Contact us: St. Margaret's Church Church Lane, Alderton NN12 7LP email us
Rector Richard Stainer Phone: 01604 857619 Email: Address: The Rectory, 37 High Street, Blisworth
Church Warden Amanda Jane Selvey Phone: 01327 811380

The Parish

Alderton is a small, picturesque, rural parish situated about nine miles south of Northampton and ten miles north of Milton Keynes in South Northamptonshire. The nearest town is Towcester, about three miles north west. It lies between the A5 and A508, in a conservation area, on the southern ridge of the Tove Valley. The village is of historic interest and is the site of a ringwork castle, known as The Mount, which has been the subject of an investigation by Channel Four’s Time Team. The entrance to the castle is directly across the road from the main entrance to St. Margaret’s Church.

The village is surrounded by farmland, although some has been converted to light industrial/business use in recent years, with a small business park, a solar farm and an anaerobic digestion plant located nearby.

There are approximately forty five houses in the village. These are made up of former farmhouses, cottages and converted barns, many of which are constructed of local stone and/or thatched, as well as some newer properties. There are no facilities in the village, nor is it served by public transport.

The church is situated in the centre of the village, at its highest point, and is clearly visible from all directions.

Social History

While the first official recording of Alderton was in the Domesday Book, there is very strong evidence that the village predates this by some period. Excavations in fields surrounding the village have found items suggesting there was an Iron Age settlement on the site of Alderton. Roman coins have also been found within the parish and it lies close to the Roman road, Watling Street. By the end of the 14th century, the castle on The Mount had become disused and the village was predominantly small cottages, with no large houses. In 1582 a very large manor house was built by William Gorges on land owned by Elizabeth I’s chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton, however this was demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The first census in 1801 recorded 32 houses and 183 inhabitants, figures which barely changed throughout the nineteenth century. There was a steady decline in the early half of the twentieth century, when many cottages, which were no longer habitable, were demolished, leaving only 56 residents in the village in 1935. The modern expansion of the village began in 1943-48, when several new houses were built on Pury Road. During the 1950s many of the older cottages, previously owned by the Grafton and Hesketh estates and inhabited by farm labourers, were sold off and subsequently extended and modernised. More new private homes were built in the mid 1960s and again in the 1980s, when a number of former farm buildings were also converted for residential use. This progressive modernisation, coupled with new building, transformed the appearance of the village between the end of the Second World War, when it was described as ‘tumbledown’, and the present day.

Over the years, the parish has had to come to terms with being a small community which has seen huge changes. In 1774, following the death of the previous rector, the church was annexed to Grafton Regis and the parsonage subsequently demolished. Whilst in the mid 1800s, the church was thriving, by the mid 1900s attendance had dropped dramatically and the parish had been without a parochial church council for a long interval. It was noted that support for the church was declining every year, with few of the incomers to the village interested in its work. In 1953, the parishes of Alderton and Grafton Regis joined that of Stoke Bruerne with Shutlanger to form a united benefice. This was extended in 1997 to include Blisworth and again in 2009, with the inclusion of Milton Malsor. In 2013 the benefice was named The Grand Union Benefice.