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Helmdon, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Helmdon, a large village and a parish in Northamptonshire. The village stands near one of the sources of the river Tove, 4½ miles N from Brackley, 7 SW from Towcester, and it has a station on the Northampton and Banbury Junction railway, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Brackley. Area of the parish, 1799 acres; population, 502. The manor belongs to Worcester College, Oxford. An excellent building-stone, known as Helmdon stone, was long extensively quarried, but is now in only local request. Lace-making is carried on. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; value, £264: with residence. Patron, Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The church is Decorated English, consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a pinnacled tower rebuilt in 1823, and contains a piscina and sedilia. A very large and beautiful yew tree, which measures nearly 24 feet round the trunk, is in the churchyard. A date on a beam in the parsonage, removed from a previous parsonage, looks to be 1133, but is understood to he 1533, and gave rise to a discussion as to the earliest use of Arabic figures in England. There is a Baptist chapeL

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 parishHelmdon St. Mary Magdalene 
Poor Law unionBrackley 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1572., 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 Magdalene (parish church)

The church of St. Mary Magdalen is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing 6 bells: the chancel retains a piscina and sedile, and in the north aisle is a piscina, found under the floor of the church during the restoration: the tower was rebuilt in 1825 and the church restored in 1875, at a cost of £1,600, under the direction of Mr. Law, architect, of Northampton, when the nave and aisles were new roofed, the interior reseated with open benches, new pulpit and other fittings introduced, organ chamber erected, western gallery removed and other works carried out: the communion table and reredos were presented in 1881 by the late James Fairbrother esq.: there are 280 sittings. In the churchyard is a yew tree of remarkable proportions and beauty, measuring round the trunk nearly eight yards.

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 Helmdon from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Helmdon 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 districtNN13
Post TownBrackley