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Drax

Drac 1086 (Domesday Book), Drachs 11th century 'The portages, or places where boats are dragged overland or pulled up from the water'. Old Scandinavian drag.
'A Dictionary of English Place-Names', Oxford University Press

The Village Pub The High Street The Village Church

It is a pleasant place among the cornfields and the meadows between the Ouse and the Aire. The Normans gave it a castle, a priory, and a church. The castle has vanished, and only a few stones are left where the priory stood near the Ouse, but the church we see is the Norman one, altered through the centuries.

The Norman tower has a 15th Century top with a short ribbed spire. Its wide arch and the narrower one to the chancel are Norman, and a massive Norman arcade (with zigzag on the arches and four-leaved flowers on two of the hoods) leads to the north aisle, which keeps a Norman window. The south arcade may be 700 years old, and both are leaning. On each side of the chancel arch is a square-headed opening, with another above it. The chancel itself is 13th century, charming with seven lancets in the side walls, a group of three and an oval window in the east wall, and an arch leading to the 14th century north chapel; the arch rests on dainty corbels of graceful foliage, the head of a man under one of them.

The striking feature of the church is the 15th century clerestory of the nave, like a continuous arcade with eight three-light windows each side, adorned outside with a great show of gargoyles and fine battlements. Under the windows inside is a fine sculpture gallery of saints and apostles, abbots, bishops and kings, relics of the priory.

The beautiful new roofs of the nave and aisles shine with gold and colour, the bosses in the nave carved with flowers and shields, a woman with a boy and a girl, a woman sewing, St Nicholas, a chorister singing, and a carving of this church (a very rare thing in a boss). The Tudor bench-ends in the nave are enriched with conventional ornament, and with such things as a pig playing bagpipes to a dancer, a kneeling figure upside down with a sheep's head above it, and a giant in a crown with three feathers, leading a boy by a chain. There are old glass fragments, a battered font and a modern copy of it, and an old coffin lid. Part of the old cross is in the churchyard.

A bigger school has grown out of the one founded here in 1667 by Charles Read, who made a fortune as a shipper. He founded others at Tuxford and Corby, a rule of them all being that the boys should take turns at sweeping out the schoolhouse every Saturday afternoon, or else be fined sixpence.

'The King's England', edited by Arthur Mee

Visitor Comments

Posted by Corby Bunting at 28/11/2017 14:00
Being the first to enter a query on this little known village.I am hoping for an answer to my search.One of the sons of my 5 times GGrandfather Thomas Cook of Asselby. Francis Cook was born in the pub in Asselby in 1801 He left Asselby to become a farmer at DraxThe information I have is quite vague .I know that in the 1501 census he lived at Summercroft where he was then farming He died in 1865. Can anyone expand on this. Who did he marry? Did they have children? As I am now on the twiglets of my tree. I would appreciate any help.
Thankyou

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