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John Riches our Village Correspondent writes weekly reports about the village for the local media.  We are pleased to place them on our web site in order that those interested in Abthorpe can access the latest village news from anywhere in the world.

This page will keep the latest 3 or 4 reports.

On the Archive page we will store past articles and other pieces of particular interest.

Also, our newsletters can be downloaded on the Newsletters page.


12th June
Abthorpe Village Green.

Our village green is thought to date back to Saxon times before the Norman Conquest in 1066 and is the focal point of Abthorpe. It must have been thirty years or more ago when there was a dispute as to who owned the green. Was it South Northamptonshire Council or Abthorpe Parish Council? At an enquiry local GP Dr Vince Sanger presented the case on behalf of the Parish Council and the result was that the green was stated to belong to the village. This was great news but since that time villagers have had to mow the green’s grass on a regular basis. At first this was done by a team of volunteers using a push motor mower but in time a ride-on mower was purchased after fundraising in the village. That made life much easier for the volunteers.

Now that mower is coming to the end of its useful life. The pan is rusting away and although repairs will ensure that it will be able to keep functioning this year, a new mower needs to be purchased. The cost of a 103cm wide cutting width mower is likely to be £3,500. The Parish Council is planning to purchase a new mower next year using funds available from the solar farm at Handley Park close to Abthorpe’s boundary.

Back in July 2014 when planning permission was sought to build a solar farm at Handley Park the local media reported that Towcester Town Council supported the plans but that the Parish Councils of Abthorpe, Silverstone and Whittlebury had raised objections. Times move on!


5th June
Elizabeth Cottage in Abthorpe was built in three different centuries – the 1700’s, the 1800’s and the 1900’s. Now explains the present owner Leah Abbott, she is bringing her home into the 2000’s with the aim of keeping the charm and character that it is so abundantly full of. The builders have not only found buried artefacts amongst the rubble that includes an ancient bottle with not even as much as a chip or crack, but they have uncovered not one, but two old Victorian water filtering systems embedded in the cottage’s yard.

Before mains water reached our village, Abthorpe had its own fresh water supplies pumped to water points from a spring on the hillside. Two of these points can still be seen – one in Brackley Lane and the other on the village green. But before that local system was built villagers must have had to rely on water from wells and small underground tanks that were connected to the gutters of their buildings. It is presumed that the tanks found at Elizabeth Cottage are some of these.

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