Stanford-on-Avon is in the north-west of Northamptonshire, near the Leicestershire border. Although there must once have been a village here, now there is only a handful of houses less than 100 years old, the nearby Stanford Hall, and this absolutely wonderful church which Simon Jenkins (who wrote the book, "England's Thousand Best Churches") considers to be among the top hundred. Stanford Hall is the ancestral home of the Cave family (going back to 1430), and their descendants the Brayes, and they considered this to be their church. Their splendid monuments are to be seen throughout the church.
As you enter the church through the South Door this monument to Sarah Baroness Braye (d. 1862) is immediately on the left. It was designed by Mary Thorneycroft and is in white marble of her asleep on a mattress with her dog at her feet. Behind is a kneeling woman, and three angels, thought to be by John Gibson.
Originally there was a Saxon church here, and this was replaced by a large Norman church. Then some two hundred years later in 1307 Alan de Aslaghby, who had been appointed vicar, decided to rebuild the church, retaining just the chancel from the existing Norman church, and enlarging its windows. The building of the tower was delayed by the Black Death in 1349, which killed the workmen, and it was completed later. In essence, the Grade I-listed church is a 14th century building.