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You may recall that we are attempting to get two lanes, Back Lane and Bird’s Lane, classified as authorised footpaths. Thanks to all of you who submitted evidence to support our case, we have been able to make a submission to the County Council on one, Back Lane. We are pleased to report that, although no final decision has yet been reached, the request is being given high priority by councillors. Encouraged by this, we are now preparing to submit the application for Bird’s Lane.

locating-the-last-pickering-manor-houseManor house mystery solved?
We have long been mystified about the exact location of the Pickering family manor house. We know that it was a substantial building. With 23 hearths it was of a similar size to the manor at Canons Ashby, now owned by the National Trust. But was it in Church Field or the Great Park, where the playing field is today?

We asked Clive Carter to investigate. Using a number of old maps and documents, he has come up with a surprising answer. Firstly there were not one but two manor houses, one in the village, the other at The Warren, close to the border with Molesworth parish. The one in the village was much closer to the church than was previously thought: in fact it is most likely to have been in the vicinity of the school. The evidence for this is strong and this location would explain a couple of puzzles. One is the siting of the original church clock which could not have been seen from somewhere as far away as the playing field. The other was the complaint by the new priest in 1660 that Gilbert Pickering, the lord of the manor, had extended his gardens right up to the church.

In his research, Clive has also unearthed a document dating from 1652 in which Gilbert Pickering sought permission to enclose part of an original route leading from the village to Thrapston. Other documents suggest the likely reason for this and for the related development of Church Street.

This information has the effect of rewriting an important part of the history of the village and so we have asked Clive to explain the process by which he arrived at these intriguing conclusions. He has agreed to do so, and you are invited to hear him at a meeting in The Clubroom at 7.30 on Friday 25th November. You will be surprised by what he has to say.

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