St John the Baptist
North Luffenham shown within Rutland
|Area||3.18 sq mi (8.2 km2) |
|Population||704 2001 Census|
|– density||221/sq mi (85/km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||80 miles (130 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Rutland and Melton|
North Luffenham is a village in Rutland, in the East Midlands of England. It lies to the north of the River Chater, 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Uppingham and 7 miles (11 km) west of Stamford. Located to the north of the village is St George's Barracks, formerly RAF North Luffenham.
Discovery of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery to the north of the modern village suggests that there were people living here in the village in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. The village grew and prospered during the Middle Ages.
In the 17th century the village was the scene of a small English Civil War siege when in 1642 Lord Grey and his parliamentary forces were gathered at Leicester. With gunpowder and ammunition taken in raids on Oakham, they marched to Brooke to arrest Viscount Campden. Henry Noel, a known royalist, heard of this and decided to take a "little guard" into his house, Luffenham Hall. Disappointed at Brooke, Lord Grey and his 1300 soldiers made their way to North Luffenham, destroying the nearby hamlet of Sculthorpe and surrounded the Hall. There was little actual fighting, although the church register does record the burial of an unnamed parliamentary soldier on 21 February 1642. Outnumbered by seven to one, Henry Noel had little choice but to surrender. The Hall was plundered and the parliamentary soldiers attacked the nearby church, smashing windows and defacing a statue of Henry Noel's first wife (the damage to the fingers and nose can still be seen). Noel was taken as a prisoner to London, where he died shortly afterwards.
The original Luffenham Hall (the village school is now on the site) was built in around 1635 and belonged to the Noel family. Although besieged during the Civil War it was occupied by the Noels until the 18th century. It was demolished in 1806. All that remains is the garden ha-ha (a sunken boundary wall) and outbuildings along Church Street.
To the east of the parish church is the present day North Luffenham Hall. Built in the mid-1500s, this was originally Digby Manor House and only later became known as Luffenham Hall.
The Church of St John the Baptist is a fine antique fabric, with a tower surmounted by a spire. The churchyard contains 31 graves maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These include 11 Canadian servicemen who died while North Luffenham was a RCAF base in the 1950s.
Archdeacon Robert Johnson (1540–1625) was Rector of North Luffenham for 51 years, from 1574 until his death; he founded Oakham and Uppingham Schools in 1584, as well as other charitable institutions including almshouses.
St Mary & St John's Primary School is a Voluntary Aided Church of England school. It is built on the site of North Luffenham Hall and the southern boundary is a ha-ha.
One pub remains in the village; The Fox & Hounds. The Horse & Panniers (popularly known as The Nag & Bag) closed in 2013.
Arts & Crafts architect C.F.A. Voysey designed The Pastures in 1903 and he also worked on another house in the village.
- "A vision of Britain through time". University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Rutland Civil Parish Populations" (PDF). Rutland County Council. 2001. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- The registers of North Luffenham, in the county of Rutland. 1572-1812 (1896) p.67
- Village interpretation boards, Rutland County Council, 2001
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