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Article take from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph dated 7th March 1972, transcribed by Raylee Burton.

Rubble is its Funeral Pyre
Do you care?
Is there no hope for history?
The Rectory reduced to a site of rubble. The Rectory drawing room in its former glory.
The Rectory in rubble.
The drawing room in its former glory.

Cromwell couldn’t  kill it - progress did. The house that died in shame.

BURTON RECTORY - the building that everyone wanted to save is today… a heap of rubble. It gave the demolition men a tough time. More than 300 years of history doesn’t go easy.

But in Burton Latimer many people believe that it needn’t have gone at all. Yet it did.

For 300 years the old Rectory had been a comfortable home.

It had its ups and downs – Cromwell sacked it because the rector defied the Puritan Regime – and other people added wings to it.

But the end of this substantial chunk of history began in 1967 when the Reverend R W Sharpley retired.

The new Rector, the Reverend Derek Hole, didn’t want to live there. “It was just too impracticable because of its size,” he said. It was decided to sell.

Kettering jeweller, Leslie Smart, made a firm offer of about £10,000. But technically the house wasn’t yet on the market. It was several months before it was. By then he had bought another.

"It is a terrible shame."

“We were disappointed at the time. I think the house could have been restored and by now would have been worth more than £30,000. It is a terrible shame that it has been demolished,” he said.

The house was advertised nationally and locally, and a number of people looked round. No one bought. The Church climbed down on its price. A local man offered £8,000 with less land. The Church accepted.

It looked as if the Rectory was saved… until the prospective purchaser came to do his sums.

The cost of renovations was astronomical and he asked for his £800 deposit back. Another offer was made and the price reduced to £7,000. Again it fell through.

“Everything that could be done to sell the Rectory was done. But if people cannot afford to spend that amount of money there was nothing to do. People who came to see the Rectory were overwhelmed by the amount needed to renovate it,” said Mr. Hole.

Last offer of £4,000

The last offer was for £4,000. The church Commissioners turned it down. Their original aim was to pay the £11,500 bill for the new rectory out of the money realised on the old.

Now it was finally decided to prepare the site for development.

By 1969 the house was under fire from vandals and thieves. Lead was stripped from its roof and fittings were ripped out.

But had the church stood for too much, knowing they could still make money out of selling the site for future housing development?

“You are bound to get this interpretation of the facts but it is not true,” said Mr. Hole. “You had to see the condition of the rectory itself to believe it.”

“The tragedy is that probably had it been on the market today at current inflated prices it would have been saved.”

The Rectory hallway during the demolition. The Rectory hallway as it was.
The hallway as it became.
The hallway as it was.

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