Cold Higham
Cold Higham

Origin: High home/stead

Domesday:2 hides and 4 parts of ˝ hide. Land for 6 ploughs. In demesne 1 ploughand 4 villans with a priest and 3 bordars and 1 plough. 10 acres of meadow.

Godwine holds 2 hides with land for 5 ploughs. In demesne 1 plough and 9 villans with a priest and 3 bordars having 2 ploughs.


Two things would strike the visitor today, firstly the name is highly appropriate (the wind really whistles though the village) and secondly it appears to have shrunk in size over the past 1000 years. The church falls into the “small but perfectly formed” category with a 13th century tower (saddleback according to Arthur Mee) and the main church 14th century.


Adjacent to the church are a few modern houses and a school from the 1870s with a cluster of older houses down a dead end lane. The whole lot would have been pushed to have filled a couple of pews in the church yet in 1851 the population of the village was 406.


Part of the discrepancy is accounted for by the hamlet of Grimscote about half a mile away, which is in the parish and consists of quite an attractive cluster of old buildings, both cottages and farms. Grimscote mill and Cold Higham Lodge are about 1/2 mile north of Cold Higham and Grimscote


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My family connection centres round the marriage in 1704 of William Wait and Elizabeth Pinckard, both of Grimscote, at Paulerspury church. The couple subsequently moved to Litchborough where we find William mentioned in the will of John Waight of Blakesley in 1732. There are Waits in the Blakesley Parish Registers from the early 1500s (and in other documents from 1470) and in the Cold Higham Registers from 1604 but owing to gaps in the registers I have been unable to establish William Wait’s father (most likely candidate is a William Wait mentioned in the 1674 Hearth Tax). The Pinkard connection is better sorted and this goes back to John Pinkerd and Margaret who had their family in Cold Higham between 1566 and 1579. The Pinkard family were clearly home lovers, in 1318 they were in Pottecote, in 1382 in Auestcote and by 1409 in Patteshull (all original spellings) where they rested from their travels for 100 years before venturing to Cold Higham. From this Pinkard line is descended the last woman to be publicly hanged in Northamptonshire) she strangled her mother in law, also a Pinkard.

There is a fairly active site for the Pinkards at

[email protected]


The miller at Grimscote Mill up to 1755 was John Buswell, my 6th great grandfather, son of William Buswell, a miller at Thenford. The mill has been converted into a house



If anyone has any information on the Wait, Pinkard or Buswell(Boswell) families or on Cold Higham’s history I would be pleased to hear from you



For a description of the village in the late 1800s a Whelans Directory of 1874 is attached.