is the cable 

^ Associati'.d Architcctu7-al Societies' Reports, Vol. XIX., p. 415. 


moulding ; and on the front there is a continuous pattern 
of interlaced work, which is formed of four horizontal 
and six vertical rows of figures of eight knots, the 
terminations of which are very irregular, as the bands 
split and branch into two or three heads. On the left 
side there are some remains of foliage, but they are 
so much damaged that the pattern cannot be made out. 
The other faces of the stone have been cut away. 

The second of these stones is also a piece of cross 
shaft, very much defaced, but on the front and right 
side there is some conventional foliage. 


Churchyard Cross. 

In the wall of a house on the south side of this 
churchyard there is a small stone crucifix ; it is now 
about 20 in. high and 19 in. wide, and when perfect 
was about 30 in. high.^' 

The figure of Christ is somewhat rudely carved. 
The head is erect and the eyes open, and it is surrounded 
by a cruciform nimbus. The arms are horizontal, and 
the hands flat, but the nails are not shown. The body 
is clothed from the waist to the knees, and the leQfs are 
not crossed. 

This stone is probably of early fifteenth-century 
workmanship, and was perhaps a gable cross placed on 
some part of the church when the tower and spire were 
built.^** It is possible that it formed the head of some 
churchyard cross ; but if so, it is a unique example. It 
has also been suggested that this crucifix once formed 
the apex of Queen Eleanor's cross at Hardingston ; but 

*' Northamptonshire Notes and Queries, Vol. II., p. 239, vvitli repro- 
duction of Carter's drawing of the crucifix, made on the 13th October, 1782. 

*' Cox and Serjeantson's History of the Chnrch of the Holy Sepulchre, 
Northaj/ipton, 1897, p. 120. 


this theory is too absurd to need refutation, as any one 
who saw the two works would admit. A more plausible 
idea is that it formed the " Rode of the Wall " at Our 
Lady of Grace, being the church of the Blessed Virgin 
in St. Mary's Street.^^ But this idea also is probably 

The legend connected with this crucifix is that on 

"^■^ •^^ *^p.i— . • , »,•* 


.», ■':'~0 -^ \ 

1 mfSSS^ K-^-'' ' " 

^^^ \ i 


Good Friday, 1277, the Jews crucified a boy at 
Northampton, and that this stone was carved and 
erected in commemoration of the event. Indeed, it is 
asserted by some that the figure represents the crucified 
boy. This legend is, however, common to Bury St. 
Edmunds, Lincoln, Norwich, and other places. There 

^* Notes atid Queries, Fourth Series, Vol. VII., p. 124. 


is no need to give any credence to it ; and it appears 
certain that in each case the legend was a simple myth. 

Market Cross. 

From early times a market cross stood in the centre 
of the market square, and this cross is mentioned in 
several fourteenth- and fifteenth-century deeds. ''^ This 
was probably a simple shaft, on steps, with a cross on 
the summit. 

A large and handsome building was erected in 1535, 
and is thus described in Lee's MS. history of the town : 

"In y'' vi'^ yeare of y*" Reigne of King Henry 8*^'' 
Anno Dni 1535, Laurence Manley Mayor was the Cross 
in the Markett Place made there were 8 large stones 
sett in the Ground ab' 2 feet high cutt and carved and 
upon them 8 large Fillers of Timber with carved Work 
upon them. They did bear up y" Roof and y*" Timbers 
from one Filler to the next piller was arched and 
carved. In y® middle was 3 Steps or rounds of Stone 
to sit upon and to go from y'^ middle of y® Cross by a 
small paire of staires into y"* Lanthorne or little 
Chamber where were lodged y*" Markett Strike and 
other Utensells belonging to y^ Markett and a doore at 
y*" foot of y*" Stairs lockt up from Markett to Markett. 
The whole Cross was covered all over with lead and 
y*" Lanthorne well glased and little Fosts from every 
square all covered with Lead and Apes at y® Tops of 
them with little Iron Rods in their hands with Fanes on 
y° Tops of them. The Compass of y^ Cross was so 
large y* betwene y" Lanthorne and y* outsides of y^ cross 
where Battelments were built I have seen Men walk 
several times. The whole was sett out and beautified 
with branches of lead and upon all squares little parcels 
of lead like coats of arms guilt and a great ornament to 
y*^ place. 

^^ Northampton Borough Records, Vol. II., p. 193. 
^^ Lee's Collections, 


A few years before the erection of the cross, the 
square was paved for the convenience of holding a 

On the 19th January, 1670, the Town Assembly 
ordered "that a shead be built of Bord and Timber 


at the Chamber Charge for the Judges to sitt in next 
Assizes and to be built in some convenient place within 
the body of the Towne for that purpose." 

This shed was accordingly erected on the market 
square, adjoining the cross. 

On the 20th September, 1675, the great and dreadful 

** Bridges' Northa}npio?ishirc, Vol. I., p. 432. 


fire occurred, and this consumed almost the whole of 
the town; for it "spared neither Cross nor Pump, 
nor Timber drawn into the Market-place for the 
Sessions-house." ^^ 

Markets and Fairs. 

Henry III., by his letters patent dated 6th November, 
1 2 18, gave directions for holding a fair at North- 
ampton. The fairs at this town are also mentioned 
in the charter of the forty-first year of Henry HI. ; 
but their dates are not mentioned."'^ 

Edward HI., by his charter dated the i8th March, 
1337, granted the Mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses of 
Northampton liberty to hold a fair yearly, to commence 
on the Monday next after the octave of the Holy 
Trinity (the second Monday after Trinity Sunday), and 
to last for twenty-seven days thence next ensuing.^^ 

This fair was probably not of long duration. 

Henry VII., by his charter dated 22nd December, 
1495, granted two fairs every year: one on the feast 
of Saint George the Martyr (April 23rd), and the day 
preceding and the six days following the feast ; and 
the other on the feast of Saint Hugh the Bishop 
(17th November), and the day preceding and the six 
days following the feast. ^'^ 

Queen Elizabeth, by letters patent dated the 3rd 
April, 1 599, granted to the Mayor, baihffs, and burgesses 
of Northampton that they might hold a free market 
within the town on the Wednesday, Friday, and 
Saturday in each week ; and seven fairs yearly — namely, 
on the feast of Saint George the Martyr (23rd April), 
the feast of Saint Hugh the Bishop (17th November), the 

93 The State of Northmnptvn from the Beginning of tlie Fire (2otli 
September to 5th November, 1675.) 

^^ Northampton Borough Records, \'o\. I., pp. 35, 47. 

95 J bid., I., p. 67. 

96 Jbid., I., p. 107. 


Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ist January), the 
feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
(25th March), the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
(8th December), the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary (15th August), and the feast of Saint James the 
Apostle (27th December).''" 

By the last charter granted to the town by George 
III., dated 2nd April, 1796, nine fairs were licensed 
every year — on the 25th February, 5th April, 4th May, 
19th June, 5th August, 26th August, 19th September, 
2Sth November, and 19th December, and the day 
preceding and the day following each of those days. 
The new fairs were on the 20th February and the 
19th June. 

Three markets were also granted, to be held on 
the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday ; the Friday 
market is not now held. 

Fairs are now held on the second Tuesday in 
January, 20th February, third Monday in March, 5th 
April, 4th May, 19th June, 5th August, 26th August, 
19th September, first Thursday in November, 28th 
November, and the Friday before the Great Smithfield 


Bridge Crosses. 

The southern bridge, which was built of stone and 
mortar, and called Crowthorp Bridge, was t 2 ft. between 
the two crosses which stood on it, and extended 20 ft. 
from one cross towards the north and 40 ft. from the 
other cross towards the south. 

" Le pont ke est appelle en Engleys Crowethorpbrigge, 
ke est de pere e de morter et ke mene outre lewe ke 

'^''Northampton Borough Records, \o\. I., p. 120. 



est appelle Nene de Undel vers le norht et Crowthorp 
vers le suht, la laure del pont partit xij. peez de homme 
par entre les deus croiz esteauns sur mesme le pont, 
a XX. peez de homme de la croiz ver le norht e a xl. 
peez de homme de lautre croiz vers le suht." 

This curious record of two bridge crosses occurs in 
the Coronei's Roll, in consequence of one William 
Castle, of Barnwell, having been murdered on Whit 
Monday, 13 12, near the said crosses,''^ 

Market Cross. 

In this town, in the open space at the top of 
Saint Osyth's Lane, to the east of the Town Hall, stood 


the old market cross. This consisted of tw^o octagon 
stone steps, each with an over-hanging drij), a square 

^^ Coroner's Roll, 1262 1413, eci. by Cliarles Cross, 1896, p. 64. 


socket, inscribed with the date " 1591." ^ind a stone or 
wooden shaft of great height. It was surrounded by 
a pent-house built of timber, also octagonal, with a high- 
pitched roof, covered by Colly Weston slates. 

This building is well shown in three lithographs of 
Oundle. The first, reproduced here, is lettered "J. S. 
del & Lithogy. Printed by W. Day, 59, Great Queen 
Street, London. Oundle. Sold by Mr. Mountain & 
Mr. Leight, Oundle." The other two views are half 
the size of the first, and are lettered " Market Cross, 
Oundle," and "St. Osyth's Lane, Oundle." 

This cross is not mentioned in Bridges' History of 
this country ; so it was perhaps erected on the base 
of an old cross, after he collected his information. It 
has been long since destroyed. 

Market and Fairs. 

In Bridges' time he says that : " Here is a mercate 
on Saturday, and fairs, on Valentine s day, Whitfun- 
Monday, and on the loth of Auguft."^^ 

In 1800 the market was held on Saturday, and the 
fairs on the 25th February, Whit Monday, and the 
21st August. 

The February fair is known as " the Valentine 
Horse Fair," and is now held on the Thursday nearest 
the 25th February. At one time this fair lasted three 
days, and was one of the largest and best horse fairs 
in the Midlands. 

The market is now held on Thursday, and the fairs 
on the 25th February, on Whit Monday, and on the 
1 2th October. 

■'^ Bridges' Northamptonshire yVo\. II., p. 404. 




The villaee of Peakirk is five and a half miles from 
Peterborough, with a station in the village on the Great 
Northern Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

The shaft of a Saxon cross was found here during 
the repair of the church, and is now preserved in the 

Hermitage Chapel, or "Cell of Saint Pega," at this 
village. It measures i ft. 9 in. high, 10 in. square at 
the bottom, tapering to 8^ in. at the top. On the front 
and back is a representation of a dragon, with his tail 
forming an interlacing pattern ; on the right side is 
conventional foliage ; and on the left side probably 
a beast. The character of the design is late, and is 
more nearly allied to Norman than Saxon work, and 
the foliage is of an unusual but beautiful form. 

The buildinof containiner this interestinor relic is 
known as the Hermitage. This was erected about 
1270, but became out of repair and desecrated, and so 
it remained for many years, but has now been well 



In the city of Peterborough there are two stations, 
one being the joint station of the London and North 
Western and Great Eastern Railways, the other being 
the Great Northern Railway. 


During the recent restorations of the Cathedral many 
very interesting Saxon stones were found, including the 
so-called Hedda's tomb. These are evidently all relics 
of the first Saxon church at Peterborough. They have 
been described by Mr. Romilly Allen in his paper on 
-" Early Christian Sculpture in Northamptonshire." ""^ 

Churchvard Cross. 

Amongst these stones is one which probably formed 
part of a cross shaft. It is of oolite, and was found 
in 1884 under the south-west pier of the great central 
tower. It is i ft. 7 in. long and 5^ in. broad. The 
interlaced work on this stone is of uncommon but 
beautiful design, consisting of six inter- 
laced bands forming broken plait-work 
— that is, work in which spaces are 
left between the plaits instead of the 
plaits running through trom end to 

Another fragment, which formed 
one arm of a cross, is here reproduced. 
Probably this relic was from the church erected by 
Athelwold, Bishop of Winchester, in 963. 

I'"* Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, Vol. XIX., p. 421. 

'*" Journal of the British Archavtogical Association, V'ol. XIV., p. 180. 



Market Cross. 

At the city of Peterborough there was a market 
cross, which is frequently alluded to in the old town 
books. In 16 1 4 there was received for — 

" Rents for stallage at the Market Cross for i 

whole year 35-. 8^." 

Again in 1649 : 

" Rec'' under the market cross of several fellows 

for the use of the poor of Peterborough . d,s. 6d" 

The Rev. W. D. Sweeting thinks, from this entry, 
that these small rents were appropriated to the poor. 
They varied each year; the amount received in 1652 
"from the standers under the cross " was S^?^''^ 

Market and Fairs. 

Bridges states that : " Here is a weekly market on 
Saturday, and two fairs in a year, each lafting three 
days, one beginning on the eve of S. Peter, the other 
on St. Matt/ieivs eve." ^°^ In 1800 fairs were held on 
the loth July and the 2nd October. 

The market was afterwards increased to Wednesday 
and Saturday in each week, and the fairs to four days : 
the Saint Peter's fair on the second Tuesday and 
Wednesday in July, and the Bridge fair on the first 
Wednesday and Thursday in October, each being 
proclaimed at noon on the previous day. 

Memorial Cross. 

In the market place stands a handsome stone cross, 
erected by Mrs. Gates to the memory of her late husband. 

This is raised on three steps. The lower portion is 
an irregular octagon, with four basins and drinking- 

'"* Sweeting's Paris/i Churclics in aiii/ (I/ok/kI J'ehr/'oroitg/i, i8()<S, p. 26. 
'"^ Bridges' Northamptonshire, Vol. II., p. 537. 



fountains ; above these there is an arcade of pointed 
arches, in four of which are the devices hereinafter 
mentioned. The next story is formed by eight shafts 
at the corners and a central shaft. Above a sHght 
parapet, ornamented by finials over the shafts, rises a 
plain spire surmounted by a cross. 

In a panel on the east side is carved the legend : 







On the south side is the shield : Per pale sa., and 
gn., three lions rampant gtiardant or, for Gates. 

On the west side is the shield : Per pale ; dexter, az., 
two keys in saltire betiveen four crose crosslets fitchde, for 
See of Peterborough ; sinister , gti., two swords in 
saltire, hilts in base, between four crosses, for City of 

On the north is the shield : Gates, impaling ar., a 
chevron sa., betujeen three inaunches of the second for 


Henry Pearson Gates was born 20th October, 18 18, 
at Peterborough. He became Chapter Clerk of Peter- 
borough Cathedral, and Registrar of the Archdeaconries 
of Northampton and Oakham. He was secretary to 
Bishops Davys, Jeune, and Magee ; was four times 
elected Mayor of Peterborough ; and he was High 
Sheriff for the counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon 
in 1883. 

Mr. Gates married Miss Mansel, the daughter of 
the Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel, of Cosgrove. 

Mr. Gates died at his residence, the Vineyard, 
Peterborough, on the 6th May, 1893. 




The village of Preston Capes is ^w^t and a half miles 
from Daventry, and three miles from Morton Pinkeney 
station on the East and West Junction Railway. 

CiiURCHVARu Cross. 

To the south-east of the south door of this church is 
a charming little cross, clothed with ivy. The socket 
rests on the ground, and is octagonal, with a slight 
circular moulding round the edge. The shaft is square 
at the bottom, and changes to an octagon by plain 
broaches. It is set with lead. 





Each face. 


at foot. 

ft. in. 
O lO 

ft. in. 
I 2 

ft. in. 
3 6 

ft. in. 
o io| 


The town of Raundes is four and a half miles from 
Thrapston, and one and a half mile from Raundes 
station on the Midland Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

The cross in the churchyard of this village stands to 
the south-west of the south porch. It is composed 
of two steps, a socket, and small piece of shaft. The 
steps are square. The lower has an angular weather- 
drip, and a moulded set-off at the base. The second 
also has a square drip and an angular set-off, the 
flat surface between being ornamented with a band 


of well-designed quartrefoil panels enclosing crosses of 
different shapes. The socket is square below, and cut 
to an octagon ; it has bold convex stops at the angles, 
and the upper edge is bevelled. The shaft is square, 
with bands at each angle. The emblems of the four 


Evangelists are engraved on the sides of the shaft : 
on the north side the ox for Saint Luke, on the east the 
eagle for Saint John, on the south the winged lion for 
Saint Mark, and on the west the unusual symbol of a bird 
with a human face, in lieu of an angel or man, for 
Saint Matthew. This cross was erected about 1380.^*^ 






Each face. 



Each face. 


at foot. 

Basement ... 
2nd step 

ft. in. 

1 9 


ft. in. 
7 10 
4 8 

ft. in. ft. in. 

\ 1} ^ ^ 

ft. in. 
2 4 

ft. in. 
3 8 

ft. in. 
I 3 

"*^ Churches of the Archdeacotiry of Northampton, 1849, PP- 53' ^3- ^''°'" 
which this drawing of the cross is reproduced. 



The village of Ravensthorp is ten miles from North- 
ampton, and three and a half miles from Althorp station 
on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

The churchyard cross here stood to the south-west 
of the south porch. It consisted of four steps, an 
octagonal socket, and small piece of shaft. This shaft 
and the steps were destroyed about the year i860, the 
socket alone being preserved in the garden of the 
Vicarage. However, when the church was restored, 
the octagonal stone socket was trimmed, the upper and 
lower edges bevelled, completely hollowed, and lined 
with lead. It was then placed in the church, in lieu of 
the old circular font. It is i ft. 3 in. high, 2 ft. 6 in. 
across ; each face is about 1 2 in. wide ; and being a 
handsome stone, it makes a good font. 


The village of Rockingham is nine miles from 
Kettering, and one mile froei Rockingham station 
on the London and North Western Railway. 

Market Cross. 

Of the old market cross at Rockingham only the 
socket now remains. It is a large and handsome stone, 
square below and octagon above, with plain broaches. 
This socket has been placed on two square steps with 
square nosings. On the side there is a large semi- 
circular basin into which a stream of water is continually 
running. A tall octagonal shaft has been placed in the 
old socket ; a little over half-way up it is worked to 



a cylinder and encircled with a gun-metal band, on 
which in raised letters is the following legend : 

"rebuilt, 1894, 
on the remains of the 

old market-cross of 
the village she loved 
so well, in memory of 
laura . maria . watson 

MARCH 2ISt, 1893." 

And the arms : Arg., 
on a chevron engrailed 
az. , behveen three mart- 
lets sa., as many cres- 
cents or, for Watson ; 
impaling, az., a pair 
of wings, conjoined in 
litre or, on a canton 
crest, A griffin s head 
; motto, " Mea gloria 


arg., an anchor sa., Seymour ; 
erased arg., due ally gorged or 
















2nd step 
3rd step 

ft. in. 
I 10 

ft. in. 
6 7 
5 10 

ft. in. 
Oil \ 
lO.T r 


ft. in. 

ft. in. 
2 5 

ft. in. 
9 5 

ft. in. 

I 4 

ft. in. 


ft. in. 

It is supposed that the old market cross here was 
destroyed by the Parliamentary troopers, when they 
occupied the castle and devastated the village, leaving 
only the socket remaining. ^°'' 

George Lewis Watson, Esq. the rebuilder of this 

'"■' Wise's Rockingham Castle and iJie Watsons, 1891, p. 120. 


cross, was the eldest son of the Hon. Richard 
Watson. He was born in 1841, and in 1870 he served 
the office of High Sheriff for Northamptonshire. In 
1867 Mr. Watson married Laura Maria, the daughter 
of the Rev. Sir J. H. Culme-Seymour, whose death 
in 1893 he never ceased to regret. Mr. Watson died 
31st December, 1899, at his London residence in 
Wimpole Street. 

Market and Fair. 

The right of holding a weekly market at this village 
was granted by Henry HL to Edward, Earl of Cornwall, 
in 1 271. This market was held on the Friday, but 
in 13 1 5 it was changed to the Saturday in each week.^'^'^' 
In 1769 we find that the day was changed to the 
Thursday, and shortly after 1800 the market was 

A large fair for horses and cattle is still held on 
the 25th September every year. 


The village of Rothersthorp is four and a half miles 
from Northampton, and two miles from Blisworth 
Junction station on the London and North Western 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this church is the head of a cross, which is in 
fair condition. It has four arms slightly expanded at 
the ends, and united by a circular ring which surrounds 
the whole. On the front the lower limb is carried 
downwards below the ring, and there is in relief upon 
the cross the figure of the crucified Saviour, who is 
represented as erect, His head upright, and arms at 

106 Wise's Rockingham Castle and the Watsons, 1891, p. 14. 


right angles with His body ; there is a cloth about His 
loins, and His feet are separated and fastened by two 
nails after the earlier Byzantine type, the entire figure 

"alive and erect — apparently elate. "^"'^ 
The whole of the head rises from 

a short shaft, at the bottom of which 

is a horizontal band of ornamental 

foliage of the Early English period ; 

and projecting from the sides are 

small human heads. 

The height of the stone is 2 ft. 

9 in,, and the width at the top i ft. 

3 in. The figure of Christ is i ft. 

4 in. high. 
This cross was found in the village 

when pulling down an old barn in 
1869, and was placed in the church 
about ten years ago.^"® 
In the churchyard is the 
base of a cross, consisting of a 
square block with chamfered 
edges. An attempt has been 
made to take away the small 
remaining portion of the shaft 
by cutting away the sides of the 

It is possible, but not probable, that this base 
belonged to the head of the cross now in the church. 





The town of Rothwell is four miles from Kettering, 
and two miles from Desborough station on the Midland 

'"' Mrs. Jameson's History of Our Lord, 1864, Vol. II., p. 142. 
'"'' Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, Vol. XX., p. 89. 


Market and Fair. 

At the commencement of the nineteenth century a 
weekly market was held here on Monday. This was 
afterwards discontinued, it is said, at the time of the 
plague, and at the present time only the fair on Trinity 
Monday and the four following days is held. 

There is no record of a market cross in this town. 
The market-house, however, which was erected about 
1575' t>y Sir Thomas Tretham, is frequently called 
" The Cross," the plan of the building being cruciform. 


The town of Rushden is one mile from Higham 
Ferrers, with a station in the town on the Midland 
Railway. There was a carving representing the 
Crucifixion, which probably formed the head of a cross. 
This had been built into the wall of a cottage in the 
village near the church.^"'' It appears to have been 
now removed or destroyed. 


The village of Spratton is seven miles from North- 
ampton, and one and a quarter mile from Spratton 
station on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this churchyard, to the south-east of the southern 
door, is the old cross. 

Two plain steps, of large stones, some of which are 
displaced, form the base. The socket is deep, and rests 
on a thin stone of the same size. It is square, and at 
the angles are convex chamfers, which appear to have 
been ornamented. Round the upper edge is an incised 
line. The shaft is tall and slender, and is formed of a 

'"'■* Coles' History of Higham Ferrers^ p. 218. 


single stone ; it is octagonal, and tapers slightly. Where 
it joins the socket it is square, and has chamfers at the 
angles, ending in pretty little trefoil knops. It is fixed 

C.A.r>\ a 


in the socket with lead. At the top there is a rounded 
tenon, still cased with lead, which no doubt originally 
fitted the cross-arms or head surmounting the shaft. 






Each face. 



Each face. 


at foot. 

Basement ... 
2nd step ... 
3rd step ... 

ft. in. 
O 6 
o 9 
o 4 

ft. in. 
6 7 
3 lo 

2 7 

ft. in. 

o 7- 
o l] 

ft. in. 
O 9 

ft. in. 
2 5 

ft. in. 
9 II 

ft. in. 




The village of Stanion is two and a half miles from 
Corby station on the Midland Railway. 

Village Cross. 
In the village there is the base of a small cross, 
with a portion of the stem still remaining, but this 
is quite featureless and of little interest. 


The little village of Stoke Doyle is two miles from 
Oundle town and rather farther from Oundle station 
on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 
There is at the Rectory the base of a cross of some- 
what unusual form. This is 2 ft. i in. square below, 
and I ft. 6 in. higrh ; it 

O ' J. - 

changes to a plain octagon 
by sloping chamfers. On 
the chamfer stops there 
are curious shell-like pro- 
jections, ornamented on 
each side with a kind ot 
curl in low relief One 
corner has been cut away 
to form a step for mount- 
ing, the stone having long 
been used as a mounting-block. The mortise-socket 
is scjuare, and is set diagonally. The lower part of 
the stem of the cross, set in lead, and broken off nearly 
level with the surface of the base, still remains. The 
upper edge of the octagon is ornamented with a plain 
circular moulding. 

The whole stone has been much mutilated, but it 
is well worthy of preservation. 





The village of Stowe-Nine-Churches is six miles 
from Daventry, and two miles from Weedon Junction 
station on the London and North Western Railway. 

Churchyard Cross. 

At this church there are pieces of two Saxon 
cross-shafts. One is 2 ft. 3 in. high ; at the bottom it 
is I ft. 2 in. by i ft. 3 in., and at the top i ft. by i ft. 


I in. At the angles there is cable moulding ; on one 
face are two pieces of interlaced work, the upper one a 
plait of six bands, the lower a double band forming 
figures of eight and interlaced at intervals with a four- 
cornered knot. This pattern appears to be quite unique. 
Two of the other sides are also ornamented. 

The other stone is 1 1 in. high, i ft. 5 in. wide, and 



8^ in. thick. On one face it is sculptured with inter- 
laced work, composed of spiral knots arranged in two 
vertical rows, those on the right being right-handed, 


those on the left left-handed, and the spiral band of 
each knot makes three turns before reaching the centre. 
Both stones are illustrated in Mr. J. Romilly Allen's 



The village of Sywell is six miles from North- 

Village Cross. 

Here are the remains of an ancient cross, now on 
the village green. This was probably a churchyard 
cross, as it does not appear that a market was ever 
held at this village. 

Some fifty years ago this cross stood at the south- 
east end of the village on the left-hand side of the road 
leading to M ear's Ashby. 

In the year 1864, when the late Lord Overstone 
rebuilt the village on a site nearer the church, this cross 

"" Associated Architectural Societies Reports^ Vol. XIX., p. 421. 


was moved, and was placed on the village green to the 
north-east of the church. 

In 1S97 this cross was once again moved to a 
position on the green due east of the church and entirely 

The only portions of the old cross still in existence 


consist of a massive socket and a small piece of the 
shaft, both of oolite stone. The socket is a plain block, 
much hollowed on the upper surface, into which is 
fixed by lead the shaft, of which only three feet in 
length now remain ; this is square below and worked to 
an octagon, but the edges are so much worn away that 
it appears almost circular. 

The socket has been placed on two new steps, the 



upper surfaces of which slope in a somewhat clumsy 
manner. The old shaft is surmounted by a heavy 
capital, which forms the base of the new cross. This 
is Ionian in design and is ornamented with interlaced 
patterns. On the boss in the centre of the west side 
is carved the date " 1837 " ; and on the east side the 
date " 1897." C)n the east side of the second step has 
been inscribed the legend : 

"Restored in Commemoration 

of the 60th year of 
the reign of queen victoria." 

The cost of this renovation was ^19 os. 4^., among 
the subscribers being His Majesty King Edward, who 
is the patron of the living. 











ft. in. 


at foot. 


Basement ... 
2nd step ... 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 

5 o.i 
3 io| 

ft. in. 


ft. in. 

I 4 

ft. in. 
2 9 

ft. in. 

ft. in. 
4 6 


The town of Thrapston has stations on the London 
and North Western and Midland Railways. 

Bridge Cross. 
Cole, in his MS., states that : ** Over the river at 
Thrapston is a stone bridge of eight arches, leading 
from Thrapston to I slip, repaired severally by the two 
places to the middle of the river, where a hollow stone 
toward Denford formerly stood out as a mark ; but has 
been of late years supplied by a cast-iron mask properly 
inscribed." '" 

'" Cole's MS. History of Thrapstotiy circa 1850. 


This "hollow stone" was probably the base of a 
bridge cross similar to that on the bridge at Wansford. 

There is no note of a market cross ever having been 
erected at this town. 

Market and Fairs. 

The market held here on Tuesday is a privilege of 
remote antiquity, for we read that Baldwin de Veer, a 
possessor of lands here in the seventh year of King 
John (1205-6), gave the king two palfreys for the 
privilege of a mercate on Tuesday at his manor of 
" Trapestone." 

In Bridges' time the market was held on the 
Tuesday, and a fair was held on the 25th July every 

In 1870 the Thrapston Market Company was in- 
corporated under the authority of " The Thrapston 
Market Act, 1870" (33 & 34 Vict. c. 138); and the 
company was empowered to hold a market on Tuesday 
in every week and a fair on the first Tuesday in May, 
the 5th day of August, and the first Tuesday after the 
I ith October every year. 


The village of Tiffield is two miles from Towcester, 
and three miles from Blisworth Junction station on the 
London and North Western Railway. 

Built into the south wall of Tiffield church is a 
prettily designed little Early English cross. On a flat 
cross is a smaller one, with a trefoil leaf at the end of 
each arm. The lower part of the cross has been 
destroyed, and the whole is under a little pitched roof 

"- Bridges' Northampionshire, Vol. II., p. 379. 



The market town of Towcester is eight miles from 
Northampton, with a station on the Northampton and 
Banbury Junction Railway. 

Market and Fairs. 

In the third year of Edward I. (1275) an inquisition 
of the privilege of the corporation of Northampton was 
held, and it was presented that though Towcester was 
within ten miles of Northampton, Sir William de 
Muncheni had a market in " Towcest." ^^^ 

In the third year of Edward III. (1329-30) William 
de Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon, and Juliana his wife, 
were summoned to show cause why they claimed, with 
other privileges, to have a weekly mercate and a yearly 
fair within the manor of Towcester, and they made 
good their right to this privilege. ^^^ 

A weekly market is held here now on the Tuesday, 
and every alternate week there is a sale of stock. 

The fairs here are more ancient, for in the twelfth 
year of Edward II. [13 18-9] Aymer de Valence, Earl 
of Pembroke, obtained a licence to hold a yearly fair 
here beginning on the eve of the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin (25th March) and ending the day after. ^''' 

In 1544 Henry VIII. granted to the men of 
Towcester two yearly fairs, on the feast of Saint Philip 
and Saint James the Apostles, and the feast of Saint 
Luke the Evangelist. 

Charles II. in 1684 granted to Sir William Farmer, 
Bart., a weekly market on Tuesday, and three yearly 
fairs on the 23rd September, Shrove Tuesday, and the 

"■' Baker's Xoriltamptonshirc, Vol. II., p. 371. 
'" Bridges' !\'ortluwiplonshin\ Vol. I., j). 273. 
"^ Ibid., p. 273. ■ 


22nd March. ^"' The fairs arc now nominally held on 
Shrove Tuesday, the 12th May, and the 29th October; 
but they are only slightly attended. 

There is no record of a market cross at this town. 


The little village of Upton is two miles from 
Northampton, and ecclesiastically it forms part of 
St. Peter's parish, Northampton. 

CiiURcrivARD Cross. 

This cross is of good design, and was no doubt a 
handsome structure at one time ; indeed, it is still most 

The steps are square ; the lowest is large and low. 
The second step is smaller, but higher, and quite plain. 

The third step is smaller and lower, the upper edge 
being bevelled ; the socket is plain, also with the edge 
bevelled, and a mortise-hole in the centre, 10 in. square 
and 8 in. deep. 

The stones are much displaced, owing to a sapling 
growing between them, and they are covered with moss. 

'"' Bilker's Nurllnunptunshirc, Vol. 11., p. 371. 







Each face 



Kach face. 


2nd step 

3rd step 

ft. in. 


ft. in. 
4 II 

3 8 

ft. in 

ft. i;i. 

ft. in. 
2 II 


The village of " Wans ford in England" is eight 
miles from Peterborough, and one and a half mile from 
Wansford station on the London and North Western 

The river Nene, forminor the boundarv between 
the counties of Northampton and Huntingdon, is here 
crossed by a very fine old bridge which was built in 
the fourteenth century; it was repaired in 1674, and 
was widened and partially rebuilt in 1 796. 

Bridge Cross. 

On the eastern side of this beautiful bridge, in 
the first recess on the 
Northamptonshire side, 
there is the socket of 
an old cross. 

This is now im- 
bedded, so that the 
upper surface is almost 
level with the roadway. 
It is not quite rectan- 
gular in plan, the sides 
are 2 ft. 4 in, ; the 
upper edge is bevelled, and the; mortisc-holc is circular, 
I ft. 2 in. in diameter and 7 in. deep. 



This stone is probably in its original position. 
Bridges, speaking of the bridge, says : 

" About the middle, where was formerly a crofs 
is now a dial, which divides the counties." ^^^ 


The villaofe of WarminQ^ton is two and a half miles 
froni Oundle station on the London and North Western 

Churchyard Cross. 

In the north-east part of the churchyard at 
VVarmington there is the socket of an ancient cross. 
This is 2 ft. square below, and i ft. high, and changes 
to an octagon by bold convex stops. The mortise- 
hole is set square in the stone. This socket is very 
similar to that at Stoke Doyle, and was probably made 
by the same mason. 


The village of Great Weldon is eight and a half 
miles from Kettering and two and a half miles from 
Corby station on the Midland Railway. 

Market and Fairs. 

In 1800 a market was held here weekly on 
Wednesday, and fiirs on the 19th February, the 21st 
May, the 20th August, and the :7th September. The 
only fair now held is on the 14th July. 

It appears that there was a cross of some kind at 
this village, for we find that Thomas Gardener in 1526 
by his will left " to the . . . att the Crosse iiij'^" 

"^ Bridges" Northamptonsliirc, Vol. H., p. G06. 

[ VEL L INGE OR UGH. 1 1 7 


The large and increasing town of Wellingborough 
is ten miles from Northampton. There are two stations, 
each about a mile from the town, on the London and 
North Western and Midland Railways. 

Churchyard Cross. 

In this parish church is the socket of a medium- 
sized cross. This is of oolite, 2 ft. 4 in. square, and 
is worked to an octagon by plain broaches ; it is i ft. 
7 in. high, and the centre has been hollowed and lined 
with lead. This socket has been scraped or recut, 
mounted on a large square stone, and now does duty 
for the font. 

When Cole wrote his History of the town this 
stone lay in the garden of the Vicarage, and it was 
not until about thirty years ago that the V^icar, the 
Rev. R. P. Lightfoot, now Archdeacon of Oakham, 
placed it in the church. 

Mr. John Askham, the shoemaker-poet, who wrote 
the following sonnets to commemorate this event, did 
not seem to know that this stone was the socket of 
an old cross. 

" The Old Font. 
"Old relic of the ages long gone by. 
Coeval witJi this ancient sacred fane, 
Thou standest in the holy place again, 
Massive and time-defying ; years may fly, 
Succeeding generations live and die, 
The rolling centuries may wax and wane ; 
Time gnaweth at thy rugged sides in vain, 
Its silent, ceaseless march thou dost def)'. 
Hoary, yet young ; old, yet renewed and fair ; 
Marred with neglect, a latent beauty springs 
To life again, as kindly genius brings 
Back thy old lineaments with loving care. 
Thou ancient relic ! at the sight of thee 
Strange, sweet, sad thoughts crowd on my memory. 


"The Same. 

"Could I but give thee speech, I'd lend an ear, 
And thou should'st whisper of the past to mc ; 
Tell me this hoary temple's history, 
Since first thy sturdy foot was planted here ; 
Ere the first whining babe, with many a tear 
And loud protesting cry was laved in thee, 
And the most holy sign of Calvary 
Shone, on its baby forehead, crystal clear. 
Parents and children like a dream are gone ; 
Sponsors that registered baptismal vows. 
And priests whose hands were laid on sinless brows, 
Their history buried in oblivion. 
Here yet shall babes be brought, and as of old 
Baptised into God's family and fold." ^'* 

Market Cross. 

The old market cross probably stood in front of 
the Hind liotel. It is mentioned in the town account 
book, where the following entry appears for the 
year 1638 : 

" Laid out to make a well and pump j£ s. d. 
at the Market Cross. . . .62 7." ^^^ 

The last market cross at Wellingborough also stood 
near the late pump, in front of the Hind Hotel. 

Its base consisted of a flight of steps, surmounted 
by a beehive-shaped rotunda, which served the purposes 
of a prison within ; and upon the centre was erected 
an octangular fluted shaft, with a vane and points. 
When this cross was destroyed the vane was placed 
on a coach-house belongfincr to Mr. Georo^e Burnham. 

This cross was built at the expense of Charles 
Sheppard, Esq., in the year 1719, and it was taken 
down in the year 1798. 

^'''^ Poems and Sonnets, \>y ]o\\\\ t^-i\i\iVim, 1875. Keprintcd by permission 
of Mr. John Taylor. 

"' Cole's History 0/ Wellingborough, 1837. 


During the Commonwealth, as appears by the Parish 
Register, the banns of marriage were pubHshed on 
market days. This was done on three separate days 
before the marriage, sometimes at the market cross, 
and sometimes at the church. At this period it was 
the custom for persons who were about to enter the 
holy estate of matrimony to come before a justice, in 
whose presence the marriage was solemnised. Mr. 
Maunsell, of Thorp Malsor, Mr. Pentelow, of Whilby, 
and the Mayor of Higham Ferrers for the time being, 
were some of the magistrates before whom marriages 
took place in this district.^^° 

Market and Fairs. 

The Abbey of Crowland possessed property in this 
town, and as early as the second year of John (i 200-1) 
the Abbot obtained the privilege of holding a market 
here on Wednesday. From that time to the present 
time a weekly market has been held on this day. 
Fairs are held on Wednesday in Easter week, 
Wednesday in Whitsun week, and the 29th October, 
being the festival of Saint Luke.^"^ 


The village of West H addon is thirteen miles from 
Northampton, and three and a half miles from Welton 
station on the London and North Western Railway. 


In 1800 a fair was yearly held here on the 2nd May. 
Fair now held last Friday in September. 

There is no record of a market cross having existed 
at this village. 

'-" CoXca Il/s/oiy of lVcil/ji_ii/io/oit!j;/i, 1837, |). 243. 
'-' Viudgcs,' Nort/uwip/ons/i/rc, Vol. II., ]>. 149. 



The village of Woodford Halse, or Woodford-cuni- 
INIcmbris, is nine miles from Daventry, with a station in 
the village on the Great Central Railway. 

CiiuRCHVARD Cross. 

In the walls of this churchyard there is stated to 
have been the remains of a cross/" but the writer 
has failed to discover them, although he has searched 
diligently through the churchyard. 


The village of Yardley Hastings is eight miles fi^om 
Northampton, and three and a half miles from Castle 
Ashby station on the London and North Western 


A fair was held here yearly on Whit Tuesday about 
1800, but has since almost died out. 

There was no market cross at this village. 

'-- V>x\Ag&€ Nortliaiiipioiisliiic, Vol. I., p. 132. 


Abingdon, A. of, lo. 
Akers-Douglas, Right Hon. A., 14. 
Allen, J. R., 52, 96, 109. 
Alwalton, 38. 
Apethorp, 14. 
Ashby, Meat's, 78. 
Askham, J., 117. 
Aston-le- Walls, 41. 
Aynho, 15. 

Badby, 16. 

Bainlon, 17. 

Bakewell, 84. 

Barnack, 18, 38. 

Barton, Earl's, 54. 

Bello, John de, 10. 

Blisvvorth, 20. 

Blomfield, Sir A., 7. 

Blore, 9. 

Bocase Stone, 30. 

Boddington, Upper, 21. 

Bonney, Archdeacon, 56, 72. 

Boughton, 22. 

„ Green, 23. 

Bouverie, 14. 
Bozeat, 24. 
Brackley, 24. 
Brampton, Church, 26. 
Braunston, 26. 
Braybroc, H. de, 40, 44. 
Brigstock, 27. 
Brington, (Ircal, 30. 
Brixworth, 32. 
Bromswold, Newton, 85. 
Buccleuch and Queensberry, Duke 
of, 7. 

Burnham, G., 1 18. 
Burrows, Prof. M., 30. 
Buttanshaw, F., 46. 

,, Rev. F., 46. 

Byfield, 34. 

Cape Colony, 47. 
Capes, Preston, 99. 
Cartwright, R., 16 
Castle Ashby, 54, 57, 120. 
Castle, W., 93. 
Castor, 35. 

Cell of Saint Pega, 95. 
Charing, 3. 
Charles I., King, 82. 
Chew Magna, 41. 
Chipping ^Varden, 39. 
Church Brampton, 26. 
Clare, J., 61. 
Clavering, J. de, 16. 
Clinton, W. de, 1 13. 
Cold Higham, 63. 
Coles, J., 67, III, 117. 
Cogenhoe, 42. 
Corby, 44, 107. 
Cornwall, Earl of, 103. 
Cotterstock, 45. 
Cottingham, 44. 
Crowland, Abbey of, 119. 
Crowthorp Bridge, 92. 
Culme-Seymour, Miss, 103. 
Culworth, 48. 

Dallington, 50. 
Daventry, 50. 
Deeping Gate, 77. 



Desborough, 51. 
Devonshire, Duke of, 23. 
Doyle, Stoke, 107. 
Dryden, Sir H., 55, 80. 
Dunstable, 3. 

Earl's Barton, 54. 
Edward I., King, i. 

„ VII., King, III. 
Edwards, Rev. B., 70. 
Eleanor, Queen, i. 
Elton, 56. 
Ermine Street, 37. 
Exeter, Lord, 18. 
Eydon, 54. 

Farmer, Sir W., 113. 
Fitzgerald, J. and M. F., 82. 
FitzSimon, S., 34. 
FitzWalter, R., 50. 
Fotheringhay, 56. 

Gardener, T., 116. 
Gates, H. P., 98. 
Geddington, 4, i, 3, 85. 

,, Chase, 6. 

Gosforth, ^t'S- 
Gough, 45. 
Grantham, 2. 
Green, Sir H., 23. 
Grendon, 56, 12. 
Gunwade Ferry, 38. 

Haddon, West, 119. 
Halse, Woodford, 120. 
Harby, 2. 
Hardingston, 8. 
Harringworth, 57. 
Hartshorne, Rev. C. H., 9. 
Hastings, Yardley, 120. 
Hedda, 96. 
Helpston, 59. 
Hermitage Chapel, 95. 
Higham, Cold, 63. 

,, Ferrers, 64, 85, 119. 

Hind Hotel, it 8. 
Hochyn, R., 59. 
Holand, R. de, 25. 
Hone, W., 74. 
Huntingdon, Earl of, 113. 

lona, 84. 

Ireland, William of, 10. 
Irthlingborough, 69. 
Irvine, J. T., 19. 

Kelmarsh, 81. 
Kettering, 71. 
King's Cliff, 72. 
Kingsthorp, 74. 
Kyneburga, Saint, 35. 

Latimer, T. de, 41. 
Law, E., 13. 
Lee, 89. 
Leet, J., 45- 
Leland, 24. 
Lichborough, 74. 
Lightfoot, Rev. R. P., 117 
Lincoln, 2, 88. 

,, Bishop of, 40. 
" Little John," 38. 
Longthorp, 75. 
Lyn, J., 56. 

Manley, L., 89. 
Mansel, Miss, 98. 
Marham, 76. 
Markham, C, 12. 
INIaunsell, 119. 
Maxey, 77. 
Mear's Ashby, 78. 
Melville, Viscount, 47. 
Milton, 37. 
Monckton, E. P., 14. 
Moor, G., 77. 
Morton Pinkeney, 79. 
Moulton, 79. 
Muncheni, Sir W. de, 113. 

Naseby, 81. 
Nassington, 83, 73. 
Neal, Rev. J. M., 7. 
Nene, 115. 

Newton Bromswold, 85. 
Newton-in-the-Willows, 85, 
Northampton, 8, 86, 3. 

,, ^[useuni, 86. 

Northborough, 63. 
Norwich, 88. 

Oundle, 92, 116. 
Overstone, Lord, 109. 



Peakirk, 95. 

Pembroke, Earl of, 113. 
Peada, King, 35. 
Pentelow, 119. 
Perers, A., 49. 
Peterl)orough, 96, 45. 

,, Abbot of, 71. 

Abbey of, 45, 47. 
Preston Capes, 99. 

Raundes, 99. 
Ravensthorp, 101. 
Richmond, Earl of, 56. 
Right, Thomas, 41. 
" Robin Hood," 38. 
Rockingham, 101. 

„ Lord, 72. 

" Rode of the Wall," 88. 
Rothersthorp, 103. 
Rothwell, 104. 
Rushden, 105. 

Saint Albans, 3. 

,, Edmunds, 38. 

Bury, 38, 88. 

„ Osyth's Lane, 93. 

,, Peter, 86. 
Scott, Sir G., 86. 
Sepulchre, The Holy, 87. 
Sheppard, C, 1 18. 
Sleuch, Rev. W., 41. 
Spratton, 105. 
Stamford, 3 
Stanion, 107. 
Stoke Doyle, 107, 116. 
Stony Stratford, 3. 
Stowe-Nine-Churches, 108. 
Sweeting, Rev. W. U., 60, 78, 97. 
Sutton, 37. 
Sykes, Mr., 38. 

Sywell, 109. 

Tansor, 73. 
Thrapston, 111. 
Tiffield, 112. 
Towcester, 113. 
Townsend, D., 6. 
Trafford, R., 49. 
Tresham, Sir T., 105. 
Turnivell, G. de, 41. 
Turner, M., 62. 

Upton, 114. 

Veer, B. de, 112. 
Victoria, Queen, 13. 

Wake knot, 84. 
Waltham, 1,3. 
Wansford, 115, 112. 
Warden, Chipping, 39, 
Warmington, 116. 
Watson, G. L., 102. 

„ Hon. R., 103. 
Weedon, 108. 
Weldon, Great, 116. 
Weiford, 81. 
Wellingborough, 117. 
Welton, 119. 
West Cheap, 3. 
West Haddon, 119. 
Westminster, 2. 
White Friars' Cross, 60. 
Wilde, G. J. de, 45- 
Winchester, Bishop of, 96. 
Woburn, 3. 
Woodford Halse, 120. 
Yardley Hastings, 120. 

Zouche, Sir W. la, 58. 

Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury'' 

D 000 013 953 5