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Harlestone Church - geograph.org.uk - 130354 cropped.jpg
Harlestone Church
Harlestone is located in Northamptonshire
Harlestone shown within Northamptonshire
Population 445 (2011)
OS grid reference SP7064
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Northampton
Postcode district NN7
Dialling code 01604
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°16′27″N 0°58′06″W / 52.2741°N 0.9682°W / 52.2741; -0.9682Coordinates: 52°16′27″N 0°58′06″W / 52.2741°N 0.9682°W / 52.2741; -0.9682

Harlestone is a small village and civil parish in Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England. It is divided into two smaller settlements, Upper and Lower Harlestone. At the time of the 2001 census, the parish's population was 420 people,[1] increasing to 445 at the 2011 Census.[2]

Lower Harlestone lies along the A428, with Upper Harlestone to the south-west and Northampton about a mile to the south-east. To the north-west of the village is the country estate of Althorp, Diana, Princess of Wales' family home. The estate still owns much of the land and many properties in the village.[citation needed]

The parish church of St Andrew was mostly built between 1320 and 1325, although the tower dates back to the 12th century, with Henry de Bray, the owner of the Manor, providing the stone and timber.[3] A primary school, a golf course[4] and a pub are also in Lower Harlestone whilst Upper Harlestone had a post office until Spring 2008 and the village institute.

Harlestone Firs, a large wood and country park, lies just outside the village with a garden centre on the other side of the A428.

Harleston House

Harlestone House was a large country residence on the site of the golf club. It is thought to be the inspiration for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. It is known she resided at the house for a period because letters have been discovered written from there. The house was demolished in 1940, although the impressive stables still remain and were developed for housing in the late 1990s.[citation needed] The Jane Austen Society have stated that there is no evidence that she visited Northamptonshire.

In the 1870s, the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described the parish as follows:

"a parish in Brixworth district, Northamptonshire; 2½ miles WSW of Brampton railway station, and 4 NW of Northampton. It has a post-office under Northampton. Acres, 2,530. Real property, £4,314. Pop., 615. Houses, 138. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to Earl Spencer. Harlestone Hall is a chief residence. Traces of an old fort are on Dylve's Heath. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £577. Patron, Earl Spencer. The church is of the 14th century, very good, and has an old font. There are a national school, and charities upwards of £100."

The population as recorded in the decannual censuses peaked in the 1830s at just under 650 people, falling to 420 in 2001:[5]

1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 2001 2011
437 563 564 645 639 610 569 613 575 536 541 511 483 413 420 445


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