ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS CHURCH, NEWNHAM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

The church was formerly a chapel of the parent church at Badby, both wed by the Abbey of Evesham until the Reformation . The benefice has always been 'Badby-cum-Newnham, with the vicarage at Badby and. at times. a resident curate at Newnham.

The present nave, north aisle and chancel were built in the early 14th century, largely on the site of a 12th century chapel. In the late 14th century or early 15th century, the tower was erected, the south aisle added and the east of the north aisle rebuilt with a pillar and windows in the perpendicular style. The roofs of the chancel and nave were raised with eight clerestory windows above the arcade of arches and beams which still stand. The erection of the spire completed the medieval structure which, with the small additions of a 17th century porch and a 19th century vestry, has remained almost unchanged.

During the 19th century, many alterations were made involving the replacement, in the pseudo-decorated style, of the middle windows in both aisles and the south-west window in the south aisle. Fresh stained glass was inserted in the east window of the chancel and in six others. The number of box pews was increased to thirty-seven, all used by the principal householders in the village. Free benches, later replaced by the present seats, were provided in the nave.

North

In the arcade, there are two early 14th century pillars with clustered shafts.

The 12th century arch in the vestry is the only certain relic of the early chapel.

The old vestry pew in the north-west corner with separate seats was for the officials.

An original 14th century decorated-style window is situated in the north west wall, containing a few fragments of medieval glass in the centre light.

At the top of the east window the renovated arms of Thomas Newenham, died 1542.

South

The 15th century brass of Letitia Catesby, was placed above the 18th century pulpit for safety reasons. She married John Newenham and then Robert Catesby of the Ashby St. Ledger family, who died in 1467.  His brass disappeared in the 17th century.

On the south cast pillar, there are marks showing where the three-decker pulpit stood.

The 14th century west window which was possibly removed from elsewhere in the church.

The main door is in the 15th century perpendicular style with two rows of typical floral ornaments.

Chancel

All the arches, windows and stonework with sedilia and piscina are early 14th century.

The 19th century glass in the east window commemorates the union, in about 1500, of the Newenham and Thornton families.

The memorial on the north wall is to Thomas Thornton and his wife. The family have been lords of the Manor since 1634, when it was bought from the heirs of the Knightley's of Fawsley by John Thornton of Brockhall.

EXTERIOR

There is an early 17th century porch with sundial stone.

A sanctus bell turret stands at the east end of the nave roof

On the east wall directly beneath the turret, the outline of the original thatched roof can be seen.  The thatch was flattened and leaded when the 15th century clerestory was added.

The open arches of the tower date back to the 15th century. Ropes were lowered through holes in the ringing chamber floor to allow the six bells to be rung at ground level in view of the street. This is unique in Northamptonshire and very unusual elsewhere.
You can see the large anchor plates and tie rods inserted to strengthen the tower in the 19th century. This difficult repair is a rare and interesting example of Victorian cast iron construction.

The churchyard, now full, was extended to include the playground of the former church school, now the village hall.


Check out our local pub
The Romer Arms





Community Web Kit provided free by BT