St James, Newbottle, Northamptonshire

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Feature Sets (3)


St James's is of stone rubble, and has an aisled nave with four-bay arcades, the S c.1300, the N a little later. The nave doorways are late medieval, the S under a porch. The chancel is early 13thc. and retains its lancets and piscina, although the E window is 19thc. The W tower is short and unbuttressed, of the late 12thc. but its bell-openings are 14thc. The only Romanesque features are the tower arch capitals and the font.


In 1086 Newbottle was held by Ivo from Hugh de Grandmesnil. No church was recorded. The first mention of this is its grant to Dunstable Priory by William du Pin, confirmed by Bishop Robert Chesney (1148-66). By the 13thc. Newbottle was a possession of Dunstable.

Benefice of King's Sutton and Newbottle and Charlton.


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Tower arch

W arch

The arch itself is pointed, with two chamfered orders to the E and one plain order to the W. This is clearly of 1250 or later, but the unmoulded embrasures and their plain, frieze-like multi-scallop capitals with roll neckings are 12thc., at least in design.

The capitals and their quirked chamfered imposts extend only to the E and inner faces of each embrasure; the W face, inside the tower, is quite plain. The four sections of capital and impost are separately described below. S embrasure, E face. Capital largely except for inserts, impost mostly replaced or recut. S embrasure, N face. Capital entirely original except for inserted scallop at far W. Impost replaced. N embrasure, E face. Both capital and impost are replacements. N embrasure, S face. Capital largely original, impost partly replaced.



At W end of S arcade, a plain cylindrical bowl of oolitic limestone on a modern ashlar base. The bowl is lined with lead, has a major crack running around it halfway up, and another on the S side, and has lock damage on the rim at the NW.

ext. diam. at rim 0.63 m
h. of bowl 0.41 m
int. diam. at rim 0.51 m


The font, of course, is quite undateable. As for the tower arch, Pevsner implies that the arch and its embrasures and capitals are all of a piece, dating it c.1190-1210, but the present author prefers an earlier date for the capitals and embrasures, perhaps around the middle of the 12thc., and a much later one for the arch.


  • G. Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton. 2 vols, London, 1822-41, I, 663-64.
  • 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, 188-89.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 311-12.
  • RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
Plan of St James's Church, Newbottle, 1985. © Crown copyright. NMR.
Exterior from SE.
Interior to E.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SP 524 369 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Northamptonshire
now: Northamptonshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Peterborough
now: St James
medieval: St John the Baptist (1514)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter