Woodnewton, Northamptonshire

1887 OS Map for Woodnewton, Northants
1887 OS Map for Woodnewton, Northants

The main layout of the Woodnewton has not changed since Medieval times. Essentially it consists of a single street with a parallel back lane. The two streets were connected by parallel strips of land or closes, many of which were copyhold lands. There were originally mills to both ends of the village of Wiodnewton by the 16th century but the west mill was the only to survive beyond the 18th Century. The road to the East crossed the small stream the Willow Brook by a ford until 1735 when the local Lord of the Manor, the Earl of Westmorland constructed a bridge.

RCCH map of Woodnewton
RCCH map of Woodnewton

The RCHH map of the village of Wiodnewton shows various ancient properties in the village.

In the middle ages the manor was part of the property of Fineshade Abbey, Northamptonshire. By the mid 16th Century it was two manors, both of which were purchased by Sir Walter Mildmay in 1551. He passed it through his descendants to the Earls of Westmorland. His purchase appears to have led to many of copyhold properties amalgamating to form larger farms and properties.

The property marked 1 is  Woodnewton church which was enclosed by a road along two sides (roads which still exists) and tracks or small roads along the other two sides (now gone and part of the churchyard). The Culpin family of Woodnewton owned property 5 (and also 4) for several hundred years until the early 1800s when the last Culpin, a widow died.

During their long time in the village the Culpin family were copyholders with strips or fields ‘scattered’ across the fields of Woodnewton. This strip farming system was used until enclosure in the village, when it appears their strips were exchanged for a ‘parcel’ of land, possibly the strips shown on tne plan and behind numbers 4 and 5. Building 11 was built for the lord of the manor and is of Palladian style, probably built about 1740 for the local court of the Lord and for use by one of his tenant farmers. One of early OS maps of the village shows a similar layout of roads and properties to that shown on the maps of the area at the time of the enclosure and earlier.

Further Resources