small south Northamptonshire parish of Abthorpe with only about 250
inhabitants, is midway between London and Birmingham in gently rolling
countryside on the southern slopes of the valley of the little River Tove.
This area has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times.
Lactodorum, today's Towcester, was built by the Romans on their famous
Watling Street and many villas were built in its hinterland including
Abthorpe's Mile Oak Villa - one of the largest ever excavated in England.
In 1642 during the English Civil War, spinster Jane Leeson built a free school from local stone for the children. This Old School now serves as our village hall where much of the social life takes place. Although in past centuries most villagers worked locally making lace, farming or manufacturing shoes, today’s inhabitants travel by car to the nearby towns of Northampton, Milton Keynes and Banbury or work in their homes using modern communication based on Abthorpe’s own local area network and broadband connection.
Abthorpe is centred on a delightful village green with old stone and brick houses sprinkled around it and with the imposing Parish Church of St John the Baptist set up high on one side.
Our church was substantially rebuilt in Victorian times although its site is thought to date back to the era of the Saxons.
New Inn, tucked away in a backstreet close to the church, is a
quintessentially English village pub built of local stone complete with an
inglenook fireplace. It serves good food plus ales that are still brewed
in the traditional way by a Victorian brewery at Hook Norton.
The countryside around the village is ideal for walking with many well signed paths allowing visitors to explore the huge Forestry Commission's Bucknell's Wood or walk across the fields to the nearby village of Slapton and its wonderful very old church complete with medieval wall paintings
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