Our small south Northamptonshire parish of Abthorpe with only about 250 inhabitants, is midway between London and Birmingham in gently rolling countryside on the southern slopes of the valley of the little River Tove. This area has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times. Lactodorum, today’s Towcester, was built by the Romans on their famous Watling Street and many villas were built in its hinterland including Abthorpe’s Mile Oak Villa – one of the largest ever excavated in England.
In 1642 during the English Civil War, spinster Jane Leeson built a free school from local stone for the children. This Old School now serves as our village hall where much of the social life takes place. Although in past centuries most villagers worked locally making lace, farming or manufacturing shoes, today’s inhabitants travel by car to the nearby towns of Northampton, Milton Keynes and Banbury or work in their homes using modern communication based on Abthorpe’s own local area network and broadband connection.
Abthorpe is centred on a delightful village green with old stone and brick houses sprinkled around it and with the imposing Parish Church of St John the Baptist set up high on one side.
Our church was substantially rebuilt in Victorian times although its site is thought to date back to the era of the Saxons.
The New Inn, tucked away in a backstreet close to the church, is a quintessentially English village pub built of local stone complete with an inglenook fireplace. It serves good food plus ales that are still brewed in the traditional way by a Victorian brewery at Hook Norton.
The countryside around the village is ideal for walking with many well signed paths allowing visitors to explore the huge Forestry Commission’s Bucknell’s Wood or walk across the fields to the nearby village of Slapton and its wonderful very old church complete with medieval wall paintings.
Latest news items
- Abthorpe tote – May winners
- Abthorpe Jubilee Celebrations – latest
- Abthorpe Tote – April winners
- Abthorpe Tote – March winners
- Abthorpe Church Tote – February winner
- Coffee morning in aid of St John the Baptist Church
- Abthorpe Church tote – January winner
- Carols and Christingle service – UPDATE
- Abthorpe Church Tote – December winners
- Abthorpe Church tote – November 2021 winners
- Abthorpe Church Tote – October winners
- Abthorpe Church Tote – September winner