The present church is dedicated to St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. This perhaps gives some clue to the origin of the building, for the lordship of the manor of Yardley was owned by the Scottish royal family between 1114 and 1237. Indeed, David, younger brother of king William “The Lion” died in Yardley in 1219. This fits nicely with the probable date of the tower - which is the oldest part of the church - of about 1200. The rounded Norman style windows in the tower appear to be original, but unusually they do not carry through to the inside where the window frames are in the Early English style.In 1237 the Lordship of the manor passed to the Hastings family, (hence the “Hastings” in the village name), who were ennobled in 1290 and created Earls of Pembroke in 1339.
The archaeological evidence suggests that the 14th century Manor House to the North of the church was one ofthe most important seats of the Hastings family if not the most important. The main body of the church was originally built in about 1320/40, very much the same date as the fragment of the medieval hall to the North of the church. Although the church as it exists today was re-built in the 1880s with considerable re-use of medieval material, the ground plan does not appear to have been changed significantly during this reconstruction. The original 14th century building would therefore have been a large one for a village church.
The church nevertheless contains some high quality 14th century survivals. The main, South dooris particularly noteworthy with its fine carving of flowers at the points of the scalloped reliefs at the edge, which are further developed in a crossboard on the door itself. The door is still secured by its original medieval bolt.
The patron of the church is still the Marquess of Northampton. In common with most of the other churches on his estates, St Andrew’s was restored in the late 19th century when the work was supervised by the estate’s clerk of works, George Sutherland, in 1883-6. The faculty for this work still exists and it is clear that almost all of the nave was rebuilt although the outer walls of the chancel were not disturbed. The nave’s clerestory windowsand roof date from this time and are splendid examples of their period. The pews date from the 1890s. The original box pews were re-used as panelling , chiefly on the South wall.
The lych gate was built in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.
The bell tower dates from about 1200. The existing bells were cast (or perhaps recast from an earlier set) in 1723, see below. Whether as a result of their installation or, more likely, of subsidence,the tower almost collapsed in 1787. In order to support it a large buttress was built on the South-West corner and the West wall reinforced with additional stonework, which necessitated the blocking up of the West door. In the middle of the West wall there is a further buttress supporting the new stonework. Nevertheless the tower still has a curious zigzag shape when viewed from the South. The battlements are part of the 1880’s restoration.
The bells form a peal of six and were originally cast by Henry Penn of Peterborough in 1723. Each bears the arms of George, fourth Earl of Northampton
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