Fotheringhay Church, Northamptonshire

The incredible size of the Collegiate Church of All Saints at Fotheringhay seems strange until you realise that this tiny village was once a hugely important centre.

Nearby stands the motte of Fotheringhay Castle, where Richard III was born and Mary, Queen of Scots was executed.

Edmund, first Duke of York, laid down plans for a Collegiate Church, but died in 1402 before building had commenced.  Work eventually commenced in 1412 and was completed in time for Edmund's son, Edward, to be buried here after being killed at Agincourt.

In 1434 the church was hugely enlarged and it became the burial place of the Dukes and Duchesses of York, including the parents of Richard III born in 1452 in the Castle. Unfortunately this close connection to the House of York and later to the death of Mary, Queen of Scots did not find great favour with the Stuart monarchs who had the Castle demolished and the Church was allowed to fall into disrepair.

Fotheringhay has become the focus of the Richard III Society and as recently as 2000 they had a magnificent new organ installed in the church.

The church is a magnificent structure and one of those constant surprises that Northamptonshire springs on the visitor.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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