Out and about around Woodford
St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church is located in Church Street at the junction of Church Green and Church Street. The Church soars above the River Nene located on the south side of the building. The Church dates from Norman times and was alterred and added to until the late Mediaevil period. The last major restoration took place in 1866-67 and further details can be found on the page dedicated to the Church. The Church is one of four in the Nene Crossings Benefice, which comprises Woodford, Little Addington, Great Addington and Irthlingborough.
The Baptist Movement in Woodford started in 1812, and the present Church (i.e. organisation) was formed on 22 May 1822. The present Chapel was first used for a service in October 1823. The Chapel is situated between the High Street and Rose Terrace and can be reached from either road, although vehicular access is easier from Rose Terrace. Regular Services are held and further information is available by visiting the church webpage.
The present school building opened in September 1974 and brought the education of all children "under one roof" for the first time since 1883. The building originally comprised five classrooms, a hall, kitchen and administration area. There is a large enclosed playground and field to the rear. The building was extended in 2007 in order to modernise the entrance area and provide additional administration accomodation. Further details are available from the school website.
Woodford has the unusual feature of having two War Memorials. Following the end of the First World War a committee was formed in order to oversee the erection of a memorial and approached the Parish Council in January 1919 to erect a memorial. The project was overseen by the Comrades Club and legend has it that the Church did not approve the design and arrangements were made to construct a further memorial in the church yard near the north wall of the tower. The war memorial on the green was unveiled on Woodford Feast Sunday 1921 and the memorial in the churchyard was dedicated on 15 October 1921 by the Bishop of Peterborough. (see Woodford History)
River Nenn or Neen
The River Nene in Woodford, at least, is pronounced Nenn. This is the case along it’s length from somewhere between Thrapston / Oundle up to the source in the west of the County. Downstream of Oundle as the River meanders towards Peterborough, Wisbech (by this point it is tidal) and across the fens it is pronounced Neen. There are many suggestions as to the meaning of the name. One definition quoted is that the source is a series of Nine springs, but other sources (sic) suggest that it rises from two points, one near Arbury Hill (at 735 feet, the highest pointing the County) and the other being near the Naseby Battlefield (English Civil War), not far from the source of the west flowing River Avon. These two streams meet near Northampton.
The River is navigable from the sea (tidal to the Dog in a Doublet, near Whittlesea), up to Northampton where there is access to the Grand Union Canal. More information
The village water tower, stands at the high point of the parish. The tower was erected in 1934 (construction lasting six months) and can be seen from many miles around. The water tower stands 85 feet tall.
In the late 1980’s the tower was given a face-lift and in more recent years has also become the site of many mobile telephone transmitters.
Former Temperance Hall
The Temperance Hall was built in 1883 (the same year as the school on the village green - two large public building works at the same time). The cost was £500 including the site. Mr Abraham Mansell of Thrapston was the builder. The foundation stone was laid on February 14th of that year and the opening took place on June 27th. The hall was used for lectures and entertainment. Kelly's Directory 1890 states the hall could accommodate up to 300 persons, although later records indicate a maximum of 200 persons.
By the 1960s the need for the building as a hall had waned and the building was used as a general store. The store changed owners and eventually closed down in 1995.
Since that time the building has been used as a store and workshop. In 2007 the structural state of the hall was causing the Charity Trustees (who were responsible for it) considerable concerns. As a result the decision was made to sell the premises and it is currently being converted into two apartments. The proceeds from the sale were invested and income from those proceeds can be used by the Trustees for the benefit of the village.
Former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
The Methodist Chapel at the junction of Pleasant Row, Constable Walk and Newtown is a small brick building and was built in 1869 by public subscription, as part of the construction of Newtown. It was known locally as the "little buster". The chapel closed in the early 1970's becoming a carpentry workshop, before being converted into a private dwelling in the 1980's.
Former Infant School
Situated near the village green the Infant School opened in November 1883 as a result of the villages' first school (in Church Street) being oversubscribed. The school remained in use until the present school opened in 1974. Following closure it was used as a shoe factory before becoming a private residence.
Former Junior School
The school (in Church Street) which became the Junior school in 1883 originally opened in 1858/9 and despite being extended, was unable to cope with the large numbers of pupils resulting in the constrruction of the Infant School. Each school had a separate headteacher until the posts were amalgamated in 1970. Following closure as a school in 1974 the property became a private dwelling
Follow this link to see the various public rights of way which exist around the parish