Brixworth (All Saints)
BRIXWORTH (All Saints), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Orlingbury, N. division of the county of Northampton, 6 miles (N.) from Northampton; containing 1050 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the west by a branch of the river Nene, and intersected by the road from Northampton to Harborough; it presents a moderately undulated surface, and consists of 2972 acres, of a very superior soil. The village, lying on the left of the road, is of some extent. A considerable portion of the female population are employed in making lace; and there are some stone-quarries and clay-pits. A chartered fair is held on June 5th, but it has dwindled into a sale only for earthenware and gingerbread. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 15. 10.; net income, £300; patron, the Chancellor in the Cathedral of Salisbury, as Prebendary of Brixworth. Land and a certain annual money payment were assigned in lieu of tithes, under an inclosure act, in 1780. The church is a remarkable edifice, of large dimensions, and of very remote antiquity, being partly Anglo-Roman or early Saxon, and partly Norman, with repeated alterations and insertions in the various styles of English architecture. The walls are mostly built with rough red ragstone, in pieces not much larger than common bricks; and all the arches are turned, and most of them covered, with courses of Roman bricks or tiles. The nave and lower part of the square tower are of Anglo-Roman or early Saxon architecture, exhibiting, since the removal of the plaster and whitewash, the Roman bricks, or tiles, in admirable preservation. The upper part of the tower, and the lofty steeple, the summit of which is about 140 feet from the ground, have been recently rebuilt; and attached to the western side of the square tower is a round Saxon tower, containing a winding flight of stone steps, leading to the upper story of the former. On inspecting the opening of a grave in the chancel, on the 4th of Feb. 1841, the Rev. Mr. Watkins, the vicar, discovered a portion of the original apse, which having been subsequently traced, the whole circuit of the original wall was found, together with an ancient floor of hardened cement, four feet below the floor of the present chancel. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A free school is endowed with a moiety of 22 acres of good land, the bequest of Thomas Roe, of Scaldwell, in 1665; and there are also schools supported by the dissenters. Divers plots of land have been assigned by unknown benefactors for charitable purposes, consisting of six acres for repairing the church, and thirteen for the benefit of the poor. The union of Brixworth comprises 33 parishes or places, under the superintendence of thirty-eight guardians, and contains a population of 14,330. It is thought that a monastery, or nunnery, anciently existed in the parish. Ammonites, belemnites, and terebratulæ are occasionally discovered in the marlstone beds here.