Abthorpe is a very old village. There are records mentioning Abthorpe from before the Norman Conquest. There are many historical reference works, most notable of which is “The Story of a Northamptonshire Village” by Reg Chapman. These books are out of print now but many current villagers have a copy. They do come up for sale occasionally on eBay etc.
As a millennium project several people in the village got together and compiled a CD full of history, pictures and commentary from before Vitorian times upto the present. This CD is now available to browse on-line. (Please bear in mind that this CD was produced over 20 years ago and it’s design does not reflect modern standards. It will not display well on a mobile phone for example)
Church History and Guide
In 2004 a detailed history of St John the Baptist Church was produced. This covers the the period from the 16th century, with references to a church building possibly being in Abthorpe for 1000 years.
Copies of this book are available in the church for £2.00 each. Alternatively please leave a message on our Contact page.
You can also download a copy of the text here.
History of the Old School
In 2020 a new history of the Abthorpe Old School was produced. This includes lots of details of the school during its over 300 years as a village school and its life as a village community centre in more recent years. This book is now for sale at a cost of £8.00 each.
The church is asked regularly for information about the Baptism, Marriage and Burial records of our church. These provide a rich source of information to family historians and others researching our past history.
Detailed information about family history started with the UK census in 1841 and the Civil registrations of Births, Marriages and Deaths in 1837. Before this time church records are the major source of information about families. For these records we owe a debt of gratitude to Thomas Cromwell, Vicar General to King Henry VIII, who in 1538, ordered that every wedding, baptism and burial should be recorded.
There was a certain amount of resistance to this at the time, but by the 17th century most priests were doing their duty and from this time our valuable social history started in the form of these records and our parishes are no exception.
In the Whittlewood Parishes all of our old record books are now lodged with the Northampton Record Office.
The records can be viewed by contacting the Archivist:
Wootton Hall Park
Northampton NN4 8BQ
Abthorpe records stored at the Records Office are…
Baptisms – 1583 to 1989
Marriages – 1587 to 1987, 1992 to 2008
Burials – 1593 to 1987
All the records for Abthorpe parish have been transcribed and are available to be searched, free of charge, on-line.