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St Bartholomew, Greens Norton, Northamptonshire

(52°8′36″N, 1°1′25″W)
Greens Norton
SP 669 499
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Kathryn Morrison
17 April 1995

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Feature Sets

Greens Norton is a substantial village in the S of the county, a mile NW of Towcester and less than a mile from Watling Street, the main Roman road running NW out of London. The church is in the village centre. It has a W tower with a spire, an aisled nave and a two-bay chancel. The easternmost bay of the nave is separated from the two western bays by heavy piers which appear to represent the end of an aisleless Anglo-Saxon nave. They include long and short work and carry a cross wall with a blocked, triangular-headed window. A continuous hammerbeam roof over the E bay of the nave and the chancel renders the liturgical divisions of the church ambiguous. The only Romanesque feature is the font.


Green's Norton was held by the king in 1086, and by the Confessor before the Conquest. No church was recorded at that time. There is Anglo-Saxon fabric, however, and the issue of a charter towards the end of the 12thc. in which Robert de Leya, nephew of the founder of Canons Ashby priory, agreed to pay a tax to Green's Norton, presumed to be for the lands on which the priory stood suggests that it may have been a substantial minster. In the late 12thc. King Richard I granted this manor and others, to the Earl of the Isle of Wight, Baldwin de Betun to be held by the service of three knight's fees, and a fee farm rent of £4 yearly. From him it passed, with the hundred of Norton to William Earl of Pembroke, wife of his daughter Alice. It then passed to John le Mareschall, his son and remained in this family throughout the 13thc. and into the 14th.





The font is a product of the workshop from St Peter's, Northampton, active in the 1140s and '50s. Other fonts by these sculptors are found in the county at Harpole, Paulerspury, Dodford, Tiffield and Weedon Lois, and nearby at Maids' Moreton (Bucks). Of these the closest comparison is with Dodford.


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, I, 241-43.

J. F. Wrangham Hardy, Church of Saint Bartholomew, Greens Norton, Towcester, 1968.

H. P. Maguire, 'A Twelfth-Century workshop in Northampton', Gesta, 9, 1970, 11-25.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 239.

RCHME Report, uncatalogued.