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Living History

Once a regular meeting place for Parliament the county has since witnessed the birth of Richard III, death of Mary Queen of Scots, Battle of Naseby & hatching of the Gunpowder Plot.

  • Built during the reign of King Henry III by Berenger Le Moyne this elegant, large rectangular castle near Oundle was encased by a high curtain wall flanked by huge two storey towers, its walls being over 12 feet thick. During...
  • In July 1469, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as the 'Kingmaker', one time mentor of Edward IV, rebelled against his protege. An army led by the mysterious 'Robin of Redesdale' marched from the north to engage in battle...
  • The Battle of Naseby fought in June 1645 was one of the seminal moments in English history. It was an overwhelming victory for Parliament, and Charles I’s principal army was eliminated. The King’s cabinet and incriminating...
  • Northampton was one of the principal seats of Medieval Royal Government: its castle and administrative centre for the southern part of the kingdom. This accounts for the fact that the trial of Thomas Becket took place here and...
  • In 1290 Eleanor of Castile, the beloved wife of Edward I and mother of his 14 children, died at Harby in Nottinghamshire. The grief-stricken king ordered the building of 12 elegant crosses to mark each of the resting places of...
  • The Grand Union Canal is the UK’s longest canal, from London to Birmingham. It enters Northamptonshire near Cosgrove and takes a north westerly route, leaving the county at Braunston north of Daventry. The canal is well...
  • The Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone in the south part of Northampton is one of three surviving examples. Originally there were 12 elegant crosses, erected by Edward I along the route of the funeral procession of the late queen...
  • Once the most important royal castle in the south midlands, Northampton Castle had a substantial defence as it was surrounded by a huge wall and on its side was an extension of the river Nene. The castle was first built from...
  • Northampton’s Guildhall speaks volumes of the thriving economy and cultural aspirations of the town in the mid 19th century. The building is triumphal and richly decorated, in the Gothic idiom. The architect was one of...
  • You may be surprised to learn that Northampton was once the home to only the third university in the country – but it was shut down by King Henry III because of fears it would cause “no small damage” to the...
  • Also known as the Harringworth Viaduct, the Welland Viaduct crosses the valley of the River Welland between Harringworth in Northamptonshire and Seaton in Rutland. Over one kilometre long, completed in 1878 and with 82 arches...

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