St Mary the Virgin, Dodford, Northamptonshire

Download as PDF

Feature Sets (2)


St Mary's has a nave with a N aisle and a clerestorey on the N side only. The arcade, of four bays, is 14thc. The S wall of the nave has two plain 12thc. splayed windows, W one now blocked, and part of the plain arch of a doorway, and on the exterior is much herringbone masonry. These features are illustrated here but not described in view of their lack of ornament. The S porch is of two storeys. The chancel was rebuilt in the 19thc., and there is a tall 13thc. W tower. It contains an elaborately carved 12thc. font.


William held Dodford from the Count of Mortain in 1086. No church was mentioned, but it is worth noting that the same William held Tiffield.

Benefice of Weedon Bec with Everdon and Dodford.





At the west end of the nave. The bowl is cylindrical with a slight taper towards the bottom, and is badly damaged. Its lower rim has been broken of at some point and repaired with mortar, and there is a deep crack running down from the upper rim on the E of the bowl which meets a hairline crack running horizontally around most of the bowl. Towards the SW the rim is damaged with a deep notch running downwards from the loss. The bowl is lined with lead, and stands on a short cylindrical shaft, with a base with an angle roll, and a modern chamfered plinth on a modern step. The bowl is decorated with a row of five palmettes around the upper half of the bowl, and a row of five around the lower half, arranged tip to tip. Each row is enclosed by a nailhead-decorated band forming a semicircular cusp around each palmette, and where the upper and lower bands touch they are clasped with a nailhead-decorated clasp. Either by accident or design, however, the two rows of palmettes are in phase at the east and N, but out of phase in the S and west, so that the fields between the cusping - all curved lozenges - vary in shape rather. Each of these contains a floral motif, generally a square daisy with central boss, but the distortion of the fields has led to some modification: at the west it is a quatrefoil, and at the S rather less than half a daisy is shown.

ext. diam. at rim 0.78 m
h. of bowl 0.52 m
int. diam. at rim 0.61 m
overall h. of font 1.04 m


Similar palmette decoration is found on the fonts at Tiffield and Weedon Lois.


  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 187-88.

Interior to E
Nave S exterior wall from SE
Nave S interior wall from NW
Plan of St Mary's Church, Dodford, 1985. Reproduced courtesy of NMR.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SP 613 605 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Northamptonshire
now: Northamptonshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Peterborough
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Mary the Virgin
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
24 June 2004