Northamptonshire A County of Spires. Stanwick.

Village Sign
St Laurence Church

One of the places featured in the book Northamptonshire A County of Spires is Stanwick.

Stanwick is set on a hill with a graceful tower and spire that soars over the valley of the River Nene. The spire has been described as ‘usually considered by experts to be the most valuable gem of Northamptonshire church architecture’.

Richard Cumberland, a famous dramatist, who was son of the Rector Denison Cumberland described Stanwick as ‘that retired and tranquil spot.’

A Roman settlement at Stanwick has been known since the eighteenth century but the site of a villa here was not discovered until 1979. In 1984 trial trenching carried out by English Heritage found mosaics dating to the fourth century, and major archaeological excavations were carried out until 1991. Excavations of the Roman villa site also found a fine example of a villa floor mosaic, a cemetery, foundations of a temple, farm buildings, and houses.

In Norman days at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the land was held by Peterborough Abbey.

In 1745 two companies of men marched from Stanwick to fight against Bonny Prince Charlie. More of the men died from smallpox than those in battle at Carlisle.

On 5th August 2000 a village sign was unveiled to commemorate the millennium. A voluntary group raised the funds for the sign. The sign was designed by Jackie Gillespie, who also made it, and lived in the village. Its design includes St Laurence Church, a Roman Helmet, ears of wheat, and a boot. It is believed that the Duke of Wellington had his first pair of boots made here.

St Laurence Church dates mainly from the thirteenth century. The spire has three gabled openings on half of its eight sides and sits on an octagonal tower. The tower and spire rise to 153 feet.

A weather cock was given to the church by the landlord of The Duke of Wellington. The inn is named after Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, who had a distinguished military career in India, Spain and Portugal, and defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

On the outskirts of the village Stanwick Lakes are a countryside attraction. It is a nature reserve which was opened in 2006 and comprises 750 acres of former gravel pits.

Stanwick is a delightful village with stone buildings and the countryside attraction of the lakes.