Northampton History. The original Northampton. 5,000 years and counting


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Northampton's history goes back 5,000 years, long before any records, but traces remain. So much blood and tears. The Romans and many others help build the United Kingdom what it is today, and Northampton has played a major part in its history. Facts and images about Northampton.

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Northampton History. The original Northampton. 5,000 years and counting

  1. 1. Northampton History
  2. 2.  Northampton, originally called “Hamm tun” by Saxon settlers, was also named Hamtune, Northafendon and Northaneton at its beginnings.  Northamptonshire today is called the “Rose of the Shires,” and also the County of Spires and Squires.
  3. 3. Modern Northampton  Northampton boasts one of the largest and most impressive historic market squares in England. The market features top high street names, modern outlets and local specialty shops.  Other market towns in Northamptonshire circle Northampton. They include Towcester, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough and Daventry.
  4. 4. Modern Northampton  The county lies on the River Nene in the East Midlands Region, approximately 67 miles northwest of London and 50 miles southeast of Birmingham.  The eastern border of Northamptonshire is a mere 15 miles from Cambridge, while the south- western border lies only 16 miles from Oxford.
  5. 5. Modern Northampton  Northampton has seen a boom in development, including the Radlands Plaza Skatepark, Becket’s Park Marina, the new North Gate bus station, and improvements of the Market Square, Waterside and Grosvenor Shopping Centre areas.  The Billing Aquadrome Park lies on the eastern outskirts of town and features a converted watermill complete with its original workings.
  6. 6. Modern Northampton  Popular events in Northampton include the Northampton Carnival, the Delapré Beer Festival, the Umbrella Fair, the Dragonboat Races, the Northampton Music Festival, and St. Crispin’s Fair.  The Grand Prix races in the county offer a weekend full of motorsports excitement. Towcester hosts 16 days of National Hunt racing each year, dating back to the 1870s when Empress Elisabeth of Austria visited the region regularly.
  7. 7. Modern Northampton  Current major employers include Avon, Barclaycard, Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Texas Instruments and Carlsberg Beer.  The University of Northampton employs many residents, as does St. Andrew’s Healthcare. St. Andrew’s Hospital is the UK’s largest psychiatric hospital and is based in Northampton.
  8. 8. Old Northampton  Northamptonshire’s primary asset is history. The county features hundreds of historic houses, magnificent churches centuries old and more.  A system of ancient tunnels runs beneath Market Square and connects government buildings, including The Guildhall.
  9. 9. Old Northampton  It is believed these tunnels served as secret escape routes during times of trouble in Northampton’s colourful past.  Settlement in the Northampton region dates back to Neolithic and Bronze Age times. A large circular earthwork dating to 3500 BC along with other ancient settlements and the remains of Roman roads can be found near the town.
  10. 10. Old Northampton  Iron Age hill forts, such as Hunsbury Hill, date to approximately 400 BC. A small settlement near the Duston district dates to the Roman occupation of Britain.  In fact, Market Square was originally used by the Romans to distribute food and instructions to soldiers reporting from Central England.
  11. 11. Old Northampton  All Saints’ Church Brixworth, dates from the seventh century.  It is built partly from Roman-era materials and is “perhaps the most imposing architectural memorial of the 7th century yet surviving north of the Alps”.
  12. 12. Old Northampton  By 918 AD, Northampton had an army and an Earl.  Edward the Elder recovered the settlement from the Danes and turned it into a prosperous river port and trading centre as one of the new shires.  The village of Earls Barton has a standing Saxon tower which dates to 970 AD.
  13. 13. Old Northampton  Simon de Senlis, the first Earl of Northampton, built a Norman castle in the county in 1084 AD.  William the Conqueror added Rockingham Castle, and the town became a vital strategic point for government and political meetings.
  14. 14. Old Northampton  Simon de Senlis, the first Earl of Northampton, built a Norman castle in the county in 1084 AD.  William the Conqueror added Rockingham Castle, and the town became a vital strategic point for government and political meetings.
  15. 15. Northampton Castle  Northampton Castle became a Royal residence in the 12th century, and it also held the English Parliament.  The county’s oldest standing building, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was built in 1100 by de Senlis.
  16. 16. Northampton Castle  It is based on plans of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and it remains one of the largest and best-preserved round churches in England.  King Richard I granted the town’s first charter in 1189 in exchange for donations to fund his crusades.
  17. 17. Northampton Castle  Simon II, son of Simon de Senlis, built St. Peter’s Church between an Anglo-Saxon palace and Northampton Castle.  He founded Delapré Abbey, where one of the three standing Eleanor Crosses remains in memory of Eleanor of Castille.
  18. 18. Northampton Castle  Northampton was the site of the trial of Thomas Beckett in 1164 as well as the declaration of peace with Scotland by the Treaty of Edinburgh- Northampton.  The second Battle of Northampton was fought here in 1145 AD.
  19. 19. Northampton Castle  Market Square became vital to the area in 1235 when King Henry III prohibited selling goods in the All Saints’ churchyard.  Later in the century the forces of Henry III defeated supporters of Simon de Montfort, resulting in significant destruction to Northampton in the First Baron’s War.
  20. 20. Northampton Castle  The Second Battle of Northampton occurred during the Wars of the Roses between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians.  King Henry VI was captured 10 July 1450 by the Yorkists, who soundly defeated the Lancastrians after only 30 minutes of battle.
  21. 21. The Spencer Family  The Spencer family, ancestors of Princess Diana, built Althorp House in Northamptonshire approximately 500 years ago. The house has remained home to Earl Spencer and others of the Spencer family since that time.
  22. 22. The Spencer Family  During the English Civil War in 1642, Northampton sided with pro-Parliament forces.  The town was the main garrison in the south- east Midlands area used and Northampton Castle as the headquarters for the Parliamentarian forces.
  23. 23. The Spencer Family  Prince Rupert attacked Northampton in 1643 but was defeated. Charles I’s Royalist Army was also beaten decisively at Northampton in 1645.
  24. 24. English Civil War  During the Civil War years, Northampton craftsmen manufactured 4000 pairs of leather shoes and 600 pairs of cavalry boots for the Parliamentarian armies.  They also produced 2000 more pairs for Cromwell’s New Model Army in 1648.
  25. 25. English Civil War  The Civil War eventually ended in a Parliamentarian victory and England became a commonwealth. The reign of King Charles II was restored in 1660.  Hazelrigg HouseHazelrigg House was built in Northampton around this time, and it was one of the few buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1675.
  26. 26. English Civil War  The fire started on St. Mary’s Street on 20 September 1675, ultimately destroying over 600 buildings in the town centre in less than 24 hours.  All Hallows Church was almost completely destroyed and was replaced by the current All Saints’ Church in 1680.
  27. 27. English Civil War  All Saints’ still dominates Northampton’s town centre. The Sessions House and what is now called County Hall were among the first buildings completed in the town after the devastation of the fire.  Northampton continued to be a historical whirlwind throughout the next several centuries.
  28. 28. English Civil War  Marvel’s Mill, operated by Edward Cave, opened in Northampton in 1741, becoming the first water-wheel driven cotton mill in the world.  Northampton’s reputation as a major centre of manufacturing of leather and footwear continued to grow..
  29. 29. Northampton Transport  In 1815, the Grand Union Canal joined the River Nene in Northampton directly to the Midlands coalfields and on to Birmingham, Manchester and London.  The first railways to enter Northampton opened in 1845. In the 1860s, the Northampton Guildhall was built in Victorian Gothic style.
  30. 30. Northampton Transport  The first tramlines were laid in 1881 and they were electrified in 1903.  During the First World War, the Northampton shoe industry produced over 23 million pairs of boots for the military. Today, Edward Green Shoes, Crockett & Jones, Church’s, Trickers, and Wildsmith Shoes survive in Northamptonshire.
  31. 31. Northampton Transport  Following World War II, Northampton saw a growth in engineering as a major area of employment.  The Express Lift Tower, also called the Northampton Lighthouse and the Cobbler’s Needle, was built for testing new lifts at the Express factory.
  32. 32. Northampton Transport  Although the factory is now closed, the tower still stands 127.45 m (418 ft 2 in) tall.  The first Carlsberg Brewery outside Denmark was opened by Princess Benedikte of Denmark in 1974. 