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Hardingstone, St Edmund

Church in Hardingstone

The church is indelibly linked to nearby Delapre Abbey (see Country Houses) both in it’s carnation and subsequent history even if today it is separated by the east Northamptonshire ring road. The original building, like the Abbey was founded by Simon de Senlis in the early 12th century. The later rebuilding and extensions have left us with a gothic church with a fine run of ironstone arches dating from the fourteenth century. At the Reformation Delapre became the seat of various families and in the eighteenth century one of these, the Bouveries, rebuilt the chancel. Here, you will encounter Rysbrack’s magnificent tomb to Bartholomew Clarke (d. 1746) and his brother in law Hitch Younge put up by the former’s daughter Mary Bouverie. Surrounding it you will also find an unusual series of oval marble plaques to the Bouverie family members themselves.

As is so often the case the rebuilding of the chancel involved the removal of earlier tombs. Two such are now squeezed into the south east corner of the church behind the Bevington organ. These are to members of the Harvey family of Hardingstone. Dating from the early seventeenth century the earliest is to Stephen Harvey (d.1604) who was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Elizabeth l, and his three sons: Stephen, a London merchant, William, and Sir Francis, Judge of the Common Pleas. Opposite is a single tomb, somewhat old fashioned for the 1630’s. It is to Stephen Harvey who died in 1634 aged only 34 though not before being made a Knight of the Order of the Bath by Charles l. Note the traces of original paint. As their different offices and professions demonstrate the Harveys did well under the Tudors and early Stuarts but they disappear in the late 17th century when a single heiress married Colonel Edmund Temple and moved to Sulby in the north part of the county.

Elsewhere in the church you will find a variety of mainly 18th century wall monuments to Northampton luminaries – here a alderman, there a tradesman. Amongst these a memorial near the door to the London based gold and silversmith Benjamin Laver (d.1818). Another unusual memorial is to Pierre Jacques Benoit (d.1845) who had been a captain in the French cavalry. Interesting to know what brought him to Hardingstone. The nearby stained glass window depicting St Edmund and St Dorothy was made by the local firm of E.W. Twining circa 1920.

Two other features should be mentioned. Firstly, the recent and highly beneficial work in the church yard which makes it a green oasis in the village. The other, related, that the church has a very lively and supportive group of parishioners which make it a joy to visit.

Contact & Opening Times

St Edmunds, High Street, Hardingstone, Northamptonshire, NN4 6BZ,971628.html|
[email protected]|

Opening Times

Church is open daily from 9am until 5pm.


Contact Details

Hilary Wilson - [email protected]

John Wilson - [email protected]

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Click the pins on the map to see other attractions nearby

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