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St Mary the Virgin, Weekley, Northamptonshire

(52°25′11″N, 0°41′44″W)
SP 888 810
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Weekley is a small village in the N of the county, just outside the conurbation of Kettering on the NE, and within the ancient forest of Rockingham. It stands on the W bank of the river Ise, overlooking its valley. The church is just outside the village on the N side, and there is a moated site at the SE edge of the village. St Mary's has an aisled and clerestoreyed nave with three-bay Perpendicular arcades; the aisles extending eastwards to form chapels alongside the chancel. The S doorway is of c.1200 and protected by a 19thc. porch. The chancel has one 13thc. lancet, but the chancel arch and the E end were rebuilt by Blomfield in 1873. The S chapel contains the organ now, but the north houses the grand tomb of Sir Edward Montagu (d.1601) and his wife Elizabeth (d.1618) with effigies of both under a canopy, as well as other Montague memorials. In the E wall of this chapel a 12thc. carved stone has been set. At the W end, the tower is 14thc., with a short spire behind the battlement.


Weekley was held by the king in 1086, and no church or priest was recorded at that time. The church may have been built by William the Falconer, first tenant of Weekley, in the mid-12thc. He granted it to the Augustinian canons of St James, Northampton, perhaps between 1159 and 1161. The church remained a possession of this house until the Dissolution.


Exterior Features


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


The doorway dates from the end of the 12thc. The relief is much earlier, perhaps c.1120-30.

RCHME Report, uncatalogued.
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, 346-48.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth 1961, rev. B. Cherry 1973, 449-50.