Category Archives: Northamptonshire

Apethorpe

The Scales of Justice, A Monument and A Wine Glass

St Leonards Church in Apethorpe Northamptonshire is among one of our favourite churches, if you have the opportunity to cross the threshold you will find the magnificent Monument to Sir Anthony Mildmay who died on the 2nd September 1617 and his lady wife Grace, Lady Mildmay.

Our visit on this occasion which coincided with the month of Sir Anthony’s death, we were surprised to find at his head and the feet of Justice holding firmly her sword and scales, the remains of a glass of red wine.

It made us wonder if it was left by some compassionate soul, for Sir Anthony to enjoy on the anniversary of his departing.


Web Link

Biography Sir Anthony Mildmay

 

Titchmarsh

The River Nene (Pronunciation is a mater of local preference) makes its way through the Northamptonshire countryside before entering Peterborough and then on in to the flatlands of The Fens, ending its journey at The Wash near Peter Scott’s lighthouse in Lincolnshire.

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, The East Bank of The River Nene, The Wash, Lincolnshire

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, The East Bank of The River Nene, The Wash, Lincolnshire

It boast its origins from three sources one of which is near the village of Nasbey where Charles I was defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s army in 1645.

It  passes on its west the village of Aldwincle the birth place of John Dryden and on the east Titchmarsh where John spent his formidable early years.

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

His Mother and Father are buried in the church of St Marys Titchmarsh and there is a memorial to John Dryden and his parents  in the north transept.

Memorial to John Dryden and his parents.

Memorial to John Dryden and his parents.

Titchmarsh has a long connection both with the Dryden’s and Pickering family’s. Colonel John Pickering  was a parliamentarian army officer who fought at the battle of Nasbey, baptized at Titchmarsh in 1615, he was the second son of Sir John Pickering and his wife, Susannah daughter of Sir Erasmus Dryden.

Their eldest son Gilbert Pickering was an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament. At the end of 1657 he was appointed Lord Chamberlain to the Protector and he employed John Dryden who was his cousin as his secretary.

Sir Gilbert Pickering was given a pardon by Charles II just before his restoration and John Dryden was appointed poet Laureate in 1668.

Samuel Pepys visited Titchmarsh to attend the marriage of Gilbert’s daughter in 1688.

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire 1

Church of St Mary The Virgin Titchmarsh Northamptonshire

“Happy the Man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to day his own:

He who, secure within, can say,

To morrow do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day.

Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,

The joys I have possest, in spight of fate, are mine.

Not Heav’n it self upon the past has pow’r;

But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.”

John Dryden


Stoke Doyle

If I were to mention the name Stoke Doyle I would imagine that you would be transported to The Republic of Ireland, perhaps to County Clare, Galway or Sligo.

It could even conjure up a fictional detective of Irish decent who is partial to a Jamison’s for breakfast, has a practice in handling sordid divorce cases in New York’s Irish quarter and whose immediate relations emigrated to America in the depression.

So do not be surprised when I tell you that Stoke Doyle is a picturesque village in East Northamptonshire.

It lies around two miles south east of Oundle, famous for its School and The Talbot Hotel built from the stones removed from Fotheringhay Castle where Mary Queen of Scots lost her head.

The River Nene runs to the east of the village which used to be on the edge of Rockingham forest before deforestation in 1638.

We have passed through this village more times than I care to remember having always failed to stop but today we headed the car down the lane opposite the village inn to the church of St Rumbald’s.

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St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

The church exterior has its own charm and has been described as having a plain classical structure, it is when you enter through the south door into the nave that you feel you have arrived at somewhere special, but it is only when you walk towards the chancel and look left that you are presented with the unexpected.

The mortuary chapel is gated and contains an elaborate marble monument to Sir Edward Ward, Knight, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer reclining in judge’s robes, said to be by Rysbrack, adding to the  element of surprise.

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 The Mortuary Chapel, St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

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Memorial Collage, St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, East Northamptonshire, England

On leaving the church it is your choice but before taking the main road to Oundle you could indulge in a small dram of Jamison’s at The Shuckburgh Arms, as long as you are not driving.


Aldwincle Northamptonshire Revisited

In a time gone by there were two Aldwincle Parishes, Aldwincle St Peters and Aldwincle All Saints they were joined together in November 1879.

Aldwincle Village Sign

Aldwincle Village Sign Northamptonshire

To all appearances it is St Peters that is now the center of village life as All Saints sits a world apart opposte Dryden house on the way to Thorpe Waterville across  Harper’s Brook and over the Nene river by Brancey Bridge.

All Saints Church Aldwincle Northamptonshire

John Dryden poet, playwright and critic was born in the house that sits in the shadow of church on the 9 August 1631. Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Son of Erasmas Dryden and Mary Pickering of Titchmarsh he was Christened in the Church of All Saints where his grandfather Henry Pickering was Rector were there is a tablet commemorating the event.

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Church Commemorative Tablet

All Saints Church is now in the care of The Church Conservation Trust as it is no longer needed for regular worship but remains as consecrated buildings and is of historical importance, it is a delight to walk round and has always been open when ever we have visited.

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All Saints Church Striking Interior

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All Saints Church Stained Glass Window

Samuel Johnson summed up the general attitude to John Dryden with his remark that

 “the veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature,

 is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments,

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

And T. S. Eliot wrote that he was

‘the ancestor of nearly all that is best in the poetry of the eighteenth century’,

and that ‘we cannot fully enjoy or rightly estimate a hundred years of English poetry

unless we fully enjoy Dryden.’


Aldwincle Northamptonshire

 

Aldwincle-Northamptonshire-Dryden House

Aldwincle-Northamptonshire-Dryden House

John Dryden poet, playwright, critic was born in Aldwincle Northamptonshire in 9 August 1631 Aldwincle_Northamptonshire-All Saints Churchand Christened in the Church of All Saints where his grandfather was Rector.

The house in which he was born still stand in the shadow of All Saints Church.

All Saints Church is now in the care of The Church Conservation Trust as it is no longer needed for regular worship but remains as consecrated buildings and is of historical importance.

All Saints Church-Aldwincle Northamptonshire-10 Aug 2009
All Saints Church 2 - Aldwincle Northamptonshire-10 Aug 2009

What weight of ancient witness can prevail,

If private reason hold the public scale?

But gracious God, how well does thou provide

For erring judgements an unerring guide!

Thy throne is darkness in the abyss of light,

A blaze of glory that forbids the sight.

O teach me to believe thee thus concealed,

And search no further than thyself revealed;

But her alone for my director take,

Whom thou hast promised never to forsake!

John Dryden From Confessio Fidei

Village Sign - Aldwincle Northamptonshire