We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Mary the Virgin, Woodford, Northamptonshire

(52°22′47″N, 0°34′40″W)
SP 969 767
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Ron Baxter

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4504.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

St Mary's has a clerestoreyed nave with N and S aisles. The arrangement of the arcades is rather complex. There are six bays on the N and five on the S. The two east bays of each arcade correspond. The next pier W of each arcade is a short section of wall with responds to E and W and transverse arches across nave and aisles. W of this there are four bays in the N arcade but only three in the S, although the arcades are of equal length. This is because the S arcade has pointed arches throughout, and the N round arches. Of this ensemble, the earliest work is in the W section of the N arcade, say c.1190-1210. The two E bays of both arcades date from a decade later; pier 1 of each arcade is cylindrical with a moulded capital and the arches on the N are round, but on the S the round arches have been replaced by pointed ones with an unusual double hollow profile. This modification probably belongs to the later 13thc., and from this period too dates the entire west section of the S arcade. The E part of the present nave was, of course, the chancel originally, with chapels to N and S now integrated into the nave aisles. A new chancel was built to the E in the 13thc., but the present chancel is largely of 1866-67, and by James Fowler of Louth. The remainder of the church was restored in the same period, by William Slater of Northampton. The S nave doorway is covered by a porch, which also incorporates a tiny 13thc. chapel, once vaulted, open to the S aisle. The W tower dates from c.1250, and has a 14thc. ashlar broach spire.


The bulk of the manor, more than seven hides, was held by Roger from the Abbot of Peterborough in 1086. A small piece of a hide and a virgate was held by Ralph from the Bishop of Coutances. In neither parcel is a church recorded. This division into two manors seems to have continued, since King John is recorded imposing levies on two Lords (Walter Trailli and Lucus Maufe) in 1206. The N and S districts were not united until 1747; before that two rectors used the church.

Dedication to All Hallows recorded in 1514.

Benefice of Great Addington with Little Addington and Woodford.


Interior Features



Pevsner describes the interior as 'one of the standard archaeological puzzles.' His chronology is more or less given above, except that he dates the S chapel (including the E section of the S nave arcade) in its entirety to the second half of the 13thc.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 465-66.
J. H. Parker, Architectural Notices of the Churches of the Archdeaconry of Northampton. London and Oxford 1849, 80-93.
W. and M. Warren, St Mary the Virgin Woodford (Church Guide). 2004.