Ecclesiastical parishes originated in the Medieval period, when the tithe or teind (a proportion of the annual produce or income) was paid by the parish inhabitants to support the Church. These units were distinguished from the Civil Parishes after 1597 with the passing of the first Poor Relief Act.

The new Parish of Harlestone Manor is within the Ecclesiastical Parish of St. Andrew’s.

St. Andrew's Parish Church 1

This is lovely little church in the heart of the English countryside that has a lot more documented history that can be added to a single page, well worth a visit.

William Peverel was a Tenant in Chief for King William I and was one of two Chief land owners in the village at the time of the Domesday book in 1085 and St. Andrew’s is mentioned. He founded the Priory of Lenton and gave it the advowson of St. Andrew’s Church (the right to appoint priests and take a share of the tithes, a right exercised until the Priory’s destruction in the Reformation in the 16th Century.

St. Andrew’s Church mainly dates back to the 14th century with the tower dating back to the 12th century. It is built from locally quarried stone. These dates are accurate due to a book kept by a village resident, Henry de Bray. This Estates book is now in the British Museum. He notes the chancel being built in 1320 and the rest of the church in 1325.

Henry de Bray supplied the stone and timber, Roger de Lumley procured the iron and smithy work, John Dyve the carpentry work.

St Andrew's Parish Church 4

The Font dates back to the 13th century and was restored during Queen Victoria’s reign.

St Andrews Parish Church Font

The church was in a state of disrepair by the 19th century and David Morton, the first rector to be appointed by Earl Spencer in 1831, carried out general repairs before engaging Sir George Gilbert Scott to restore and renovate the church, this work was continued by the next incumbent, Canon William Bury.

Canon Bury was responsible for the installation of the five light stained glass in the East window to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. This was made by Hurlisson and Gryllis.

St Andrew's Parish Church Stained Glass Windows

The Dowager Duchess of Grafton gave the church a new pulpit as a gift in 1891.

The pulpit is formed of 16th century Flemish carved oak panels, reputedly from Fotheringhay Castle.

Another gift given by the Dowager Duchess was the lychgate, (see picture two) given to the church in 1903 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee six years earlier. This was renovated by the Girls Club for the Jubilee of King George V in 1935 and again in 2010 by Harlestone Parish Council.

St Andrew's Parish Church Pulpit

The War Memorial is a fine Celtic Cross made of Portland stone and was made by Eli Craddock. The Craddocks have been associated with Harlestone for over 400 years, there is an entry in the Marriage Register in 1741 but there may be others earlier.

Eli made the St. Andrew’s war memorial in the quarry’s in Harlestone and was dedicated by the Bishop of Peterborough on November 24th 1920.

The inscription reads :

Hallowed in Christ

Be the memory of all those who gave their lives in the Great War for the freedom of the world.

They shall yet stand before the throne of God an exceeding great army and in that great last muster shall be found there own beloved.

St Andrews's Parish Church War Memorial

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries many additions and improvements have been made, thanks to donations from village families, these include the alter and reredos, brass vases on the alter, a silver bread box and chalice, the Bishop’s Chair, the processional cross, the porch doors and the figure of St. Andrew above the entrance to the porch.