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St Martin, Welton, Northamptonshire

(52°17′20″N, 1°8′53″W)
SP 582 660
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
medieval St Martin
now St Martin
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Welton is an extensive village in the W of the county, a mile N of Daventry. It stands on rising ground in the angle between two branches of the Grand Union canal, in hilly pasture land. The village is locally known as the maze, from the labyrinthine street-plan based on a figure-of-eight. The church stands in the centre of this, and the manor site at the southern edge. The nave is Perpendicular, with tall, four-bay arcades, no clerestorey and nave and aisles sharing a single roof. A clerestorey would not anyway be needed, as the big panelled aisle windows provide plenty of light. The line of an earlier nave roof is visible on the tower. The S doorway has a porch, the N does not. The chancel is also perpendicular, with a N vestry in the angle between nave and chancel. The W tower is earlier, dating from the beginning of the 14thc. Inside the nave is a re-set human head corbel which may be 12thc.


Three holdings were noted in the Domesday Survey. Osbern held 3 hides less 1 virgate from Hugh de Grandmesnil, with 8 acres of meadow and a mill. Wulfmaer held half a virgate less 5 acres with an acre of meadow from the Count of Mortain, and Leofric held "half a hide and 1 virgate less the fifth part of half a hide" in Welton and Thrupp Grounds, this being held from Countess Judith.


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


The head is of a composite creature; a man with a dog's front legs and paws, and this kind of babouin is more typical of the 13thc. than the 12thc. The same could be said of the treatment of the mouth, although the eyes and hair could equally be Romanesque. On balance the present author is inclined to disagree with Pevsner's suggestion of the 12thc. in favour of the 13thc.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 456-57.
R. Wilson, Churches in and around Daventry, Market Harborough 1999, 109-11.