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Geddington

One of the treasures of this village is the Cross, built in 1294 as a memorial to Edward I's beloved Queen Eleanor. He built a cross at each resting place of her funeral procession from Nottinghamshire to London. Geddington Cross is one of the three surviving and is thought to be the best, both in architectural purity and preservation. The bridge is older than the Cross by 40 years, and travellers today may cross the River Ise the same way that Queen Eleanor's cortege crossed 700 years ago.

The church of St Mary Magdalene, which received the body of the Queen overnight, was then many centuries old. At the rear of the church was a medieval royal hunting palace. Nothing of this now remains except for some fragments of stone in the church, but it is possible that the steeply buttressed cottages in Wood Street originate from the same period. The name Wood Street emphasizes the reason for a palace in Geddington, for this was the heart of Rockingham Forest, and very popular with kings and courts of the Middle Ages.

Many old traditions are kept. In the churchyard lies the tomb of Samuel Lee, a ranger in Geddington Chase who died in 1789. In his will he left 100 pounds to be distributed by the churchwardens every Christmas Day. This continues even today.

(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)


(Updated 1 July 1997 - Maurice Kellner)