Home

British Place Names

A comprehensive online gazetteer

Home » Northamptonshire » Northampton, Northamptonshire - local map, administrative data, historical information and reader comments

Northampton, Northamptonshire

Local area map loading...

Northampton, Northamptonshire

Northampton Listen/nɔrˈθæmptən/ is a large town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. It is the county town of Northamptonshire with an estimated population of 212,100 (2011 census), making it 35th largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Situated about 67 miles north-west of London and around 50 miles south-east of Birmingham, Northampton stands on the River Nene. Original human settlement in the area dates back to the 6th century.
Administrative CountyNorthamptonshire
Traditional CountyNorthamptonshire
OS GridSP7561
OS Settlement ClassificationTown
RegionEast Midlands
CountryEngland
Police AuthorityNorthamptonshire
 

Other names by which Northampton, Northamptonshire has been known in the past

Giles St ~ Hamtune ~ Northhampton ~ St Giles ~ Hantone ~ Northantone

Northampton, Northamptonshire in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)

Northampton, parl. and mun. bor., and capital of Northamptonshire, on river Nen, 21 miles NW. of Bedford and 67' miles NW. of London by rail - mun. bor., 1342 ac., pop. 51,881; parl. bor., 2406 ac., pop. 57,544; 3 Banks, 7 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. During Saxon times the appellation of the place was Hamtune, Northafendon, &c., while in the Domesday Book it appears as Northaneton. The distinguishing prefix "North" was adopted to prevent confusion with other places having similar names - e.g., Southampton. The town has a high degree of historical interest. In 921 it was a possession of the Danes, by whom it was burnt in 1010. After the Conquest it was a royal residence; and, beginning with 1179, was the meeting place of several parliaments, one of which ratified the "Treaty of Northampton," which acknowledged the independence of Scotland (1328). Henry VI. was defeated and taken prisoner here in the sanguinary battle of the 10th July 1460. The old castle and walls, dating from the llth century, were demolished in 1662. Objects of considerable interest to antiquarians are the Knights Templars' church, one of the four round churches in England, and a beautiful Eleanor cross. All Saints Church was rebuilt (1680) by Wren, after being burnt in the great fire which nearly destroyed the town in 1675. The staple trade of Northampton is the mfr. of boots and shoes, an industry which has made extraordinary progress during recent years, and now shows an enormous output of work. Leather mfr. is largely carried on; also brewing, malting, iron and brass founding, and paper making. The town has a canal from the Nen, uniting with the Grand Junction system. The bor. returns 2 members to Parl.

Northampton, Northamptonshire in "A Topographical Dictionary of England" edited by Samuel Lewis (1848)

NORTHAMPTON, a borough and market-town, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Spelhoe, S. division of the county of Northampton, of which it is the chief town, 66 miles (N. W. by N.) from London, on the road to Leicester; containing 21,242 inhabitants. This place, from its situation to the north of the river Nene (termed by Camden the Avon, and more anciently known as the Aufona), is by some antiquaries supposed to have been called North Aufonton, of which they consider its present name to be a contraction; by others it is said to have been known to the Saxons as Hamtune, and to have received the prefix North to distinguish it from other towns of the same name. It is unquestionably a place of antiquity, and must have attained a considerable degree of importance prior to the division of the kingdom into shires, from its having given name to that in which it is situated. In the reign of Edward the Elder it was in the possession of the Danes, who in 921 made it the principal station of their forces, and marched hence to the siege of Towcester. In 1010, it was again attacked by the Danes, who burnt the town and laid waste the adjacent country. During the insurrection of the Northumbrians against Tosti, son of Earl Godwin, in 1064, the insurgents, under Earl Morcar, whom they had chosen for their leader, marched to this place, where they committed excessive outrages, burning the houses of the inhabitants, many of whom they massacred, and carrying off great quantities of cattle, and several hundred prisoners. Harold, afterwards king, being sent against the insurgents, encountered them near the town; but listening to their just representations of the tyranny and oppression of Tosti, he entered into an accommodation with them, and procured for Morcar a confirmation of his assumed authority.

Seal and Arms.

Your comments about Northampton, Northamptonshire

What do you know about Northampton, Northamptonshire? Give us the benefit of your local knowledge and opinions here!

comments powered by Disqus