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Irchester, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Irchester, a village and a parish in Northamptonshire. The village stands near the river Nen and the M.R., 3 miles SE by E of Wellingborongh, and has a station on the railway, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Wellingborough. The parish contains also the hamlets of Knuston and Little Irchester. At the latter place there is the Wellingborough station of the L. & N.W.R. Acreage, 2788; population, 1824. Knuston Hall is the seat of the Arkwright family. Chester House is an ancient Elizabethan mansion of stone. Shoemaking is carried on. There is a Roman camp of 18 acres. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough; net yearly value, £318 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar. The church is Early Decorated English, has a lofty octagonal spire, and contains a fine carved oak pulpit. It was restored at a cost of £3500 in 1889. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels and several useful charities. Some very interesting Roman remains were discovered in 1874.

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 parishIrchester St. Catherine 
Poor Law unionWellingborough 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1622., in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.


Church of England

St Katharine (parish church)

The church of St. Katharine is an edifice of stone, consisting of chancel with north chapel, clerestoried nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower with lofty octagonal spire, 152 feet high, containing a clock and 5 bells: the nave arcades are late 13th century, but the western responds are late Norman, and there are other extensive remains of the same period as well as indications of a yet earlier church: the north doorway is an example of early 13th century work, the south door and priest's door being later of the same century: the north aisle was rebuilt and widened in the first half of the 14th century: its outer wall displays in two places the escutcheon of Sir William Level, who at that time held lands in the parish: the tower and spire may be assigned to an early year in the last quarter of the 14th century: in the north wall of the chancel chapel is a plain sepulchral niche of late 13th century work, supposed to have been built for his own tomb by Master William de Clifford, rector of the church and a papal chaplain, sometime King's escheator and baron of the exchequer, and afterwards bishop of Emly, who died in 1306: there are some handsome bench backs and ends of the 14th century, and an elaborately carved pulpit, supposed to be late 16th century work: the font is Early English: the chancel contains a large mural monument and three gravestones of the Jenyson family, who held the impropriate rectory in the 17th century: the church was restored in 1889, under the direction of the late Mr. J. L. Pearson R.A. at a cost of £3,500: in the course of the work several wall paintings of pre-Reformation date were discovered, one of which, the Last Judgment, above the chancel arch, has been allowed to remain, but is very much faded: there are sittings for 550 persons.


Primitive Methodist chapel

The Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1877, has 150 sittings.

Wesleyan chapel

The Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1869, will seat 400 persons.

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 Irchester from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Irchester 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:

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNN29
Post TownWellingborough