Stanford, a village and a parish in Northamptonshire, on the river Avon, which separates it from Leicestershire, and on the Rugby and Stamford section of the L. & N.W.R., on which there is a station called Yelvertoft and Stanford Park, 8 miles ENE from Rugby. Post town, Rugby; money order office, Welford; telegraph office, at the railway station. The parish is crossed by the Grand Junction Canal. The manor, with Stanford Hall, belongs to Lord Braye, who is sole landowner. Stanford Hall is a fine mansion of brick and stone, erected in the reign of Queen Anne, and surrounded by a beautiful deer park of about 150 acres. It contains a very valuable collection of paintings, including works by Rubens, Vandyke, and several of the Dutch, Flemish, and Italian masters, some splendid specimens of tapestry, a good library containing many historical manuscripts of great interest and value, and some ancient and beautiful furniture of carved oak. The chapel of the house, dedicated to St Thomas a Beckett, is richly painted and decorated. The living is a discharged vicarage, united with that of Swinford, in the diocese of Peterborough; joint gross value, £280 with residence, in the gift of Lord Braye. The church, dedicated to St Nicholas, is a building of local limestone, red Warwickshire stone, and brick in the Early Decorated style. It contains many ancient and interesting tombs and monuments, and a fine modern marble tomb by Thorneycroft to Sarah, third Baroness Braye, who died 21 Feb., 1862. The church also possesses some very fine stained glass of different dates, varying from the commencement of The 14th on to the 16th centuries.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Stanford St. Nicholas|
|Poor Law union||Rugby|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register dates from the year 1559.
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. Nicholas (parish church)
The church of St. Nicholas is an edifice of local limestone, red Warwickshire stone and brick, in the Early Decorated style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles containing 5 bells: the lower portion of the chancel screen is original and was discovered on the removal of the hall and vicarage pews in 1878; the upper part and doors were purchased from Lutterworth church: a good Perpendicular screen incloses the tower arch, and the pulpit is partly constructed of fragments of screen work from Lutterworth: some ancient seats with misereres remain in the chancel: the embroidered velvet covering of the communion table is also ancient, and the chairs on either side have finely carved panels: the priest's door retains its ancient ironwork: some fragments of ancient tiles exist: at the west end of the north aisle is a fine monument of stone and marble, by Westmacott, with canopy and recumbent effigy, to the Hon. Robert Otway Cave M.P. d. 29 Nov. 1844; at the base of the monument is a kneeling figure of Sophia (Burdett), his widow, d. 1849, executed in white marble: here also is a memorial brass to the Hon. Henry Adrian Wyatt Edgell, ensign 13th Light Infantry, d. Nov. 6, 1866, and a monument to Capt. the Hon. Edmund Verney Wyatt Edgell, 17th Lancers, of Stanford Hall, killed in action at Ulundi, July 4th. 1879, aged 33; the military accoutrements of both officers are hung above the memorials: the great glory of this church is its very fine stained glass, dating from before 1327 to the 16th century, the east window displaying some royal heads and figures of bishops; in the centre, under a canopy, appear the Virgin and Child, and there is some cinque cento glass, representing groups of members of the Cave family in tabards; and the arms of Edward II. and his queen Isabella of France, and of Thomas Plantagenet or de Brotherton, eldest son of Edward I: Earl of Norfolk and Earl Marshal, d. 1338; as well as those of Thomas, 2nd Baron Wake, d. 1349; John de Mowbray, 3rd Baron Mowbray, d. 1361, and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, killed at Boroughbridge 16th March, 1361, all of whom married into the royal house of Plantagenet: in the south aisle is a wooden bracket marking the place of a chantry altar, and close by is a richly-carved piscina: on the north side of the chancel is a marble tomb, inscribed to Dorothy (St. John), widow of George Egeocke esq. ob. 2 Sept. 1670: the side windows of the chancel date from about 1340, and the north-east window of the nave from 1340 to 1360; the south-east window is later: in the window east of the porch are the arms of Cecil, quartering Walcot and other coats, and in the north-west window those of Lovett: on the south side of the chancel is a fine marble bust of Sir Verney Cave bart. who died in 1714: in the nave is an altar tomb with recumbent effigies in marble to Sir Thomas Cave knt. ob. 1558, and Elizabeth (Danvers), his wife, and figures also of six sons and eight daughters; the sides of the tomb display shields of arms of the Cave, Danvers and other families: in the north aisle is a monument to Sir Ambrose Cave, brother of the preceding, and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to Queen Elizabeth, ob. 1568, and at the head of it a quaint memorial to his daughter Margaret and her husband, Henry Knollys esq.: in the chancel is a canopied tomb with marble effigy to Sir Thomas Cave knt. ob. 1613, and his wife Eleanor (St. John), and near it a cenotaph to their son Richard, who died at Padua in 1606: one other monument bears a singular colloquial epitaph and the date 1640; and there is a marble tablet to an old servant of the Cave family: the church also contains a fine marble monument, by Thorneycroft, to Sarah, 3rd Baroness Braye, d. 21 February, 1862, erected by her daughter Catherine, widow of John Reginald, 3rd Earl Beauchamp; it includes a recumbent effigy of Lady Braye and portraits in relief of three of her children, and the base is inlaid with upwards of 700 coloured stones collected by the baroness from Tusculum and other Roman cities: the organ, once at Whitehall, was purchased about 1649 from Magdalen College, Oxford.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Stanford from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Stanford (St. Nicholas))
- Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire, 1914
Land and Property
Stanford Hall stands on the west bank of the river Avon, just within the borders of Leicestershire, in an ancient deer park of about 150 acres; the mansion was erected in the reign of William and Mary by Sir Roger Cave, and bart. M.P. The museum contains Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, entomological collections and Japanese and other Oriental curiosities, besides much ancient stained glass, including the royal arms of the houses of York and Lancaster and figures of Henry VII. and his queen, Elizabeth of York: the chapel is dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury. Among the many portraits in the Hall is one of the 2nd Lord Braye, by Holbein, and one of Sir Ambrose Cave by Antonio More, besides a number which formerly belonged to the royal house of Stuart, and which, on the death of Henry Stuart, cardinal, and titular Duke of York, and some time known as Henry IX. (d. July 13, 1807), were sold in Rome and subsequently purchased by the 3rd Baroness Braye: in the library are preserved MSS. relating to the royal house of Stuart and some relics from the battle-field of Naseby; here also are the original journals of the House of Lords from the reign of James I. to that of James II. and the original copy of the "Westminster Confession of Faith."
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: