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St Peter & St Paul Church, Harrington, Northants

The village church sits some distance from the village, which sometimes indicates a pagan site, or a lost Saxon settlement. The church of S S Peter & Paul was originally dedicated to St Botolph, and is of Early English style. There have been at least 38 Rectors, the first recorded being Henry de Tresquoz in 1218. It is a large church for such a small village with wonderful views across the Ise Valley from the churchyard. It is now part of a benefice of four churches with Arthingworth, Gt Oxenden, and Farnworth. Since 1966 it has also been the venue for the Harrington Concert Season, which is held in late summer and autumn. Unfortunately I was unable to get into the church, but apparently there are beautiful hangings in the nave, made to celebrate the Millenium, which illustrate phases of the village history. One of the church’s interesting features is a rare ancient wind instrument, now kept in a glass case, called a stentophoricum or, more commonly a ‘vamping horn’. It is one of only eight in the country, and was invented in 1670 by Sir Samuel Morland, who was tutor to Samuel Pepys. They were used for calling people to church or ‘vamping’ the accompaniment for church music.

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Taken on November 4, 2010