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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST EDMUND
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northampton (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 76347 57803


725/26/437 CHURCH OF ST EDMUND 03-MAY-68


The earliest visible fabric is the lower part of the tower of the early C13. The aisles, chancel, aisles, north porch and upper part of the tower were added in C14, probably in several campaigns. The S chapel was added in the C15 and the S porch in the early C16. Alterations and repairs were carried out in the mid C18, including the rebuilding or refacing of the chancel in ashlar, rebuilding the upper part of the tower, and many internal modifications which no longer survive except for the plastered ceilings in the porches. The S aisle roof had cast lead letters reading 'The Honourable Edward Bouverie Esqr 1764'. The church was restored in 1868-9 by Robert Palgrave of London, who stripped out all of the C18 furnishings, replastered internally and restored the windows, including replacing the E window. Additional restoration in 1992-94 including opening up the N door and porch and work to the roofs.

MATERIALS: Largely coursed, dressed ironstone rubble. The chancel has been refaced in ashlar, and tower is uncoursed small rubble except for a coursed masonry rebuilding of the upper half of the upper stage. Lead roofs to nave, chancel and N aisle, slate to S aisle and N and S porches. Interior plastered and painted with ironstone arches exposed. Open timber roofs.

PLAN: Aisled nave with N and S porches and W tower. Chancel with S chapel. Five-bay N and S nave arcades, S chancel chapel opens though a single arch.

EXTERIOR: Chancel, refaced in ashlar in the C18, has a coped E gable, parapets and very prominent quoins. Small, capped pilasters on the parapet create a slightly crenellated effect. C19 3-light Decorated E window with a hood mould with headstops. Some patching, possibly of a blocked opening, on the S side.

Nave has a plain parapet on the S side only. Small, square clerestory windows of post-medieval, probably C18 date. N and S aisles have small buttresses, diagonal at the corners. S aisle and SE chancel chapel are continuous, but a diagonal buttress marks the line of the former E wall of the S aisle. S aisle and chapel have heavily renewed Perpendicular windows with foiled lights under square heads; those on the N aisle are larger and have ogee-headed lights. Both aisle W windows are blocked, but appear to have been tall, single lights. N porch has a continuously moulded outer opening under a hood mould and a C18 pineapple finial on the gable; the inner doorway, also moulded, is very narrow. The ceiling is plastered. S porch has a blocked, C16 depressed-headed arch with a hood mould, single light N and S windows, and a C18 obelisk finial.

W tower of two stages separated by a string course with a battlemented parapet with obelisk pinnacles at the corners. Unbuttressed except for diagonal buttress to SW corner, and a straight buttress in the middle of the S wall. The lower stage is C13 or earlier, and has a small lancet with a hood mould in the S wall. N door of 1868-9 with a blocked rounded-headed opening to the left that may represent an older door or an opening into a now lost chamber to the north of the tower. Upper stage has a Decorated style 2-light window in each face, the upper parts rebuilt in the mid C18. The parapet and obelisk pinnacles also date to the mid C18 and once held metal vanes.

INTERIOR: Interior restored in 1868-9, when all the C18 fittings were removed, the roofs renewed, the walls replastered, and a new E window installed.

Early C13 tower arch, lower than the arcades, of three plain, square orders on chamfered imposts. Nave 5-bay N and S nave arcades of the C14, both sides with moulded arches, hoodmoulds and moulded capitals on polygonal piers. The S arcade capitals and 1st bay on the N are flatter than rest of N arcade suggesting a rebuilding of an older structure in several phases. Chancel arch of two moulded orders, the inner on corbels with renewed moulded capitals similar to N arcade, and a hoodmoulding with headstops. Nave roof with tie beam, king posts and struts, with arched braces, boarded behind the rafters.

Chancel without windows to N and S. Chancel opens to S chapel through a C15 arch (now largely hidden by organ case) of 2 chamfered orders on moulded capitals and bases with octagonal half responds. S chapel opens to S aisle without an arch. The chancel is raised several steps above the nave and had a vault below. S porch, accessible only from the inside, now used as a kitchen and toilet.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Perpendicular style font, gift of the architect in 1869 and another small, disused C15 font, simple, moulded polygonal bowl on a polygonal stem and base. There are a number of important monuments, including in the SE chapel, alabaster and black marble wall monument to Stephen Harvey (d.1606), his wife (d. 1590) and three sons; kneeling figures in two tiers in canopied recesses. Also in SE chapel, alabaster monument to Sir Stephen Harvey, Knight of the Bath (d. 1630) with recumbent figure on a chest, with some original colour surviving. In the chancel, the sedilia in the chancel S wall is a table tomb recess with a late C16 or early C17 arch with guilloche and other Renaissance motifs, surmounted by an angel with a trumpet and the Tate crest. There is no inscription on the slab, but the Tate family held the rectory and a local manor from 1590. On N chancel wall a large and beautifully executed wall monument to Bartholomew Clarke (d. 1746) by Rysbrack, with an inscription panel with volutes below a squat obelisk with two profile busts in medallions . A third medallion added by Rysbrack underneath commemorates Clarke's brother-in-law Hitch Young (d. 1759). In the chancel there are also a number of oval medallions to members of the Bouverie family. Other commemorative plaques in the nave.

Several faded windows by Hardman and an unusual window of 1929 by Ernest W Twining (1875-1956), who executed a number of windows in the Northampton area. The glass was painted, not stained, and the paint is now peeling off.

HISTORY: Hardingstone village is now a suburb of Northampton, reflecting the growth of the latter in the C19 and C20. Hardingstone was apparently given to St Andrew's priory, Northampton at its foundation c. 1093-1100, but it is not mentioned in documents until the early C13 when a vicarage was instituted. The earliest surviving fabric is the early C13 tower base, but this was probably added to an earlier church. The funeral cortege of Queen Eleanor stopped at nearby Delapré Abbey in 1290, an event commemorated by an Eleanor cross (one of only three surviving), but this left no apparent mark on the parish church. The nave aisles were added, the chancel rebuilt, and the tower raised in the C14. The S chapel was added in the C15 and the S porch in the C16. Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the church became the burial place of the families living at Delapré Abbey: the Tates, Clarkes and Bouveries. The church was extensively restored in the mid C18 by Edward Bouverie of Delapré, including reroofing and rebuilding the chancel and the top of the tower. The C18 interior fittings were removed during the restoration of the church in 1868-9. Further restoration took place in the later C20, when the N door and porch was unblocked and metal vanes removed from the tower pinnacles.

SOURCES: Salzman, L F, ed, The Victoria County History of Northamptonshire, vol 4 (1937), 252-29. Pevsner, N and Cherry, B. The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire (2nd ed., 1973), 353.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Edmund, Hardingstone, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Extensive surviving medieval fabric, with interesting and significant survivals from a C18 restoration, which has underwent thorough restoration in 1868-69 * Very good monuments, including an important C18 monument by Rysbrack. * An important survival of the medieval villages that surrounded Northampton and have now been largely incorporated into Northampton proper.


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 05 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/00249/23
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ron Fitzhugh. Source Historic England Archive
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