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Church Charwelton.jpg
Holy Trinity parish church
Charwelton is located in Northamptonshire
 Charwelton shown within Northamptonshire
Population 220 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SP5355
District Daventry
Shire county Northamptonshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Daventry
Postcode district NN11
Dialling code 01327
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Daventry
Website Charwelton
List of places

Coordinates: 52°11′42″N 1°13′08″W / 52.195°N 1.219°W / 52.195; -1.219

Charwelton is a village and civil parish about 5 miles (8 km) south of Daventry in Northamptonshire, England. Its toponym is derived from the River Cherwell beside which the village stands.

The village is where the main road between Daventry and Banbury, now the A361, crosses the river. The Jurassic Way long distance footpath between Banbury and Stamford passes through the village.


There were several small manors in the parish. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the largest as being two hides and "four-fifths of half a hide" held by one Ralf of Robert, Count of Mortain.[2] In the 12th century this manor was recorded as two hides and four "small virgates" in the fee of Berkhamsted.[2] (There were 10 "small virgates" to a hide.)[2] Thorney Abbey had an estate at Charwelton: the Domesday Book records it has half a hide; in the 12th century it was recorded as four small virgates.[2] Domesday records William de Cahagnes holding half a hide at Charwelton of the Count of Mortain; in the 12th century Hugh de Chaham held the same half hide of the fee of the Earl of Leicester.[2] Domesday records that Hugh de Grandmesnil held one virgate at Charwelton; in the 12th century this estate was recorded as four small virgates held of the Earl of Leicester.[2] Also in the 12th century there was an estate of four small virgates in the fee of Adam de Napton.[2]

At the end of the 12th century William and Ralf de Cheinduit granted a manor at Charwelton to the Cistercian Biddlesden Abbey in Buckinghamshire.[3] The Abbey retained the manor until it was forced to surrender all its properties to the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538.[3]

Charwelton Manor House contains much early 16th century panelling, an early 17th-century fireplace and a late 17th-century staircase.[4] It is an ironstone building of two storeys with a hipped roof.[4] Its present façade of five bays was added probably early in the 18th century.[4]

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of the Holy Trinity is at Church Charwelton about 1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of the village. Its earliest features include the west windows of the south aisle, which are a stepped trio of lancet windows from about 1300.[5] Holy Trinity has both a south and a north aisle, and the latter has a Decorated Gothic three-bay arcade.[5] The west tower also is Decorated Gothic.[5] The south porch is Perpendicular Gothic and the font may be 15th century. The chancel was largely rebuilt in 1901–04.[5] Holy Trinity is a Grade I listed building.[6]

Holy Trinity contains a series of monuments to the Andrewe or Andrewes family. Several family members who died late in the 15th or early in the 16th century are commemorated by monumental brasses. The largest are a pair 4 feet (1.2 m) long representing Thomas Andrewe (died 1496) and his wife.[5] From the latter half of the 16th century are two carved stone memorials. A tomb-chest bears recumbent effigies of Sir Thomas Andrew (died 1564) and his two successive wives, while a well-carved relief in fine white stone commemorates Thomas Andrew (died 1590) and his family.[5] The church interior also includes decoration by the artist Henry Bird of Northampton.[7]

The church tower has a ring of five bells.[8] Thomas I Newcombe, whose bell-foundry may have been in Leicester,[9] cast the fourth bell in 1510.[8] Hugh II Watts, who had foundries in Leicester and Bedford,[9] cast the tenor bell in 1630.[8] Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester[9] cast the treble bell in 1716.[8] John Taylor & Son of Loughborough cast the current second and third bells in 1844.[8]

Holy Trinity parish is part of the Benefice of Badby with Newnham and Charwelton with Fawsley and Preston Capes,[10] which was formed in 1991.

Economic history[edit]

Charwelton's medieval packhorse bridge
Former post office in Church Street

Charwelton's earliest surviving crossing over the river is a narrow packhorse bridge,[5] only 3 feet (0.9 m) wide between parapets.[11] It has two arches and one cutwater,[5] and may be 15th century.[12] It is a Grade II* listed building.[12]

West of the manor house are the remains of a set of Medieval fish ponds that were fed by the river. Just east of the trackbed of the former railway line is the mill mound where a windmill would have stood.

The Great Central Main Line from the north of England to London Marylebone was built through the parish in the 1890s and opened in March 1899. The line crossed the river between Charwelton and Church Charwelton. Charwelton railway station was built just east of the packhorse bridge. Just south of the village were Charwelton Watertroughs, while just to the north was Catesby Tunnel, 2,997 yards long, about 1.7 miles (2.74 km). British Railways closed Charwelton station on 4 March 1963 and the line on 5 September 1966.

From 1917 until 1961 the Park Gate Iron and Steel Company had a quarry at Cherwell Farm northwest of Charwelton village, on the northern boundary with the parish of Hellidon.[13] From there it ran a 1.5-mile (2 km) mineral railway down the Cherwell valley to bring ironstone to the main line at Charwelton station.[14] A steam locomotive called Charwelton was built for the line in 1917, worked it until 1942, and is now preserved on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.[14]

Charwelton had a post office in Church Street.[15] This has now closed and been turned back into a private home.


The Fox and Hounds in 2006

Charwelton has a public house, the Fox and Hounds. It closed in 2012[16] and in September 2013 it was sold to a property company, Family Housing Ltd of Kettering.[16] But the company gave the village until the end of October 2013 to buy it, and villagers raised enough capital to found a co-operative society, buy the Fox and Hounds and reopen it.[17] It is now a community pub with an Italian restaurant, La Volpe ("The Fox").[18]

The parish has also a village hall.[19]

Charwelton BT Tower is near the village.


The steam locomotive Charwelton pulled ironstone trains from a quarry near Hellidon to Charwelton railway station from 1917 until 1942
  1. ^ "Area: Charwelton (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Adkins & Serjeantson 1902, p. 370
  3. ^ a b Page 1905, pp. 365–369
  4. ^ a b c Pevsner & Cherry 1973, p. 148
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Pevsner & Cherry 1973, p. 147
  6. ^ "Church of Holy Trinity". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 18 January 1968. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Obituary". The Times. 29 April 2000. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Dawson, George (13 January 2012). "Charwelton Holy Trinity". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Dovemaster (31 October 2012). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Archbishops' Council (2010). "Benefice of Badby with Newham (sic) and Charwelton with Fawsley etc". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Jervoise 1932, p. 152.
  12. ^ a b "Packhorse Bridge over the River Cherwell". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 18 January 1968. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "New Popular Edition Maps". Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "No. 14 Charwelton". Steam Locomotives. Kent and East Sussex Railway. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Post Office, Church Street". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 24 February 1987. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Northamptonshire residents raise over £100,000 to save pub". Daventry Express (Johnston Press). 6 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Fox & Hounds". Charwelton. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Fox and Hounds, Charwelton". Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Village Hall". Charwelton. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 


External links[edit]