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Gayton, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Gayton, a village and a parish in Northamptonshire, on the Grand Junction Canal and the L. & N.W.R., 2 miles-NW of Blisworth station, and 4½ N of Towcester, with a post,, money order, and telegraph office under Blisworth (R.S.O.) Acreage, 1736; population, 472. Limestone and ironstone-are worked. Gayton House is a chief residence. The living" is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; net yearly value, £276 with residence. Patron, Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge. The church is a building of stone in the Early English style, has a tower, and contains an altar-tomb of the 16th century to Francis Tanfield, and some other interesting monuments. There is a Wesleyan chapel. The gross-income of the Alms Trust charity, from rent and money invested, amounts to about £270. Iron was formerly worked on the charity lands, and the money thus raised was invested in the consols. Three working men are elected on the trust as representative trustees.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyNorthamptonshire 
Ecclesiastical parishGayton St. Mary 
Poor Law unionTowcester 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1558., 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 the Virgin (parish church)

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a building of stone in the Norman and Early English styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and a western tower with pinnacles containing 6 bells and a clock; the tower was restored and the bells rehung in 1910 at a cost of £1,418: in the church is an altar-tomb of alabaster to Francis Tanfield esq. 1558, and Bridget this wife, 1583, with incised effigies of himself, his wife and eighteen children, and a mutilated inscription; he was one of those who signed the Act of Uniformity, passed in the first year of Queen Elizabeth; under an arch, in the wall separating the chancel and chapel, is the wooden effigy of a knight in the military costume of the 13th century, placed on an altar-tomb, the sides of which are panelled and canopied: the figure represents Sir Philip de Gayton kt. ob. 1316; and the whole was judiciously restored some years since, under the direction of the late Dr. Butler, dean of Peterborough; under a pointed arch with bold mouldings is the recumbent effigy in freestone of a female habited in a loose gown and mantle, representing Scholastics de Gayton, daughter-in-law of the above-named Philip: she was living in 1284; the effigy is believed to have been carved by William de Ireland, the sculptor of the figures on the Eleanor cross at Hardingstone: there is also in the church a diminutive freestone effigy of a child, wearing a veil and gown, discovered in 1830, built into the exterior east wall of the chapel; on the plinth of the stone on which it rests is a mutilated inscription, from which it appears that the figure represents Mabila, daughter of Thomas de Murdak, c. 1310; two brass inscriptions remain, one to Mary, daughter of John Breton, of Norton, near Daventry, 1704; and the other to William Houghton, d. 17th Dec. 1600: in the south wall of the chancel is a piscina in excellent preservation and there are others in the north and south aisles: many of the windows are stained or painted, and display the armorial bearings of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Lord Vaux of Harrowden, the Rev. J. C. W. Ellis M.A. rector, 1876, Roger Eykyn esq. M.P. for Windsor, 1866-74, and of the late George Butler D.D. rector of the parish nearly thirty-nine years from 1814, head master of Harrow School, 1805-29 and dean of Peterborough, d. 30 April, 1853: about 1889 a memorial window was placed in the chancel to Richard and Susanna Eykyn, and to George Charles, 6th baron Vaux, of Harrowden, d. Jan. 28, 1883, and Caroline (Vansittart), his wife, d. Sept. 30, 1883, by Roger Eykyn esq. and the Hon. Mrs. Eykyn, elder daughter of Lord Vaux, and at the west end is a small window erected by Thomas Eykyn esq.: the altar-piece is of oak, richly carved; there are also six stalls with figures carved upon the elbows and seats: the church was restored in 1883 under the direction of Mr. Holden, architect, of Northampton, at a cost of £3,000, when an organ chamber was erected and the chancel rebuilt: during the restoration a curious stone cross was discovered, which is now in the north chapel: there are 300 sittings.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Gayton from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northamptonshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Gayton are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Northamptonshire papers online:

DistrictSouth Northamptonshire
RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNN7
Post TownNorthampton