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Image of the Book Cover of Kingsthorpe: A royal manor explored by Tony Horner, published by Leonie Press

A royal manor explored

Written by Tony Horner

ISBN: 978-1-901253-51-1

(Old ISBN: 1 901253 51 1)

380 pages, paperback, 146mm x 208mm.
83 Black and White Photos, 3 maps
Published by Leonie Press, November 2005.
Reprinted December 2005, February 2006, with updates March 2011

Price: £12.99 + postage and packing

About the Book

Tony Horner's book looks at the Manor of Kingsthorpe, its situation and topography, the village land and its ownership, methods of farming, the problems of the poor and the various systems of local government employed over the years.

The author describes Kingsthorpe's population and economic history, and examines the role played by its watermills and windmills. He traces the building of schools in the village and looks in considerable detail at the church, its Rectors and the now-demolished Rectory.

Other subjects covered include the histories and pedigrees of the main families associated with Kingsthorpe, the Hospital of St David or the Holy Trinity, and the establishment of Nonconformist churches. Village leisure pursuits are also explored.

There are transcriptions of many fascinating official documents taken from the Northamptonshire Record Office which will be invaluable for family historians, such as lists of christenings, marriages and burials in the mid-16th century, churchwardens' accounts, overseers' records, occupations, and the workhouse inventory. Bringing the whole rich heritage of the village to life are three illustrated walks round old Kingsthorpe, which explain the significance and origins of many historic buildings or sites. Old maps show how the village used to be.

A genealogy enthusiast, he undertook the research for the book after he retired. He says: "It is the sort of history that I wanted to read, but since it had not been written I had to write it myself."

To assist other genealogists and local historians the book has been comprehensively indexed. The index can be consulted on-line, so that you can see if there is mention of a person, place or event of interest to you. To access the Index, click hereKingsthorpe Book Index

As with any research project, more information has come to light since the book was published and we have added an Addenda and Corrigenda slip. For those people who already have their copy of the book the information is reproduced below. The additional information is included in the updated March 2011 printing.

About the Author
Tony Horner

Tony Horner's maternal ancestors came to Kingsthorpe in 1774. He was born in 1932, when his parents kept the King William IV on the Green, and he lived there for the first seven years of his life. Then, just before the Second World War, his parents took on the licence of the Bantam Cock on Abington Square, Northampton; but contact was maintained with friends in Kingsthorpe for a number of years afterwards. He began his primary education in Kingsthorpe, continued it at St Giles's School, and then went to the Grammar School for boys (as it then was) on the Billing Road. Work at the old Borough Engineer & Surveyor's Department, in Dychurch Lane, was interrupted by two years' National Service in the RAF. He was then employed by the Northampton Town & County Building Society (which eventually became part of Nationwide), where he remained until obtaining early retirement in 1987. He worked as a cashier, as a mortgage advisor, and then as one of the first members of the department set up to introduce computer technology to the Society.

He married Teresa (a Kingsthorpe girl) in 1956, and they lived in Kingsway for five years before moving to Northampton for the next thirty years. In 1991 they moved back to Kingsthorpe, having produced a family of three boys and a girl - who in their turn have produced a range of grandchildren. Like so many people in recent years, retirement gave time to become involved in family history research; this revealed the wealth of historical documents possessed by the Northamptonshire Record Office, and Tony began the process of researching the history of his birthplace. He also has a variety of other interests, such as gardening and visiting other people's gardens, reading (and writing) about the spirituality of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and several other faiths. He and his wife are members of St. Aidan's Catholic Church in Kingsthorpe.

He is a member of the group known as 'Friends of Thornton Park'. The group hopes to get some improvements done to the park which surrounds what used to be the residence of the Fremeaux and then the Thornton family in Kingsthorpe, all of which are mentioned in the book. They are researching family documents to try to find some evidence of what the gardens looked like during the last century or earlier, and then they hope to raise funds to restore them to their former glory.

News and Reviews

Northampton Herald and Post 24th November 2005
The November 24th 2005 issue of the Northampton Herald and Post carried an article about Tony Horner and the book, click on the image to read it.

"We've never had anything go so fast in 32 years of bookselling! This book was, by a huge margin, our best seller in 2005, Harry Potter not withstanding" - Robert Webb, Kingsthorpe Bookshop.

“I found Tony Horner’s book on Kingshorpe an outstanding piece of local history,” - P S, Quebec, Canada

“Speaking as an ex-university lecturer in history I would rate it as one of the best local studies I have read to date,” - S R, Devizes, Wiltshire


Page 81: The property on the main road from Northampton, now an electrical equipment shop, was in all likelihood not a Parish House; it is much more likely to have been the Toll House, the Toll Gate having been at this point during the 19th century.

Page 181: The cottage in The Leys, which has a sundial in the south wall: The wide lintel of the window in the wall facing The Leys indicates that this was originally the door to the cottage.

Page 244: At the time of the Reformation and during the Civil War period many churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary had their dedications changed to 'St. John the Baptist'. The Kingsthorpe church records prior to the Reformation do not mention John the Baptist, so it may be that its current dedication is not original.

or if you prefer you can order electronically by credit card from Amazon UK, by clicking here... Order from Amazon UK

You can also order a copy of the book from any good bookshop by quoting the Title, Author, ISBN and publisher details given above. However, the following places have had copies from us for sale. It would be wise to telephone to check availability with them before making a special journey. Sadly Kingsthorpe Bookshop, which did so much to make the book the success it is, has closed down following the retirement of Robert and Norma Webb.




 Northampton  Local Studies Room, Northamptonshire Central Library, Abington St,
Northampton, NN1 2BA
 01604 462040
 Brackley, Northamptonshire   The Old Hall Bookshop, 32 Market Place, Brackley, Northants
NN13 7DP
 01280 704146

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