Archive: a collection of records of a place
Action: the process of doing something

In July, we asked if we could borrow, scan, photo or otherwise copy, any photographs, documents or artefacts that would represent Geddington’s history over the centuries.

Our aim is to create an online archive of the history of our village.

Our third weekly article is on STREETS
and we’re taking:

Grafton Road is 2½ miles long and has the most variety of landscapes and buildings of all the village roads. It starts at the centre of the village – where West Street finishes, Grafton Road, or East Street as it was known, starts.
And we start on:

The thatched no.2 facing the Eleanor Cross, was the scene of a vehicle accident when the brakes failed on a delivery vehicle carrying flour to Abbott’s bakery in Bakehouse Hill, and it ran into the front wall, causing a lot of damage – even the bed had to come out!

No.4 is Church Farmhouse where, in the late 19th century, York Augustus Hopkins took over the tenancy of the farm house, buildings and 200 acres of land until he died in 1928: his son Arthur, lived in No.6.

Further along, you come across the entrance to The Priory. Originally called The Geddington House, it was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries for the Maydwell family. Other residents included the Wetherall family and Mr Francis Montagu Scott, a relative of the Duke of Buccleuch.

Walking beyond the last of the buildings, you come across woods and fields, which were part of York Augustus’ land. At a slight bend and rise is the start of a stone wall which surrounds the Boughton Estate. At the top of the rise is a white fence with pillars either side and a splendid view of Boughton House: it has been thought that this might have been a former entrance. Estate workers took pride in the repairs of the wall, some leaving their mark.

Going past further fields, Acreland Farm and woodland, the road leads you to Grafton Underwood, where the road changes its name to the Geddington Road.


By turning round and returning to Geddington, the first thing that you come to is the USAF Memorial, carefully tended year-round by residents of Grafton and the scene of many Memorial Services, for both English residents and American service personnel.

The walk then takes you past many more fields and woodland (more York Augustus land) until it reaches the Boughton view, but by looking north, you can see one of many avenues of trees, planted by the second Duke of Montagu, often referred to as John the Planter. Most of the elms then planted succumbed to Dutch Elm disease and were replaced by Limes. Some of the schoolchildren were involved with the planting in the 1980s.

Down the hill, round the bend and you reach the Stone Pit, charitable land run by the Parish Council, and currently used by Geddington Youth Club and Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade, both of whom have raised buildings in which to meet.

Still walking gently downhill, you will come across a stone-walled enclosure, now used as allotments. In earlier centuries it was the local Pound, where stray animals could be kept until their owners turned up and paid the fee for their release. Rather like today really, when a fee has to be paid to get an impounded vehicle released from the Police pound.

No.19 faces the allotments. At the end of the 19th century this was the home of curriers, Amos and Joseph Rippin, who tanned leather in their garden. The marks made by vehicles using the passage are still to be seen.

No.9, now known as Quaker Cottage, can be traced back to 1729. There is a reference in the Geddington Court Rolls to a property which ‘hereafter be made for the public meeting house of the people called Quakers for their assembling of themselves therein for the worship of God’.

Between no. 9 and Wood Street, lay (more) land farmed by York Augustus, now built on. Facing Grafton Road, with land reaching Church Hill, is the school, built in 1849, by the Duke of Buccleuch.

The Old School
The Old School

If you’ve walked this far, you deserve a drink at one of the pubs or the Teashop!

If you have any information, documents or pictures relating to any of the buildings and land along Grafton Road, please get in touch. However, we hope to have information on many of the other streets in Geddington, but this will take time to accumulate!

The Exhibition on Saturday 1st November is not the end of our Archive Project, but just the start of what we hope will be an on-going project over the next few years, that grows as more material and research bring fascinating facts to light. will unveil its online Archive pages on November 1st.

Acknowledgements and credits will be given on the archive pages after November 1st.

6 comments on “ARCHIVE : ACTION #3

  • The field where the schoolchildren now have their sports day – behind the school and allotments on Grafton Road – used to be the Recreation Field. In 1964 or thereabouts, there was a fun fair, not a large one, but does anyone else remember it?

  • I have discovered today, that the funfair which used to visit the village belonged to Strudwicks of Burton Latimer, prior to being at the rec’ (recreation ground) it took up what is now the car park of ‘The White Hart’ public house in West Street.

  • Melvy Hopkins says:

    York Augustus Hopkins moved into Church Farm in 1892, not the 18th century.
    I only remember the funfair? being in the ‘Rec’ on one occasion in the 50s. It had one tent and inside a pony ran round in a circle with a small monkey strapped to its back. Other places were -as mentioned The White Hart car park and the White Lion car park.

  • Melvyn Hopkins says:

    Thanks Pam. I also have to do a correction-to myself. It was not a funfair on the Recreation field but was billed as a circus. An outbreak of Foot & Mouth one year (cows were allowed on the football field) stopped any circus/funfair again. That is why it moved to the pub car parks.

    • Hazel Freeman (nee Brown) says:

      I vividly remember the funfair being there in the early 1960’s. I was in our garden at the top of Star Lane when I heard fairground music. My Grandad who was visiting at the time took us to the old football field off Grafton Road, where there were a couple of roundabouts. When I spoke to Walt Smith about it just a few weeks ago, he told me that the fair belonged to Strudwicks of Burton Latimer, prior to being at the rec’ (recreation ground) it took up what is now the car park of ‘The White Hart’ public house in West Street.

Comments are closed.