Sywell shown within Northamptonshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
The facilities found in the village include:
- The Church (St Peter & St Paul).
- Sywell Aerodrome, opened in 1928 and active during World War II
- Aviation Museum
- The Horsehoe pub
- Overstone Squash Club
- Overstone Solarium (caravan park)
- The Overstone Manor (family pub)
- Sywell Reservoir (redundant as a working reservoir and now a country park).
- Overstone Park Cricket Club
- Sywell CEVA Primary School
St Peter & St Paul Church
ST PETER AND ST PAUL, SYWELL was probably built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries using Northamptonshire ironstone, but restored, including the rebuilding of the chancel around 1862 to 1870. Retained in the chancel is the medieval piscina. The late thirteenth century tower with an interesting stair projection on the west wall, rests on its original Norman foundations and a Norman tower arch and Norman arcade with three huge pillars. Whilst visiting look for the grim looking gargoyles around thetower. The original south doorway was probably late twelfth century and the recessed tomb in the north transept was fourteenth century. The east window is really worth a study with its beautiful Elizabethan glass dated 1580 has delicate glass coloured figures. According to ‘Sywell The parish and the People’ by Don Slater Anthony Jenkinson and his wife Elizabeth Anne tragically lost twins Judith and Jane during October 1579, having lived for only a few days. Jenkinson had travelled around the globe for 26 years before coming back to Sywell in 1572 to settle in his new house and to enjoy laying out his new park and being with his family. It is possible that the tragic death of his new born twins is represented by the coloured figures in the east window and that the window, dated 1580 is a memorial to the twins by grieving parents. The window has recently (2009) been restored. One of the most beautiful features of the church is the peace memorial window designed by Christopher Whall – a well known stained glass artist of the 19th and early 20th century and a leader of the Arts and Craft movement of the time. It has four lights and shows Joshua outside the walls of Jericho, note the lovely scenery in the background of the window depicting sun, moon and stars. There are many monuments to the Pell family who succeeded the Wilmers at Sywell Hall. An unusual feature of the church are its two fonts, but the thirteenth century one found in the local field is still used. It is pure speculation that William Tresham who was murdered in the Thorplands area of Moulton on a September morning in 1450 was buried at Sywell. William Tresham was Attorney General to Henry V Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a Speaker of the House of Commons (1449). There are no brasses or memorials inside the church but as he lived in Sywell, possibly in a building on the site of Sywell Hall (built in 1580) it is likely that William would have been returned and buried in Sywell Church. Sywell is an old, modernised church situated in the old village, surrounded by cottages, many of which were built by Lord and Lady Overstone during the Victorian era when they amassed one of the biggest fortunes in England. On the green outside the church the old preaching cross now forms part of the Jubilee Memorial of the Victorian era.
It is now a lively family church and is conservative evangelical. There is a regular children's group called "CCK" and the Priest in charge is the Revd Duncan Beet
The Ecton Lane part of the village is built just inside the walls of Overstone Hall; the estate wall is of fine quality and in village folklore is said to be seven feet high, be seven miles long and took seven men seven years to build.
Pevsner on Sywell
Church - this has a short tower dating to the 13th century. The pretty stair projection found in the west side of the church is not medieval as it appears. Renovations dating from the 1870s have left the church with an odd feel. There is a stained glass window by Willement dating from 1839, which is very fine. It uses heraldic glass dating from 1580.
Sywell Hall - the hall has a long straight front with two small and one larger gable ends. The house appears to originally date from Elizabethan times.
Village - many local houses were rebuilt by Lady Overstone in the 1860s - with the (old) school dating to 1861 and the rectory's rebuilding to 1862.
The church's plate dates from 1816 and is the work of Patten.
The airfield hosts an annual concert called "Music in the Air". A combination of classical Music and Aviation
Links with the village from the Dictionary of National Biography
- Anthony Jenkinson, merchant, sea-captain, and traveller married Judith Mersh of Sywell in 1567. In 1578 he bought the village from his father in law and moved to the village.
- Lewis Atterbury was appointed Rector of the village in 1684.
- William Lancaster (died 1717) - scholar; was married to a daughter of a Mr Wilmer from Sywell.
- Admiral Sir Watkin Owen was the son of Samuel Pell of Sywell Hall.
- Bishop Archibald Robertson (Bishop of Exeter) was born at Sywell in 1853.
- William Tresham, Speaker of the House of Commons (died 1450) was the eldest son of Thomas Tresham of Sywell. He was also the father of another speaker Thomas Tresham (died 1471).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sywell.|
- The Buildings of England - Northamptonshire. N Pevsner (Second edition). ISBN 0-300-09632-1
- Dictionary of National Biography