Benefield, a parish in Northamptonshire, adjacent to Rockingham Forest, 3 miles W of Oundle station on the L. & N.W.R. It consists of two divisions, called Upper End and Lower End, and embraces an extra-parochial tract in Rockingham Forest, and it has a post office under Oundle, which is the money order and telegraph office. Acreage, 4748; population, 433. Nine holes, called the Swallows, occasionally suck up and absorb land floods. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; net value, £470 with residence. The church, which is a building of stone in the Early English and Decorated styles, was restored in 1846-47 at a cost of £13,000.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Benefield St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Oundle|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register dates from the year 1570.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.
Church of England
St. Mary, Lower Benefield (parish church)
The church of St. Mary, which stands on an elevation in Lower Benefield, is a building of stone in the Early English and Decorated styles, consisting of chancel with north aisle, clerestoried nave of four bays, aisles, north porch, and a western tower, with lofty spire, containing 6 bells, rehung in 1884 and again in 1911, when a new treble bell was added: a fine carved oak screen with rood loft separates the chancel from the nave; the pulpit and font are of stone and there are several stained windows: the Bible, which cost 80 guineas, was presented by the patron on the rebuilding of the church: the organ has been enlarged at a cost of £230: the chancel, originally of the 14th century, was restored in 1842 and decorated in 1897, and at the entrance, above the rood loft, is a richly carved rood with the usual figures modelled in plaster, the whole being colored and gilt: return stalls of oak have been added to the choir stalls and there is a large and fine altar table of stone and a reredos of wood, panelled and canopied and displaying the principal scenes in the life of Our Lord, executed in high relief and also colored, and gilt: here also is a brass to Elizabeth Grant, ob. 1608: the remainder of the church was rebuilt in 1846-7, at the expense of the late Jesse Watts-Russell esq. then patron, at a cost of £13,000. In 1907 a carved spiral oak staircase was erected: to the roodloft.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Benefield from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Benefield (St. Mary))
- Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire, 1914
Land and Property
Biggin Hall, an ancient mansion, enlarged at different times, stands in a small park and is approached through a long avenue of trees.
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northamptonshire is available to browse.
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Northamptonshire papers online: