St Mary, Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire

Download as PDF

Feature Sets (2)


Grafton Regis is in the SE of the county, less than half a mile from the river Tove (Great Ouse) that forms the border with Buckinghamshire. The village extends along minor roads running E from the A508 Northampton to Buckingham road, and the church and manor house are sited at the eastern end of the village, close to the river and the Grand Union Canal. The church comprises: a W tower; a nave with a S doorway in a porch; a N aisle with a 13thc. arcade, and a square-ended chancel with an organ chamber/vestry on the N side. The slightly pointed, chamfered arches of the N arcade, and the more steeply pointed chancel arch, have sawtooth labels. The church was repaired and re-roofed in 1840, and many of the furnishings were replaced in 1889. More restoration was required by the 1970s, and work on the tower, roof and windows was eventually completed in the following decade. The only 12thc. feature is the font.


In 1086 the manor was held by William of Robert, Count of Mortain. No church was recorded at that time. Robert's son William forfeited the county in 1106 for rebellion, and the title was later bestowed by Henry I on his nephew, Stephen, but before that he had given his possessions in Grafton, including the church, to the abbey of Notre-Dame de Grestain, a house founded by his grandfather in the diocese of Lisieux. In 1204 King John seized the English lands of Norman monasteries, including Grafton Regis whose sub-tenant was then William de Humet.




Font at W end of nave.

A heavily retooled, tub font, raised on an elaborate plinth, probably Victorian. The interior is unlined. A rectangular mend on the N side of the rim indicates the removal of a lock. The main surface is carved with interlaced arcading, comprising plain, round-headed arches composed of flat bands. Beneath the arcading is a slightly bulbous moulding, carved on a separate block and probably not part of the original composition. The stone appears to be limestone.

diam. of basin 0.63 m
h. of tub (excl. moulding) 0.40 m
h. of tub (incl. moulding) 0.49 m
max. circumference 2.56 m
overall diam. 0.81 m
overall h. 1.31 m


The font at Gayton is a more elaborate (and less restored) version. Chacombe font also has intersecting arcading.


  • Victoria County History: Northamptonshire. V (2002), 142-76.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 226-27.
Exterior from S.


Site Location
Grafton Regis
National Grid Reference
SP 759 469 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Northamptonshire
now: Northamptonshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Peterborough
medieval: Our Lady (1526)
now: St Mary
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison