Blakesley (St. Mary)
BLAKESLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Towcester, hundred of Greens-Norton, S. division of the county of Northampton, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Towcester; containing 830 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3834a. 1r. 3p., of which 2175a. 1r. 3p. are in the portion exclusively of the hamlet of Woodend: the soil varies from poor cold clay to warm red gravel and loam; the surface is gently undulated, and since the inclosure, about eighty years ago, nearly two-thirds of the land have been laid out in pasture. A branch of the Tow, which rises at Preston, runs through the parish for about two miles. Quarries of red sandstone are worked for building, and limestone for mending roads. A statute-fair is held on the first Friday after the 22nd of September. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 17.; net income, £176; patron, John Wight Wight, Esq. In 1760 land was assigned in lieu of tithes, and by the late act a rentcharge of £43. 7. is paid to the impropriator, and one of £41. 6. to the vicar; there are ten acres of glebe. A free school was founded by William Foxley, in 1669, and endowed with property now producing about £85 per annum; a Sunday school is endowed with a bequest of £200 by Sir John Knightley, Bart. There are also other charities. Blakesley Hall was anciently a religious house, occupied by a fraternity of the order of St. John of Jerusalem; and among a number of productive farms, is one of 200 acres, once the property of Dryden.