St James the Apostle, Paulerspury, Northamptonshire

Feature Sets (2)


Paulerspury comprises a W tower, and an aisled and clerestoreyed nave with N and S porches and an Early English chancel with a two-bay chapel on its N side. Apart from the tower it was largely rebuilt in the 1840s.


Paulerspury was held by Robert from William Peverel in 1086, the estate including a priest. This Robert also held Great Houghton and South Wingfield, and all three were later held by a family called de Paveley, presumably descendants. Geoffrey de Paveley gave rents from Paulersbury to the abbey of St James, near Northampton, in the reign of Henry II. Walter, parson of Paulersbury, is recorded as a witness in the late 12thc. The advowson remained with the manor until the mid-18thc., when it passed to New College, Oxford.

Benefice of Silverstone and Abthorpe with Slapton and Whittlebury and Paulerspury.




In the S aisle, to the W of the S doorway. It has a tub shape and sits on a square plinth. The upper 0.3m of the basin is carved with foliage decoration while the lower 0.2m is plain. The main decoration comprises a row of inverted lunettes with beaded borders containing overlapping, rounded, fluted leaf forms. The approximately triangular areas beneath these are filled with palmette-shaped or triangular-shaped foliage motifs. The band under the rim is carved with nebuli, or pie-crust motif. Damage on the S-W and north-E sides of the rim probably occurred when the lock was removed. The interior of the basin is lead lined.

circumference 2.45 m
ext. diam. (excl. rim) 0.59 m
ext. diam. (incl. rim) 0.78 m
h. of bowl 0.50 m


The font is a product of the workshop from St Peter's, Northampton, active in the 1140s and '50s. Other fonts by these sculptors are found in the county at Green's Norton, Harpole, Dodford, Tiffield and Weedon Lois, and nearby at Maids' Moreton (Bucks).


  • RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
  • Victoria County History: Northamptonshire, V (2002), 245-89. see also British History Online,, (5 April 2005).
  • J. Bridges, The History and Antiquities of Northamptonshire, Compiled from the manuscript collections of the late learned antiquary J.Bridges, Esq., by the Rev. Peter Whalley, Oxford, 1791, I, 312-14.
  • H. P. Maguire, 'A Twelfth-Century workshop in Northampton', Gesta, 9, 1970, 11-25.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire,Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 371.
  • R. W. Skears, The Church of St James the Great, Paulerspury, (undated church guide).


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SP 716 455 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Northamptonshire
now: Northamptonshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Peterborough
now: St James the Apostle
medieval: St James (13thc.)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison