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Year of the Churches

VISIT AND BE INSPIRED.

To celebrate the great church buildings that we have in Northamptonshire and their treasures 2018 has been designated The Year of the Churches. We have nominated 100 of the best across Northamptonshire. They all look forward to welcoming you.

On this website each has been given an individual page with images to tempt you, text to tell you what to expect, a map so that you do not get lost and details of opening times. Go and explore the site and then off into the county.

view our 100 best churches

THE COUNTY OF SPIRES & SQUIRES.

Northamptonshire has been nicknamed “the county of Spires and Squires”. Spires there are in abundance – from Rushden in the north to King Sutton in the south. There are also churches that are the backdrop to mainstream British history. At Fotheringhay for instance you encounter Royal tombs, the birth place of Richard lll and the end of Mary, Queen of Scots. Equally at Ashby St Ledger and Whiston you come across the Catesbys and The Gunpowder Plot. There are churches attached to the county’s great country houses for Althorp think Great Brington, for Boughton, Warkton, and for Drayton the handsome church at Lowick.

Take advantage of this special year. Get out there and see for yourselves.

Northamptonshire is fortunate in having some of the most interesting churches in the country. Please share your Northamptonshire church photos with us on Twitter and our expert panel - The Earl Spencer, John Roan, James Miller - will select a ‘photo of the season’ in May, September and February.

CHURCHES FOR A PURPOSE

What may you hope to encounter? From sublime architecture to beautiful settings and some of the best sculpture in England. You cannot be disappointed. Discover Northamptonshire’s Churches below...

CHURCH TRAILS

Organs

The county boasts quite a number of historic organs and fine 20th century examples. There are two good websites which would be worth investigating Northampton and District Organist Association www.northamptonorganists.org.uk and the Nene Valley Churches Project nvcop@gmx.com

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CHURCH TRAILS

Sculpture

There is hardly a church in Northamptonshire that does not have good memorials. From medieval times onwards the county was dominated by landed estates whose owners commissioned tombs of often outstanding quality. These have been the subject of sculpture tours led by James Miller over the last decade and copies of his extensive notes are available by emailing jamesmiller.art@gmail.com

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CHURCH TRAILS

Stained Glass

As with much else Northamptonshire is fortunate in having two outstanding collections of medieval stained glass and a plentitude of later works including Victorian masterpieces. There is also an unusual amount of radiant late 20th century glass in two of it’s churches.

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CHURCH TRAILS

Americans in Churches

Lots of Northamptonshire families have junior members who emigrated to the New World in the 17th Century. Their American descendants visit often to trace their roots. George Washington, the rst US President, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. George Washington’s ancestor, Lawrence Washington, was Mayor of Northampton on several occasions and it was he who bought Sulgrave Manor from Henry VIII in 1539. It was George Washington’s great-grandfather, John Washington, who emigrated in 1656 from Northamptonshire to Virginia. Before Washington’s ancestors moved to Sulgrave, they lived in Warton, Lancashire.

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THE 100 BEST CHURCHES

Use the map below to discover the county's 100 best churches.

CHURCH RECORDS

Round off your visit with some further research. Search Northamptonshire's church records at Wootton Hall Park: Church Records

PARTNERS & SPONSORS

 

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