Whittlebury is a village and civil parish in the south of the English county of Northamptonshire, close to its border with Buckinghamshire. It is due south of the town of Towcester, to which it is connected by main roads. At the time of the 2001 census, the parish's population was 586 people, increasing slightly to 589 at the 2011 census.
The village's name means 'fortification of Witla'.
Little is known of Whittlebury's pre-historic past. However, in May 2000, an Iron Age hillfort was discovered in the vicinity of St Mary's church and churchyard. Archaeology also reveals evidence of Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval occupation of Whittlebury; the latter period documented in historical records.
Throughout the Middle Ages and up until the early 19th Century Whittlebury's development was interlinked with the Whittlewood Forest of which it was a part and the Honour of Grafton. In 1855, the 5th Duke of Grafton sold land in Whittlebury and Silverstone to the 3rd Baron Southampton who developed Whittlebury Lodge.
Whittlebury was very much a 'gentry village' and hunting was a significant activity. The village was associated with the Grafton Hunt, the Duke of Grafton having a seat at nearby Wakefield Lodge. Nearby Sholebroke Lodge was built as the residence of the Deputy Ranger of Whittlewood Forest.
In the 18th Century John Wesley was a regular visitor to Whittlebury, describing the village in 1781 as, "This is still the loveliest congregation as well as the liveliest society in the circuit."
- Office for National Statistics: Whittlebury CP: Parish headcounts. Retrieved 30 November 2009
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Key to English Place-names".
- Philip Riden, Charles Insley (Editors) (2002). "The Honor of Grafton and Wakefield Lodge Estate". A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 5: The Hundred of Cleley. Institute of Historical Research.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whittlebury.|
- Whittlebury website
- Northamptonshire Archaeology website: Whittlebury Hillfort
- Medieval history
- War Memorial details
- for Whittlebury