Horton, Northamptonshire

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.1827
longitude= -0.8041
official_name= Horton
population = 500 Est.
shire_county = Northamptonshire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= Northampton
post_town= NORTHAMPTON
postcode_district = NN7
postcode_area= NN
dial_code= 01604

Horton (from the Old English meaning "muddy farmstead") in the English county of Northamptonshire was originally an estate village, serving the now demolished Horton House.

The village lies on the road between Newport Pagnell and Northampton in the southern part of the county. The current designation of this road as the B526 belies its former importance as the A50 the former stagecoach route connecting Leicester and London. The road was declassified when the M1 motorway was built: it was to service this traffic that what is today "The French Partridge" restaurant was built.

The church

According to Pevsner, the church has a 13th century western tower and a "Splendid curly weathervane". Much of the church was rebuilt between 1862-3 by the local architect EF Law. The church has various monuments: a brass relating to Roger Salisbury (1491) and his two wives; Lord & Lady Parr - Catherine Parr's uncle and aunt; a free standing tomb-chest; two recumbent effigies: Sir William Lane and his family, and Edward & Henrietta Montagu, members of the family of the Earl of Halifax.

The church is Norman but currently redundant and in need of urgent repair.

Horton House estate

The earlier estate

The original medieval village and house were demolished to make way for the rebuilding of the house in the 17th century - all that remains are a number of mounds in the fields to the south of the house remains.

The first house and estate were owned by William, Lord Parr of Horton - the same family that Catherine Parr came from. Parr's daughter, Maud, married Sir Ralph Lane and they had three sons: Sir Robert, Sir Parr and Sir William, the latter commemorated in the church.

The last house

The last house had originally belonged to a branch of the Montagus (who held the Earldom of Halifax for two generations). The Gunnings purchased the estate in 1782 and the family stayed at Horton until 1888 when the 5th Baronet sold it to Pickering Phipps of the brewing family. Later it was sold to George Winterbottom but it was demolished in 1936.

Although Horton House was demolished various of its out buildings remain, some of which are Grade II listed: portico with a pulvinated frieze - and is thought be early Georgian in date.
*The Menagerie (turned into a house by Gervase Jackson-Stops) - G2. This is a one storey building with corner pavilions and a raised central area. The surrounding windows are by Gibbs. The work has most recently been attributed to Thomas Wright who undertook work for Lord Halifax in the 1730s.
*The Arches - G2. These are made up of a tri-partite triumphal archway with Ionic pilasters.
*Two Victorian gate Lodges
*Red brick stable block

Near the Menagerie is an old fish pond dating back several centuries and what are thought to be the remains of a Norman Motte-and-bailey can be found in the fields behind the Menagerie. There are rumoured to be a series of tunnels from the Menagerie towards the Ice House and elsewhere.

The village today

The village is a dormitory serving Northampton and Milton Keynes. There is a fine but redundant Norman church.

There are no shops or pubs but there is a cricket club, Horton House, which celebrates its centenary in 2008. There is a well known restaurant "The French Partridge".

Horton Rounds: The famous house on a circle

The village is well known for the modern design of Horton Rounds, an unusual curved house on stilts incorporating the shapes of a comma and a full stop. The house was built by Arthur Marshman as a family home. It was built on the site of the old tennis courts for Horton House.

The house is mentioned by Pevsner in his "Buildings of Northamptonshire" and has an unusual cantilevered balcony and cedar roof shingles. The house has more recently been the home of Roy Clarke the writer of Last of the Summer Wine.

Of the house, Pevsner says:

"A striking house. The dominant features are the broad curving eaves of the shingled roofs and the taller circular service cores and chimney of local yellow stone. In plan the house is a comma, with a full stop linked by a bridge. The tail of the comma, open on the ground floor with bedrooms above, shelters a paved garden. The broad end has service rooms and entrances below and a circular living area above which has views in all directions".

Famous residents of the village

*Sir William Parr - uncle of Catherine Parr - 1st Baron Parr of Horton.
*Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax - founder of the Bank of England.
*Sir Robert Gunning - diplomat (died at Horton House, 22 September 1816).
*England cricketer Allan Lamb lived in the village for some years in the 1970s.
*Television writer Roy Clarke has owned Horton Rounds for some time.

Pictures from around the village

urname of Horton

Hereditary surnames became popular in England after the Norman conquest and most were derived from the place-names of their family estates, whether in France or England. One such recorded is that ofRichard de Horton from Northamptonshire, in 1255.


*Pevsner, Nikolaus, "The Buildings of England – Northamptonshire", ISBN 978-0-300-09632-3

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