Grafton Regis is an ancient settlement occupying the high ground on the west bank of the river Tove. It has a triangular layout with two roads coming off the A508, meeting just west of the Manor House. The name Grafton Regis comes from when King Henry VIII stayed at Grafton Manor on more than one occasion.
The church of St Mary, occupies the end of the ridge overlooking the Tove valley to the north and east. No records exist of the church's original foundation. The earliest recorded date was in the 11th century. We can, however, speculate that the church was established much earlier than this.
The church of St. Mary consists of a nave, chancel, north aisle, north chapel, west tower and south porch. The earliest feature is the 12th century font which was re-modelled much later. Re-furbishments and additions are documented in the 13th, 14th 15th and 16th centuries. St Mary's was re-roofed in 1840 and again re-furbished in 1889. The church decayed over the first part of the 20th century and by the 1970's was in a poor state. Restoration work was carried out in the 1980's particularly on the roof, windows and tower. The bell tower contains 4 bells; one of which was re-cast in 1906.
The church occupies an interesting point in our country's history. Local girl Elizabeth Woodville was the first commoner to marry a sovereign when she secretly wed Edward IV in 1464 in the church. The royal couple produced two heirs; "the princes in the tower". The wedding was later made illegal to disinherit the princes and to make their uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester, Edward IV's successor as Richard III. The Tudors had no reservations about the marriage. Henry VII took Elizabeth's daughter as a wife and she was the mother of Henry VIII.
The cache is a small box and is placed with permission.