A distant view of Great Doddington

Great Doddington Village

Some of the best views of the River Nene
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Great Doddington village stands about 3 Km south-west of Wellingborough town centre and 14 Km from the middle of Northampton. At around 100m above sea-level and 50m above the river, it enjoys sweeping views across the Nene Valley.

Just over 1000 people live in the village. Their homes offer examples of architectural styles from the late 17th right up to the 21st Century. Ironstone and thatch enrich the picturesque older buildings.

A long distance footpath, the Nene Way, runs from Badby to the Wash, and passes through the village. The surrounding countryside supports arable farming and grazing, mainly for sheep and horses.

People settled on the high ground north-west of the village more than 2,500 years ago; flint tools found closer to the valley date back even further. Several pottery finds prove that the village was occupied in Roman times. It’s likely a Saxon leader named Dodda gives the village its modern name.

After the Norman conquest, part of the manor belonged to Judith, King William’s niece. Then it passed through the Hastings family, a Florentine merchant living in London, the Green and Vaux families to the Spencers, Princess Diana’s ancestors, who sold it to the Earls of Northampton. They later acquired another local manor which had belonged to the Champagne and Barnard families. During the 20th Century all those properties were dispersed into private hands.

Hardwater Mill

At the west end of the parish is the beautiful Hardwater Mill. It was owned by the nuns of Delapre Abbey in 1164, when Thomas Becket fled down the River Nene from Northampton. He was offered food there and probably spent the night in the village. Almost two hundred years later, a miller slipped into the river from his sluice and drowned. The present buildings are from the mid 18th and early 19th Centuries. Today a discrete installation generates electricity from the flow of the river.

The tower of the Parish Church of St Nicholas dates back to the 12th Century. Its west door was added soon after and much of the rest was built in the 14th Century. Through various stages of maintenance and restoration, the church has preserved much of its medieval character. The pulpit is Jacobean.

The Stag`s Head

The village pub, The Stag’s Head, is in a fine late 17th Century building and offers drinks and good food for a range of dietary needs. Great Doddington Club is also open daily and welcomes new members. Both have ample space for parking.

The village is served every day by the hourly X47 bus, from Northampton though Wellingborough, Rushden and Higham Ferrers and onward to Raunds. Wellingborough Station, on the London to Sheffield line, is a short taxi ride away.

▶ British History Online, Parishes:Great Doddington

Doddington Manor

The Manor House

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