Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
From copy documents kindly loaned.
The Rectory Houses
The Old Rectory has a date stone of 1696 with initials C L - for Charles Livesay, Rector of St Mary's from 1694-1702. In the 1870s John Thomas Barker was rector and he built a new rectory house in Back Lane. That road then became known as Rectory Road. [It was the gift of Elliot F. Barker Esquire, of Whitby]
Glebe Terriers were documents drawn up describing the lands held by the Rectory, and a description of the property or properties belonging to the Church, and tithes payable to the Rector.
We copied a bundle of photocopies of some of these Terriers dating from the 1700s and have transcribed several. [on going project 2013] There is a terrier of the Rectory House.

A Sale in 1819

Taken from a document written in 1850, but author unidentified:
The Parsonage is situated in the upper, or southern part of the village, on rather an elevated site, and is inhabited by the Rev. G. E. Downe. It is a snug thatched building: and being genteely fitted up within, is rendered a commodious residence. The western portion, which is lower than the principal building, is a comparatively modern addition.

In 1879 Edwin Knight conveyed the property to William Attenborough of Irchester Lodge, agreeing to a redemption fee of £400. On 19th December1889 an agreement was made between William Attenborough and Edwin Knight to sell the property to Fred Knight boot & shoe manufacturer, son of Edwin, for £750, with the £400 now being paid to William Attenborough and the remaining £350 to Edwin Knight for:-

All that messuage or tenement formerly known as the Rectory House of Rushden with the gardens and lands (being formerly part of the Glebe) thereunto belonging or appertaining the area whereof containing in the whole three roods and 23½ perches little more or less situate at Rushden aforesaid and bounded on the North by lands of John Sherwood on the South by the Baptist Meeting House Grounds on the East by a Lane now called Park Road and on the West by Little Street in Rushden aforesaid.

On the 21st December 1889 Fred Knight took a mortgage of £1250 from Sarah Hipwell, widow of Olney, Thomas Eyles a retired grocer of Olney, William Hawkins, farmer of Emberton and Arthur William Hipwell, brewer of Olney for:-

All that messuage or tenement known as "The Old Rectory House" with the yard garden out buildings and appurtenances belonging thereto situate and being in Little Street in Rushden And also all that Factory or Warehouse adjoining or near to the said messuage or tenement All which said hereditaments and premises were then in the occupation of the said Fred Knight and with the site of the said messuage factory and buildings contain 3 roods and 24 perches were the same a little more or less .........

The plans for the Factory had been passed in April 1889 and it was a fine building. In 1897 major changes were made to the part of the Old Rectory fronting Little Street, and the whole roof was stripped of thatch and tiled.

The mortgage was paid off in June 1917 to Arthur William Hipwell.

Greystones - The oldest part of the  Rectory Plan drawn in 1933
The oldest part of the building (built 1696) - photographed in 2009.
The porch is a recent addition. The front of the property was remodelled in
1897, and extended, by Fred Knight who also built his shoe factory behind.

It was then called The Old Rectory, a new Rectory having been built
in Back Way in 1871. The road was renamed Rectory Road.

This property is now called Greystones (2009).
(right) A plan showing how the property was divided in 1933.

The Knight family
Fred Knight and his wife Marcia with their children near the porch
of the Old Rectory - courtesy of Clive Wood
Extract from a note book of J.E.Smith
NRO Ref: 285P/300 (from a locally held copy)

1869 February 11th. The “Rectory House” sold. Bought by Mr John Gross for £500. This is where Mr Fred Knight now lives up Little Street (1927). Mr Knight told me he bought it of Mr Gross.

Old Rectory in about 1914
The Old Rectory c1914. It was extended in 1897 by Fred Knight .
He also owned the shoe factory on the land behind.
This photograph shows the large extended front which was built by Fred Knight in 1897; the rear part of the building being the oldest surviving part of the Old Rectory.

In 1933 the building was purchased by Mrs Annie Mather. Part of it was used from then until February 1940 as a maternity home and many babies were born there.

The house was divided into two and sold in 1951.

In the foreground of this picture, is a garden constructed in 1908, after some small stone cottages were demolished. It was built at Fred Knight's expense, to a design by the town surveyor, Mr William Madin, and after Fred died his wife Marcia tended it as a memorial to him.

The gable walls are built in horizontal courses of stone to the upper floor level, with randomly laid stone above upto the ridge.
The gable end A date stone for the alterations in 1897
The date stone from the other gable end (south) clearly showing the random stone construction.
(left) The gable end (north) showing how high the ground of the neighbouring garden is.

1951 plan The Old Rectory today The new porch
The porch has been changed.
The Old Rectory today (2009). The building behind called Greystones
being the oldest part surviving, built in 1696, for Reverend Livesay.

(left) Plan dated 1951

The rectory in about 1910 postcard
The Rectory House built c1871 by John Barker when he was rector and another postcard showing the round window

rectory house
The Rectory House built in 1870

Repairs in 1955

In 1987 another new rectory was constructed in the grounds south of the old building. The old one was sold off, to finance this new building, and converted as a Residential Home, called the Cloisters. The grounds north of the old building have been used to build self-contained units for the elderly, who can also take advantage of some of the services provided by the main house.

The Cloisters closed in 2010, was sold and is a family home once more.
The new rectory built in 1987
A new rectory was built in 1987 in the grounds of the old one.

The Wellingborough News Friday 2 June 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushdenites Fine Batting
R F Knight, of the Old Rectory, Rushden, in playing on the Grange Cricket Ground, Edinburgh, on Monday, for his regiment, 28th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, going in first, made 103 runs (not out). His side declared with a score of 164 for five wickets. The opposing team was one form one of His Majesty's ships.

Later The Old Rectory was used as a Maternity Home, and this was closed in 1940.

Evening Telegraph, Saturday, Jan. 17, 1970

New police station to be built on paddock
THE RECTORY Paddock, in Rushden town centre, will disappear in the next few years. It has been chosen as the site for a new police station.

The news came as a shock to the rector of Rushden, the Rev. Michael Wilson, who knew nothing of the plans until told by the "Evening Telegraph."

When first contacted Mr. Wilson said there were no plans to build on the paddock. "There was talk a few years ago, but it all came to nothing," he said.

But the "Telegraph" contacted Northamptonshire County Council where officials readily confirmed that plans fair a new police station were well advanced.

Mr. Wilson said: "The paddock is used by the parish for garden parties and social occasions like that, it is a great asset.


"This will be a great loss. There is nowhere else we can use."

The police have been pressing for a new station for some years and a police spokesman said this week: "We have been after this for some time, but there was trouble in finding land. There is no doubt that the present station is outdated and that we reed new premises."

The present station, in North Street, is just under 100 years old. Rushden Urban Council has asked that part of the land in Rectory Road be reserved for a car park.

Note: The new Police Station was eventually built around the corner from the old one - in Shirley Road. The land was eventaully used to build houses in Wheatcroft Gardens.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Churches & Chapels index
Click here to e-mail us