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Helmdon Historical Documents



Helmdon is a large village and parish, with a station on the Great Central main line and the Northampton and Banbury Junction railways, 7 miles southwest from Towcester, 4½ miles north from Brackley and about 63 from London, in the Southern  division of the county, hundred of King’s Sutton, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Brackley, rural deanery of Brackley (second portion), archdeaconry of Northampton and diocese of Peterborough. The church of St Mary Magdalen is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing 6 bells: the chancel retains a piscina and sedilia, and in the north aisle is a piscina, found under the floor of the church during the restoration: the tower was rebuilt in 1825 and the church restored in 1875, at a cost of £1,600, under the direction of Mr Law, architect, of Northampton, when the nave and aisles were new roofed, the interior reseated with open benches, new pulpit and other fittings introduced, organ chamber erected, western gallery removed and other works carried out: the communion table and reredos were presented in 1881 by the late James Fairbrother esq; there are 280 sittings.

In the churchyard is a yew tree of remarkable proportions and beauty, measuring round the trunk nearly eight yards. The register dates from the year 1572. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £262, including 60 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and held since 1902 by the Rev Harry Northcote Eales B.A. of that college, who is also rector of Stutchbury.  In the porch of the present rectory is a mantelpiece which originally belonged to the old rectory house; it bears the date 1533, the initials "W.R." and other carvings, and is in good preservation. There is a Baptist chapel here.  A reading room was erected in 1887 by C. Fairbrother esq in memory of his parents. There are several old quarries in this parish, which produce fine freestone, called after the name of the village, and formerly in great request, but the working of the quarries has been discontinued.  Mrs Jane Leeson, of Abthorpe, left £1 to the poor of this parish, which is given in money at Christmas.  Lace making is carried on here.  The Provost and Fellows of Worcester College, Oxford, who are  lords of the manor,   the trustees of the late James Fairbrother esq  the trustees of the late A.E Ellis Esq,  Mr C.A Bartlett, of Whitfield, Mrs Wyatt, and the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, are the principal landowners.   The soil is clay; subsoil, freestone. The chief crops are wheat and beans. The area is 1,799 acres; rateable value, £2,876; the population in 1901 was 516 in the civil and 526 in the ecclesiastical parish.

By a Local Government Board Order, March 25, 1885, a detached part of this parish, known as Stocken farm, was amalgamated with Astwell and Falcutt.

Sexton, Benjamin Archer.

Post, M. & T.O., T.M.O., E.D., P.P., S.B. & A. & I. Office - Fredk George Shrimplin, sub-postmaster.  Letters are received through Brackley at 8.15 a.m. & 12.30 p.m. & dispatched at 12.5 & 5.30 p.m. weekdays only.

Public Elementary School, built with master’s residence, in 1853 for 90 children; average attendance 90.  Thomas Herbert Goodwin, master; Miss M Gardiner  and Miss E. Barnes  assistant mistresses; an infants’ school has since been erected from funds supplied by subscription; Miss Lily Baldwin, infants’ mistress.

School Attendance Officer for Brackley District, Henry Swann, Middleton Cheney.

Police Station, Thomas Templeman, constable

Carriers to Banbury -  Frank Albright & Ernest Gulliver,  mon, thurs & sat; Brackley, wed. & Arthur Humphreys, to Northampton, on wed & sat; Banbury, on thurs.

Helmdon Railway Station, Great Central Railway, William Henry Farr, station master

Railway Station, Northampton & Banbury Junction  Railway, George Brown, station master



Barnes Mrs

Campin James

Cross PH

Reading Room

(Thomas Herbert Goodwin, sec)

Eales Rev. Harry

Northcote B.A.


Carvel Morgan,

beer retailer

Salmon John,


Marriott Miss

Coleman Thomas,

W Lim


Shrimplin Fredk

Geo., grocer, Post office

Reid Claude G.


Edden Harry,

Beer retailer

Stopp William, farmer

& grazier

Sutton William

Laurel Cottage

Gulliver Albert Jesse


Taylor Arthur,

carpenter, builder &


Thomason William

Gulliver Ernest,


Tugwood Arthur,


Young Mrs

Hearn E. (Mrs)

fancy draper

Watson Jas, farmer &

coal merchant




Henry, blacksmith

Watson, Mark,

builder & grocer

Adkins George,


Humphrey Arthur,

Provsn dlr & carrier

Watts Alfred,

carpenter & wheelwright

Albright Frank,


Humphrey Benjamin,



Woods James,


Allen George,

farmer Manor House

Humphrey William T.,


Wrighton Edwin (Mrs),


Berry James,


Jeffery Edward John,



Bloxham Matthew,


Jessett John,



Brown Charles


Lightwood Thomas


inn & shoemaker





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