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St Edmund, Warkton, Northamptonshire

(52°24′32″N, 0°41′19″W)
SP 893 798
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
medieval St Edmund
now St Edmund
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

St Edmund's has an aisled and clerestoreyed nave with two-bay arcades. The tall 15thc. W tower has clasping buttresses and a battlemented parapet. Both nave aisles were extended to the W alongside the tower in 1996-97, to provide offices and a kitchen, and the S aisle was also extended at the E end around the same time, for a vestry. The N aisle had already been extended to the E before 1709 for a Montagu family vault. The nave arcades are 12thc. and very plain, but the pier capitals may be 13thc. Bridges (1791) described a church with a 13thc. chancel and chancel arch, but by the time his work was published it had been overtaken by events. In 1748, John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, replaced the chancel with the present broad Palladian structure, dominated on the exterior by the great E window and on the interior by four enormous Montagu tombs, two of them by L. F. Roubiliac. The chancel was almost separated from the nave by a wall blocking the 13thc. chancel arch, leaving only a small entrance arch. At the same time, most of the windows in the church were replaced, and box pews were added together with a W gallery. The church was restored from 1867-74 when a vestry was added at the E end of the S aisle, and the pews and the old gallery removed (the present gallery dates from 1978). The chancel arch was opened up, and the 13thc. arch rediscovered. It was in such a poor state of repair, however, that it was decided to replace it with the present copy. Duke John's Palladian windows were replaced in a late Perpendicular style, except for the great E window. The chancel was restored in 1981. The 13thc. font was discovered at that time in a field nearby. The only elements considered here are the nave arcades.


Before the Conquest, the manor belonged to Aelfgifu, wife of Earl Aelgar. In 1066 it passed to William I's queen, Maud and by 1086 she had given it to the abbot of St Edmundsbury. It remained in the hands of Bury until 1536, and in 1542 the manor and the advowson of the church were given to Sir Edward Montagu by Henry VIII. The first record of the church comes from 1191, when it is recorded as being worth 10 marks per year to the abbey.

Benefice of Barton Seagrave with Warkton.


Interior Features



RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
Victoria County History: Northamptonshire, III (1930), 254.
Anon, St Edmund's Church, Warkton, (undated church guide).
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, 263-65.
J. H. Parker, Architectural Notices of the Churches of the Archdeaconry of Northampton, London and Oxford 1849, 159-62.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry, 1973, 442-44.