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Title: Abthorpe  
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Subject: Villages in Northamptonshire, Honour of Grafton, List of places in Northamptonshire, South Northamptonshire, NN postcode area
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Village street
Abthorpe is located in Northamptonshire
 Abthorpe shown within Northamptonshire
Population 285 [1]
307 (2010 est)[2]
OS grid reference
   – London  63 miles (101 km) 
Civil parish Abthorpe
District South Northamptonshire
Shire county Northamptonshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Towcester
Postcode district NN12
Dialling code 01327
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Current: Daventry
From next general election: South Northamptonshire
Website Abthorpe a Northamptonshire Village
List of places

Abthorpe is a village and civil parish in the valley of the River Tove in South Northamptonshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Towcester, 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Silverstone and about midway between London and Birmingham.

The 2001 census[1] recorded 285 people living in the village: 144 male, 141 female in 123 dwellings with a further 3 homes empty and further 3 second or holiday homes.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Amenities 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


Abthorpe Parish is on a rolling rural landscape, typical of [5][6]

Abthorpe Parish

The neighbouring parishes are [5][7]

The main village area itself makes up less than 1% of the parish, and all buildings included still adds up to less than 2%. The majority of fields are grass, covering around 54%, used mainly for sheep and cows, but horses are also kept. Wheat and to a lesser extent barley make up about 21% of the land usage, woodland covers another 20%. This is almost all Bucknell Wood which covers the elevated part of the parish, and is part of the Whittlewood Forest.[8]


Abthorpe was part of the Church of England parish of Towcester and had a chapel of ease from at least the 14th century.[9] Abthorpe was made a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1737, after which the parish church was restored.[9] In 1869 it was demolished and the present Church of England parish church of Saint John the Baptist, designed by Ewan Christian, was built in 1869-71.[10] It is now a member of the Whittlewood Parishes, a Church of England Benefice that includes also the parishes of Paulerspury, Silverstone, Slapton and Whittlebury.[11]

Abthorpe village hall

Abthorpe had a medieval deer park. This is likely to have been Bucknell Wood, which has the rounded outline characteristic of such a park. On 20 December 1537 Sir William Parr reported to Thomas Cromwell that:

On Monday night last about 30 persons, 20 of whom were well horsed, came to Lord Mountjoy's park at Abthorpe, killed almost all the deer and took and bound one of Ric. Cecile's servants dwelling in Abthorpe. As Abthorpe is 24 miles from Parre's house, Sir Humfrey Stafford, who sent him word of it, caused his son to follow them. Such a thing was never done in these parts since he knew them. In his opinion it deserves great punishment. Asks whether he shall search in the adjoining shires for the procurers.[12]

The next day Parr updated Cromwell:

According to his letter, dated 21st inst., has endeavoured to find out the persons who made the spoil in Lord Mountjoy's park at Abthorpe. Can get no perfect knowledge but that Sir John St. John,[13] Sir John Parkar, and Sir Robt. Kirkham are suspected. Sends the confession of one Thos. Bright, who was sent to gaol at Northampton on St. Thomas day[14] before Christmas.[15]

The oldest part of the village school was built in 1642 during the English Civil War.[10] It is now the village hall.[16]

Abthorpe was part of the Grafton Estate.[17] Charlock Farmhouse, Foscote House and Hill House were all built for the estate in about 1840.[10]


The village has a public house, the New Inn, controlled by the Hook Norton Brewery.[18]


  1. ^ a b "UK census 2001 - data". Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  2. ^ South Northamptonshire Council Year Book 2010–2011. Towcester NN12 7FA:  
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^,247,1
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Whittlewood parishes: St John the Baptist, Abthorpe
  10. ^ a b c Pevsner & Cherry, 1973, page 75
  11. ^ Whittlewood Parishes
  12. ^ 'Henry VIII: December 1537, 15-25', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 2: June–December 1537 (1891), pp. 430–443. URL: Date accessed: 25 November 2009
  13. ^ Sir John St. John was the father of Oliver St John, 1st Baron St John of Bletso
  14. ^ 21 December
  15. ^ From: 'Henry VIII: December 1537, 26-31', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 2: June–December 1537 (1891), pp. 443–481. URL: Date accessed: 25 November 2009.
  16. ^ Abthorpe a Northamptonshire Village
  17. ^ Riden & Insey, 2002, pages 18–37
  18. ^ Hook Norton Pubs: The New Inn

Further reading

  • Riden, Philip; Insey, Charles (2002). A History of the County of Northampton, Volume 5: The Hundred of Cleley.  
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