The ‘Needs to Know’
Distance: 2 miles (3.22km)
Time to walk: You can walk this in under an hour so why not combine it with our walk in nearby Sulgrave
Difficulty: All on hard paths around the village
Parking: The large car park in the centre of the village
Map of the route:
Another village that we visited in January 2014 when the fields were too wet to walk. What can we tell you about the lovely village of King’s Sutton?
Well it’s one of the larger villages of Northamptonshire, situated at the far southwest tip of the county in the valley of the River Cherwell, which marks its border with Oxfordshire. It sits some 4 miles (6.4km) south-east of the market town of Banbury.
It’s a very old village, the church dating back to Norman times. There’s lots to see so…..
1. On getting out of the car we immediately came across this interesting sign on the verge…what’s Lady’s Smock?
2. Our first port of call in a village is usually the church as, being one of the oldest buildings, it can tell you so much & that’s no exception here. So we head up Red Lion Street & then take a sharp right up the alley towards the church. A striking feature is the 198 foot spire which is said to have walls no thicker than 9 inches.
It supposedly sways when the bells are rung!!
3. This is the Church of St Peter & St Paul. Again, there is an excellent historical guide booklet written by Roger Bellamy who we were privileged to meet in the church
The first story of the church is in 662 AD when tradition has it the Saxon font was used for the baptism of St Rumbold. Inside the chancel is mainly Norman
There are also some lovely stained glass windows & Roger was happy to talk us through them
4. Well that’s a great start to our visit to King’s Sutton so let’s see what else we can find…coming out of the church we turn right into Red Lion Street & enter The Square
5. There’s several historic & interesting properties in The Square.
Firstly the Manor House close by the church. Unfortunately the gates mean you can’t get a great view…
At the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086 AD the Manor House was owned by The Crown. In 1156 Henry II granted it to Richard Camvill. During the Civil War it was reputed that King Charles was hidden within the house. Allegedly it’s said to have had a Priest’s room as well as an underground escape route to the church
The present property dates back to 1650, although, as can be seen from the above photo, there have been additions
6. Next to the Manor House is The Courthouse
The oldest part of this building dates from about 1500. As well as being the Manorial Court House, it was also lived in. It’s unknown which room was used as the courtroom
7. Now we turn around & across the other side of The Square to see an imposing building called The Lovells
The Lovells is an 18th century property named after the Lords of the Manor. It was probably built much earlier & subsequently altered
8. Keeping on the same side of The Square, we come across a beautiful row of cottages…
These four cottages are known as The Monks Cottages. They date from the 17th Century but have been altered since then. They are reputed to have been lodgings for priests or monks when visiting the church
Oh….what’s with the plaque by the door?
It’s a very old brewery..the public houses were usually provided with a plaque which was normally fixed to one side of the main door. These were typically silver grey on a slate grey background, although some were blue on white. Following the brewery’s takeover by Mitchells & Butlers in the 1960s, these plaques were either painted over or removed, but several have since been cleaned. They may be seen on pubs both in Banbury and as distant as Bridgend, Wales
We love this kind of history!
10. Fed & watered we move on, exiting The Square & heading down Astrop Road. There’s some fabulously named properties along here which give an indication of their former uses…
11. Opposite the Recreation Field on the left is a property known as ‘The Old School’
Built in 1847 it’s got a great history for teaching children of ‘labouring, manufacturing & other poorer classes’
12. In the late 1600’s a medicinal spring was discovered in the area…the local Lourdes! In 1749 a new well was opened which now is unfortunately in a poor condition & we couldn’t visit because of the weather.
So in its place a replica well was built…..let’s go & find it!
…& on the left, here it is…
13. We now head back along the road we came along & turn right at the junction into Upper Astrod Road
…& at the top of the road turn left…
14. We’re now in Richmond Street so keep straight ahead. This is where we met Jo an old friend we hadn’t seen for about 3 years…sorry we scared you by shouting Jo….Jo…it felt like Alan Partridge shouting “DAN”!! Click on DAN to see.
15. On reaching the junction at the bottom of Richmond Street if you’re feeling hungry or thirsty at the moment there’s The Three Tuns on the left…
If not keep straight on down Bull’s Lane…
16. At the end near where we left the car on the right is The Baptist Church. This building dates back to 1867. Baptisms were carried out at the nearby River Cherwell near old Twyford Mill
Across the street’s a property that made us feel like playing a tune on the trumpet…
So that’s the end of our walk around one of Northamptonshire’s most southerly villages & it’s a stunner.
Why not combine this with the Sulgrave walk. They’re both crackers!!