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St Michael, Wadenhoe, Northamptonshire

(52°26′18″N, 0°31′6″W)
TL 008 833
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

St Michael's has a 12thc. W tower of three storeys and a gable, with blind arcading on the N side and much-remodelled bell-openings. The N bell-opening is a 14thc. replacement. The tower also has small plain 12thc. windows in the second storey (W and S faces) and the third (S face), not described in detail. The nave has three-bay N and S aisles with 13thc. arcades, the S later than the N, and 16thc. clerestoreys. The chancel is 13thc., with a S vestry. The exterior is faced with stone rubble. Of interest is the font, certainly 13thc. since it is carved with dogtooth and floral motifs and thus not described in detail here (though illustrated). The sparse disposition of motifs on the bowl and their depth of relief indicate a prodigious volume in wasted stone. Romanesque features are confined to the bell-openings and arcading of the tower.


In 1086 the manor was held by Aubrey (presumably Aubrey de Vere) from the Bishop of Coutances. A smaller piece in Wadenhoe was held by Roger from the Abbot of Peterborough. The advowson has been held with the manor, at least since 1227 when Henry de Vere made the first recorded presentation.

Benefice of Aldwincle with Thorpe Achurch and Pilton with Wadenhoe and Stoke Doyle.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


The E bell-opening appears to show the earliest form, and despite the cushion capital it must date from the last quarter of the 12thc. The S and W openings are not much later, and it is unusual that they should all be different. The blind arcade to the N of the tower defies explanation.

RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
Victoria County History. Northamptonshire, III (1930)
Anon., The Church of St Michael and All Angels Wadenhoe. A Description and History (church guide). Undated leaflet available in the church.
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, II, 390f.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 439f.