The 750th anniversary of the
founding of a church in Bugbrooke was celebrated in 1970.
The earliest part of the present building dates back to the 13th century. Originally the church was dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, later to become St.Mary's. It was not until the 19th cenury that the dedication of St.Michael and All Angels was established.
The church is built of marlstone, a form of sandstone, interspersed with ironstone.
Nave and Aisles
The original church consisted of a broad nave
of four bays, together with the chancel. An aisle was added to the
south side of the nave (the right hand side when facing the altar)
about 1225. This is the oldest visible part of the building.
The arcade leans outwards, suggesting that the original roof was
very heavy. The north aisle was built about 50 years later.
Note that the piers are more evenly spaced than those on the south
aisle. The north choir aisle, now the Lady Chapel, was built
afterwards as an extension east-wards of the north aisle.
The aisle to the south of the choir was added in the late 19th
century. The tower arch was built in the early 1300s.
The walls of the ringing chamber are six feet thick. Note the tablet
for bell-ringers discovered
under the plaster early this century. New pews were built and the pulpit installed in the 1890s. A new north porch replaced a badly built Victorian one in 1998.
This was probably always the same size as it is now.
The chancel arch was built around 1270. The roof was designed by
E de Wilde Holdings, who masterminded the 1890s restoration.
The east window is also his.
The organ, built by Bishop and Son of London in 1844, was moved from St. Peter in the East, Oxford, to Bugbrooke in 1879. Erected first at the west end, it was moved to the Lady Chapel and then in 1911 re-sited in its present position.
Screens and Font
The chancel screen and font were made about the
same time, but it is hard to date them.
They are in perpendicular style, which typified architecture from 1335 to 1530.
The screen would have looked even more magnificent in the 16th century when it would have been brightly painted and with much gilding. Although the bottom panels were replaced in the Victorian restoration, the original uprights and carving remain.
The Lady Chapel screen dates from 1911 but the two centre pieces of tracery are of a much older date.
Tower and Bells
The tower was built in the 14th century of
marlstone and ironstone in strips.
The pinnacles were added about 1890, and the spire is octagonal.
There is a peal of five bells.
The oldest bell bears the inscription "God save our Quene and her presearve 1599".
The tenor was cast in 1695 and its inscription includes the words "I to the church the living call and: to the Grave doe summon all". The other bells were made in 1863, 1868 and 1813 (re-cast 1931).
The name of our village has chanqed over the years.
In the Doomsday Book (1086) it is Buchebroc, going through Buttebroc (1176), Butebroc (1194), Buddebroc (1195),
Bokebrok (1247), Bukbroc (1332), Buckbroke (1428) and at last Bugbrooke in 1598.
The name is usually taken to mean brook of the bucks or goats (bucca in Latin meaning goat) or of a man called Bucca.
The association with badgers is erroneous but despite this, the badger has become the emblem of Bugbrooke.
Bugbrooke has always been on or near important communication routes. Banbury Lane was a prehistoric track way before the Romans built the Watling Street (A5).
Later came the canal (1796), the railway (1832) and the M1 motorway (1959).
Heygates Mill is the headquarters of one of England's largest independent millers. The first mill on the site was established in AD 800. In 1086 it was the third highest rated mill in England.
The packhorse "clapper" bridge dates from the 16th century when wool used to be carried over the Hoarstone Brook by ponies. When the stream was widened in 1970 the last of the ancient pillars was damaged beyond repair.
The village has been and still is an important centre for non-conformist religion. In the 17th century Quakerism was popular and many villagers were imprisoned for their beliefs.
The Baptist chapel was built in 1808 and flourished for a century-and-a-half. Presently the Jesus Fellowship uses the chapel.
Compiled from A Brief History and Architectural
Description of the Parish Church of St. Michael & all Angels at
Bugbrooke, written by David Peet.
Notes on the village are taken from Countryside Walks, Bugbrooke, published by Northampton Leisure Services