St Peter & St Paul Church Cosgrove - The Building & Interior

Click the red dots on the plan to see the features listed below

1. Royal Arms of George III 3. Stone dated 1586 5. The Organ 7. Priest Door
9.
The Aumbry
11.
Singer's Gallery
2. The Font 4. North Door 6. The Pulpit 8. Stone Corbel head
10.
Stone Corbel head

The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Cosgrove is the oldest building in the village. Built of local stone, it has a chancel, a nave, a north aisle and a West Tower. In 1934 electric light was installed in the church.

A fresh survey of the fabric by Lawrence Bond in 1955 revealed the need for a good deal of work, including repairs to the walls and roofs. In 1962 Bond recommended further work, including the re-roofing of the chancel. All his suggestions had been carried out by the time of the next quinquennial inspection in 1967, when the Gurney heating stove was worn out. Electric heating was installed in 1968 and a new blowing plant for the organ in 1971. An Upper Room, kitchen and toilet were constructed during Millennium alterations.


View from the West Door into the Nave
View from the Chancel end to the West Door

Hymn Board “In Memoriam” Inscription.

An old Hymn Board hangs on a pillar between the Nave and the Aisle as in the picture above left. When this was taken down for restoration the inscription below was revealed:

In Memoriam

JG 1869 - EG 1872 - WM 1860

The 2008 churchyard project lists the Grahams and William Moorsom as being buried in adjoining plots near to the “obelisk” memorial of Joseph Atkinson. Elizabeth Graham was born Elizabeth Moorsom in Whitby, Yorkshire around 1814 and William Moorsom was her brother, the two being the children of Richard Moorsom, brother of Sir Robert Moorsom of Trafalgar.

Sir Robert Moorsom's nephew William Moorsom (1816–1860), naval officer, was ‘Shell Moorsom’, inventor of the percussion fuse. Born on 7 February 1816 at Airy Hill, Whitby, the son of Richard Moorsom (1758–1831), shipowner and marine merchant, and his wife, Barbara, née Craig (1780–1832), he attended the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth (1829–30), gaining the first medal, and passed the lieutenant's examination in June 1835 but was not commissioned lieutenant until 1842, with the Cornwallis in the First Opium War. In 1854, in the Crimean War, he was appointed captain of the Firebrand but served ashore with the naval brigade, having a large share in its organization. Wounded and twice mentioned in dispatches, he was a CB, a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur and a knight second class of the Mejidiye. Known as Black Will when shaving was compulsory in the navy he was, on his return from the Black Sea, ‘the first captain who had the temerity to invade the sacred precincts of the Admiralty with hirsute “fixings”’, to be met with ‘the cutting remark: “Horseguards next door!”’ (Clowes, 6.211–12).

William Moorsom was described fifty years afterwards as ‘an officer of high scientific attainments’ (Garbett, 30). His ‘Moorsom percussion fuze’ of 1850, though obsolete fifteen years later, was the first satisfactory metal percussion fuse for the navy. He also invented the ‘Director’, an instrument for concentrating a ship's broadside, perfected and in use forty-five years later.

He was the author of Remarks on Concentrating the Fire of Ships' Guns (1846), Suggestions for the Organisation and Manoeuvres of Steam Fleets (1854), and Remarks on the Construction of Ships of War and the Composition of War Fleets (1857). In 1857 he was appointed to the screw frigate Diadem in which, while recovering from a severe attack of smallpox, he was sent to the West Indies and to Vera Cruz, where he contracted a fever. On his return to England he was compelled to resign his command in October 1859.

He died suddenly on 4 February 1860 at Vernon Terrace, Brighton, Sussex, and was buried a week later at Cosgrove, Northamptonshire, where there is a stained-glass window to his memory in the church.

In Memory of Captain William Moorson RN CB

Born at Whitby February 7th 1816 Died Feb 4th 1860

28 June 1830 Entered Navy

29 March 1842 Lieutenant

8 March 1848 Commander

14 March 1851 Captain

29 August 1854 Captain in Firebrand, Black Sea, Moorsom serving ashore with the Naval Brigade, during the Russian War

13 August 1855 to 5 January 1856 Captain in Leander, flagship of Rear-Admiral Charles Howe Fremantle, Black Sea, during the Russian War

24 January 1856 to 27 September 1856 Captain in Eurotas (from commissioning at Sheerness until paying off at Sheerness), Sheerness (and the 1856 Royal Naval review)

19 August 1857 to October 1859 Captain in Diadem (from commissioning at Portsmouth), Channel squadron, then West Indies (until Moorsom was invalided)

Elizabeth Graham was born Elizabeth Moorsom and was William's sister.

Foundation of Mrs Elizabeth Graham

By an Indenture dated 22nd March 1862 and made between the Rev John Graham, then Rector of Cosgrove and the then Churchwardens of the one part and Mrs Elizabeth Graham of the other part, after reciting that Mrs Elizabeth Graham had out of her own separate monies purchased the sum of £166 13s 4d. Consolidated 3 per cent annuities and had caused the same to be transferred into the names of the Rector and Churchwardens, it was declared that the said sum of stock should be held by the Rector and Churchwardens on trust to apply the dividends thereof for the maintenance and benefit of the National School in Cosgrove in such manner as they should from time to time think proper, provided always that in case the said National School should at any time thereafter cease to be carried on or should be managed or conducted in any other way or for any other purpose than as a Church of England school for the benefit of the children of the labouring classes in the said parish of Cosgrove, then and in such case the trust fund should be held in trust for the said Elizabeth Graham, her executors, administrators and assigns: and it was agreed that, on the death of the said John Graham, and on the death of his successors, Rectors of Cosgrove, the trust fund should be so transferred that it should stand in the names of the Rector and Churchwardens for the time being, the expense of such transfer being paid out of the dividends of the trust fund and not out of the corpus.

Cosgrove National School is comprised in two deeds, dated respectively 19th April 1844 and 18th February 1870, and is now regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated 9th April 1875. The scheme provide (inter alia) that the School shall be at all times open to the Inspection of His Majesty’s Inspector of Schools, and shall be in union with, and conducted according to the principles of the National Society. The School has accommodation for 98 children and an average attendance of 71.

The annual income, amounting to £4 3s 4d, has been applied towards the maintenance of the School. The Stock is standing in the name of Messrs H Grant Thorold and F D Bull.

John Graham was rector of Cosgrove between 1835 and 1869, a period which, as elsewhere, saw the establishment of a National school and the restoration of the parish church, (fn. 78) although he seems not to have made the same mark on either the parish or wider church life in the district as, say, H. J. Barton at Wicken, Barwick Sams at Grafton Regis, or W.H. Newbolt at Paulerspury.

Northampton Mercury - Saturday 08 August 1835

The Rev. John Graham, M.A. Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, has been instituted by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough, to the Rectory of Cosgrove, in this county, vacant by the death of the Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel, on the presentation of Mrs. H. L. Mansel.

The Census of 1851 reveals that Elizabeth and John Graham had three sons and a daughter, all born in the Rectory at Cosgrove.

John

GRAHAM

head

married

49

 

M A Rector of Cosgrove

Carlisle

Elizabeth

GRAHAM

wife

married

 

36

 

Whitby

Arthur Robt

GRAHAM

son

 

13

 

 

Cosgrove

Emily M

GRAHAM

daughter

 

 

9

 

Cosgrove

Henry L

GRAHAM

son

 

7

 

 

Cosgrove

Malcolm R

GRAHAM

son

 

5

 

 

Cosgrove

The Hymn board was mended in 2016 by David Blunden, of Old Stratford, who also made the memorial stool dedicated to Basil Richards. David trained with Betts and Faulkner, a local building company, and David’s maker’s mark is stamped on the underside of the stool.

During this restoration the memorial inscription on the reverse of the board was revealed as well as a provenance note to the effect that the board was carved by Harry Johnson of Cosgrove in 1911 or 1912. Harry’s story can be found here.


The Nave

The Nave has a 13c five bay arcade (a range of arches resting on piers or columns) with quatrefoil piers, carved bases and capitals (head of column or pier), double chamfered arches and toothed hood moulding.  The south wall and its windows are now entirely Victorian, although the parapet originally held a date stone from 1586, which is now set in the north wall behind the font. There is local belief that this marked a partial rebuilding of part of the church damaged by an outbreak of fire at that date, but no information about this fire can be found. Reset in the nave windows are three shields of armorial glass.
A faculty of 1683 records permission to "pave the Church all over with broad stone from Harleston".

An old photograph showing the oil lamps used in the church before electricity arrived in the village.
The cornice above the arcade to the left of the picture marks the ceiling that was "new-ceiled" by Pulter Forester in 1771. When this was eventually removed the older Kingpost roof beams were revealed and the line of the removal can be seen in photographs below.

Arthur Mee, in his book "Northamptonshire" noted that "on the wall above the chancel arch are fragments of a medieval painting". It has been inspected and a tentative title of "Christ in Judgment" suggested. If this is so, it is now covered in limewash.

Carved base by the front pew
Middle column
Column opposite the North door
Behind the font


The chevrons are painted on the last section
of the roof on the left, before the Chancel.
View of the roof from the West end of the Nave .
The roof of the Nave is of 15th century Kingpost construction, described as “rather rough” and having the remains of painted chevrons, probably originally vermilion or perhaps cobalt blue, above the pulpit together with wall posts on corbels. Two trusses to the east half of the roof have stop moulded ties, raised principles and side struts from ties to principles. Those to the west are probably early 17c with bar stops to ties and side struts to principle rafters. The interior of the church was repaired, the ceiling coved and plastered, the windows reglazed, and a new font, pulpit, desk and pews installed by Pulter Forrester in 1770-4. The roof was rediscovered when the Nave was repaired in 1932 and properly exposed.

The Pews date from a c18th renovation. Some still have boxes to store the books of families who rented the pew. Two of the pews near the back belong to the two Churchwardens and have their staffs of office fixed to the ends. These were used to control unruly churchgoers and to make sure that men removed their hats. They are only used for processions now. The front pews were removed in the late 1980s to allow space for performers in concerts and services.


The Chancel

Entering via the West door it is easy to see that the chancel and nave are off set and not in the same alignment. This configuration lends credence to the belief that the chancel is the earliest part of the Church, dating from the late 11th century. It was probably enlarged in the late 12th century. The original design of the east wall may have comprised a triplet, with a central window flanked by lower lights under a gable with reticulated tracery and hood mould.

From the outside at the rear of the east end of the chancel can be seen an external string-course decorated with nailhead and beading, and the remains of grouped eastern lancets cut by the 14th-century east window, from which the original stained glass has long gone. Whilst the technique of chip carving was common in the late 11th c, it appears here to represent an early form of dog tooth, possibly a late 12th century version (c1180). The stringcourse returns along the south wall of the chancel, but not along the north side. While the stringcourses and labels on the east wall appear to be original, much of the stringcourse on the south wall is a Victorian imitation of the work done in the 12th century.

The Churchwardens' account for 1861 records the following work : "The Chancel of Cosgrove Church was Beautified in 1861 by two Stained glass Memorial Windows with new stone Work to the same placed therein by the Rev John Graham the Rector at a cost of £67 10s and in 1865 further improvements were made by the Rector having the Chancel thoroughly repaired and a Handsome new door erected New seats placed New altar rails &c at a further cost of £113 16s."

The side walls of the chancel were rebuilt in the 19th century, but a medieval flat topped aumbry with diagonal tooling still exists on the north side of the sanctuary, which originally would have stored books, altar plate and relics. From the outside of the north wall of the chancel at the west end a high level doorway can be seen. These features suggest that the chancel could originally have been a small free standing chapel with a west gallery.

During a rebuilding of the chancel roof and part of the walls in the mid 1960’s, two small 12th century corbels were found ‘in the rubble’ and reset under the new roof, one on the south and one on the north sides. They each show a human head with bulging eyes.

The pointed, chamfered north doorway (the Priest’s door) also has a label carved with a sawtooth, although dated 1864. In 1932 a stone cross, to a design by Weir, was placed on the eastern gable of the chancel in place of one which was blown down some years earlier.


The North Aisle

Behind the 13th century arcade is the North Aisle. In the 1830s the church was described as well paved and pewed, with a north gallery and another across the west end, both added in 1826, of which the latter contained a small organ. There was a blocked doorway (already out of use in 1764) in the north wall, which is speculated to date from 1280.

In 1864 the vestry resolved to re-seat and refloor the church, replace and move the pulpit and desk, restore three windows on the south side of the nave, and make a new entrance to the north gallery, which gained the church about 30 seats. The work was carried out to the design of E. F. Law. 1864 Law and Hailey Renovations.

In what is now the North aisle there was until 1887 a gallery, to which the bricked-in doorway apparently led. However, in 1887 the good people of Cosgrove applied to the Bishop of Peterborough for a faculty to have the gallery removed as "an Eye Sore" and also on the grounds that the entrance being outside enabled "idle lads and strangers to go in during Divine Service to the annoyance of the congregation". It is amusing to speculate on just what they did to annoy the people at prayer below.

During the Millennium celebrations of 2000, Lottery and other grants were obtained to open up the North door for disabled access, to install a toilet and small kitchen, and to build an Upper Room above this for meetings. The upper floor cut across the “Wineglass window” with a wooden balcony.


Faculties

Request for a Faculty c.1682

Cosgrave

The tyles of the Chancell out of repaire, the same wanting neate and hansome paveing. The seates in the Chancell want mending being undecent  ther wants a new surplisse the seates in the Church defective in some places

Mr Longfeilds seate about five foote in height

The Leads of the Church defective especially on the west side thereof. It wants decent paving in divers places, there is noe poore mans box in the Church but one of iron which is kept locked up in the chest, the Cover or lidde for the font undecent. The nether end of the Church wants whiting

The Churchyard mounds out of repair ether is a style one [on] the south side very unseemly which Letheth hoggs [pigs] into the same

-----------------------------------------

Faculty dated 1683

Cosgrave als Covesgrave

The Judge further ordered Mr Christopher Rigby to sit in and enjoy the seate under the reading Deske; with Mr Longfeilds consent Mr Mansell and his family to sit in the back part of the seate at ye end of ye north Isle and to make it conveinent  if he pleaseth And Mris Whally to sit in ye fore part of ye said seate unless she can shew any cause to ye contrary by any writings by Mr Archdeacons next Easter visitation; In Anno 1682

Mansell .a.d Whaley 24th March 1682/3

The Judge ordered the order to stand as it is unless Mr Whaley can shew good cause to the contrary Satterday in next Easter weeke.

28 Sept 83 M E Johannes Naylor Rector compt

P ..o Epto Henricus Rigby Johnes Beecham Guardians compuerant at Du… or at  sequitur (vizt) To mend the buttresses of the Church, To mend the floores and backs of the seates in the Ch: with boards To provide a Cover for ye font, To whitewash ye Ch: round within side, To paint ye Kings Arms Lds[Lords] prayer Creed and tenn Commandments to buy a new Common prayer booke a booke of homilies Byy Sewells workes  Erasmus paraphrase and a booke of Canons to make a new doore for the belfry to pave the Church all over with broad stone from Harleston to provide a fine Linnen Cloth for the Communion Table To rough cast ye Ch: round with out side and to tyle ye Ch: porch To buy a new silver patten for ye Communion that will hold a two penny Loafe, To make Mr Edward Mansells seate even with Mr Longfeilds seate And to satifie of the performance of this order under the hands of Mr Longfeild and the Rector of the said parish at or before Mr Archdeacons next Michaelmas Visitation

(Written alongside the main body of the text)To take downe the Ch: yard walls at the west side and ye stone to be for the use of the Ch:wardens and to be built five foot high The Ch:wardens building so many foote on the south yard of it as there are feet in ye whole wall now standing Then the Rector to build the remainder  Northwards


1764 A Faculty granted to Pultar Forester at the petition of Nathan Franklin to construct a Family Pew.

To All Christian People to whom these presents shall come or shall or may in any wise concern We George Reynolds Doctor of Laws Vicar General Commissary General and official principal in spiritual matters of the Right Reverend Father in God Robert by Divine permission Low Bishop of Peterborough and also official of the Revd the Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Northampton lawfully constituted send Greetings Whereas at the petition of Nathan Franklin of Cosgrave in the County and Archdeaconry of Northampton and Diocese of Peterborough Farmer we did cause to be Cited the Rev Pultar Forester Clerk Rector of the Rectory and Parish Church of Cosgrave aforesaid and Thomas Shaw Churchwarden of the said Parish and Parish Church of Cosgrave aforesd in Special and all others having or pretending to have any right title or interest in the said Church in general to shew a lawful and reasonable Cause if they or any of them had or knew any why a License or Faculty should not be granted to the said Nathan Franklin to take away the partition between two Small seats or Pews situate on the North Side the North Isle and adjoining the North Wall of the Parish Church of Cosgrave aforesd and which was formerly a Doorway leading into the said Church which said – two small seats or pews sometime since were Erected and built by Alice Franklin and John Franklin the Mother and Brother of the said Nathan Franklin and contain in length from East to West eight feet in Weadth from North to South five feet six Inches and in Heighth three feet ten Inches or thereabouts for the use of himself his family and Successors Parishioners and Inhabitants of Cosgrave aforesd and the Occupiers for the time being of a certain messuage or tenement of him the said Nathan Franklin in Cosgrave aforesd and now in his Possession to stand sit kneel and hear Divine Service and sermons in exclusive of all others with Intimation to them the said Pultar Forester and Thomas Shaw in Special and all others as aforesaid in general that if they or some of them did not appear at the time and place in such Citation mentioned or appearing did not show good and sufficient cause to the contrary we or our Surrogate or some other competent Judge in this behalf did intend and would proceed to the granting a License or Faculty to the said Nathan Franklin for the purpose aforesd the absence or rather contumacy of them we cited and intimated as aforesd in any wise notwithstanding And whereas any Citation above mentioned was duly Executed and returned into Court by Samuel Smith the lawfull Proctor of these Nathan Franklin and the said Pultar Forester and Thomas Shaw in Special and all others as aforesd in General being three times called and long and sufficiently waited for and Expected and none of them appearing they were pronounced to be in contempt and on pain of such their Contumancy License or Faculty was decreed to be granted to him the said Nathan Franklin for the purposes aforesd awording to his Petition / Justice so requiring / as in and by the Proceedings thereupon had and may more fully appear We the said George Reynolds the Vicar General aforesd do therefore by these presents / as far as by the Ecclesiastical Laws of this Realm and the Temporal Laws of the same we may or can / give and grant unto the said Nathan Franklin our License or Faculty for himself his Family and Successors Occupiers of the sd House of him the said Nathan Franklin and Inhabitants of Cosgrave aforesd to Stand sit kneel and hear Divine Service and Sermons in the Seat or Pew above specified exclusive of all others whatsoever and we do by Virtue of these presents command and Inhibit all the Parishioners and Inhabitants of Cosgrave aforesd that they do not presume to molest or disturb him the said Nathan Franklin or his Successors for the time being or those claiming under him by Virtue of this our License or Faculty in the Seat or Pew above mentioned so that this our License or Faculty may have its due effect In Witness whereof we have caused the seal of our Office which we use in this behalf to be hereunto affixed this First day of October in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty four

Wm Smith Noty Pub.Dept.Reg


1864 Faculty for restoring and reseating the Parish Church of Cosgrove in the County of Northampton and Diocese of Peterborough

Francis by Devine permission Bishop of Peterborough
To all whom it may concern now especially to the Rector of Cosgrove in the County of Northampton with in our Diocese and Jurisdiction Whereas it hath been represented and the Worshipful William Wales M. U. our Vicar General by a petition under the hands of the Reverend John Graham the Rector and Thomas Dawson and William Clarke the Churchwardens of the said parish that it was proposed to refloor the Parish Church of Cosgrove aforesaid to reseat the same with best deal stained and varnished to restore the Stone columns and arches thereof with Cosgrove and Bath stone and to underpin the wall that no Architectural features would be affected that the expence of the said works which would be defrayed by voluntary contributions was estimated at Three hundred and fifty pounds or thereabouts of which Two hundred and seventy five pounds had been already obtained and more was promised that by rearrangement about thirty sittings would be gained of which some would be free and the rest assigned from time to time to the Parishioners by the Churchwardens that all Tombs and Monuments would be carefully preserved that at a Vestry Meeting of which due notice was given held in the Church for the purpose of taking into consideration the said alterations it was resolved that the said Church should be refloored and reseated as aforesaid and thoroughly cleansed that there should be a new reading desk and pulpit and that be removed to the North side of the Chancel Arch that the Windows on the South side of the Nave be restored with stone mullions and tracery that a new entrance door to the North Gallery be opened at the West end of the Church through a lancet Window at present blocked up And whereas the said petitioners have prayed that a Licence or Faculty might issue authorizing such alterations And whereas by direction of our said Vicar General a notice or Citation was duly served on the Church door of the said parish Citing all persons having or pretending to have any interest to shew cause why a licence or Faculty should not issue for the purposes aforesaid and whereas our said Vicar General rightly and duly proceeding hath on the due execution and return of the said notice or Citation (no appearance having been entered within the time stated) decreed a licence or Faculty to be granted to the said Rector and Churchwardens for the purposes aforesaid We the Bishop of Peterborough well weighing and considering the premises do by virtue of our authority Ordinary and Episcopal and as far as by law we may or can ratify and confirm such decree of our said Vicar General and do hereby give and grant unto the said Rector and Churchwardens our leave licence or Faculty  for the purpose of reseating and restoring the parish Church of Cosgrave in manner aforesaid In testimony whereof we have caused the seal of our said Vicar General which we use in this behalf to be affixed to these present Given at Peterborough the twenty eighth day of December one thousand eight hundred and sixty four and in the first year of our Consecration

Henry Pearson Gates N.P. Registrar



1887 Cosgrove Faculty for removing the Gallery in the North Aisle of the Parish Church

William Connor by Divine permission Bishop of Peterborough To all whom it may concern more especially to the Rector Churchwardens Parishioners and Inhabitants of the Parish of Cosgrove in the County of Northampton and within our Diocese and Jurisdiction.

Whereas it hath been represented unto the Reverend and Worshipful William Miles Clerk M A our Vicar General by a petition under the hands of the reverend Patrick George McDouall the Rector and Francis D Bull and J Henson Pike the Churchwardens of the Parish of Cosgrove aforesaid that it was desirable that the Gallery in the North Aisle of the Parish Church of Cosgrove aforesaid should be removed for the following reasons: That it was occupied by very few persons other than the boys attending the Sunday School. That it was an eye sore and interfered with the light on that side of the Church. That the parishioners generally objected to sit under it or in it by reason of the Ceiling being so close to them in either case. That it also interfered with the Organ affecting the Music and the singing. That it was wished to have the work done before the new Organ was erected on the site of the old one which was close to the end of the Gallery under which the Choir sat. That the entrance to the Gallery being on the outside enabled idle lads and strangers to go in during Divine Service to the annoyance of the Congregation. That the removal of the Gallery would also permit the Windows in the North Aisle to be opened and thus help to keep the North wall dry. That there was sufficient accommodation for the Congregation without it in the body of the Church. That the number of sittings exclusive of the Gallery was about two hundred the population of the village a little over four hundred. That the front of the Gallery was supported on pillars and did not interfere with any other part of the building except where it is let into the North wall. That a Vestry meeting of which due notice was given was held in the usual place of Meeting on the eighteenth day of March last, that at such Vestry Meeting resolutions were passed of which the foregoing is a true copy. And whereas the said Petitioners have prayed that a license or Faculty might issue for the purposes aforesaid And whereas by direction of our said Vicar General a notice or Citation was duly served on the Church door citing all persons having or pretending to have any interest in the premises to shew cause why a license or Faculty should not issue for the purposes aforesaid. And whereas our said Vicar General rightly and duly proceeding hath on the due execution and return of the said notice or Citation no appearance having been entered within the time therein stated decreed a license or Faculty to be granted to the said Rector and Churchwardens for the purposes aforesaid. Therefore we the Bishop of Peterborough will weighing and considering the premises do by virtue of our Authority Ordinary and Episcopal and as far as by law we may or can ratify and confirm such decree of our said Vicar General

And do hereby give and grant unto the said Rector and Churchwardens our leave license or Faculty for the purpose of removing the Gallery in the North Aisle of the Parish Church of Cosgrove in manner aforesaid.

In Testimony whereof we have caused the Seal of our said Vicar General (which we use in this behalf) to be affixed to these presents Given at Peterborough the eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty seven and of our consecration the nineteenth.

Henry Pearson Gates N P Registrar (LS)