The village of Blakesley is situated 4 miles to the west of the historic town of Towcester and 18 miles to the north of Milton Keynes, from where there is a 40 minute Intercity train service to London Euston. The market town of Banbury is some 18 miles to the west with access to the M40 junction 11.
The houses are mostly stone and the village is surrounded by unspoilt rolling countryside which is in the heart of the Grafton Hunting country. Amenities include a General Store with Post Office, Primary School, Public House, Village Hall and Repair Garage. Towcester offers a wide variety of shops for day to day needs with Milton Keynes housing one of the largest undercover shopping complexes in Europe. State secondary education is available at Sponne School, Towcester. There is a parish church and the nearest Roman Catholic and Baptist church are at Towcester. Sporting facilities in the area include golf at Farthingstone, horse racing at Towcester and motor racing at Silverstone. Beauty spots include Everdon Stubbs, Badby Woods and Silverstone Forest.
The name is believed to have come from an Old English place-name meaning "Blaecwulf's wood or clearing" (or "black wolf's wood/clearing"). Over time the name contracted to the present form. The name of the brook running through the village, the Black Ouse, was derived from the name of the village, and not the other way round as sometimes claimed.
The village was the location of Blakesley Hall a 13th-century Manor House. It was owned by Charles William Bartholomew, but demolished in 1957-58.
The parish church, built in the style of the Early English Period, dates from the late 13th century, the first parish priest having been recorded as a certain William of Melchbourne, who took office in 1275. The church is dedicated to St Mary. Since 2006 it has formed part of the Lambfold benefice along with the parishes of Adstone, Maidford, Litchborough and Farthingstone. There are memorials to Matthew Swetenham (D.1416), Bowbearer to Henry IV, and also William Wattes (d.1614).Other buildings
The church building itself forms the centre of a number of obviously ecclesiastical buildings probably related to a religious community. South-east of the church is a house dated 1689. Glebe farm, west of the church has a Perpendicular doorway and part of a Perpendicular window. The Sycamores, south of the church is dated 1670. Kendall House is 18th-century and a former Inn. Seawell farm is part of the Grafton Estate of 1840.
The station on the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway (SMJ) served the village of from 1873 to 1962. It was linked to nearby Blakesley Hall by a miniature railway which ran from a terminal adjacent to the station. Nothing remains of the building.
Council meetings: Parish council meetings are normally held in the Reading room (above left) at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of each month, and include an open session that the public are encouraged to attend! There are also a number of related village committees that meet independently, including:-
The Trustees of the Village Hall
Blakesley Combined Charity Trust
The Parish volunteer tree warden is Mike Radley. Footpaths - Ian Spiby
Blakesley Cricket Club The active local team! - matches on the playing field; celebrations/commiserations in the pub!
The Bartholomew Arms The pub in the High St
Browns of Blakesley Shop & PO Local facility bookings:-
Village Hall - Lorna Steele - 01327 860513
Reading Room - John Weekley - 01327 860217
Lambfold Benefice Includes Blakesley Church and a number of local villages
Blakesley C of E Primary School
Tennis Club (e-mail link) or call 01327 860924 Village Fete - Saturday 6th September in the school grounds
Bonfire and fireworks display - each year in early November on the playing field
Blakesley Show – Held annually, usually in august, the show attracts people from miles around and is
always a well received and interesting event http://www.blakesleyshow.co.ukNew Youth Information Directory for South Northamptonshire.
South Northants Volunteer Bureau has been working with the South Northamptonshire Youth Council to develop an on-line directory of activities and information sources for young people. This is now up and running with details of groups offering services to young people. www.snvb.org.uk/youthdirectory
Local Doctors - Greens Norton Medical Centre appointments: 01327 358287 dispensary: 01327 359670
These are three leaflets for downloading and printing with maps and detailed guides for walks around Blakesley, compiled by Ian Spiby with help from Philip Purser and Joan Wiltshire-Hills.
Canon’s Ashby - (National Trust house)
Silverstone - Motor Racing - British Grand Prix
Towcester Racecourse - Horse racing
Sulgrave Manor House - Washington Family Home
Seawell Velley - Conference & training facility
National Cycle route 70 - Syresham, Wappenham, Weedon Lois, Weston,
Moreton Pinkney, Canon’s Ashby, Preston Capes...
Site of the first demonstration of Radar (26/2/1935)
To detect a flying aircraft - in a field beside the road between Litchborough and the A5 - see plaque
Plaque in Woodend to commemorate
Nine US airmen killed in a ‘flying fortress’ accident in 1944. The largest piece of wreckage was in the field marked, with other parts from here through Blakesley to Farthingstone.
Local Cycle Routes