Parish of Denford - History

Holy Trinity Church is one of a cluster of medieval churches built in the north east of the county. The building belongs generally to the latter part of the thirteenth century but the lower stages of the tower appears to be earlier. In the fourteenth century, new windows were placed in the south aisle and the clerestory added. The east window and two in the north aisle were inserted in the fifteenth century and the window at the east end on the south aisle is probably sixteenth century. The church was restored in 1864 at a cost of £1600 raised voluntarily. The east ends of both aisles were rebuilt using original materials in 1925 and in 1926 the stone pulpit was installed. The font is modern.

Two late thirteenth century windows remain in the south wall of the chancel. There is no window in the north wall, but a blocked doorway once led to the vestry. On the south side is a plain thirteenth century piscina. The principal feature of the chancel, and the entire church, are the stalls, four on the north side and two on the south. The north stalls are separated by three clustered Early English shafts with excellent capitals and rich trefoiled arches. Above the stalls on the north side are four recesses that are another principal feature. They were uncovered during restoration and may have been built into the wall for acoustic purposes. Each recess contains unglazed pottery and is about 9 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter in the middle. There are no ‘acoustic jars’ on the opposite wall, but they could have been taken out when the window was inserted.

The tower was refaced and the spire restored in 1897. It contains a splendid early nineteenth century Two Train Birdcage Clock which was restored in 2003. There are six bells with a second bell, dated 1581, being the earliest dated bell of the modern period, when dates and founders’ names began commonly to appear. The west doorway to the tower is a modern thirteenth century restoration, but the tall lancet window above is original.

In the churchyard, about 8 metres south of the chancel is a chest tomb, occupier unknown, which probably dates from the sixteenth century. The fine wrought iron gates and arch at the main entrance to the churchyard were erected in 1898.

The earliest confirmed location of a rectory is at the bottom of School Lane about 100 yards west of the church, although no trace of that building remains. In 1863 a new white-brick rectory was completed (now called The Old Vicarage) on land given by a former vicar. The Rector now lives in Thrapston.

The church is normally closed but for access or further information please contact: Revd Charles Jefferson  (01832 730814).