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Get a quote for a Building survey in Northamptonshire

Please click on this link to get a building survey quote in Northamptonshire or have a look at the places of interest in Northamptonshire.

Places of interest in Northamptonshire

Towcester Racecourse
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Lord Hesketh's private estate, Towcester Racecourse is one of the most picturesque racing venues in the country. With an investment of over £7.5 million into the course and its facilities in the last year, Towcester is a course with high aspirations for the future.

Towcester is the oldest town in Northamptonshire.
Its origins can be traced back to the middle stone age and thus it can be said to be as old as any community in Britain .
It appears to have been settled continuously since, as besides the Neolithic remains, there is also evidence of Iron Age burials.

Arrival of the Romans

However it was with the Romans that Towcester became established. Roman Towcester (Lactodorum) was a garrison town on the Watling Street , and the street has played a major role in its history ever since.
The Roman town was encompassed with an impressive wall strengthened at strategic points by brick towers.
Indeed the substantial remains of one of these lasted right up until the 1960s when it was unfortunately demolished to make way for the telephone exchange.
The wall was surrounded by an extensive ditch and earthworks and within its circumference were four gates; two bestriding the Watling Street , an Eastern gate, possibly now surrounded by Bury Mount, and a Western gate guarding the Roman road to Alchester.
All this suggests that what the town contained within was something worth preserving.
Nothing of it can now be found above ground but recent excavations suggest that much still remains.



Corby

Just over 60 years ago, Corby was an unobtrusive stone-built village with a population of only 1,500 - and a main street of cottages and shops, intermingled with several old-fashioned pubs. Rising above this peaceful setting was the beautiful old church of St. John the Baptist which was soon to witness the most startling transformation in its history - the emergence of Corby as the boom town of the 30's and a symbol of the age of steel. Very few of its inhabitants would have envisaged the vast changes which were soon to take place, but in order to appreciate its impact on the surrounding countryside, we must first look at its earlier history.

Corby , or Corbei as it was known in ancient times, has a long ancestry but very little history compared with its illustrious neighbours at Deene Park , Kirby Hall and Rockingham Castle . nevertheless, one of the earliest human relics ever to be unearthed in Northamptonshire, was found in the parish - a skeleton together with a knife or dagger, which both dated to the Bronze Age. The skeleton was subsequently re-interred in the local churchyard, and the weapon taken to the museum at Northampton . The name of the village dates back to the 8th century when a group of Danish invaders, with their leader, Kori, settled there. It thus became known as 'Kori's by' - Kori's settlement. The Viking settlers also established a unique tradition, which would survive the years as part of a later custom, the 'Pole Fair', during which 'riding the stang' would take place.


The area around Corby has always been rich in iron-ore which was excavated and worked before the coming of the Romans, who it is believed, from various finds, had an ironworks there during their occupation of the country. These rich deposits were to be continually used throughout history. Royal furnaces, or 'ferraria' as they were known, were also set up at nearby Geddington and Gretton from the time of Edward the Confessor's reign to that of Henry III, and the Doomsday Book names the 'Manor of Corbei' as an iron producing centre.

The extent of the ironstone deposits in the Corby area became apparent with the coming of the railways in the 19th century when further excavations revealed large ironstone beds. Corby had its own ironstone works in 1910, the plant being taken over by Stewarts and Lloyds in 1920, but it was not until 1933 that construction began to tap the vast reserves under the surface of the surrounding countryside to produce steel, and to manufacture tubes for the world's markets.


The large integrated works soon began to take shape as hundreds of labourers poured into the district to join the construction gangs, with Corby taking on the appearance of a Gold Rush shanty town, rather than a sleepy old English Village . Workers came from all over Britain , and early in 1934 the first contingent of Scottish folk arrived to form a large proportion of the new population. During those eventful days, men had walked from all corners of the country to obtain work, the local public houses being unable to cope with the supply and demand for beer. It was quite a common sight to see Irish labourers washing themselves in the brook after sleeping rough all night under hedges or in old barns.

The first of the new streets to be completed was Bessemer Grove, and about the same time the rebuilt blast furnace was officially lit by Miss Elspeth MacDiarmid, youngest daughter of the company's chairman. Neville chamberlain, the Prime Minister, was taken on a tour of the plant in October of the same year, when it was nearly completed, and in October 1935 , the first steel was tapped from the Bessemer converters. Eventually, the social life of the town began to settle down with new housing and sufficient facilities being provided for the growing population.


The home of drag racing, Santa Pod is known the world over as a major venue for high speed cars and bikes. Holding a selection of events ranging from European Drag Racing Championships to 'bring your own' public race days, the track is always full of the sights, sounds and thrills associated with speed. A great place for an exciting day out!

The eagle-like Red Kite was extinct in Britain by the end of the 19th century. Now, thanks to work by the RSPB and English Nature, it is being slowly re-introduced. In Rockingham Forest there are now around 70 birds and 40 breeding pairs. The Red Kite Visitor Centre, has live video feeds from nests in the forest. Guided walks are also arranged.


Daventry

Daventry was a market town, one of several local centres of trade and administration in the county. It was in Fawsley Hundred and later the Union Workhouse was built there. This still stands. For a time it was Daventry Cottage hospital.
Daventry had 292 houses and about 1600 inhabitants in 1720, 2582 in 1800, 3326 people in 1821, 4565 in 1841 and 4124 in 1861. It is very close to the Warwickshire border.

Some people say Charles I slept in Daventry the night before the Battle of Naseby - which he decisively lost. Certainly his troops were milling around the area that week.

In 1830 its position on the main road artery to Ireland and the North-West meant that 180 coaches a week stopped in the town: 82 to London , 56 to Birmingham ,19 to Liverpool , 7each to Shrewsbury and Holyhead (Irish packet) 4 to Cambridge , 3 to Rugby and 1 to Northampton . There were also numerous local carriers picking up goods for nearby villages. Weedon, about 4 miles away, had a massive barracks and was a major troopship transit point for Ireland . It was on the canal, and in 1824 a convoy of 28 boots of soldiers passed through.
In 1851 half the inhabitants of Daventry were under 25. There were 5 times as many in the 0-9 age group as in the 60-69 group.The oldest was 91. Half were born in Daventry, 600 in nearby villages, and 85% in Northants or Warwickshire. The incomers were mostly English, and professional, but included 36 Irish, 21 Scots and 5 Welsh. 550 people (1 in 10 over 10 years old) were in shoemaking and 214 in domestic service.
Daventry had a full range of traders but the big growth in population was associated with the shoe and boot trade, and with the mechanisation of that trade in the mid 19th century.
Weedon was on the railway line. A spur to Daventry from Weedon opened 1 March 1888 with 6 trains each way per day. The trip took 10 minutes compared with 30 minutes by horsebus and the fare was 8 pence return.
There was an annual Mop Fair on the Market Place the 1st Wednesday in October, also the following Wednesday but this was much quieter and was the day for hiring people. (Kelly's Directory says "3rd Wednesday following Old Michaelmas Day".) There were 13 horse and cattle fairs a year, held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and 27th October. There was also a Cheese Fair on the 2nd Tuesday of April and October.


The 1900 memories says: The Winter Hunt met in the Market Place. Winter had the Muffin Man.A Horse drawn fire- engine was kept in the Moot Hall in the Market Place. A water cart came round on hot summer days, down Sheaf Street and up High Street spraying water on the dusty roads. Figs were eaten on Palm Sunday, warm Hot Cross Buns for breakfast on Good Friday and Easter Sunday saw coloured hard boiled eggs - pink, blue or yellow - and chocolate eggs. Oranges were an Xmas treat.
There were 3 boot and shoe factories - Stead & Simpsons in Church Walk, Rodhouses in Oxford Street and Mountain and Daniels in Warwick Street . Women would fetch the pieces of leather from the factories, sew them together into shoe uppers at home, (mostly by machine by 1900)and return the made uppers to the factory. 1911-12 all schoolchildren to Badby House & Park for the afternoon. There was also horse-racing on Borough Hill.
In 1925 Daventry became home to BBC Radio and one of its engineers left this recollection: "the most suprising things can cause transmitter breakdowns. Mice are especially fond of the insulation of cables. They like the taste of the wax, but when they have eaten through to the wire the result may be a sudden termination of both programme and mouse. In a case like this the tiny saboteur gives its own form of assistance to the engineer trying to spot the trouble. A strong smell of cooking mouse pervades the transmitter concerned and the serarcher has only to trace the scent to its source."
Today the old town has a centre of about eight streets, surrounded by a large area of Victorian housing, and then ringed by dual carriageways, with a mass of postwar building for housing and commerce - Ford had one of its factories here. There is a modern shopping mall, small and pushed through to the High Street. It is still the only town in that part of the county, and a local centre, but nowadays most of the traffic is on the M1 about 4 miles NW.

 

 

 

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