St Mary's Parish Church
Finedon shown within Northamptonshire
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Finedon is a civil parish and village in the Borough of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, with a population at the 2001 census of 4,188 people. Along with Wellingborough, it is twinned with Wittlich, Germany, and Niort, France. In 1086 when the Domesday Book was completed, Finedon (then known as Tingdene) was a large royal manor, previously held by Queen Edith.
Finedon hides away many historic buildings. A notable building in Finedon's history was the Volta Tower, built in 1865 by Mr Mackworth Dolben. This building collapsed in 1951 due to being constructed without mortar, the building was a local landmark when it stood.
Finedon is in the Borough of Wellingborough, although many of the inhabitants are anxious to assert Finedon's distinct identity and not be assimilated into the larger town of Wellingborough.
In 1086 when the Domesday Book was completed, Finedon was a large royal manor, previously held by Queen Edith. At this time the village was known as Tingdene, which originates from the Old English words þing meaning assembly or meeting and Denu meaning valley or vale. Tingdene and the later version, Thingdon, were used until the early nineteenth century until finally Finedon became the commonly accepted version, both in written format as well as in pronunciation.
The importance of Finedon at the time of the Domesday Book is clear, as with a population of 102 it was one of only four towns listed with a population greater than 50 in Northamptonshire - the others being Northampton, Brackley, and Rushton.
The Bell Inn also claims to be listed in the Domesday Book, but the current building does not date back to this period, and there is evidence that the original inn was situated several hundred metres away. However, the main building was built around 1598, with the current façade added in 1872.
The Parish Church, St Mary's, is a mid-14th-century church with an aisled and cloistered nave of four bays. The current parish priest is Rev Richard Coles, former member of pop group The Communards. The tower houses a ring of eight bells in the key of D with the tenor weighing just over 21 hundredweight (about 1.1 tonnes). The church also boasts an impressive organ which was probably originally built for St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in 1704. It was installed in 1717, rebuilt in 1872, and restored in 1960, and it retains its tracker action. Popular legend has it that Handel played on the organ before it came to Finedon, but this has never been decisively proved.
Finedon Hall is a Grade II listed 17th- or 18th-century country house with later modifications. It is built in the Tudor style to an H-shaped floor plan in two storeys with attics. It is constructed in ironstone ashlar with limestone dressings and a slate roof.
Sir Gilbert Dolben, 1st Baronet married the heiress of Finedon manor in 1682. He was created a baronet in 1704 and was MP for Ripon, Peterborough and Yarmouth. It descended in the Dolben family to the 4th and last Baronet and from him to his daughter Diana, who had married William Harcourt Isham Mackworth (d.1872). He took the additional surname of Dolben. His three sons all died young, including the poet Digby Mackworth Dolben, and so the estate passed to his sister, after whose death in 1912 it was sold.
The house has now been converted into apartments.
Facts about Finedon
On 12 March 1738 a fire started in Finedon this fire spread through Finedon and within 4 hours of the fire starting it destroyed 16 houses which contained large quantities of corn, hay, etc.
Finedon is also believed to be home to two ghosts. one ghost known locally as 'the lady in red' who haunts Hall Drive whose last recorded sighting was in 1971. While a second ghost is believed to be living at Tommy cottage and is still haunting its garden to this day.
People from Finedon
- The poet Digby Mackworth Dolben was brought up at Finedon Hall
- Arthur Henfrey (1867-1929) Cambridge University, Corinthians and England footballer, was born and died in Finedon
- Sir William Dolben, 3rd Baronet, born and buried in Finedon. During his long parliamentary career as an independent MP he was a fervent advocate of parliamentary reform and the abolition of slavery. With the support of other abolitionists Dolben put forward a bill in 1788 to regulate conditions on board slave ships which was passed into law by a large majority.
- Office for National Statistics: Wellingborough (Non-Metropolitan District). Retrieved 9 November 2009
- Northamptonshire County Council Retrieved 5 May 2012
- English Place Name Society Retrieved 22 March 2012
- John Bailey, Finedon Otherwise Thingdon, 1975, ISBN 0-9504250-0-1
- Finedon Bellringers
- National Pipe Organ Register, N03520
- National Pipe Organ Register, N03521
- "Finedon Hall, Finedon". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "DOLBEN (FINEDON)". National Archives. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- Daily Telegraph report
- John Bailey (1987). Finedon Revealed. Finedon: J.L.H. Bailey. ISBN 0-9504250-1-X. OCLC 16078775.
- John Bailey (2004). Look at Finedon. Finedon: J.L.H. Bailey. ISBN 0-9504250-2-8. OCLC 62584735.
- Finedon Historical Society, Finedon Yards
- Audrey Ellis, Memories of Finedon http://www.audrey-ellis.co.uk
- Rosemary Pearson, The Top School
Media related to Finedon at Wikimedia Commons
- Church of St Mary the Virgin, Finedon online Parish Magazine
- Finedon Web Site Finedon Past & Present
- Finedon Bellringers Information about the Bellringers
- A Pictorial view of Finedon A selection of Photographs of Finedon