All Saints, Great Addington, Northamptonshire

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Feature Sets (2)


All Saints' has an aisled and clerestoreyed nave with 13thc. three-bay arcades, an early-14thc. chancel with a contemporary N chapel, now housing the organ, and a 19thc. N vestry. The W tower is also early 14thc. with a later parapet. Romanesque interest centres on the S porch entrance, an elaborate reset work of the late 12thc. The plain and slightly later N doorway is also included.


Two hides in Great Addington were held by Thorney Abbey in 1086, and a further hide and a half by Hugh from the Bishop of Coutances. No church was recorded in either holding.

Benefice of Great Addington with Little Addington and Woodford.


Exterior Features


N nave doorway

Two orders, round-headed. Both orders are plain, continuous and chamfered. The label is a filleted roll with short returns at the ends and worn human head stops below the return on either side. The E head is rectangular with small features: almond eyes with grooves for eyebrows, a long triangular nose, and small mouth, slightly open and raised at the right in a lopsided smile. The jaw is broad and square. The head is framed by a short cap. The W head is less worn. It is curtailed at the top and has full cheeks and a broad, fleshy cleft chin, mouth with lips parted, short nose and eyes similar to the E head but with ridges for brows and ridges below too.

h. of opening (excl. later step) 1.83m
w. of opening 0.73m

S porch entrance

Round headed, three orders to S only, reset.

First order

The arch is carried on badly worn stiff-leaf crocket capitals; the E capital with parts of its roll necking surviving, the W with windblown stiff-leaf and no necking surviving. These capitals presumably topped en-delit shafts originally, but these are gone and there are no remains of the bases and plinths they rested on. That they really were capitals and not corbels seems to be proved by the survival of the necking on the E. Above the capitals are beak-moulded imposts. The arch is chamfered with pyramid stops, a groove on the chamfer and a narrow face rolloutside it.

Second order

Second and third order embrasures: The second and third orders were originally carried on short en-delit nook-shafts (now lost), standing on low double-roll bases on a tall angled plinth course. The capitals survive and are stiff-leaf crockets, again windblown in the W embrasure, plain in the E, and all with the remains of roll neckings. The W capitals are more worn than the E. The imposts are as the First order.

Second order arch: The arch has centripetal chevron with a roll edge, the tips resting on a narrow angle roll. The voussoirs are unevenly eroded, and the three E and the three W voussoirs may be replacements.

Third order

The arch has a keeled angle roll with a face hollow and a narrow roll outside it. The state of wear is such as to suggest that most of them are replacements, but the third voussoir to the E of the keystone also has this profile and is certainly original. The label is plain and chamfered.


Pevsner dated the S porch entrance c.1190-1200, which must be right in view of the presence of stiff-leaf and keeled mouldings. Whether it was originally a porch entrance is open to question, but it is hard to see what else it could have been: it is certainly not big enough for a chancel arch. The chamfered orders and filleted label of the N doorway indicate a similar or slightly later date, say c.1200-1210, despite the round arch. The heads are worn, but the expressiveness still discernible, especially in the better-preserved W head, suggests the 13th century rather than the 12th.


  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 228f.
Plan of All Saints' Church, Great Addington, 1984. © Crown copyright. NMR.
Exterior from S.


Site Location
Great Addington
National Grid Reference
SP 958 752 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Northamptonshire
now: Northamptonshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Peterborough
now: All Saints
medieval: All Saints (1234)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter