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Article written by Douglas Ashby  July 1999

A House In The Round –
Waterloo Victory 18 June 1815

Not many people realise that the Round House standing at the side of the Finedon to Thrapston road is actually in the Parish of Burton Latimer.  It stands at a point where the boundaries of Addington, Woodford and Finedon also meet.

The Duke of Wellington, who famously defeated Napoleon’s army at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815, often came to Northamptonshire.  Whilst in the county he would stay with friends,  General and Mrs Arbuthnot, at Woodford House.  The ‘Iron Duke’ would go to church at Cranford and after the service, chat to Sir George Robinson, ancestor of the present baronet.

Mrs Harriet Arbuthnot recorded in her journals, which were later published, that when her husband acquired Woodford House it was “merely a farmhouse” but the property was ultimately enlarged and altered to form the pleasant country house it is today.  The journals also record the planting of trees and laying out of the formal gardens.  This well-wooded area is still a feature of the estate.

The countryside looking across towards Burton Latimer so reminded the Duke of the Waterloo terrain that the Round House was built to commemorate his great victory and provide a high point from which the panorama could be viewed.

Earlier this century it was used as a public house to which the local villagers would retire after running dog races.  These were held in the field opposite known as ’70 Acre’ and they would also gamble and hold domino matches.  Until only recently the old dulcimer, to which the merrymakers would dance and sing, still survived in a house in Finedon.

The Round House was also the scene of more sinister activities for it was here that poachers from the neighbourhood would meet.  A tale is told that about eighty years ago, Burton’ policeman, PC Currin, who used to live in a cottage in Church Street, walked the two miles along Wold Road and hid in some bushes nearby intending to catch the offenders.  His plan, however, went astray and he was discovered.  Knocked out by a heavy blow, some of the poachers wanted to take the unconscious constable and tie him down over the railway track at Cranford ironstone pits.  Fortunately for PC Currin, more sober-minded members of the party persuaded them to be content with depositing the ‘Law” in a ditch where he later ‘came to’!

The place became so notorious that the local magistrates refused to renew its licence and the Round House became what it is today:  a farmhouse.  For many years it has been the home of the farming family of Corney.

It is said that on a clear day, forty churches can be seen from the top of this historic building, including that of Naseby!

Introduction 1927 History Article 1999 article Corney family Holley family

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