St Stephen’s Church, Etton, Northamptonshire
St Stephen’s is a beautiful example of a twelfth century Anglican Church in a tiny village. The structure of the church has been unchanged over eight hundred years. Anecdotally it is said that when Cromwell was marching his troops from a barracks in Peterborough to the town of Northborough where his mother lived, he would by pass Etton so sparing the despoliation wreaked elsewhere. The Foe family farm abuts the church. In the early 1990’s an archaeological dig to the south east of the churchyard uncovered a mass grave for victims of the plague. Parish records show a death from the plague in 1647. Peterborough itself had severe attacks of the plague in the 1630’s.
The Manor House of Peakirk and Glinton
As it is today, some four miles from the Foe family farm, and owned at various times by members of the Foe families and their cousins the Wildbore’s. In 1650 the Manor was rebuilt in the Huguenot style.
This pretty Essex village was the home of Mary Norton a common law wife of Defoe’s. Defoe was a frequent visitor and the the friend of Dissenting ministers in the town. It is highly likely that Defoe was a frequent visitor to the coaching inn in the village.
Braintree has an existing coachin house used by Defoe on his frequent journeys to the town. It has a proud republican tradition. Oliver Cromwell educated his sons at a private school in Braintree.