Orlingbury is one of those villages you might only get to see if you go off the beaten track or if they close the A509 between Isham and Wellingborough, when you might be lucky enough to be diverted through it by the road diversion signs. Situated at the junction of the scenic routes from the villages of Isham to the East, Little Harrowden to the South, Pychley to the north, and Hannington to the West, it is a pretty village flanking the usually quiet roads which wind through it travelling past the central village green in front of St Mary’s Church and the old schoolhouse at one side, the gates to Orlingbury Hall, and the old converted forge on the other side at the corner of Rectory Road.
The first time I visited Orlingbury was during a Waendel walk years ago, when we walked through it and briefly stopped at the Queen’s Arms for refreshment. It has always struck me as being a pretty village that I would have liked to stop at and explore, and I had my chance when I was luckily allowed to join the Local History group, membership of which was oversubscribed at the time, just for that particular visit.
I wonder why I didn’t take any more photos other than the four I have taken of the church? Maybe my old mobile phone camera was playing up at the time, because I am sure I took several more as I wandered around the village. Maybe I’ve misplaced them and I’ll find some more, when I am going through other photo directories.
Anyway, being a ‘newbie’ to the Local History group, I thought I had better do a load of research about Orlingbury before I joined them, in case they thought I was very ignorant. Wikipedia didn’t have much information but I googled as much as I could find, and took a virtual stroll around the village courtesy of Google Earth, as I am prone to do before I go anywhere new, so I would be more knowledgeable about the village. I was impressed that I remembered the info I gleaned long enough to make informed comments on our stroll around the village, which also impressed one or two of my companions when the church warden repeated what I had told them. Immediately afterwards though, my over-full memory could store the information no longer, and discarded all I had learned, as it does these days! Now I can’t even remember where I got all the information I gathered at the time. Perhaps I made notes on a scrap of paper in the local library? I know I went there one day last year and did a bit of research on local history. I am sure there will also be plenty of information in Wellingborough Museum. How am I going to fit all these extra visits I need to do into my already busy life in retirement? Next time I do any research, I will make sure I write all my notes in a place I can find them later!
On our visit, we passed by the gates to Orlingbury Hall, a very impressive property on the site of the former manor house, which I need to research further. We turned into Rectory Lane and from the Old Forge on the corner, we wandered along past the entrance to the Old Rectory, a listed building, and past another listed building, the Dovecote, down to the purpose built village hall, which was closed. From there we continued to the modern houses at the end of Lammas Close, and back past the converted barns and the derelict barn opposite the village hall, then turned right towards the Queen’s Arms which was also closed. After that the houses were modern, so we retraced our steps to the Church for our talk, tea and biscuits given to us by the church warden. Like most villages, the outskirts are modern buildings, some nicer than others, but the heart of the village still retains its character, with old buildings, albeit now converted. I didn’t see a shop anywhere, but we didn’t explore the modern parts of the village.
Sports oriented people contemplating living in Orlingbury will find Isham cricket club pavilion out of the village on the Orlingbury Road to Isham, and Orlingbury & Isham short-mat bowls club meet at Orlingbury village hall. Orlingbury Golf Society meet about half a dozen times a year visiting various courses withing an hour’s travelling distance from Orlingbury, but there is, of course, Wellingborough Golf Club very nearby, at Harrowden Hall. Monday to Saturday, there is a two hourly bus service to and from Kettering, Pytchly or Little Harrowden, Stagecoach 34/37, but it only runs to or from Wellingborough in the morning and evening.
I can see the pinnacles on the tower of St Mary’s Church from where I usually walk my dogs, as the village is very close to where I live, although I hadn’t realised before I did my research that it was actually the church in Orlingbury. Listening to the church warden, they are quite an active community, and the church gets a good-sized congregation. They apparently share one parish priest and one curate with surrounding villages. In a recess in the church, there is an alabaster effigy of the a knight who is reputed to be Jock of Badsaddle, who is said to have killed the last wolf (or boar) in England.
According to the church warden, they are a close-knit community who get involved with a lot of regular village activities, often centred in the church. However, they don’t seem to update their website very often! I must make a mental note to look out for Orlingbury village fete in June, Open Gardens in July, which is when they opened in 2010, and another possible scarecrow event in September. I perhaps should invest in a local paper!
To be continued when I have done further research, been back to the village for a stroll around whilst taking more photos and sampled the delights of the local watering hole. With a bit of luck, the landlord will give me some tidbits of old village gossip and folklore to write about. I want to hear more about Jock of Badsaddle who is said to have killed the last wolf (or boar) in England.
There are some easy walks to be had across the fields to the neighbouring villages, I believe, which I would like to do as well. In the meantime the links below to various websites will have to suffice.
Links to further information about Orlingbury:-
Link to Orlingbury website >>
A Brief History of St Mary’s Church>>
Link to British History on line – Orlingbury >>
Link to Wellingborough Borough Council – Orlingbury
Link to Orlingbury Hall >>
Link to Orlingbury Village History on visitoruk.com>>
Link to Wellingborough Golf Club>>
Orlingbury location >>
Orlingbury – Ordnance Survey map >>
Links to Photos of Orlingbury included in the narrative above:-
Signpost at the crossroads ( © Copyright James Haynes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. – geograph.org.uk)
St Mary’s Church (© All Rights Reserved by LindaJenkins- panoramio.com)
The Village Green (© Copyright Richard Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.org.uk)
The Old School House (© Copyright Richard Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.org.uk)
The Queen’s Arms (© Copyright Richard Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.org.uk)
The Waendel Walk (© Copyright Dennis simpson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.co.uk)
Gates to Orlingbury Hall (© Copyright Richard Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.org.uk)
Isham cricket club pavilion (© Copyright Richard Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence – geograph.org.uk)