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St James the Great, Thurning, Northamptonshire

(52°25′59″N, 0°24′14″W)
TL 086 829
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Kathryn Morrison

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The church comprises a two-bay aisled nave with a Victorian bell turret on the W gable and a high, two-bay chancel. The nave, largely 13thc. in date, has been truncated and heavily restored. The chancel arch is Norman and the font may date from c.1200.


The parish was formerly partly in Northamptonshire and partly in Huntingdonshire, the church being in the latter county. In 1888 the Huntingdonshire part was transferred to Northamptonshire. Thurning's split status was already apparent in the Domesday Survey. In 1086 half a hide belonged to the manor of Oundle (Northants), held by Peterborough Abbey; 5 hides were held from Eustace, Sheriff of Huntingdon, by Alvred and Joscelin; and a hide and a half was held by Eustace from Crowland Abbey. The soke of the two last holdings was in the king's manor of Alconbury (Hunts). The first reference to the church occurs in 1186 in a dispute over tithes between the priest of Thurning and the rector of Hemington.

Benefice of Barnwell with Tichmarsh, Thurning and Clopton.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches




The angle colonnettes of the font are possibly reused. Originally, they may have comprised two octagonal shafts, each with an attic base and a carved capital. These elements probably date from c.1180-1200, while the font to which they now belong is clearly later.

RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
Victoria County History: Northamptonshire, III (1930), 111-13.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth,1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 431.