Wappenham is a linear village and civil parish in South Northamptonshire – the name Wappenham dating back about 12 hundred years.
In the Middle Ages, Wappenham was a forest village subject to special laws and privileges with direct connections to the King. Significantly, at the time, it stood at the ‘crossroads’ of England with the Welsh Land and Oxford Lane crossing at the top of the parish and the important Watling Street in Towcester a few miles away.
The Church of st Mary in Wappenham mostly dates from the 13th and early 14th centuries. The Tower contains a peal of six bells, three of which were cast in Buckingham between 1590 and 1620. The unusual one-handed clock is almost certainly Elizabethan and has a movement of special interest and is the only one in working order out of three in the Country. The Wappenham Chapel was built and opened for worship in June 1860.
The surrounding arable and pasture land supported the mainly farming community in the 1700 and 1800’s – farming was labour intensive then and 1841 census shows a population of more than 500 in the Parish compared with today’s Wappenham community of approximately 300.
In the early 1900’s, farming still remained the principle occupation but more and more, outside influences had an impact. In the 1860’s the Blisworth to Banbury railway line opened a station in Wappenham which brought trade to and from the Village and enable regular travel and prospective work further afield. The last day of the passenger service was on Saturday 30th June 1951. Also in the early 1900’s some Wappenham villagers were able to take advantage of the vibrant Northampton shoe industry who instigated ‘outreach’ production in various villages in the area.
Wappenham has an important architectural and historical connection with the celebrated Victorian architect, Sir Gilbert Scott – he is renowned for the Albert Memorial, The Midlands Hotel at St Pancras Station and the Foreign Office and, here in Wappenham, we have at least six buildings designed by him including the Old Rectory (circa 1833) and the Village School (circa 1860). The School closed in the early 1960’s but it continues to serve Wappenham well as the Village Hall.
There used to be ‘ale’ houses and at least four ‘pubs’ in the Village – The Chequers, The Horseshoe, The Spotted Cow and The Bull (which was the last to close in the early 1970’s). Village entertainment such as quizzes and plays by professional touring companies are a feature of the Village calendar and, although there is no permanent ‘pub’ in Wappenham, the Village Hall is the venue for a ‘pub’ night once a month which is always very well attended by the Wappenham residents and visitors from surrounding villages – a great time to catch up with everyone as is the Annual Wappenham Beer and Cider Festival in the month of June and local musicians support these regular events.
Located in beautiful countryside, Wappenham welcomes you!