Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire Family History Guide

Higham Ferrers is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northamptonshire. Chelveston cum Caldecott is a chapelry of Higham Ferrers.

Alternative names: Higham Ferrers with Chelveston and Caldecott

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1579
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1706

Nonconformists include: Particular Baptist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HIGHAM-FERRERS, a small town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a hundred in Northamptonshire. The town stands on a rocky height, near the river Nen and the Northampton and Peterborough railway, 3 miles from the boundary with Beds, and 15½ ENE of Northampton. It was known, at Domesday, as Higham; and it took its after name from the Earls Ferrers, who were its lords. Its site has yielded relics which show it to have been probably occupied by the Romans; and is within 3 miles of the Roman station of Chester. A castle was built at it, either by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, or by the Ferrers; but nothing of this remains except part of the earthwork. The town has a plain appearance, is about a mile long, and contains some houses of the 15th century. An ancient cross is in the market place; and the shaft of another is in the churchyard. The church is early English; has been thoroughly restored, and partially rebuilt, at a cost of £6, 000; measures 119 feet by 69; comprises a sort of double nave, a choir, and several chapels, with a tower and hexagonal spire 180 feet high; and contains a screen, some carved seats, a double piscina, some armour of John of Gaunt, and many brasses. An old Baptist chapel, noted for preachings by John Bunyan, is now a stable. There are a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed grammar school, and charities £30. An ancient hospital, called the hospital of St. James, is extinct. A college was built, in the time of Henry V., by Archbishop Chichele, a native of the town; and was suppressed at the dissolution of monasteries. A bede house also was built by the archbishop; still stands on the S side of the churchyard; and is now used as a Sunday school. The town hall is a small edifice of 1808. Markets used to be held thrice a week, but have ceased; fairs are still held on the Thursday before 5 Feb., 7 March, the Thursday before 12 May, 28 June, the Thursday before 5 Aug., 11 Oct., and 6 Dec.; and shoe making and lace making are carried on. The town has a head post-office, a railway station, and a good inn. It is a borough by prescription; and it sent a member to parliament, from the time of Queen Mary, till disfranchised by the act of 1832. The parish comprises 2, 260 acres. Real property, £4, 775, of which £20 are in gas works. Pop., 1, 152. Houses, 246. The manor belongs to the Hon. G. W. Fitzwilliam. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Chelveston, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £300. Patron, the Hon. G. W. Fitzwilliam.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Old maps of Britain and Europe from A Vision of Britain Through Time


  • County: Northamptonshire
  • Civil Registration District: Wellingborough
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Northampton
  • Diocese: Peterborough
  • Rural Deanery: Higham Ferrers
  • Poor Law Union: Wellingborough
  • Hundred: Higham Ferrers
  • Province: Canterbury