Great Doddington

About Great Doddington

The village population is approximately 1060 people with the Wilby Way estate having a population of approximately 1530.

Great Doddington has a farming community although it is smaller now than in the past. The village has a newsagents and general store, a hair-dressing salon, a public house and a members club. There is a village hall with a large council owned playing field next to it.

There is a local pre-school and the village primary school which has 140 children is rated good by Ofsted.

Shared village and church committees have organised many activities over the years including open gardens, over 60’s lunches, scarecrow weekends and concerts and there is a village gardening team, who plant hanging baskets throughout the village.

About St Nicholas Church

Throughout the centuries, both through times of turbulence and peace, the Church of St Nicholas has been here, sharing the love of God with the people of Great Doddington.  Our building serves as a constant reminder to our growing parish that God is alive and active in our village.    

St Nicholas’ Church dates from about 1100. It started life as a religious house and was home to several nuns and monks. The church was temporarily closed during the reign of King John. At that time bodies were buried in the woods and sermons were preached outside the main door! The building also housed the village school from 1823.

There are many interesting features of the building.  These include the original Priest’s Doorway on the north side of the chancel, the 17th century hour glass still in reach from the pulpit(!), a 15th century mural painting behind the lectern, and a collection of chained Bibles, dating from 1549.  The font dates from the early 13th century and the heavy church door hangs on one hinge and dates from the early 14thcentury.  The altar rails were installed about 300 years ago to prevent their lordships’ spaniels spoiling the altar!

St Nicholas’ Church dates from about 1100.  The first part to be built was the lower section of the bell tower.  The worship area was added in the first half of the 12th century by Simon, Earl of Huntingdon.  It was designed in the shape of a cross.  The first parish priest was William de Cau in 1228. 

Over the centuries the building has undergone a great many changes, but many parts of the walls are original Norman.  It seems that the roof may originally have been thatched.  Intriguingly, a steeple was erected in 1660, but survived less than 80 years.

In mediaeval times the church housed five altars.  The main one was dedicated to the memory of St Nicholas, hence the eventual dedication of the church in his memory.  St Nicholas is the patron saint of, among other things, pawnbrokers, sailors, Russia, brewers, coopers, and boys!

 More of the history of the church and of Great Doddington can be found on the Great Doddington Heritage Website