|Original Article by Douglas Ashby, transcribed by Karen Hadley|
The case for part of the town being declared a Conservation Area was first made in the 1979. The application, numbered according to the proposal socument, is transcribed below:
Origins of the town
1. Burton has always been its name and is probably derived from Bury or Bury Town, meaning the fortified house with farm homestead attached of the Saxon who annexed the village, and whose descendants upon conversion to Christianity, built a church, probably on its present site. In those days Burton would be a clearing in the vast forest of Rockingham. Domesday Book records the place as Burtone.
Early British earthenware jars and pots have been discovered by ironstone workers in the neighbourhood showing that the town’s history goes back over 2,000 years. Roman coins have been found in the Church Street area, and about twenty years ago a small hoard of Roman coins was discovered on land belonging to Hilly Farm which lies S.W. of the church. Originally contained in a leather bag (which had perished) the farmer presented the coins to Northampton Museum.
A Saxon cinery urn containing the bones of an infant was discovered off the Wold Road, S.E. of the church. This is now in Kettering Museum. When the parish church was restored in 1868 a portion of Saxon carved stonework which could have formed part of a churchyard or village cross, was discovered. This piece of stone was concealed in the church, but a sketch exists showing the exact detail.
There were several manors in early times, but the two principle ones were Latimer and Plessy. John Harpur acquired the Latimer manor in 1760 and later the Plessy Manor, thus joining the two. The church would have been a major landowner too in those times. The greater portion of the Glebe was sold soon after World War II. Richard Latimer Harpur, J.P. of Burton Latimer Hall, the present Lord of the Manor is still the major landowner today and other land is owned by various farmers and the British Steel corporation. One former landowner of substance was the Duke of Buccleuch until the early part of this century.
Descent of the lordships of the various manors is attached, and is extracted mainly from the Victoria History of the Counties of England.
2. Important and notable people associated with the area are also contained in the attached V.C.H. paper.
Former influential rectors Dr. Robert Sibthorpe, Chaplain to King Charles I deprived of the Living after preaching against Parliament. The Rectory was sacked and his possessions stolen or destroyed.
Thomas Montagu, Rector 1676-1719, grandson of the 1st Earl of Manchester.
Sir John Dolban (of Finedon) Rector 1719-1756, restored the Rectory house.
3. Buildings of interest and their background
Bakehouse Lane connecting Kettering Road with Church Street, is an ancient thoroughfare although most of the old stone properties have been demolished in the last twenty years. One small stone house survives which formerly had a thatched roof. The “Olde Victoria” public house is of 18th century origin but was refronted in Victorian times. Progressing into Church Street at this point the pavement rises behind an old stone wall which has steps to a lower pavement. Here was formerly the Stockwell Pump, a noted landmark until about 1935 when it was condemned and removed. The stone house behind this wall is a conversion from three former dwellings that dated from the 17th century, the stonework on the end gables suggests the roofs were originally lower and could have been thatched. The adjoining stone wall is the frontage of three houses (including a bakehouse) that were demolished about seven years ago to form the boundary of “Jacobean House”. Formerly a school, this house was converted and restored in 1972 and the roof replaced with thatch. The fine building is dated 1622 with inscriptions over the doorway and the mullioned windows. A garden behind has been landscaped.
61 Church Street is a stone gabled house with a datestone 1859. This belongs to the Church School and was the former schoolmaster’s house. Nos 63 and 65 are 17th/18th century stone built and No. 65 has an inglenook fireplace.
Continuing eastwards the high stone wall is the boundary of the former rectory grounds. The rectory, a fine large stone house of 17th century origin, was demolished in 1971, because it was considered unsaleable and very much damaged by vandalism. Several trees are worthy of preservation.
No. 67, 69 and 71 are 17th/18th century stone cottages. No. 73 is a large 18th century ironstone house, formerly a farm. 77 and 79 also 18th century stone houses. 81/83/85 are 19th century stone houses.
No. 101 is a long stone 18th century farmhouse, as is also adjoining No. 103 on the corner of Cranford Road.
The terrace of three storey stone houses in Cranford Road is late 19th century and was built for the ironstone workers. On the corner of Wold Road and Church Street stands an old farm property. Stone outbuildings were converted into a residence some years ago. The former farmhouse known as the “Laurels” is a large 18th century stone building and has a spacious interior and some exposed beams. In the garden is an old Cedar tree and weeping Ash.
Nearby is a factory now a tannery, formerly a brewery, which caught fire years ago, hence the building being part stone and part brick. The frontage of these premises should be screened with trees.
No. 30 Church Street is a fine early Georgian style house with a datestone 1729. No. 28 had a high pitched gabled roof, formerly thatched, also of 18th century origin.
Garlick’s shop is possibly 16th/17th century and in recent years its thatched roof had a new tiled roof put over it.
“Fernbank” in Church Lane was formerly a 17th century stone farmhouse, and was extended with a South wikng towards the end of the 19th century. It has a beautiful garden that was landscaped during the past twenty years.
The parish church (see Church guide) dates from Norman times (mid-12th century) and was extended in the Early English period about 1280.
To the west of the church is the thatched manor house with high pitched roof. A datestone on the south gable says 1704, but the house is thought to be older than that. The north gable is an addition of 1920 period in keeping though.
This is thought to be the site of the Saxon thane’s residence, for an old chronicler records “There are no tumuli or ancient sepulchral mounds known in Burton. There is, however, some broken ground having the appearance of piled up moats, mounds or trenches, adjoining the church on the south west, and the Manor House on the south, and this may have been the site of the Saxon thane's moated residence.”
Credence is given to this because when the builders wanted to add the tower to the west end, they had to cut into the Norman church in 1300 as a house of importance was already standing nearby. The Manor House grounds were extended in the 1920s. This house formerly belonged to the Dukes of Buccleuch and was purchased by the then rector in 1876, when land was given to build the adjoining church day school, which is a spacious building built in stone.
The Conservative Club was formerly an old stone farmhouse. At the corner of Meeting Lane an old stone house was formerly the “Thatchers” public house. On the opposite corner in Church Street, is a large stone property - formerly a doctor’s house and surgery. In the 18th century it was once the home of a prosperous farmer and butcher. The meat hooks can still be seen in the canopy over the side door. The adjoining house, No. 1, Church Street, has some old date stones at the back which were removed from some demolished properties years ago. Inside it there is evidence of what was a large old fireplace.
In Meeting Lane the Baptist Chapel was built in 1744 in stone and was enlarged in the 19th century. On the opposite side of the Lane stands an old cottage called “Nutcracker Cottage”. In recent years an old beam was uncovered over a fireplace and was dated 1669.
At the end of the Lane almost hidden by trees stands an old stone house called “The Limes”. This was formerly two or even three properties and was once the home of the Yeomans family who, in the 18th century, farmed here and gave land to the Baptists to form their church here. Inside are two large inglenook fireplaces and exposed beams. The large garden contains a little derelict cottage of 18th/19th century origin which in recent years was used as a workshop.
“Rosebank” on the corner of Church Street and High Street is a long stone house and the neighbouring shop premises, although built at the turn of the century has some interesting features i.e. Ionic columns and carved coping stones. Adjoining that is the former “Red Cow” inn (now a hairdressers) which was formerly a coaching inn.
On the opposite side of High Street standing back from the road is an interesting stone 18th century house with a pillared porch (of recent construction). A small stone barn by the front gate was converted into a garage. The shops going North are all stone and adjoining them is an 18th century stone house with a thatched roof.
Possible extension of proposed Conservation Area to include the following:-
Hilly Farm, High Street, adjoining the garden of The Limes. A commodious 17th/18th century stone farmhouse with Collyweston roof.
Shop adjoining corner of Bakehouse Lane. Tastefully reconstructed, but of 18th century origin, as also the adjoining off licence. Range of stone farm barns.
Waggon & Horses public house old stone building.
No. 9 Station Road (at rear of shop). This old stone house has mullioned windows on the side facing into Station Road, and could be of 17th century origin.
Nos. 69 and 71 stone houses, possibly one dwelling originally.
No. 73 “The Yews”. Large 18th century house, formerly used as a Dame’s school.
Adjoining Home Farmhouse. 17th century tall gabled stone house with several interesting period features inside i.e. inglenook fireplaces, exposed beams etc. Old range of stone outbuildings.
Hall Cottage 17th century stone built.
Burton Latimer Hall Fine early 17th century gabled mansion dating from 1620 with stone mullioned windows, many original period features inside, i.e. carved doorways, open fireplaces, magnificent staircase. Stable block 18th century, and dovecot. Also 3 ancient fishponds.
Home of the Harpur family since 1760 and now Richard Latimer Harpur, J.P. present Lord of the Manor.
Garden has the spacious outlay of the 18th century with long yew hedges.
Savages Close is the name of the field between the Hall and opposite the entrance to Station Road and is an attractive open space.
4. Northing to mind under this heading
5. Covered by previous information.