nestles in the heart of the South Northamptonshire countryside and,
although no great event or historical person has made it famous,
it still has a tale to tell.
has consistently reinvented itself over the centuries to keep pace
with the changing times.
the time of the Domesday book the economy was based on agriculture,
and farms remained a dominant feature right up until the second
half of the 20th Century.
farm buildings have been converted into desirable residences, or
knocked down altogether to make way for executive housing developments.
history in stone
buildings on Station Road
quarrying began in Helmdon as early as the mid-13th Century and
its famed stone was described as "the finest building Stone I have
seen in England" by J Morton in The Natural History of Northamptonshire.
from Helmdon was used in such local buildings as Easton Neston,
Stowe and Blenheim.
village church has one of the earliest pieces of stained glass showing
an artisan at work: the Campiun window depicts stonemason William
Campiun and dates from 1313.
quarries were in decline throughout the 19th Century and had closed
altogether by 1950.
brought fleeting prosperity to Helmdon, lying as it did at the crossroads of
the Great Central Railway and the Northampton & Banbury Junction
Railway. The Great Central viaduct was built in the 1890s and dominates
the skyline to the east of the parish to this day.
last locomotives passed through in 1966 and the only users of the
viaduct now are sheep and the occasional dog walker.
demise of the second railway, the Northampton to Banbury line, was
inevitable with the growth of the motor car and van and it closed
for passengers in July 1951, quickly followed by freight at the
end of October in the same year. Today the old goods yard is a
of the pubs
one time the village boasted four public houses; today only the
Bell in Church Street remains.
Magpie closed its doors in 1909 and shortly after, in 1914, the
Cross ended its life as a public house having been owned by Hopcrofts
of Brackley since the early 1800s. Both are now private residences.
The Chequers on Station Road was demolished in 1992 and has been
replaced with housing.
the inherent strength of the village is not in its transient buildings
or industries, but rather in its keen sense of community spirit
which endures, and is set to endure, for centuries to come.
modern day Helmdon has a vibrant and active population who are ready
to face the challenges of village life in the 21st Century.
Moody is the webmaster for the Helmdon
village web site which contains a wealth of information
about the village, its people and history and is constantly
updated with all the latest news and events. The photos used
on this page are courtesy of the Helmdon village website.
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