The 1st article of this blog should rightly be about – Northamptonshire.
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county located in the southern part of the East Midlands region. Several important rivers have their sources in the north-west of the county, including the River Nene, which flows north-eastwards to The Wash, and the “Warwickshire Avon”, which flows south-west to the Severn. The highest point in the county is Arbury Hill at 225 metres (738 ft). Apart from the county town of Northampton, other major population centres include Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Daventry. Northamptonshire’s county flower is the cowslip. However we are known as the Rose of the Shires and a red rose (house of Lancaster) is our emblem.
Northampton began as an Anglo-Saxon (450 and 1066) village, called Hamm tun, which means the village by the well-watered meadow. Later it was called North Hamm tun.
The town suffered severely from the Black Death, probably killing half the population. In 1516 Northampton was badly damaged by a severe fire and then another in 1675, the famous Great Fire of Northampton, which destroyed a majority of the town.
The River Nene near Hardwater Mill
As the town evolved and grew in population the boot and shoe industry became established and eventually became the primary employer in the town and county. Many of the companies have now ceased trading, much of the shoe production taking place in other countries now. We do still have some speciality companies such as Jeffery West and Crockett & Jones though, keeping the heritage going.
Since the development of the M1 Motorway Northamptonshire has become a central hub for warehousing and transport companies.
In the 18th century Northampton had a reputation for being an attractive, well-built town ! Now, like many other towns it has lost its way a little and is struggling to come to terms with rapid change to modern society. The current population of the county is just over 750,000 (2020), and is growing quite fast.
below a view of modern Northampton – The new estate at Upton.
John Clare –
is One of England’s most famous poets known as the ‘Peasant Poet’, he was born and he lived in Northamptonshire his entire life. He died in the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in 1864.
By John Clare
The thistledown’s flying, though the winds are all still,
On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot.
The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.
Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
And the rivers we’re eying burn to gold as they run;
Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
Whoever looks round sees Eternity there.
Places of Interest around Northamptonshire
Barnwell Country Park
Borough Hill Daventry (Iron Age hill fort)
Boughton House (home of the Dukes of Buccleuch)
Brampton Valley Way (linear park on a disused railway line)
Brixworth Country Park
Burghley House (in the Soke of Peterborough, so formerly in Northants),
Canons Ashby House
Castle Ashby (home of the Marquess of Northampton),
Coton Manor Garden
Daventry Country Park
Derngate and Royal Theatre
Fermyn Woods Country Park
Fotheringhay Castle & Church
Geddington’s Eleanor cross
Irchester Country Park
Jurassic Way (long-distance footpath)
Lyveden New Bield
Prebendal Manor House, Nassington
Northampton & Lamport Railway
Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway
Roadmender – live music venue
Piddington Roman Villa
Rockingham Motor Speedway
Rushden, Higham and Wellingborough Railway
Rushden Station Railway Museum
Rushton Triangular Lodge
Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum
Summer Leys nature reserve
Sywell Country Park
The Castle Theatre
Something missing! or incorrect please do tell us.