All Saints' parish church
Brixworth shown within Northamptonshire
|Population||5,162 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Brixworth is a village and civil parish in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England. The 2001 census recorded a parish population of 5,162. The village's All Saints' Church is of Anglo-Saxon origin.
The village is about 5 miles (8 km) north of Northampton next to the A508 road, now by-passed, and about 8 miles (13 km) south of Market Harborough. About 3 miles (5 km) north of the village is a junction with the A14 road that runs between the M1 and M6 motorway interchange at Catthorpe east to Cambridge and the east coast port of Felixstowe.
A lengthy article about the history of the parish appears in the Victoria County History for Northamptonshire, volume 4, which was published in 1937. Its text can be consulted at British History Online.
All Saints' church is one of the oldest, largest and most complete Anglo-Saxon churches in the country. It was founded circa 680 AD and has been called as "The finest Saxon church north of the Alps". There is another Anglo-Saxon church 8 miles (13 km) away at Earls Barton, east of Northampton.
The parish registers start in 1546 and, apart from those currently in use, are kept at Northamptonshire Record Office (NRO). Details of its location and opening times can be found on NRO's website. Rev James Jackson, who was vicar of Brixworth from 1735 to 1770, compiled an analytical index to Brixworth families since the 16th century which incorporated information from his personal knowledge as well as entries from the parish register. It therefore includes considerable information about the origins and destinations of people who arrived in or migrated from the village during the 18th century. This manuscript is also kept at NRO, where its reference is "ML 380".
Brixworth Hall was near the church, surrounded by a park and close to the centre of the historic settlement of Brixworth. The Hall was built in the Tudor period by the Saunders family who were part owners of the manor of Brixworth from 1532. The house was owned by four generations of the Saunders family until the early 18th century. It was extended in the 18th century, incorporating parts of the original building. The house was sold by auction in 1801 at which time it was described as being a spacious stone mansion with coach house, stabling, gardens, canals and fish-ponds. The hall was demolished in 1954.
The main road from Northampton to Market Harborough passed through the village, where a number of inns served the needs of travellers for refreshment, lodging and a change of horses. The buildings of two present-day pubs in the village date back to the era of horse-drawn transport:
In 1819 Sir Charles Knightley purchased land between Spratton Road and Kennel Terrace, where the Pytchley Hunt then erected kennels, providing a fresh source of local employment at a time of agricultural depression. The Hunt remained in the village until 1966, after which the site was developed for housing.
From the 1960s onwards, a large amount of new housing has been built at Brixworth, mainly on fields to the south of the original village. A by-pass on the east side has diverted traffic travelling between Northampton and Market Harborough away from the built-up area. Another major change has been the creation of Pitsford Water (a reservoir) and Brixworth Country Park, which is a short distance from Brixworth itself.
Poor Law Union
Brixworth Poor Law Union was established in 1835 and a workhouse erected on the south side of Spratton Road soon afterwards. Only the entrance block, including some later side extensions to it, remains; these premises are now used for business purposes. The activities of the Brixworth Poor Law Union attracted controversy, particularly in the latter part of the 19th century, because of its reluctance to provide relief to poor people unless they agreed to enter the Workhouse. Brixworth is the focus of a substantial work on the political, social and personal implications of welfare policies during the period. The Workhouse was closed in 1935.
The Northampton and Market Harborough railway through the parish was opened in 1859, passing 0.5 miles (800 m) west of the village. An ironstone quarry, served by its own industrial railway, was developed near the village. British Railways closed Brixworth railway station to passenger traffic in 1960 and closed the line to freight traffic in 1981. The trackbed of the former railway was reopened in 1993 as the Brampton Valley Way.
The churches that currently worship at Brixworth are:
A Wesleyan Methodist (later Methodist) chapel was opened in Church Street in 1811 and enlarged in 1860. The chapel closed in the 1970s and the building is now in residential use.
Clubs and amenities
Brixworth Juniors Football Club is a football that encourages children of all ages throughout the community to be active and play sport. It has produced many successful footballers, including Kidderminster Harriers' Liam Dolman. The adults team, Brixworth All Saints, currently plays in the Premier Division of the Northamptonshire Football Combination, which is at level 7 of the National League System. It plays its home games on the village's St. David's Recreation Ground.
The Cricket Club plays at the ground at Haywards Barn, which was opened in 2008, as well as St. Davids playing field for the third team and junior games. The 1st team play in the premier division of the Northants Cricket League and the 2nd and 3rd team play in Divisions 5 and 13. They run 4 junior teams between ages 9 and 17 who play on both grounds.
The flourishing Drama Society stages 2–3 productions annually - including a highly popular pantomime.
The village is also home to a thriving award winning historical re-enactment society, Sir William Harrington's Companye, who recreate life as it would have been for the 15th Century inhabitants of Brixworth.
There is a free village newspaper, the Brixworth Bulletin.
The Brampton Valley Way passes 0.5 miles (800 m) west of the village, Pitsford Reservoir is about 2 miles (3 km) to the east and the Northampton & Lamport Railway is 3 miles (5 km) to the south at Pitsford and Brampton railway station.
The parade of shops at Spratton Road includes The Brixworth Fish Bar, Lovells Hardware, Co-operative Store, Co-operative Pharmacy, post office, Brixworth Stores and K.F. Troop & Son, Fruiterers. The village also has takeaway/deliveries including Brixworth Tandoori and Lee's Express.
Many Indianapolis and Formula One championships have been won with racing engines built within 800 yards (730 m) of the Saxon church, and part of its tower masonry is secured by an advanced steel tension bar designed and given by Ilmor Engines, who also sponsor many other clubs and associations in the village. The Ilmor factory filters the noise and heat of the engines under test through large water tanks, both to reduce the noise and to heat the factory.
Brixworth is also home to the production facility of Haddonstone. The cast stone manufacturer moved to its current location from Harlestone after expansion. Princess Alice officially opened the premises in 1987. As well as producing cast stone designs to be exported around the world, it hosts Haddonstone’s ‘seconds’ sales. Brixworth is seven miles from the company's head office and showgardens at East Haddon.
In 2008 the Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines (HTP) premises in Brixworth planned to build two 127 m (417 ft) high wind turbines. Lancaster-based Wind Direct has submitted a planning application to Daventry District Council to install the two turbines and Mercedes-Benz HTP plans to use 92 per cent of the electricity generated, with the rest being exported to the National Grid. The plans are controversial with widespread opposition from some, but not all local residents.
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- "Brixworth". Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- Clapham, 1930, page 33, cited in Blair, 1977, page 152
- "Northamptonshire Record Office". Retrieved 2013-02-09.
- Howcutt, Francis (1985-09-01). "Brixworth - An 18th Century Parish Register Analysis". Genealogists' Magazine (London: Society of Genealogists) 21 (11): 398–399. ISSN 0016-6391.
- Towns and Villages around Northampton
- Victoria County History
- Sale particulars
- England's Lost Heritage
- "The George Inn Brixworth". Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- "The Coach and Horses Brixworth". Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- "Brixworth Country Park". Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- "Brixworth Poor Law Union". Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- Hurren, Elizabeth T (2007). Protesting About Pauperism: Poverty, Politics and Poor Relief in Late-Victorian England, 1870-1900. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-86193-292-4.
- Brixworth History Society (1993). Brixworth Now & Then. Brixworth: Brixworth History Society. p. 3.
- Brixworth Bulletin
- Scott, Simon (2009). Artificial stone, a successful substitute for natural stone?. Northamptonshire: Haddonstone Ltd. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-9563891-0-7.
- "Northampton Chronicle & Echo: Fight to stop wind turbines, 3 November 2008". Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "Plan for wind turbines temporarily withdrawn, 14 November 2008". Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- Blair, Peter Hunter (1977) . An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England (Second ed.). Cambridge & London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 146, 151–152. ISBN 0-521-29219-0.
- Brixworth History Society (1999). A Pictorial History of Brixworth. Brixworth: Brixworth History Society. ISBN 0-9536010-0-5.
- Brixworth History Society (2012). Another History of Brixworth in words and pictures. Brixworth: Brixworth History Society. ISBN 9780953601035.
- Clapham, A.W. (1930). English Romanesque Architecture: Volume I: Before the Conquest. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 30.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (1973) . Northamptonshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-14-071022-1.
- Salzman, L.F., ed. (1937). A History of the County of Northampton, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 150–157.
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