If anyone ever asks me why I spent a lot of time and effort and money in compiling this site, I think that I will direct them to this page in particular, as my experience here nicely illustrates everything that I wanted this site to be when I was planning it. The idea was to get out and about, see some lovely countryside, visit places that I would never otherwise have visited, meet some lovely people and enjoy the sun on my back as I got out on the cycle.
I visited here in late April 2010. That year was a bad one for me with illness hitting me that summer and leaving me out of work for the second half of the year. My illness left me on medication for a long while, and I am still on them as this is being typed in February 2011. The effects of the medication meant that I was unable to get out on the cycle much and I often looked back to this day out with great affection. Being ill and stuck inside made me appreciate even more how fortunate we are when we are well and able to get around, when so many are unable to do so.
Barnwell is a beautiful village in East Northants, in between Oundle and Thrapston. There are some exquisite cottages and a stream winding its way through the village. There were two churches here, with St Andrew being the other. That church is still used for worship today. These days there is, I believe, one service a month during the Summer months only at All Saints.
All Saints dated from the 13th and 14th centuries, and consisted of a nave with north and south aisles, chancel, porch and west tower with broach spire. In 1821, owing to its advanced state of decay, the then patron, Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Buccleuch petitioned for its demolition An Act of Parliament authorising this was passed in 1821 at which point the parishes of Barnwell All Saints and Barnwell St Andrew were joined together. The main part of All Saints was pulled down, leaving only the chancel, which was left up as it was the family vault of the Montagues.
Four bells hung here but these were sold by auction in 1821, and there is no record kept as to who these were cast by or indeed, where they ended up. Some of the fixtures and fittings, such as the pulpit and lectern, which dated from the 16th century, ended up at nearby Thurning.
Some of external features of All Saints were removed, and incorporated in to the wall that divides the church and the rectory at nearby Barnwell St Andrew, a photograph of which can be seen on the page created for that church.
As mentioned earlier, my visit came came about in April 2010, on a Saturday that was just glorious. The sun was blazing down and there was hardly a cloud to be seen all day. It was a joy to be out and about. I had previously visited St Andrew and a lady there said that she was just about to walk to All Saints. We walked to All Saints together and even stopped off at her house en route for a cup of tea. She turned out to be very good company and I enjoyed chatting to her very much.
Despite this church being closed, apart from a few services, since 1821, there are many new graves here and the whole place is kept very neat. There was a carpet of Spring flowers covering the ground, and this would go down as one of the best kept of all the church grounds covered by this site. It was a delight to be here and Spring would be an ideal time to visit here if you were ever planning on making the trip. Trees were in blossom all throughout the grounds and the whole place was quite delightful. Lovely also to see, and hear, so many bees going about their business.
As for the church itself, this is lept locked but a keyholder notice is pinned up for interested visitors. Apparantly, there is a monument in there commemorating one Henry Montagu, the infant son of Sir Sidney Montagu, who was drowned in April 1625. He was described as being 'a wittie and hopeful child tender and deare in ye sight of his parents and much lamented by his friends.'
My eye was also drawn to the south, and a tree outside the church grounds. There is something about dead trees that I find fascinating, and this one looked as is if had just crawled out of Lord Of The Rings!
I really enjoyed my time spent here, and highly recommend a visit if you are in East Northamptonshire at any point.
CHANCEL ONLY REMAINS. REST OF CHURCH PULLED DOWN IN 1825