Cottesbrooke is a village of 100 souls, and with kennels of the Pytchley Hunt close by, it is in the centre of hunting country.
In the 19th century, Cottesbrooke Hall had the honour of being occupied by the Empress of Austria, who regularly rode to hounds and brought about a certain amount of publicity to it when local 'Bay' Middleton piloted her for the season. The Hall is a beautifully kept 18th century building of good proportions, with gardens that give much pleasure to the public on the occasions when they are open for charity.
In medieval times there was a flourishing company of monks who occupied a cell, situated to the north-west of the village. Kayland's Cell (hence Calender Farm) was part of the order founded by St Norbert in Laon, France, in 1150. The order lasted in England until the Dissolution of the Monasteries and they were known as the 'White Canons'. The field next to Hinson's Meadow (where there is a spring known as the 'Monk's Well) has sometimes been known as St Norbert's field.
The church, situated in the village, dates from 1220. The interior has a three-tier pulpit and has been carefully restored. Some of the pews were originally from the Brixworth workhouse chapel. There is a squire's pew in the organ loft complete with a fire grate. Some destruction to the memorials occurred when Cromwell's army was in the vicinity, indeed cannon balls now in Northampton Museum were found in local fields.
(The above extract from 'The Northamptonshire Village Book', compiled by the Northamptonshire Federation of Women's Institutes, is reproduced by kind permission of the publishers, Countryside Books, Newbury, Berkshire)