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NORTHAMPTON /nɔːrθˈæmptən/ ( listen ) is the county town of Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
in the East Midlands
East Midlands
of England. It lies on the River Nene , about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London
London
and 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham
Birmingham
. One of the largest towns in the UK, Northampton
Northampton
had a population of 212,100 in the 2011 census .

Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, the town rose to national significance with the establishment of Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
, which was an occasional royal residence and regularly hosted the Parliament of England . Medieval Northampton
Northampton
had many churches, monasteries and the University of Northampton
University of Northampton
, which were all enclosed by the town walls. It was granted its first town charter by King Richard I in 1189 and its first mayor was appointed by King John in 1215. The town is also the site of two medieval battles; the Battle of Northampton (1264) and the second in 1460 .

Northampton's royal connection languished in the modern period ; the town supported Parliament (the Roundheads ) in the English Civil War , which culminated in King Charles II ordering the destruction of the town walls and most of the castle. The town also suffered the Great Fire of Northampton
Northampton
(1675) which destroyed most of the town. It was soon rebuilt and grew rapidly with the industrial development of the 18th century. Northampton
Northampton
continued to grow following the creation of the Grand Union Canal and the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, becoming an industrial centre for footwear and leather manufacture.

After the World Wars, Northampton's growth was limited until it was designated as a New Town
Town
in 1968, accelerating development in the town. Northampton
Northampton
unsuccessfully applied for unitary status in 1996 and city status in 2000; the town continues to expand with many areas undergoing urban renewal . According to Centre for Cities data in 2015, Northampton
Northampton
had a population growth of 11.3% between the years 2004 and 2013, one of the ten highest in the UK.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Etymology * 1.2 Ancient * 1.3 Medieval * 1.4 Modern * 1.5 Contemporary

* 2 Administration

* 2.1 Politics * 2.2 Local government * 2.3 Health services

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Areas and suburbs * 3.2 Compass * 3.3 Climate

* 4 Demography * 5 Economy

* 6 Culture

* 6.1 Leisure * 6.2 Entertainment * 6.3 Libraries, museums and galleries * 6.4 Sport * 6.5 Media

* 7 Notable buildings

* 7.1 Memorials

* 8 Transport * 9 Education * 10 Notable residents * 11 Twin towns * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 External links

HISTORY

ETYMOLOGY

The earliest reference to Northampton
Northampton
in writing occurred in 914 under the name _Ham tune_, literally meaning "home town". The prefix "North" was added later to distinguish it from other towns called Hampton, most prominently Southampton
Southampton
. The _ Domesday Book
Domesday Book
_ (1086) records the town as _Northantone_, which evolved into _Norhamptone_ by the 13th century and later _Northampton_ by the 17th century.

ANCIENT

Earthworks at Hunsbury Hill , which was a settlement during the Iron Age
Iron Age

Present-day Northampton
Northampton
is the latest in a series of settlements that began in the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
. Remains found in the Briar Hill district show evidence of a Neolithic
Neolithic
encampment within a large circular earthwork where local farmers assembled for tribal ceremonies and seasonal events from approximately 3500 BC to 2000 BC.

During the British Iron Age
Iron Age
, people typically lived in protected hill forts . Present-day Hunsbury Hill is an example of this settlement; a circular ditch and a bank faced with a wall of timber and enclosing an area of 160 acres (65 ha) which dates to around 400 BC. In the Roman period , a small rural settlement is thought to have existed in the present-day district of Duston ; remains of Roman pottery were found there.

Following Danish invasion, the central area of the town was turned into a stronghold called a _burh_ and became the base for one of the Danish armies in 850. A ditch was dug around the settlement and it was fortified with earth ramparts . Having conquered Mercia
Mercia
, the Danes turned the settlement into a centre for military and administrative purposes, which was part of the Danelaw .

In the 9th century _Regenhere of Northampton_ an East Anglian Saint with localised veneration was buried in Northampton. By 918, Northampton
Northampton
had an earl and an army dependent upon it, whose territory extended to the River Welland
River Welland
.

The settlement was recovered by Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder
the same year, turning it into the centre of one of the new shires, which prospered as a river port and trading centre. In 940, it successfully resisted the invading forces of Danish opposition in Northumbria
Northumbria
, but was burnt in 1010 by a Danish army, and again in 1065 by the rebellious northern earls Edwin and Morcar . Despite this, the _ Domesday Book
Domesday Book
_ records _Northantone_ as possessing 316 houses with a population of 2000 people, ranking between Warwick
Warwick
and Leicester
Leicester
in size.

MEDIEVAL

Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
was a royal residence and held the Parliament of England , but was eventually demolished for a railway station . A postern , rebuilt into a wall by the station, is all that remains.

With the Norman conquest of England , the town rose to national significance: its geographical location in the centre of England made Northampton
Northampton
a valuable strategical point for government and as a convenient meeting place for political, social, ecclesiastical and military events.

Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
is thought to have been built by Simon de Senlis , who became the first Earl
Earl
of Northampton
Northampton
, circa 1084. It was originally an earth and timber stockaded construction which was later rebuilt in stone. The castle became an occasional royal residence from the reign of King Henry I in 1130 until that of King Richard II . King John regularly stayed at the castle and moved The Treasury there in 1205. Some 32 Parliaments , were held there. The last Parliament at Northampton
Northampton
was held in 1380. Significant events in the castle's history include the trial of Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
in 1164, the publication of the Assize of Northampton in 1176, the declaration of peace with Scotland in the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton , the passage of the Statute of Northampton in 1328 and the imposition of poll tax in 1380. Royal tournaments and feasts were also held at the castle.

Simon de Senlis is also thought to have built the medieval town walls, which enclosed about 245 acres (99 ha) and had four main gates . Though demolished now, the circular pattern of the main roads surrounding the town centre marks the original position of the walls. de Senlis founded the Cluniac Priory of St Andrew\'s —where St Andrew\'s Hospital now stands—and built The Church of the Holy Sepulchre —one of four remaining round churches in England—and All Hallows Church on the current site of All Saint\'s Church . His son, Simon II de Senlis , built St Peter\'s Church on a site between a former Anglo-Saxon palace and Northampton
Northampton
Castle. Simon II de Senlis also founded Delapré Abbey —another Cluniac priory—which still stands today. Other priories in medieval Northampton
Northampton
include St James\' Abbey , Graye Friers, Blackfriars and Whitefriars. St. John's, a medieval hospital, was situated east of Bridge Street. A network of medieval tunnels remains under the centre of Northampton
Northampton
around All Saint's Church and the Market Square but their purpose,extent and significance have been disputed.

The town was originally controlled by officials acting for the King who collected taxes and upheld the law. This changed on 18 November 1189 when King Richard I granted the town its first charter in exchange for money to fund his crusades. The charter allowed the townspeople certain rights and independence in legal and administrative matters. In 1215, King John authorised the appointment of William Tilly as the town's first Mayor and ordered that "twelve of the better and more discreet of your town" join him as a council to assist him. The importance of Northampton
Northampton
at this time is underlined by the fact that only London, York
York
and King\'s Lynn had mayors by this date. The mayor later ruled with 24 councillors and 48 freemen in a closed body until 1835.

Markets and fairs were a key element in the town's economy in medieval times. The Market Square came to prominence in 1235 when Henry III ordered that the selling of goods in the churchyard of All Saint's should be relocated to the Market Square. Street names in the town give an indication of trades and market centres; Corn Hill, Malt Hill, Mercer Row, Gold Street, Sheep Street and Horse Market. Cloth and wool were very important but these industries declined. In the 13th century, Northampton
Northampton
had a large Jewish population centred on Gold Street. In 1277—two years after Edward I passed the Statute of the Jewry —some Jewish residents were executed while the remainder were driven out of town. Archaeological sites include a medieval Jewish cemetery and the Northampton Medieval Synagogue .

The First Barons\' War caused significant destruction to Northampton. The barons besieged Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
in protest at King John's oppression of his subjects. In retaliation, royalist forces destroyed a large part of the town. When the forces of King Henry III overran the supporters of Simon de Montfort , the Second Barons\' War broke out. The first Battle of Northampton
Northampton
—a battle in the second civil war—took place in 1264 at the site of Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
where King Henry III and his son Prince Edward attacked with a large army, pillaged the town and took prisoners.

In 1349, the Black Death pandemic killed more than half the population of Northampton. In 1377, the population was 2,200. The town was rapidly losing its wealth and its importance as a national centre. In 1460, the second Battle of Northampton
Northampton
took place during the War of the Roses
War of the Roses
in the meadows between the River Nene and Delapré Abbey. The Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians and King Henry VI was taken prisoner. In 1484, the Mayor declared that Northampton was "in great desolation and ruin". The dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 led to further destruction of what remained of the medieval town. Northampton
Northampton
was severely affected by Plague between March and September 1638 when 533 people—a seventh of the population—died.

MODERN

The royal connection to Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
became less significant, and by the time of the English Civil War , Northampton
Northampton
was decidedly pro-Parliament. Though Spencer Compton , Earl
Earl
of Northampton, was a royalist ( Cavalier ) and backed King Charles I , the people of Northampton
Northampton
supported Parliament and Oliver Cromwell 's republican Roundhead army. The town had a long history of religious dissent from the Lollards and Puritanism gained a strong hold on the town. The corporation of the town, having already refused to provide troops to the King in 1632 or to pay the notorious ship money tax in 1636, petitioned Parliament in 1642 against papists and bishops .

When war broke out in 1642, the town willingly became the main Parliamentarian garrison for the south-east Midlands area with the former royal castle as its headquarters. In 1643, Prince Rupert attacked Northampton
Northampton
with approximately 2,000 men, but was beaten back at the North Gate of the town. Oliver Cromwell visited in 1645 and General Fairfax marched from the town to Naseby , where Charles I's Royalist army was decisively defeated. Over 4,000 pairs of leather shoes and 600 pairs of cavalry jack-boots for the Parliamentary armies were manufactured in Northampton
Northampton
during the Civil War, and a further 2,000 for Cromwell's New Model Army
New Model Army
in 1648. Until well into the 19th century, the shoe industry boomed in and around the town with small manufacturing workshops set up in the surrounding areas.

The War ended with a Parliamentary victory, resulting in England becoming a Commonwealth
Commonwealth
, which lasted a decade. Following the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, he took revenge on the town by ordering the destruction of its walls and partial demolition of its castle in 1662, since it did not support his father Charles I and his cavaliers. From then on, the castle was used as a court and a gaol, but its physical condition worsened. The new council of the town had to pay £200 to have its charter renewed and also required all officials to swear the oath of allegiance and some confirmed by the Crown. Sessions House was one of the first buildings built after the Great Fire of Northampton (1675)

The town centre was further destroyed by the Great Fire of Northampton
Northampton
in 1675, caused by sparks from an open fire in a thatched cottage by the castle. The fire spread eastwards by strong westerly winds and consumed three-quarters of the town centre in 24 hours. Matters were worsened because most buildings were chiefly made of wood and covered with thatch. An estimated 600 buildings were destroyed, amounting to £150,000 lost. Very little survived the fire, apart from buildings made of stone, like the Welsh House on Market Square, built in 1595, and Hazelrigg House in Mare Fair, built in 1662.

The devastation led to an Act of Parliament for the rebuilding the town. Local people and businesses helped to raise around £25,000 towards the rebuilding of the town centre based around the Market Square. Streets were widened and buildings made of brick and stone and tiled to prevent such devastation again. In an act of reconciliation, King Charles II donated timber from the royal forests of Salcey and Whittlebury to help with the rebuild. In 1678, the Sessions House and what is now County Hall were amongst the first buildings to be completed. A Georgian town with new houses, shops and workshops eventually grew out of the old medieval town destroyed by the fire. In 1741 Edward Cave opened Marvel\'s Mill , the world's first cotton mill to be driven by a water wheel .

A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Gibraltar Barracks in 1797.

By the end of the 18th century, Northampton
Northampton
had become a major centre of footwear and leather manufacture. In 1801, the population was 7,020; it more than doubled to 15,351 in 1831, attributed to the fact that there was great demand for footwear caused by the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A third of the adult males alone were shoemakers at the time. Northampton
Northampton
grew beyond the old town walls and industry grew rapidly with the mechanisation of factories by the middle of the 19th century. A map of Northampton
Northampton
in 1810

The Nene Navigation Company had previously made the River Nene navigable from King's Lynn as far up as Northampton
Northampton
in 1762, allowing cheap transportation of coal and other goods to the town, but in 1815, the Grand Union Canal reached the town, joining the River Nene, giving the town a direct link to the Midlands coalfields and to Birmingham
Birmingham
, Manchester
Manchester
and London.

The first railway to be built into Northampton
Northampton
was a branch from the main London- Birmingham
Birmingham
line at Blisworth to Peterborough
Peterborough
through Northampton
Northampton
which opened in 1845 alongside the town's first railway station, Bridge Street station . This was followed by the opening of Castle station in 1859 on the site of part of the historic Northampton Castle, and later St. John\'s Street station in 1872. The Northampton loop
Northampton loop
of the West Coast Main Line was built in the late 1870s. Castle station was rebuilt and expanded over the site of Northampton
Northampton
Castle, the remains of which were purchased and demolished in 1880 to make way for the goods shed . Bridge Street Station closed in 1964 and St John's Street closed in 1939, leaving only Castle station serving the town. It is now known simply as Northampton railway station .

Tram lines were also laid down in the town in 1881 and electrified in 1903. An early omnibus service ran to Wellingborough, and since 1919 motor omnibus services ran to villages around the town which brought buyers and sellers to the market.

There were iron ore quarries in the countryside around the town during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which have left their mark on the landscape. Some of the quarries were in what is now the town area in an arc from Kingsthorpe through Duston and Hunsbury round to Hardingstone beginning in about 1860. Some have now been built over and not all lasted very long. The town area quarries that lasted the longest and closed last were at Hunsbury which began working in 1877 and closed in 1920. There are remains of some of these quarries at Hunsbury Hill. There was an iron works by the river to the west of the town next to the railway that then operated between Northampton
Northampton
and Blisworth. This was called the Hunsbury Ironworks and operated between about 1874 and January 1921 using ore from these quarries and elsewhere.

CONTEMPORARY

Following World War I
World War I
, the shoe industry was increasingly in decline, despite the town's factories supplying over 23 million pairs of boots to the armed forces. A total of 1,700 men from the town were lost of the 6,000 killed from the Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Regiment . The town expanded further during the 1920s and saw the erection of Northampton Power Station , which supplied electricity to areas as far away as Wolverton , until its closure in 1975. Much council housing was also built largely to the east, north and south of the town, including Abington , Far Cotton , Kingsley, Kingsthorpe and Dallington – areas which had been incorporated within the borough's boundaries in 1901. However, the population growth slowed down as people moved beyond its boundaries. In 1901, the population had expanded to 90,923; in 1931, the population was 92,341.

After World War II
World War II
, Northampton
Northampton
vastly changed. In 1959, the M1 motorway was opened to the south-west of the town; in 1968, Northampton
Northampton
was designated a New Town
Town
. Both these events and the rail link helped Northampton's growth as a commuter town for London. The Northampton
Northampton
Development Corporation (NDC) was set up in 1968 to substantially redevelop the town in partnership with the local council, spending £205 million to build new housing and industrial estates, initially in Lumbertubs, Moulton Park and Round Spinney to the east, followed by Briar Hill, Camp Hill and East and West Hunsbury in the south of the town, mainly to accommodate the overflow population of new residents from the London
London
area. In the town centre, older buildings were demolished and replaced or redeveloped for other buildings, including the former Greyfriars bus station , the Grosvenor Centre , Peacock Place (now Market Walk), shops, flats and hotels.

Although growth was slower than planned, the population grew from 105,421 in 1961 to 157,217 by 1981, with 15,655 new homes added to the town between 1970 and 1985. The borough boundaries also changed following a split of the Northampton
Northampton
parliamentary constituency into Northampton
Northampton
North and Northampton
Northampton
South in 1974. Northampton
Northampton
was reconstituted as a non-metropolitan district which also covered areas outside the former borough boundaries but inside the designated New Town. The town tried for unitary status during the 1990s UK local government reform , but failed and remains a non-metropolitan district to this day, meaning it relies on a two-tier system of government.On Good Friday 1998, Northampton
Northampton
suffered severe flooding, particularly in the areas of Far Cotton and St James; two people were killed and thousands of homes were affected.

Since the turn of the Millennium, the town has continued to expand. Northampton
Northampton
applied for city status in 2000 and again in 2002, but failed on both occasions and remains a town. In 2006, Northampton became a government expansion zone with new growth promoted by West Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Development Corporation (WNDC), an unelected quango , which has provoked a series of regeneration schemes across the town. Some have been completed, including the opening of the Radlands Plaza Skatepark and the development of Becket's Park Marina just south of Northampton's town centre, as well as the improvement of the town's Market Square, the building of the new North Gate bus station, the redevelopment of the railway station and the creation of a Cultural Quarter. Current projects include the improvement of Northampton's waterside, the building of a new Council headquarters, the restoration of Delapre Abbey, the expansion of Northampton
Northampton
Museum, the merging of the university into one new campus in town centre and the renovation of both the Grosvenor Shopping Centre and Weston Favell Centre. In 2015, St Giles Street in the town centre was named the "Best British High Street" in a national competition run by the Department for Communities and Local Government .

ADMINISTRATION

POLITICS

Statue of the Northampton
Northampton
MP Charles Bradlaugh in the town. For more details on politics in Northampton, see Northampton
Northampton
North (UK Parliament constituency) , Northampton
Northampton
South (UK Parliament constituency) , and South Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
(UK Parliament constituency) .

The Northampton
Northampton
constituency was established in 1295, which returned two MPs to the House of Commons . Spencer Perceval was the elected MP for the constituency in 1796, and became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1809, the only Solicitor General or Attorney General to have been Prime Minister, but also the only Prime Minister to have been assassinated. John Bellingham
John Bellingham
shot him dead in the House of Commons lobby in 1812. By the late 19th century, Northampton
Northampton
had acquired a reputation for political radicalism. In 1880, radical non-conformist Charles Bradlaugh was elected as second MP for the constituency. During an election campaign involving Bradlaugh, a riot broke out in the Market Square that required military to disperse the action. For the 1918 general election , Northampton's representation was reduced to one MP.

The original constituency was abolished for the February 1974 general election and replaced by the new constituencies of Northampton
Northampton
North and Northampton
Northampton
South , which elect one MP each. These boundaries changed further for the 2010 general election when the South Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
constituency was created, covering the most southern areas of the borough. The borough of Northampton
Northampton
continues makes up all of the electoral wards in Northampton
Northampton
North and Northampton
Northampton
South.

Northampton
Northampton
is currently represented by three Conservative MPs: David Mackintosh ( Northampton
Northampton
South), Michael Ellis ( Northampton
Northampton
North) and Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire). Northampton
Northampton
is also included in the East Midlands
East Midlands
constituency for elections to the European Parliament , electing five MEPs using the d\'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation .

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

For more details on this topic, see Local government in Northampton .

NORTHAMPTON\'S CURRENT TWO-TIER SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH COUNCIL EXECUTIVE: Conservative LEADER: Jonathan Nunn ELECTORAL WARDS: 33 SEATS: 43 POLITICAL STRUCTURE: Conservative Party (26) Labour Party (17) Liberal Democrats (2)

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL EXECUTIVE: Conservative LEADER: Heather Smith ELECTORAL WARDS IN BOROUGH: 17/57 SEATS IN BOROUGH: 17 POLITICAL STRUCTURE IN BOROUGH: Conservative Party (9) Labour Party (7) Liberal Democrats (1)

The town existed as an ancient borough in the medieval period before being one of the 178 boroughs to be reformed under the Municipal Corporations Act in 1835, with a democratically elected council replacing the Tory corporation before it. Town
Town
government alternated between the Liberals and Conservatives , and the town achieved independence from Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
in 1888 when it became a county borough . It had 6 electoral wards from 1898, 9 wards from 1900 and 12 wards from 1911.

Northampton
Northampton
was granted modern borough status in 1974, when it was reconstituted as a non-metropolitan district , a subdivision of its non-metropolitan county (Northamptonshire). The town retains a two-tier structure of local government: the non-metropolitan district of Northampton
Northampton
is administered by both Northampton
Northampton
Borough
Borough
Council and Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
County Council , which are both controlled by the Conservative Party. The borough failed to become an unitary authority in the 1990s local government reform and again, in 2011, when the motion was voted down by the council. However, in 2016, the borough council and all seven Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
MPs proposed to draw up plans for Northampton
Northampton
to become an unitary authority.

Policing in the town remains the responsibility of Northamptonshire Police ; and firefighting , the responsibility of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service . The Royal Anglian Regiment serves as the county regiment for Northamptonshire.

HEALTH SERVICES

NHS Northampton
Northampton
guides primary care services (general practitioners, dentists, opticians and pharmacists) in the town, directly provides adult social care and services in the community such as health visiting and physiotherapy and also funds hospital care and other specialist treatments. Northampton General Hospital is an NHS trust hospital which founded in 1744 and moved to its present site in 1793, and has continued to provide healthcare to the local community for more than 200 years. The East Midlands
East Midlands
Ambulance Service NHS Trust is responsible for the provision of statutory emergency medical services in Northampton.

St Andrew\'s Hospital , the flagship mental health facility of the private company St Andrew's Healthcare, is also based in Northampton. Originally opened in 1838 to serve Northampton, St Andrew's became a charity and private healthcare provider when the Berrywood Asylum (later the Northampton
Northampton
County Lunatic Asylum, then St Crispin Hospital in 1948, and since 2010 Berrywood Hospital) opened in 1876.

GEOGRAPHY

AREAS AND SUBURBS

Map of the town suburbs Extracts from OS Maps SP75 and SP76 (1956 -webkit-column-count: 2; column-count: 2;">

* Abington * Billing * Boothville * Brookside * Castle * Delapre and Briar Hill * East Hunsbury * Eastfield * Headlands * Kings Heath * Kingsley * Kingsthorpe * Nene Valley * New Duston * Obelisk * Old Duston * Park * Parklands * Phippsville * Rectory Farm * Riverside * Rushmills * Semilong * Spencer * Spring Park * St David's * St James * Sunnyside * Talavera * Trinity * Upton * West Hunsbury * Westone

The most northern wards make up the Northampton
Northampton
North parliamentary constituency; the most southern make up the Northampton
Northampton
South parliamentary constituency. However, East Hunsbury, West Hunsbury
West Hunsbury
and Nene Valley are included in the South Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
parliamentary constituency.

Nine registered parish councils also lie within the borough of Northampton. These are Billing, Collingtree, Duston, Great Houghton, Hardingstone, Hunsbury Meadow, Upton, West Hunsbury
West Hunsbury
and Wooton padding: 0; font-size:x-small; color:#000000; text-align: center; border-bottom:1px solid #AAAAAA;">‹ The template below (_Geographic location _) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. ›

DESTINATIONS FROM NORTHAMPTON

Rugby , Coventry
Coventry
, Birmingham
Birmingham
Market Harborough , Leicester
Leicester
, Loughborough
Loughborough
, Nottingham
Nottingham
Kettering
Kettering
, Corby

Daventry , Long Buckby , Stratford-upon-Avon , Worcester
Worcester

Earls Barton , Wellingborough
Wellingborough
, Rushden

NORTHAMPTON

Towcester , Brackley , Banbury
Banbury
, Oxford
Oxford
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
, Aylesbury
Aylesbury
Bedford
Bedford
, Dunstable
Dunstable
, Luton
Luton
, London
London

CLIMATE

As with the rest of the British Isles, Northampton
Northampton
experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The official Met Office weather station for Northampton
Northampton
is the Moulton Park Weather Station at the University of Northampton
University of Northampton
. Situated at an elevation of around 130 m (427 ft) above sea level compared to Northampton
Northampton
town centre at 50 to 60 m (164 to 197 ft), it is one of the highest points in the Borough, and so may not be a perfect representation of other parts of the town. Its hilltop location means less pooling of cold air on calm clear nights, and lower maxima during summer. The absolute maximum recorded is 34.7 °C (94.5 °F) on 3 August 1990. A high of 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) was recorded on 19 July 2006. The absolute minimum is −16.8 °C (1.8 °F), recorded during February 1986. It is likely the absolute maximum in the town centre is a degree or so higher owing to the lower elevation, and absolute minimum on the eastern and western edges of the Borough
Borough
around the Nene valley a couple of degrees colder due to katabatic drainage of cold air allowing a frost hollow effect. Most recently, the temperature fell to −9.6 °C (14.7 °F) on 20 December 2010.

Rainfall, at around 650 mm (26 in) per year is not high, though is often unpredictable, giving rise to flooding events such as 1998, but also short term droughts. Desborough Weather Station also supplies the public with a local weather service.

CLIMATE DATA FOR NORTHAMPTON MOULTON PARK, ELEVATION 127M, 1981–2010

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 6.8 (44.2) 7.1 (44.8) 10.0 (50) 12.8 (55) 16.2 (61.2) 19.2 (66.6) 21.7 (71.1) 21.5 (70.7) 18.4 (65.1) 14.1 (57.4) 9.7 (49.5) 7.0 (44.6) 13.7 (56.7)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 1.1 (34) 0.9 (33.6) 2.7 (36.9) 4.0 (39.2) 6.8 (44.2) 9.7 (49.5) 11.9 (53.4) 11.8 (53.2) 9.8 (49.6) 7.0 (44.6) 3.7 (38.7) 1.5 (34.7) 5.9 (42.6)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 54.0 (2.126) 41.1 (1.618) 44.1 (1.736) 49.4 (1.945) 54.4 (2.142) 54.9 (2.161) 49.2 (1.937) 54.5 (2.146) 57.6 (2.268) 63.9 (2.516) 60.0 (2.362) 55.3 (2.177) 638.1 (25.122)

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 55.7 77.9 108.2 151.4 189.9 173.8 199.3 185.2 134.0 109.6 64.4 49.5 1,498.9

Source: Met Office
Met Office

CLIMATE DATA FOR NORTHAMPTON MOULTON PARK, ELEVATION 127M, 1971–2000. RAINFALL DATA ALTHORP, ELEVATION 122M, 1841–1987

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 6.4 (43.5) 6.8 (44.2) 9.5 (49.1) 11.9 (53.4) 15.6 (60.1) 18.5 (65.3) 21.2 (70.2) 21.1 (70) 17.9 (64.2) 13.7 (56.7) 9.3 (48.7) 7.2 (45) 13.3 (55.9)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 0.8 (33.4) 0.6 (33.1) 2.3 (36.1) 3.5 (38.3) 6.3 (43.3) 9.2 (48.6) 11.5 (52.7) 11.5 (52.7) 9.5 (49.1) 6.6 (43.9) 3.3 (37.9) 1.7 (35.1) 5.6 (42.1)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 54.7 (2.154) 42.6 (1.677) 44.9 (1.768) 45.5 (1.791) 53.5 (2.106) 55.4 (2.181) 64.1 (2.524) 64.3 (2.531) 58.3 (2.295) 66.1 (2.602) 61.3 (2.413) 56.7 (2.232) 668.5 (26.319)

Source #1: YR.NO

Source #2: WorldClimate

DEMOGRAPHY

Northampton
Northampton
had an estimated population of 212,069 at the 2011 census. The town's population recorded at each census since 1801 was as follows:

YEAR POPULATION

1801 7,020

1811 8,427

1821 10,793

1831 15,351

1841 21,242

1851 26,657

1861 32,813

1871 41,168

1881 51,881

1891 61,012

1901 87,021

1911 90,064

1921 90,895

1931 92,341

1941 No census

1951 104,432

1961 105,421

1971 133,800

1981 157,217

1991 180,617

2001 194,458

2011 212,069

NORTHAMPTON ETHNICITY DEMOGRAPHICS FROM THE 2011 CENSUS

ETHNICITY POPULATION

White _(British, Irish, Other)_ 179,238

Asian _(Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Other)_ 13,751

Black _(African, Caribbean, Other)_ 10,741

Mixed _(White & Asian, White & Black African, White "> The Barratt Boot and Shoe factory operational since 1911.

Northampton
Northampton
was a major centre of shoemaking and other leather industries, although only specialist shoemaking companies such as Wildsmith Shoes , Edward Green Shoes , Crockett "> The Market Square at night

Northampton's market square is one of Britain's largest and most historic which dates back to 1235. The market square is linked to Abington Street, a major shopping area of Northampton. The western part of the street was pedestrianised in 1984. The eastern part was pedestrianised in 1995 and de-pedestrianised in 2014. There are also two shopping centres in the town centre: the Grosvenor Centre , which was built in the 1970s, and Market Walk (previously Peacock Place), which was constructed in 1988. St James Retail Park is also a large shopping precinct just south of the town centre. Many out-of-town retail parks exist like Weston Favell Shopping Centre, built in the 1970s, and Riverside Retail Park in the east of the town, as well as Sixfields in the west. Each precinct has a range of high street shops, department stores and many smaller individual speciality shops.

Billing Aquadrome leisure park is on the eastern outskirts with a caravan site, marina, funfair, bar, riverside restaurant and converted water mill with original workings. The Northampton
Northampton
Leisure Trust has four leisure centres across Northampton: Danes Camp, Lings Forum, Mounts Baths and Duston Sports Centre. There are also the action centres Benham Sports Arena and King's Park Tennis Centre as well as the Delapre Public Golf Course. Radlands Plaza is a new skatepark that opened in 2012.

According to the website of the Northampton
Northampton
Borough
Borough
Council, there are a total of 170 parks and open spaces around Northampton, which altogether span around 1,880 acres (761 ha). Popular parks include Abington Park , which is the town's oldest, and the Racecourse, which was used for horseracing (until 1904) and as a cricket ground (between 1844–1885) in addition to being the original home of Northampton Balloon Festival . Other parks include Becket's Park (which is named after Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
as are nearby Becket's Well and Thomas á Becket pub), Bradlaugh Fields (named after the Northampton
Northampton
MP Charles Bradlaugh), Dallington Park, Delapré Park , Eastfield Park, Hunsbury Hill (which is built around an Iron Age
Iron Age
fort), Kingsthorpe Park and Victoria Park.

Popular annual events include Northampton Carnival , the Delapre Beer Festival, the Dragonboat Race, the Umbrella Fair, Diwali celebrations and St Crispins Fair . Northampton Balloon Festival used to be a major event in Northampton, but since being scaled down, it has been poorly attended. Northampton
Northampton
Music Festival has been celebrated every year since 2007 in the town centre. A smaller music festival A Walk in the Park has been put on since 2008 in Wootton. A new music festival, Alive at Delpare, debuted in the summer of 2013 and has since attracted artists like Alfie Boe , Boyzone , Jessie J , James Morrison , McBusted , Paul Weller and The Wanted .

ENTERTAINMENT

Royal & Derngate , one of the main venues for arts and entertainment

The Royal The Beatles
The Beatles
appeared there twice on stage in 1963: firstly as unknowns as part of the Tommy Roe / Chris Montez tour; secondly as part of their own tour in their own right. Smaller theatres include the Northampton
Northampton
Playhouse and the Cripps Theatre, which is part of Northampton
Northampton
School for Boys.

The two commercial cinemas in Northampton
Northampton
are Vue at Sol Central in the centre and Cineworld at Sixfields . There is also the subsidised Forum Cinema at Lings Forum , whose film programme is widely varied and includes art-house and non-mainstream films. The Errol Flynn Filmhouse, an independent cinema joined to the side of the Royal & Derngate theatre complex, opened in June 2013.

There are also many local entertainment venues which provide events. The Roadmender , which used to be run and funded by the council and later bought by The Purplehaus group, hosts mainstream touring bands and one off-gigs. Other popular entertainment venues include the Legendary Labour Club, Mollys, O'Malley's, O'Neill's, The Old White Hart, The Penny Whistle and The Wig "> Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Central Library in Abington Street

The Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Central Library in town centre is a Grade II listed building which was erected in 1910. There are seven other public libraries that are dotted across Northampton—in Abington, Duston, Far Cotton, Hunsbury, Kingsthorpe, St James, Wootton—all run by Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
County Council. Northampton
Northampton
Museum and Art Gallery

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on Guildhall Road in the Cultural Quarter has a collection of historical footwear (one of the world's largest at 13,000), Italian art, glass and ceramics, plus visiting exhibitions and local history. There is also a smaller Grade I listed historical museum in the former Abington Park house which mainly has history on domestic life in the town and the Northamptonshire Regiment. In 2014, the two museums were stripped of accreditation by the Arts Council, following the Borough
Borough
Council's decision to auction off the ancient Egyptian Sekhema statue which had been gifted to the Borough
Borough
in the nineteenth century. 78 Derngate , the only house in England designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
, includes a museum celebrating Mackintosh, an art gallery and a restaurant.

The Northampton
Northampton
Arts Collective is homed on a four-storey building entitled NN in the Cultural Quarter, opposite the Northampton
Northampton
Museum and next to the Royal "> Franklin\'s Gardens is home to Northampton Saints , a successful Premiership rugby club.

The town is home to Premiership rugby union team Northampton Saints , who play at Franklin\'s Gardens in the St James area. "The Saints" had their greatest moment when they won the Heineken Cup in 2000 at Twickenham , beating Munster 9–8. There are also a number of "Junior" rugby clubs in the area, the most successful of these at producing young players is Northampton
Northampton
Old Scouts RFC who have produced Ben Cohen and Steve Thompson amongst others. Northampton
Northampton
is also home to Northampton
Northampton
Outlaws, the first inclusive rugby team and the 9th gay-friendly team in the United Kingdom.

League One football club Northampton
Northampton
Town
Town
, known as "The Cobblers" from the town's shoemaking background, are based at Sixfields Stadium . Established in 1897, in their centenary season of 1997 they reached Wembley through the play-offs and beat Swansea City 1–0 with an injury time winning free kick from John Frain. It was the first club to set up a trust for supporters to work with the club as many have done. There is an athletics track adjacent to the ground. There are also three non-league clubs in the United Counties Football League : Northampton
Northampton
Spencer ; Northampton
Northampton
Sileby Rangers ; and Northampton
Northampton
Old Northamptonian Chenecks .

Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
County Cricket
Cricket
Club , known in limited overs cricket as "The Steelbacks" (a reference to the Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Regiment which was formed in 1881), is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure. The club was promoted from Division 2 of the County Championship in 2013, and play in Group C of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League and the Midlands/Wales/West group of the revamped Friends Provident T20 . They are based at the County Ground , in the Abington area.

The Silverstone Circuit , current home of the British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix
, is a few miles south of Northampton. Rockingham Motor Speedway and Santa Pod Raceway are a few miles north and east of Northampton respectively, offering a range of drag racing events.

Northampton
Northampton
is also home to Collingtree Park Golf Club , who hosted the British Masters in 1995. There are also many equestrian and country activities, and several water sports centres, like the Nene Whitewater
Whitewater
Centre, which provides an artificial whitewater course for canoes , kayaks and rafts . The Northampton
Northampton
Swimming Club also trained the young Olympic swimmer Caitlin McClatchey
Caitlin McClatchey
.

Northampton
Northampton
is also home to British Military Fitness in Abington Park where members can train up to 7 times a week with serving or ex-military fitness instructors.

MEDIA

The _ Northampton Chronicle & Echo _ (established 1931) is the town's newspaper, published on Thursdays (before 2012, it was published Monday to Saturday) with jobs, property, motors and entertainment supplements. There are other free newspapers circulated within the town. These include _The Mercury_ (on Thursdays) and _Northants on Sunday_, both from the publishers of the _Chronicle & Echo_, and the _ Northampton
Northampton
Herald max-width:552px"> The Holy Sepulchre , the oldest building in Northampton
Northampton
All Saints\' Church in the centre of Northampton
Northampton
Northampton Guildhall , built in the 1860s, is a Grade II* listed building

Northampton's oldest standing building, The Holy Sepulchre , is one of the largest and best-preserved round churches in England. It was built in 1100 on the orders of the first Earl
Earl
of Northampton
Northampton
, Simon de Senlis and based on a plan of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Simon de Senlis also built Northampton Castle
Northampton Castle
c. 1084, which was for many years one of the country's most important castles. It was a royal residence, held The Parliament of England many times, and was the site of royal tournaments and feasts. Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
was imprisoned there until he escaped. The castle suffered many fates and was eventually demolished for the railway station. A postern , dismantled from its original position and rebuilt into a wall by the station, and a part of the keep mound are all that remains.

The current All Saints\' Church was built on the site of a great Norman church, All Hallows, which was almost completely destroyed by the Great Fire of Northampton in 1675. All that remained was the medieval tower and the fine vaulted crypt, but by 1680 All Saints had been rebuilt, with the help of donations from all over England, including 1,000 tons of timber from King Charles II , whose statue can be seen above the portico . Famously, the poet John Clare liked to sit beneath the portico of the church. It is home to a choral foundation, with choral services sung three times a week by one of its choirs, who also record commercially and tour throughout the world. The Express Lift Tower is a prominent feature of the town's skyline

Other notable church buildings include Northampton Cathedral , the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton and seat of the Bishop
Bishop
of Northampton
Northampton
; St Peters (mostly built in Norman times); St Giles Church; St Matthew's in Phippsville, which was built between 1891-4, has a Henry Moore
Henry Moore
sculpture of the Madonna . St Edmunds Church (built in 1850) closed in 1978 and was demolished in 2007 (its bells are now in ;aint Paul\'s Cathedral, Wellington );

Just south of the town centre Delapré Abbey , a former Cluniac nunnery, the County Records Office and site of the second Battle of Northampton
Northampton
, which was founded by Simon II de Senlis , the son of first Earl
Earl
of Northampton, in 1145. At the edge of the Abbey, one of the three standing Eleanor crosses still remains, in memory of Eleanor of Castile , whose body rested here on its way to London. The original top of the monument has been knocked off and replaced several times from as early as 1460.

St Andrew's Hospital, which opened 1838, and its new building William Wake House, is one of the largest neo-classical structures in England. Northampton
Northampton
the cellars are medieval. Northampton Guildhall , which is Grade II* listed, was constructed mostly in the 1860s in Victorian Gothic architecture designed by Edward William Godwin , and extended in 1889-92 and in the 1990s.

78 Derngate is a Grade II* listed Georgian Town
Town
House remodelled by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
for Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke in 1916–17. It contains notable Mackintosh interiors (which have been restored) and is his only major domestic commission outside Scotland. It is open to the public.

The 127.45 m (418 ft 2 in) tall Express Lift Tower is a dominant feature and visible from most of the town. A Terry Wogan radio phone-in during the 1980s came up with the name "Northampton Lighthouse" as Northampton
Northampton
is one of the furthest places from the sea. It is also known as the "Cobblers' Needle". It was built for testing new lifts at the Express Lifts factory, now closed. Though now redundant, it is a listed building .

The former Greyfriars bus station served the town from 1976 until 2014. In the 2000s, it was featured on Channel 4 's _Demolition _ programme as the ugliest transport station in the United Kingdom and worthy of demolition. Demolition work began in March 2014, following the move of bus services to North Gate bus station . The Greyfriars was completely destroyed on 15 March 2015 by way of a controlled explosion.

MEMORIALS

The Town
Town
and County War Memorial

Northampton
Northampton
contains several significant war memorials. The Town
Town
and County War Memorial , unveiled in 1926, commemorates casualties of the First World War from all of Northamptonshire; it replaced a temporary cenotaph which stood in Abington Square from 1919. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens , it consists of two large obelisks and an altar-like stone sited in a small garden behind All Saints' Church. The Town
Town
and County memorial is a grade I listed building and part of a national collection of Lutyens' war memorials. As the Town
Town
and County memorial does not contain a list of names of the fallen, the Royal British Legion launched a campaign which resulted in the construction of a second memorial, dedicated solely to the town; this memorial, in Abington Square, takes the form of a garden of remembrance with the names of the dead inscribed on the garden walls. A bust of Edgar Mobbs was later moved into the garden; Mobbs was a rugby player for Northampton Saints who was killed while serving in the First World War.

TRANSPORT

North Gate bus station Northampton railway station

Northampton
Northampton
is near junctions 15, 15a and 16 of the M1 motorway which connects Northampton
Northampton
with London
London
at its most southern point and Leeds at its most northern. Both the A45 and A43 link Northampton
Northampton
with the other major towns in Northamptonshire, and can be accessed by a partially completed ring road . The A14 is close by to the north of Northampton, providing links east and west of the town.

Northampton railway station is on the Northampton
Northampton
Loop of the West Coast Main Line , and has services southbound to London
London
and northbound to Birmingham
Birmingham
and Crewe
Crewe
provided by London
London
Midland . Virgin Trains also provide two daily services to London.

Sywell Aerodrome
Sywell Aerodrome
is the nearest airfield which has recently been upgraded with a 1,000-metre-long (3,300 ft) concrete runway, however it only caters for private flying, flight training and corporate flights. For international links, the East Midlands
East Midlands
Airport and Luton Airport are quickly accessible by the M1; Birmingham
Birmingham
Airport is also just north of the town via the M1 and M6 motorways and also by train.

In the town, buses are mainly operated by Stagecoach from the North Gate bus station with some services from Uno . Stagecoach serves areas within the town and also provides travel to outlying villages and towns within the county, making links to Corby , Daventry , Kettering , Rushden and Wellingborough
Wellingborough
. They also go as far afield as Bedford
Bedford
, Leicester
Leicester
, Market Harborough , Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
, Peterborough
Peterborough
and Rugby . National Express also operates in Northampton, covering routes between major towns and cities in the United Kingdom.

Northampton
Northampton
is the terminus of an arm of the Grand Union Canal . The arm connects to the River Nene and from that to the River Great Ouse and the North Sea
North Sea
. No longer used for freight, the waterway is now popular with anglers and narrowboaters . Principal outlying villages on the canal include Gayton , Blisworth , Braunston
Braunston
and Stoke Bruerne .

Northampton
Northampton
once had a horse-drawn tramway which opened in 1881. The system was extended in stages and taken over by the council in 1897 and named Northampton Corporation Tramways . It was electrified in 1904, but closed in 1934 mainly as a result of competition from motor buses which were introduced in 1929. Two of the original tram shelters are preserved: one at the Racecourse park and another in Kingsthorpe opposite the Cock Hotel.

EDUCATION

The University of Northampton
University of Northampton
is spread across two campuses; Avenue Campus entrance opposite the Racecourse

The first University of Northampton
University of Northampton
was established by royal charter by King Henry III in 1261, and started to rival the universities in Cambridge and Oxford
Oxford
, with their students migrating to the Northampton
Northampton
establishment. This university was dissolved by King Henry III in 1265, in revenge of its students siding with the rebellious barons in the Battle of Northampton
Northampton
(1264). Henry III was also advised by bishops and magnates that it posed a threat to Oxford, and signed a Royal Decree which banned the establishment of a university in Northampton.

This was eventually repealed and the university's name was revived in 2005 when the unconnected University College Northampton, which was founded in 1924, was upgraded to full university status and renamed the University of Northampton
University of Northampton
. This is the only higher education (HE) establishment in the town and offers courses from foundation and undergraduate levels to postgraduate, professional and doctoral qualifications. The university is made of up six schools: Business, Education, Health, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and The Arts. The university is currently spread over two campuses across the town, but a new £330 million development will see the university move to one new waterside campus by the River Nene in the town centre by 2018.

Northampton's only further education (FE) college is Northampton College , one of the largest FE colleges in the South Midlands, which has two campuses across the town, offering vocational courses, GCSEs and A Levels . Moulton College is another FE college just north of Northampton
Northampton
which provides many vocational courses, specialising in land-based subjects, sports and construction. In collaboration with the University of Northampton, both colleges also offer some HE programmes.

There are 50 primary schools and 8 secondary schools in the town. Until 2004, Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
operated a three-tier system in education of lower, middle and upper schools. In 2001, the move to a two-tier system to primary and secondary schools began, aimed at improving educational standards. Some of its successful secondary schools include Northampton School for Boys , which became the top performing comprehensive school in the country in 2007, and Northampton
Northampton
School for Girls , the first school in England to gain Specialist Music College status. An average of 55% of students in Northampton
Northampton
achieved five A*-C grades at GCSE in 2015, above the government's benchmark of 40%. There are also 5 special schools in the town and many independent schools including Bosworth Independent College , Northampton
Northampton
High School and Quinton House School . Overstone Park School , Pitsford School and Spratton Hall School are just north of Northampton.

NOTABLE RESIDENTS

Main article: List of people from Northampton

TWIN TOWNS

Northampton
Northampton
is twinned with:

* Marburg
Marburg
, Hessen
Hessen
, Germany * Poitiers
Poitiers
, Vienne
Vienne
, France

SEE ALSO

* _ Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
portal

* Districts of Northampton
Northampton
* Flooding in Weedon Road, St James and Far Cotton around Easter 1998 * Grade I listed buildings in Northampton
Northampton
* Grade II* listed buildings in Northampton * HMS Laforey_ * Northampton Corporation Tramways * Royal -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

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