Furtho Church and Dovecote
6.2 Mile walk across the fields back to Deanshanger
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Lived around this area all my life so we decided to take a walk into Cosgrove then onto Furtho Church and Dovecote and back to Deanshanger across the fields. A nice way to start this walk is from the village of Cosgrove, we parked just by the church and around the corner starts the Grafton Way path (sp790425). You have to cross the Northampton road and just opposite is the small path (sp780430) that leads down to the site of the old Medieval village of Furtho (Sp773431). There is nothing much left of the old village however the old Church and Dovecote still remain, with both in good order of repair and restoration. The village itself is in the domesday book of 1086 and was registered as Forho, back then it had a population of 15 people, the research I have looked at shows the villages demise was when the road from London to Northampton was diverted.
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The Church of St Bartholomew's (sp773430) dates back to the 12th Century with additions and alterations in the 14th Century. It was rebuilt in the 16th Century and restored in 1870. It ceased to be a church in 1920, and in the second world war it was used to store archives from Northampton. It has to be said that the church is in good order thanks to the upkeep by the Churches Conservation trust and we were surprised to find the door open and we could freely walk around. The church and grounds are still consecrated and they still hold services there because the place is full of chairs with a organ inside. The Church comprises a chancel, nave and a tower and is well worth the small walk to have a look, I think you can take the car down there and park up in the small business park that is nearby .
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The Furtho Dovecote (sp773430) belonged to the manor buildings and was built around the 15th century , it was restored in 1917 and finally put into the care of the council in 1949. The Dovecote is circular in design and is built in limestone as is the church, and the roof is in red Tiles. There is a large door, however records show that there was a second doorway. The roof structure is a work of Art and has to be seen. There is some information inside the Dovecote and it said that in its day would have contained some 500 nesting birds.
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