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All Saints, Little Billing, Northamptonshire

(52°14′54″N, 0°49′20″W)
Little Billing
SP 805 618
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

The interior now presents the curious arrangement of a nave and chancel with a N aisle and N chancel chapel (rebuilt by Lewis Lloyd of Overstone in 1849) but no nave arcade. There was previously a wooden arcade on stone bases, which has been removed. The short tower is in the angle between nave and chancel on the N side, and is attributable to the restoration by E. F. Law in 1852-54. The only feature noted here is the font, an important piece on account of its inscription.


Gunfrid de Chocques was the main landowner in 1086 with three hides and 1½ virgates of land with a priest, formerly held by Swein. The Count of Mortain held half a hide and half a virgate.

Benefice of Great Billing with Little Billing.





Taylor (1978), VCH and Okasha (1971) all accept the angular majuscule lettering as a pointer to an Anglo-Saxon date. Earlier Paley (1844), Bond (1908) and Tyrrell-Green (1928) had compared the lettering to that on the Great Seal of William I, dating it to the early Norman period. Pevsner also called it Norman. The commonest comparison for this kind of font is with Potterne (Wilts) - inscribed with a quotation from Psalm 42 - although Okasha rejected an Anglo-Saxon date for that. Paley's illustration is interesting in reproducing part of the inscription (which he transcribed correctly in the text) entirely inaccurately.

Victoria County History: Northamptonshire. IV (1937), 74-76.
F. Bond, Fonts and Font Covers, London 1908, 107-113.
E. Okasha, Anglo-Saxon non-runic Inscriptions. Cambridge 1971, no.85 and p.149.
F. A. Paley, Illustrations of Baptismal Fonts. London 1844.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 351.
H. M. and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture. III, 1978, 1065.
E. Tyrrell-Green, Baptismal Fonts. London 1928.