Earls Barton is a picturesque village, situated mid-way between Northampton and Wellingborough, in the county of Northamptonshire.
It has the distiction of not only being very close to the oldest remaining Saxon church in the country, at Brixworth, AD 642; but also having, as its own parish church, extensive and wonderful examples of Saxon work.
The tower is entirely Saxon (with, I suspect, the exception of crenelated stonework at the top) And many of the structural details, and a number of artifacts contained within the church, are also Saxon.
In fact I have been informed by a prominent member of the congregation and a surveyor too (so he should know :-)) that the tablets depicting a man and a woman, on the internal tower wall, are the oldest pieces in the entire church.
This church, as well as the village itself, is very well worth a visit, if you are ever in the locality.
The following photos are of the church of All Saints – Earls Barton.
to view full size – left click on the image and the ‘back’ arrow to return
or, once the image is full-size left-click again to scroll though each of the images in turn. Though you will see the title, but not be able to see the captions, in this manner. And the order will be entirely random.
the entrance, with the Saxon tower prominent
the clock is definitely not Saxon, but the tower is in excellent condition, considering the length of time that it has stood here.
If only walls could talk. What a tale they would have to tell
the church notice board.
this is the arch above the internal entrance to the tower, a mixture of periods of stonework
the entrance in its entirety
and adjacent to this entrance are the three tablets depicting a man and a woman, and several iconic pieces – the oldest artifacts in the building.
this is the view of the church down the nave
the nave pews, on the left, looking back toward the tower
the nave pews, on the right, looking back toward the tower
the left chancel screen
the right chancel screen
the view of the chancel, the chior and the altar, from the inside of the screens
the chancel, viewed from the altar, looking toward the screen and the congregation.
these arches and the perpendicular detail of Saxon stonework is, as one would expect, being adjacent to the organ pipes, in the choir. What is unusual about it is that it is only part of the way along the chancel wall – which suggests that originally this point was the extent of the chancel, and at least some of the area which now contains the choir stalls was previously taken up by the altar. Yet on the right-hand side of the chancel the Saxon arches continue beyond this point.
here is the stonework, in detail.
in the north facing wall is a small doorway, Saxon in origin, even if the oak door is not.
the baptistry font, close to the entrance to the church
the window tothe right of the chancel screen
a south facing side window on the right of the congregation
The church is open during the day, courtesy of well established but discrete security measures in and around the church. These precautions do not however intrude upon the opportunity to view a very special and lovely example of English parochial history.
Visitors are welcome, and a book is available near to the entrance, to record your visit and include your observations.
On the following pages are some details of specific parts of the church