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Preston Capes, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Preston Capes, a village and a parish in Northamptonshire. The village stands 5 miles SW of Weedon station on the L. & N.W.R. main line, 3 N of Moreton Pinkney station on the East and West Junction railway, and 5 S of Daventry, and has a post office under Daventry; money order and telegraph office, Byfield. The parish contains also the hamlet of Little Preston, which is about three-quarters of a mile SE of the village, and comprises 2793 acres; population, 205. The manor, with Fawsley Park, belongs to the Knightley family. An ancient castle formerly stood within the parish and has left some remains, the moat being distinctly traceable, but no masonry. A Cluniac priory was founded here in 1090 by Hugh de Leycester, and was removed to Daventry. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; gross value, £298 with residence. Patron, Lord Knightley. The church, of the 14th century, is a building of stone chiefly of the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and an embattled western tower. It is largely covered with ivy and has a very picturesque appearance.

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 parishPreston-Capes St. Peter and St. Paul 
Poor Law unionDaventry 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1613., in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.


Church of England

SS. Peter and Paul (parish church)

The church of St. Peter and St. Paul is an edifice of stone, principally in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of three bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 5 bells and a clock: the church was thoroughly restored in 1853, and refitted with carved open benches, pulpit and reading desk of oak; the flat roof of the chancel was also replaced by a high-pitched roof: most of the windows are partially stained: in the porch is a holy water stoup, and on the north wall of the chancel is a tablet to the Rev. Knightley Adams M.A. formerly rector of this parish, d. 12 Nov. 1769, and his three sons: in May, 1900, a new organ was provided and inscribed brasses placed in the church as memorials to the late Rev. Sir Valentine Knightley 4th bart. rector of this parish for over 60 years from 1836. A great portion of the church is covered with ivy, and from its commanding situation presents a highly picturesque appearance: there are 200 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 Preston Capes from the following:

Land and Property

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


This manor was purchased in the reign of Henry III. by Hugh de Capes, who obtained license from the prior of Daventry to build a chapel; Thomas Capes, his son, sold the manor to John Hylberd, of Fawsley, and it afterwards came into the possession of the Earl of Warwick, whose descendants gave it to the church of Our Lady at Warwick in the 37th year of Henry III.; in the 1st of Elizabeth the manor was in the possession of William Butler esq. by whose descendants it was alienated to Edward Knightley esq. of Fawsley.


Online maps of Preston Capes 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 districtNN11
Post TownDaventry