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Church of the Holy Cross, Hoggeston

Extract from the published records of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments:

 “The Parish Church of the Holy Cross on the east side of the village is built of a light-coloured local stone restored with darker Northamptonshire stone. The upper part of the Tower is of wood. The roofs of the aisles are covered with lead, the other roofs are tiled. The two eastern bays of the house are of the 12th century and a south aisle of two bays was added early in the 13th century. The Nave and the south aisle were lengthened, the north aisle was built and the Chancel re-built on a larger scale about 1350.

Late in the 15th century the east bay of the north arcade was widened and the other arches were apparently rebuilt and the north porch was added. The Tower was built over the west end of the North Aisle probably in the 16th century. The Chancel was rebuilt using some of the old material and the whole Church restored in 1882”.

Architectural Description:

“The Chancel (22ft 6ins by 17ft): Has modern detail except the two-centred chancel arch which is of mid-14th century date and of two chamfered orders. The inner order of the jambs has moulded capitals and bases much mutilated. The soffit of the inner order of the arch is grooved, probably for a rood”.

“The Nave ( 16ft): Has North and South Arcades of three bays. The two centred arches of the North Arcade are of two chamfered orders, mostly of the 15th century of large stones but including some smaller stones of the 14th century re-used especially in the easternmost arch which was widened in the 15th century. The octagonal columns have moulded capitals similar to those of the chancel arch and the bases are chamfered”.

“The West Respond is square with chamfered angles and has a 15th century corbel with a grotesque head to support the inner orders of the arch. The two eastern bays of the South Arcade are of the early 13th century with a circular column which has an original moulded base and a crudely-moulded capital. The Responds are square with stops, chamfered angles and moulded aberci and are pointed of one slightly chamfered order”.

“In the Middle Spandrel visible in the house only is the upper part of a 12th century window with splayed jambs and semi-circular head”.

“The East Respond is pierced by the 15th century rood stairs with remains of six stone steps and a four centred entrance high up in the wall on the south side. The third bay of the arcade is separated from the rest by five feet of plain wall and is of 14th century date with plain stops, chamfered jambs and a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, the inner order lying into the jambs”.

“The West Doorway now blocked is of the late 15th century and has moulded jambs and four-centred head with a moulded label and carved spandrels. The West Window is of three trefoil lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label and carved headstops much weathered. It is probably of 14th century material re-used except the tracery which is modern”.

“The North Aisle (9ft): Has in the east wall a 14th century window of two trefoiled ogee lights and tracery in a moulded head with a moulded label partly restored. In the north wall are two windows similar to that in the east wall, the eastern being considerably restored. The 14th century north doorway between the windows has continuously moulded jambs and two centred head. The label has been destroyed”.

“The South Aisle (9ft): Has in the east wall a 14th century window of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two centred head with a moulded label. The jambs mullion and tracery are also moulded. In the south wall the eastern window is similar to that in the east wall but almost entirely restored. Near the west end of the wall is a small window, trefoiled, restored outside. The cusps are much worn. Between the windows is the late 14th century south doorway with moulded jambs and two centred head”.

“The Tower: Is of one stage above the west end of the north aisle and is supported by large posts of chestnut which rest on the floor. Externally above the stonework which rises a few feet higher than the walls of the aisle, the sides are covered with shingles. The upper part with the spire being modern”.

“The North Porch: Has an outer entrance of late 15th century with chamfered jambs a two centred arch of two chamfered orders and a moulded label. Against each wall is a stone seal and in the east wall is a small square opening externally restored. The roof of the south aisle has two moulded beams with wall brackets of early 17th century. The soffits of the beams and brackets are covered with flat carved ornaments. The rest of the roof is modern except the plain purlins. The roof of the porch has two chamfered tie beams with moulded embattled wall plates of late 15th century date. The rest is modern”.

“The Bells:


Three and a Sanctus.

1st probably by Robert Newcome and Bartholomew about 1583

2nd probably by John White when assistant to John Haslewood early 16th century.

3rd by Anthony Chandler 1669

Sanctus probably 17th century”.


“Bracket: In south aisle on east wall for image or lamp, plain chamfered”.


“Brass: In south aisle on south wall to Thomas Mayne, Yeoman 1608”.


“Font: Octagonal bowl, stem and moulded base, 15th century”.


“Monuments:  In chancel on north wall in modern recess. Recumbent effigy of man in long robe with tunic and hood, model of building between his hands, animal at his feet. Said to be of William de Birmingham who died 1342. In south aisle to Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Mayne and daughter of Francis Blyth 1599”.


“Altar tomb: Of Purbeck marble. Covering stone said to be an altar slab found in the floor of the south aisle having fine consecration crosses underneath. Sides and ends of tomb panelled inscription, epitaph and verse and shield with arms”.


“Floor slabs: In north aisle to Thomas Mayne 1659 almost illegible. In south aisle to Charles Gateford, rector of the parish 1680. Inscription in Latin to Elizabeth wife of William Mayne 1695. Tablet with skull and cross bones, initial JH 1700. Panelling in south aisle made into umbrella stand, carved early 17th century”.


“Piscina: In south aisle with irregular trefoiled head and projecting circular basin. 14th century”.


“Plate: Includes cup with carret pattern, cup of 1569, no mark on cover. Standing paten apparently 17th century, makers mark only. Flagon dated 168 ¾ date letter 1683”.


“In Chancel: Built into south wall sill of narrow lancet windows two short pieces of string course or labels carved with serrated ornament later, 12th or early 13th century, square stone with two concentric circles scratched on it”.


“In Nave: Tussock (Hassock) of dried grass, possibly 17th Century”.



The de Birmingham (de Bermingham) family came to Britain during the Norman conquest and a included a succession of Williams, some of whom were knighted.   In 1283 the lands of Hoggston are recorded as one of many to which William de Birmingham claimed title by paying a fine following the death of his father (also William de Birmingham) in 1265 at the Battle of Evesham. His father had supported Simon de Montford in the second Barons’ war against Henry III and following his death the lands at Hoggston were confiscated by the King and given to Roger de Clifford together with the manor of Birmingham and lands in Stockton, Worcester; Shutford, Oxon; Maidencourt, Berks and Christleton, Cheshire.

William supported Edward I at the Siege of Bellegarde in 1297 where he was taken prisoner by the French and carried in triumph to Paris. Many members of the de Birmingham family are buried in the St Martins Church, next to the Bull Ring in central Birmingham.

Jan.2014: Churchyard Wall Repairs

In December last year a short section of retaining wall surrounding the Churchyard decided to collapse into the road. Fortunately no-one was injured but because the cause was 'fair wear and tear' rather than vehicle impact it seems unlikely the costs of repair will be borne by the Church insurers. We are obtaining a 'faculty' (permission to undertake repairs) from the Diocese and seeking quotes to effect repairs as soon as the weather improves.

A certain amount of arm-twisting was applied to the congregation at the Christmas Carol service but we're still likely to have a shortfall of £1,000 or so on the costs so if you have any bright ideas to reduce this further please contact the PCC.


Nov.2013: Chancel Repair Liability

In 2013 the Hoggeston PCC (Parochial Church Council) completed it's investigations into whether any properties within the parish are subject to so-called 'Chancel Repair Liability'. This legal oddity dates back many years to the time when tithes and the like were still commonplace and payable to Church authorities to offset the cost of providing Clergy and maintaining the building.

In recent years this potential liability has sometimes been overlooked by property owners (particularly those who purchase historic houses) and the Church Commissioners have been keen to determine who is - and who is NOT - liable after several cases where homeowners went to court to contest their liability.

After diligent investigations at the Land Registry and through the records of the Church Commissioners the PCC has determined that NO liability attaches to any properties within the parish and has formally notified the Diocese of it's findings.      

Village Facts

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Interesting background to the village can be read here

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