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Weedon Beck

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

"WEEDON-BECK, (or Weedon-on-thestreet), a parish and post town in the hundred of Fawsley, county Northampton, 4 miles S.E. from Daventry, and 8 from Northampton. It is a station on the North-Western railway, which here passes through a tunnel of 418 yards. The village is situated in a valley on the Grand Junction canal and the ancient way Watling Street, and near the source of the river Nene. It is divided into Upper and Lower Weedon, of which the latter is intersected by the Holyhead road, here joined by the Northampton and Daventry road. A nunnery was founded here by Werburgh, daughter of Wulfhere, King of Mercia, in 680, which, being burnt by the Danes in the 9th century, was refounded by William the Conqueror as a cell to Bec Abbey. The parish contains the Royal Military Depot, having accommodation for 200,000 stand of arms, besides a great quantity of military stores. The building, which is situated above the village, consists of a centre with two detached wings, and on an eminence adjoining are barracks for 500 men. Between the two ranges of building is a cut communicating with the Grand Junction canal, and affording facility of conveyance to any part of the kingdom. Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and in lace-making. Near Dodford Mill is "Gallows Furlong," where criminals were anciently executed. Courts leet are held occasionally, and a court baron annually. The population in 1861 was 2,189. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Peterborough, value £300. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, was originally built before the Conquest, but was rebuilt in 1825. The parochial charities produce about £231 per annum, of which £101 go to Billing's free school. There are National and infant schools. The Independents and Wesleyans have chapels and Sunday-schools. The Provost and Fellows of Eton College are lords of the manor.