Parish of Benefield

 

Benefield Church (North side) viewed from the lytch gateBenefield Church (North side) viewed from the lytch gate

Our church is located on the southern edge of the rural village of Lower Benefield overlooking beautiful open countryside. Our picturesque church radiates a warmth of friendship and fellowship to all parishioners and visitors

 

Introduction

Benefield consists of two villages - Upper and Lower which are connected by the A427 leading from Oundle to Corby.

 

Upper Benefield hosts the pub and hotel - The Wheatsheaf - as well as the cricket club, while Lower Benfield provides a village hall and the delightful church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

 

 

The parish of Benefield is in a benefice with Glapthorn, Oundle and Ashton in the Deanery of Oundle within the Diocese of Peterborough

 

Benefield Church

 

Benefield church is accessed from the Brigstock Road along an approach path approximately 60m from the road.

The original church of Benefield is believed to date back to the 14th century. In fact to the North West of the present church there was a castle, possibly built in the reign of King Stephen. While the castle was in ruins by 1315, the historic moat can still be seen today.

 

Benefield Church was largely rebuilt in 1846/47 by Jesse Watts-Russell of Biggin Hall. It is a splendid example of the early Gothic Revival rich in fine carvings, vibrant colours and superb stained glass windows.

 

The church consists of a nave, side aisle and chancel, a side chapel a square tower containing six bells and surmounted by a handsome spire.

 

The present chancel dates from the 14th century. It was restored in 1846 and redecorated in 1897 and at the same time the high alter was extended and embellished and the reredos (alter front)was added by Sir Ninian Comper. The choir screen was also erected at this time. In 1904 the rood and the rood loft were added.

 

The church contains a decorative font made from Caen stone with a fine example of a balanced font cover finely carved in oak with a phoenix displayed above.

 

Within the churchyard stands a War Memorial which was designed by Sir Ninian Comper and erected in 1919.

 

The Lytch gate is dwarfed by a mature Holm Oak (Ilex) which is possibly over 300 years old and frames the approach to the church throughout the seasons.