Queen Eleanor's Cross, London Road, Hardingstone, Northampton
Hardingstone shown within Northamptonshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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|UK Parliament||South Northamptonshire|
Hardingstone is a village in Northamptonshire, England. It is on the southern edge of Northampton, and now forms a suburb of the town within the Northampton Borough Council area. It is about 3 miles (5 km) from the town centre. The Newport Pagnell road (the B526, formerly part of the A50) separates the village from the nearby village of Wootton, which has also been absorbed into the urban area.
As a village distinct from the town it has its own parish council, unlike more recent 20th and 21st century suburbs of the town. The parish includes part of the Brackmills Industrial Estate, and borders Delapre Abbey.
To the north-east of the village is the large Brackmills Industrial Estate. The estate was chosen as the site of a 400 ft wind turbine erected by the Asda supermarket chain at one of their warehouses, but this was rejected by the planners.
The original village school was built around 1860-70 by General Bouverie; this building remained open until the 1960s or 70s when the primary school was transferred to a more modern building in Martin's Lane, and the old school was transferred to Northampton County Council (Social Services) who now let it to the Hardingstone Village Hall Association.
The village has two pubs - "The Crown" and "The Sun" along with a post office, supermarket and several hairdressers.
Queen Eleanor's Cross
On the edge of the village, on the road going into Northampton, can be found one of only three remaining Eleanor crosses. The cross commemorates the resting at nearby Delapré Abbey of the body of Queen Eleanor of Castile; King Edward I stayed at nearby Northampton Castle. The cross was begun in 1291 by John of Battle; he worked with William of Ireland to carve the statues; William was paid five marks (£3 6s. 8d. or £3.33) per figure.
The cross is octagonal and set on some steps, the present ones being replacements. The cross is built in three tiers and originally had a crowning terminal - possibly a cross. It is not known when this was lost, but it had been lost by the time of the second Battle of Northampton in 1460.
... a townsman being at Queen's Cross upon a hill on the south side of the town, about two miles off, saw the fire at one end of the town then newly begun, and that before he could get to the town it was burning at the remotest end, opposite where he first saw it.
Its bottom tier features open books. These probably included painted inscriptions of Eleanor's biography and of prayers for her soul to be said by viewers, which are now lost.
Many members of the Bouverie family (owners of nearby Delapré Abbey) are buried in the vault - the family used this as their family church because the Abbey, after the dissolution of the monasteries, lacked its own church.
During the war the stained glass windows were removed for safety but afterwards could not be found; some people believe that they might be in the Bouverie family vault - unfortunately this is bricked up and so no-one has tested the theory.
Hardingstone Lane was the scene of the Blazing car murder of 1931 which attracted sensational national interest. The felon, Alfred Rouse, was tried at Northampton Assizes and subsequently hanged in Bedford Gaol on 10 March 1931. The male victim has never been identified and was buried at Hardingstone church. In January 2014, it was revealed that DNA had been found in the Northamptonshire 'blazing car' murder case and the identity of the victim might at last be found. However, the family who feared for more than 80 years that their relative was the victim were told by scientists the victim's DNA did not match theirs.
- Robert Adams (sculptor and designer)
- Thomas Croxen Archer (1817-1885), botanist, and first Director of the National Museum of Scotland
- "UK census 2001 - data". Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "Hardingstone Parish Council website". Retrieved 2014-06-23.
- "Northants Police Archive". Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "DNA found in Northamptonshire 'blazing car' murder case" BBC News 2014_01_14, Accessed 2014_01_14
- "Northamptonshire Police may look at 1930 'blazing car murder'" BBC News 2012_05_03, Accessed 2014_01_14
- BBC News 22 January 2013, Accessed 2014_01_22
Media related to Hardingstone at Wikimedia Commons
- Pevsner - The Buildings of England - Northamptonshire. ISBN 0-300-09632-1
- Northamptonshire County Council
- Hardingstone Parish Council
- Hardingstone Village Hall