|— Large town and non-metropolitan district —|
|Northampton Guildhall, built 1861—4 by E. W. Godwin|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Admin HQ||Northampton Guildhall|
|• Governing body||Northampton Borough Council|
|• Council Leader||David Mackintosh|
|• Borough Mayor||Roger Conroy|
|• MPs:||Brian Binley (Northampton South)
Michael Ellis (Northampton North)
Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire)
|• Total||31.18 sq mi (80.76 km2)|
|Population (2011 est.)|
|• Total||212,500 (Ranked 73rd)|
|• Density||6,810/sq mi (2,631/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||86.1% White
6.4% South Asian
3.9% Black British
2.1% Mixed Race
2.3% Chinese or Other
|Time zone||GMT (UTC0)|
|• Summer (DST)||BST (UTC+1)|
|ONS code||34UF (ONS)
Northampton i// is a large town, non-metropolitan district and the county town of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands region of England. It lies on the River Nene, situated about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and around 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham. Northampton is the most populous district in England that is not a unitary authority with a population of 212,100 (2011 census).
Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. During the Middle Ages, Northampton Castle and the University of Northampton were both established and Northampton was granted its first town charter. The town was the site of two medieval battles in 1264 and 1460 and also suffered two major fires, including the Great Fire of Northampton (1675). During the 18th century, Northampton grew rapidly with its industrial development in footwear and leather manufacture. Following the creation of the Grand Union Canal and arrival of the railways in the 19th century, Northampton became an industrial centre, particularly noted for its manufacture of boots and shoes.
After World War II, growth was limited until its designation as a New Town in the late 1960s. The population is still expanding and plans for the regeneration of its town centre and borough are under way. In common with much of the United Kingdom, industrial employment has fallen, with new jobs tending to be in public administration, financial services and distribution.
Present-day Northampton is the result of a series of settlements that date back from remains found in the local area from the Bronze Age, particularly where present-day district Briar Hill is now located. There is evidence of Neolithic encampment within a large circular earthworth, where local Neolithic farmers assembled for tribal ceremonies and seasonal events from approximately 3500 BC to 2000 BC.
During the British 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) dates back to around 400 BC. It was the focal point of a tribal group, and the stronghold of a Celtic nobleman. In the Roman period, a small rural town also existed in the present-day district of Duston. Remains of Roman pottery were found at Duston.
In 750 AD, The Great Hall, the residence of a local Anglo-Saxon prince, was constructed in timber just west of St. Peter's Church in Marefair. St Peter's was a monastic church then, and its priests travelled out into the surrounding countryside. This central complex of buildings became known as Hamm tun which, in Anglo-Saxon, means "the village by the well-watered meadow" (by the River Nene) or the "main settlement" as opposed to its outlying settlements. During the Saxon period, it is believed that the Northampton area was a site of some significance in the kingdom of Mercia, possibly as an administrative and/or religious centre.
After the Danes conquered Mercia, the Northampton area 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. In 913, Hamm tun was for the first time mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle when Saxon King Edward the Elder recaptured it from the Danes. The settlement was later called North Hamm tun, possibly to distinguish it from Southampton; this gradually evolved into Northampton. The name Northampton first appeared in writing in 914. Although Northampton was recaptured and burned by the Danes in 1010, it soon recovered. The Domesday Book (1086) recorded the town as having a population of about 1500 residents, living in 300 houses. Northampton was a place of trade where craftsmen worked and where goods were bought and sold at market.
Following the arrival of the Normans in the 11th century, Northampton grew rapidly in the 12th and 13th centuries. Simon de Senlis, who had arrived with William the Conqueror, became the first Earl of Northampton. In 1089, he founded Northampton Castle and the town walls to safeguard the town, as well as various churches and religious houses. The original defence line of the walls is preserved in today's street pattern (Bridge St, The Drapery, Bearward St and Scarletwell Street). The town walls enclosed an area of 245 acres (99 ha) (100 hectares), making it the third largest town in England. Its location in the centre of England made it a valuable strategical point for a government; Northampton and its castle became an important royal establishment, with the Parliament of England, trials (including that of Thomas Becket in 1164), tournaments and feasts being held there. Other buildings like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (in 1100) St Andrews Priory (in 1100) and Delamere Abbey (in 1145) were also erected.
The town was originally controlled by officials acting for the King who collected taxes and upheld the law. This changed in 1189 when King Richard I granted Northampton's 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 residents of the town join him as a council to assist him."
In the 13th century, Northampton had weekly markets held in the present-day Market Place. There were also annual fairs in Northampton, attracting buyers and sellers from all over the region. The main industry in Northampton was making wool, where it was woven and dyed. The importance of the wool industry is shown by street names such Mercers Row (a mercer was a dealer in fine cloth), The Drapery and Woolmonger Street. It is believed that a large network of medieval tunnels remains under the centre of Northampton, around All Saints' Church.
King John's oppression of his subjects brought civil war. The barons besieged Northampton Castle, a royal stronghold. In retaliation, the royalist forces destroyed a large part of the town. When the forces of King Henry III overran the supporters of Simon de Montfort, civil war broke out again. The first Battle of Northampton took place at the site of Northampton Castle in 1264. King Henry III and Edward attacked with a large army, pillaging the town and taking prisoners.
In May 1328 the Treaty of Northampton was signed – being a peace treaty between the English and the Scots in which Edward III recognised the authority of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland and betrothed Bruce's still infant son to the king's sister Joanna.
In 1349, the Black Death pandemic raged in Northampton. It was the worst epidemic in history, causing devastation. The town's population was reduced from 3,000 to 1,500. Plague was also very severn in the town between March and September 1638 where 533 people died, a seventh of the population.
In 1460, a second Battle of Northampton took place during the 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.
When the English Civil War broke out in 1642, the Earl of Northampton backed King Charles I, but the people of Northampton supported Parliament and supplied boots to Oliver Cromwell's army. In 1643, Prince Rupert attacked Northampton with approximately 2,000 men, but was beaten back at the North Gate. Decisive battle was fought at nearby Naseby in 1945. After the War, King Charles II ordered the destruction of the town wall and partial demolition of its castle in 1662 as retribution for supporting the Parliamentarians rather than Charles I's Cavaliers.
The town was further destroyed by the Great Fire of Northampton in 1675. In a few hours, 700 families were made homeless and three quarters of the town was destroyed. The All Saints Church was ruined and the castle was deserted. A previous fire in 1516 also devastated much of Northampton.
Northampton was then rebuilt around The Market Square at the centre as a spacious and well-planned town. In 1742, history was made when the world's first water-driven cotton mill was set up in an old corn mill in Northampton. The Nene Navigation Company also made the River Nene navigable from King's Lynn as far up as Northampton in 1762, allowing cheap transportation of coal and other goods to the town.
By the end of the 18th century, Northampton had become a major centre of footwear and leather manufacture. The prosperity of the town was greatly aided by demand for footwear caused by the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In his account of travels A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain (1724–27), Daniel Defoe described Northampton as "the handsomest town in all this part of England."
Northampton's growth was accelerated in the 19th century. In 1800, the population was approximately 7,000; it was 87,000 a century later. By 1850, the town had grown beyond the old town walls.
In 1815, the Grand Union Canal reached the town, giving the town a direct link to the Midlands coalfields and to Birmingham, Manchester and London. The first railway to be built into Northampton was a branch from the main London-Birmingham line at Blisworth to Peterborough through 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 by the site of the historic Northampton Castle, and later St. John's Street station in 1872. The 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 Castle, the remains of which were purchased and demolished in 1880 to make way for the goods shed. Both stations at Bridge Street and St John's Street closed in the mid 1900s, leaving only Castle station serving the town. It is now known simply as Northampton railway station.
Growth after 1900 slowed until the 1960s. The shoe industry declined and other employment was slow to arrive. Between the 1920s and 1930s, council houses were built in the east, north and south of the town. The Borough boundary, first extended in 1900, expanded again in 1932. From the 1920s until 1975 the town had its own power station supplying electricity to areas as far away as Wolverton.
In 1959, the M1 motorway was opened to the south-west of the town. Although growth was slower than planned, between the 1960s and 1970s, Northampton town centre changed with development of a new bus station, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, flats and hotels. The population grew to 100,000 by 1961, and 130,000 by 1971.
Northampton was designated a New Town in 1968, and the Northampton Development Corporation (NDC) was set up to substantially redevelop the town in partnership with the local council. Housing expansion was mainly to the east and south of the town centre mainly to accommodate the overflow poplutaion of new residents from the London area. The rail link and busy M1 motorway helped the growth as a commuter town for London.
When the NDC wound up in 1985 after 20 years, another 20,000 homes and 40,000 residents had been added to the town. The borough boundaries also changed following the abolition of Northampton parliamentary constituency in 1974. Northampton was reconstituted as a non-metropolitan district which also covered areas outside the former borough boundaries but inside the designated New Town.
In 1998, severe flooding hit the districts of Far Cotton and St. James areas of the town on Good Friday. Two people were killed and thousands of homes were affected.
In 2006, Northampton became a government expansion zone with new growth promoted by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) an unelected quango. Expansion began in 2007 at Upton and St Crispins spreading west towards junction 16 of the M1.
A series of regeneration schemes are currently taking place across the town. Some have been completed, including the opening of the Radlands Plaza Northampton 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. Current projects include the building of a new bus interchange, redevelopment of the current railway station, improvement of waterside offices and renovation of the Grovesnor Shopping Centre.
The town established the Northampton parliamentary constituency in 1295, which returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Spencer Perceval was elected as MP for the original Northampton 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 shot him dead in the House of Commons lobby in 1812. By the late 19th century, Northampton had acquired a reputation for political radicalism. In 1880, radical non-conformist Charles Bradlaugh was elected as second Member of Parliament of the original Northampton constituency. During a previous parliamentary 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 member.
The original Northampton constituency was abolished for the February 1974 general election, when it was replaced by the new constituencies of Northampton North and Northampton South, which elect one member each. These boundaries changed further for the 2010 general election when the South Northamptonshire parliamentary constituency was created, covering the town's most southern districts. Northampton is currently represented by three Conservative MPs: Brian Binley (Northampton South), Michael Ellis (Northampton North) and Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire). Northampton is included in the East Midlands constituency for elections to the European Parliament. It currently elects five members using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
The borough of Northampton makes up all 10 electoral wards in Northampton North (Abington, Boughton Green, Eastfield, Headlands, Kingsley, Kingsthorpe, Lumbertubs, Parklands, St David, Southfields and Thorplands), all 10 wards in Northampton South (Billing, Castle, Delapre, Ecton Brook, New Duston, Old Duston, St Crispin, St James, Spencer and Weston), and 3 of the 28 wards in South Northamptonshire (East Hunsbury, West Hunsbury and Nene Valley).
Local government 
Northampton was granted its first town charter in 1189 by King Richard I and was permitted the appointment of a Mayor in 1215 by King John. Northampton first existed as an ancient borough in medieval Britain before being one of the 178 boroughs to be reformed under the Municipal Corporations Act in 1835. It was then recognised as a county borough of 6 wards from 1898, 9 wards from 1900 and 12 wards from 1911. Northampton was granted modern borough status in 1974. Northampton is also the most populous urban district in England not to be administered as a unitary authority (even though several smaller districts are unitary), a status it failed to obtain in the 1990s local government reform.
The borough of Northampton is administered by Northampton Borough Council (NBC) which has been controlled by the Conservative Party since 2011. The headquarters of NBC are in the Guildhall, a large building in the town's centre. NBC is made up of a Leader, Mayor, Cabinet and a Full Council of 45 elected councillors. The leader and cabinet model of decision-making, similar to national government, has been adopted by the borough council. For electoral purposes, NBC divides the town into 33 wards. The political composition of the borough council is currently 25 Conservative councillors, 16 Labour councillors, and 4 Liberal Democrat councillors. The next election will take place in May 2015.
The borough of Northampton, the most populous of the seven local authority districts within Northamptonshire, is also administered by Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). The headquarters of NCC are near those of the NBC at the County Hall in Northampton's town centre. NCC also has a leader and cabinet model of decision-making and has been controlled by the Conservative Party since 2005. For electoral purposes, NCC divides the county into 57 wards; Northampton takes 17 of them. The political composition of the Northampton borough within the county council is 7 Conservative councillors, 5 Liberal Democrat councillors, 4 Labour councillors and 1 UKIP councillor. The most recent election took place in May 2013. There are also 9 registered parish councils within the borough of Northampton.
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 service 
NHS 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. St Andrew's Hospital, the flagship mental health facility of St Andrew's Healthcare, is also based in Northampton. It has served Northampton since 1838, providing specialist services for people with mental illness, learning disability, autism, brain injury and dementia. The East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust is responsible for the provision of statutory emergency medical services in Northampton.
||Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham||Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham||Kettering, Corby|
|Daventry, Long Buckby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester||Earls Barton, Wellingborough, Rushden|
|Towcester, Brackley, Banbury||Milton Keynes, Aylesbury||Bedford, Dunstable, Luton, London|
As with the rest of the British Isles, Northampton experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The official Metoffice Weather Station for Northampton is the Moulton Park Weather Station at the University of Northampton. Situated at an elevation of around 130 m (427 ft) above sea level compared to 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 34.4c (93.9f) was recorded on 19 July 2006. The absolute minimum is −16.8c (1.8f), 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 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 −9.6c(14.7f) 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|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Average low °C (°F)||1.1
|Precipitation mm (inches)||54.0
|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|
|Climate data for Northampton Moulton Park, elevation 127m, 1971–2000. Rainfall data Althorp, elevation 122m, 1841–1987|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||54.7
|Source #1: YR.NO|
|Source #2: WorldClimate|
Northampton was a major centre of shoemaking and other leather industries, although only specialist shoemaking companies such as Edward Green Shoes, Crockett & Jones, Church's and Trickers, formerly located in nearby Earls Barton, survive. A large number of old shoe factories remain, mostly now converted to offices or accommodation, some of which are surrounded by terraced houses built for factory workers.
Northampton's main private-sector employers are now in distribution and finance rather than manufacturing, and include Avon Products, Barclaycard, Blacks Leisure Group, Nationwide Building Society (Anglia Building Society was formed by amalgamation of Northampton Town and County Building Society with Leicestershire Building Society in 1966 and subsequently merged with the Nationwide in 1987), Panasonic, Travis Perkins, Coca Cola, Schweppes, National Grid, Texas Instruments and Carlsberg. In 1974, Princess Benedikte of Denmark opened Northampton’s Carlsberg brewery, the first outside Denmark. The University of Northampton is also a major employer, as is St Andrew's Healthcare, a national mental health charity whose St Andrew's Hospital campus in Northampton is by far the UK's largest psychiatric hospital.
Northampton has one of Britain's largest market squares which dates from 1235. There are also two shopping centres in the town centre: the Grosvenor Centre, which was built in the 1970s, and Market Walk (previously Peacock Palace), which was constructed in 1988. Outside the centre, Weston Favell Shopping Centre, built in the 1970s, is in the eastern district. Each shopping centre has a range of high street shops, department stores and many smaller individual speciality shops. There are also various out-of-town retail and leisure parks like Riverside and Sixfields.
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 Leisure Trust have 4 leisure centres across Northampton: Danes Camp, Lings Forum, Mounts Baths, and its newest addition 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 Borough Council, there are a total of 170 parks and open spaces around Northampton, which altogether span around 1,880 acres (761 ha). The two biggest parks are 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 as are nearby Becket's Well and Thomas á Becket pub), Bradlaugh Fields (named after the Northampton MP Charles Bradlaugh), Dallington Park, Delapré Park, Eastfield Park, Hunsbury Hill (which is built around an 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 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, will debut in the summer of 2013.
The Royal & Derngate theatre complex, situated on Guildhall Road in the town centre, is the main venue for arts and entertainment in Northampton. The Deco, situated in Abington Square in the town centre, is a 900-seat theatre and conference centre, which shares it Art Deco building with the Northampton Jesus Centre mainly used by the voluntary and charitable sector. It was restored by the Jesus Army as part of their Jesus Centre project. The Deco used to be an a cinema in the 1960s; 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 Playhouse and the Cripps Theatre, which is part of Northampton School for Boys.
The two commercial cinemas in 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 being joined to the side of the Royal & Derngate complex, is scheduled to open 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 Legendendary Labour Club, Mollys, O'Malley's, O'Neill's, The Old White Hart, The Penny Whistle and The Wig & Pen. Charles Bradlaugh, the Picturedrome and the Black Bottom Club, which are all part of the Richardson Group, are also popular.
Popular bars in the town centre include Auctioneers, Balestra, Baroque, The Bear, Borjia, The Boston, Club Base, Embargo, Faces, Fever, The Fish Inn, The Goose on Two Streets, Groove, Hakamou, King Billy, Lost, The Mailcoach, The Moon on the Square, Momo, NBs, The Old Bank, Revolution and Sazerac. There are also various bars, restaurants and cafés along the Wellingborough Road on the way into Northampton town centre. Northampton also has an Aspers Casino and a Gala Casino as well as a Beacon Bingo on the outskirts of the town centre.
Libraries, museums and galleries 
In addition to the Grade II listed Central Northamptonshire Library in the town centre that was erected in 1910, there are eight other public libraries that are dotted across Northampton — in Abington, Duston, Far Cotton, Hunsbury, Kingsthorpe, Moulton, St James and Wootton — which are all controlled by the Northamptonshire County Council.
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery 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 historical museum in the former Abington Park house.
The Northampton Arts Collective is homed on a four-storey building entitled NN Contemporary Art on Guidhall Road, opposite the Northampton Museum and next to the Royal & Derngate theatre complex. They relocated from the Old Fishmarket which was demolished to make way for the new bus interchange.
The Avenue Gallery is at the Avenue campus of Northampton University. Northamptonshire runs an annual county-wide Open Studios event in which artists' studios are open to the public. The university also spent £3m on its Portfolio Innovation Centre in early 2011. It now houses around 60 creative freelancers, digital media developers, and designers.
The town is home to Premiership rugby union club 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 Old Scouts RFC who have produced Ben Cohen and Steve Thompson amongst others.
League Two football club Northampton 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 Spencer; Northampton Sileby Rangers; and Northampton Old Northamptonian Chenecks.
Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, known in limited overs cricket as "The Steelbacks" (a reference to the 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 currently plays in Division 2 of the LV= County Championship, 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 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 Herald & Post (on Thursdays). These free papers mostly consist of advertising and have limited news. The Mercury is one of the oldest newspapers still in circulation first published in 1720. It is the fifth-oldest such newspaper in the UK and the tenth-oldest such in the world.
Three radio stations are based in the town, two of which broadcast county-wide. BBC Radio Northampton broadcasts news, topical items and some music, switching to a regional network after 7 pm. A commercial station, Heart Four Counties (formerly Northants 96 and Heart Northampton), broadcasts mostly popular music. A community radio station, Inspiration FM was awarded a 5 year licence on 24 July 2008 and officially launched on Saturday 24 July 2010.
Regional TV news is broadcast on the BBC East (terrestrial and satellite) with a main programme, BBC Look East, and on ITV's Anglia News. From 1997–2004, Northants TV (NTV) on cable and later terrestrial showed local ads, sport, and limited local activities.
Northampton has been used as a location for various television programmes and films. The town was the location for the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances from 1990 until 1995. Parts of the 2005 film Kinky Boots were also made in Northampton and featured shots of the statue outside the Grosvenor Centre in the town centre and inside RE Tricker's shoe factory in St. Michaels Road representing the original factory in Earls Barton. The film has since been turned into a musical Kinky Boots, maintaining its Northampton backdrop, which premiered on Broadway in 2013 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards. In addition, the third series of BBC Three's Bizarre ER was filmed at Northampton General Hospital.
Notable buildings 
Northampton's oldest standing building, the Church of 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 of Northampton, Simon de Senlis, who had just returned from the First Crusade. It is based on a plan of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Simon de Sensil also founded Delapre Abbey, which was previously a former Cluniac nunnery, the County Records Office and site of the second Battle of Northampton.
The current All Saints' Church was built on the site of a great Norman church, All Hallows, which was almost completely destroyed by the 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.
Other notable church buildings include Northampton Cathedral, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton and seat of the Bishop of Northampton; St Edmunds, which closed in 1978 and was demolished in 2007 (its bells are now in St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington); St Giles Church; St Matthew's in Phippsville, which was built between 1891-4, has a Henry Moore sculpture of the Madonna.
Northampton Castle (now only remaining as a rebuilt postern gate in a wall outside the railway station and the hill on which it stood) was for many years one of the country's most important castles. The country's parliament sat here many times and Thomas Becket was imprisoned here until he escaped.
Queen Eleanor's body rested here on its way to London – and the nearby Eleanor cross in Hardingstone, now part of the Delapre area of the town, commemorates this. Out of the twelve originally erected, this cross is one of only three left including others at Geddington and Waltham. The original top of the monument widely thought to have been an ornate cross has apparently been destroyed and replaced several times from as early as 1460. The last cross is reported to have been knocked off by a low flying aircraft from a nearby airfield during the Second World War. However The Friends of Delapré Abbey charity is raising funds for the restoration of the cross in their tea room inside the abbey. The Cross is also referred to in Daniel Defoe's a "Tour through the whole island of Great Britain" where he describes the Great Fire of Northampton, "...a townsman being at Queen's Croos upon a hill on the south side of the town, about two miles off, saw the fire at one end of the town then newly begun, and that before he could get to the town it was burning at the remotest end, opposite where he first saw it."
St Andrew's Hospital, which opened 1838, and its new building William Wake House, is the largest neo-classical structure in England since the Ministry of Defence. Northampton & County Club, which was established in 1873, was also the old county hospital before becoming a private members' club; the cellars are medieval. Northampton Guildhall was constructed mostly in the 1860s in Victorian Gothic architecture, and extended in the 1990s. It is built on the site of the old town hall.
78 Derngate is a Grade II* listed Georgian Town House remodelled by 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 to came up with the name "Northampton Lighthouse" as 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. Carlsberg has its UK brewery in Northampton.
The Greyfriars bus station has served the town since the 1970s. In the 2000s, it was featured on Channel 4's Demolition programme as the ugliest transport station in the UK and worthy of demolition. Plans for its demolition are currently in place and work on a new bus station is underway.
Northampton is near junctions 15, 15a and 16 of the M1 motorway which connects Northampton with London at its most southern point and Leeds at its most northern. Both the A45 and A43 link 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 Loop of the West Coast Main Line, and has regular services southbound to London and northbound to Birmingham and Crewe provided by London Midland. Virgin Trains also provide infrequent fast services to and from London and Birmingham only at the extremes of the day.
Sywell Aerodrome is the nearest airfield which has recently been upgraded with a 1000 metre concrete runway, however it only caters for private flying, flight training and corporate flights. For international links, the East Midlands Airport and Luton Airport are quickly accessible by the M1; 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 First and Stagecoach from the Greyfriars bus station. First only serves areas within the town whilst Stagecoach provides travel to outlying villages and towns within the county, making good links to Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Rushden and Wellingborough. They also go as far afield as Bedford, Leicester, Market Harborough, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Peterborough and Rugby. National Express also operates in Northampton, covering routes between major towns and cities in the UK.
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. No longer used for freight, the waterway is now popular with anglers and narrowboaters. Principal outlying villages on the canal include Gayton, Blisworth, Braunston and Stoke Bruerne.
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.
Northampton's first university was established by royal charter by Henry III in 1261, and started to rival Cambridge and Oxford, with their students migrating to the Northampton establishment. However, when advised by bishops and magnates that Northampton was a threat to Oxford, Henry III dissolved the university in 1265, 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 was upgraded to full university status and renamed the 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.
Northampton's main 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 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 9 secondary schools and 50 primary schools in the town. 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 School for Girls, the first school in England to gain Specialist Music College status. Until 2004, 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. There are also 5 special schools dotted across Northampton. Northampton's many independent schools include Bosworth Independent College, Great Houghton School, Maidwell Hall, Northampton High School, Overstone Park School, Pitsford School, Quinton House School and Spratton Hall School.
Notable residents 
- Will Alsop architect, was born, raised, and studied for his Foundation degree in the town. Designed the Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto and North Greenwich tube station on the London Underground Jubilee Line
- Toby Anstis, TV and radio (Heart FM) presenter
- Dallas Campbell, TV presenter, studied Drama and English at the University of Northampton between 1989~1992
- Judy Carne, actress, born Joyce Botterill 27 April 1939 in the town.
- Alan Carr, comedian, attended what is now Weston Favell School, but was not born locally. His father Graham Carr managed Northampton Town FC
- Andrew Collins journalist and broadcaster, grew up in the town and wrote about it in his memoir Where Did It All Go Right?
- Delia Derbyshire (deceased), who produced the original Doctor Who theme tune, spent her final years in the town
- Marcia Matilda Falkender, Baroness Falkender, formerly Marcia Williams, private secretary to Prime Minister Harold Wilson was educated at Northampton High School for Girls
- Anne Fine – Author of Madame Doubtfire attended Northampton High School for Girls
- Andy Hamilton, Autumnwatch forager and author of Booze for Free was born and grew up in Northampton.
- 'Whispering' Bob Harris was born in the town
- Mark Haddon, novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, was born in the town
- Joan Hickson, who played Miss Marple, comes from Kingsthorpe
- Ruaridh Jackson, who plays rugby union for Glasgow Warriors and Scotland, was born in the town
- Lesley Joseph Birds of a Feather actress grew up in the town
- Robert Llewellyn, actor, (Kryten from Red Dwarf) was born here and lived at 47 Booth Rise until the age of 13
- Tim Minchin comedian, actor and musician was born here
- Alan Moore, writer of V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Voice of the Fire, a fictionalised history of the town, is a lifelong resident
- James Morrison singer/songwriter lived in the town for 18 months and went to Kingsthorpe Middle School
- Nanette Newman, actress and author, wife of Bryan Forbes was born here
- Anna Murby, former BBC radio presenter attended Campion School, Bugbrooke
- Des O'Connor, television presenter and singer, evacuated to the town during WWII and briefly played for Northampton Town FC
- Myrea Pettit, fantasy artist of fairies, flowers and butterflies, learned her craft in the county
- Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves lived for a number of years at the old rectory in Cogenhoe
- Derek Redmond, Olympic runner, was born and raised here and attended Roade Comprehensive School, now Roade Sports College, where the sports hall is named after him
- Norman Smiley, professional wrestler, was born here
- Matt Smith, actor, who plays the current Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who . He attented Northampton School for Boys
- Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Spencer) is buried at Althorp, the country estate of Earl Spencer where Charles Spencer, the current and 9th Earl Spencer (b.1964) is her brother. In 1989, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles & Diana, made an official visit to Northampton and Diana was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough. The Royal Pioneer Corps from the former Simpson Barracks, which were located at Wootton in the south of the town, stood guard of honour on the day. There is a bronze plaque in her memory on the outside of the Guildhall 1992 extension
- Graeme Swann, cricketer was born in Northampton and played for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club from 1998–2004 before moving to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. He currently plays in both the England Test and One Day International teams
- Michael Underwood, TV presenter, lives in the town and attended what is now Weston Favell School
- Marc Warren, played Danny Blue in the BBC's Hustle series, was born in Kingsthorpe
- Jo Whiley, a former BBC Radio 1 presenter, now presenting on BBC Radio 2, attended Campion School, Bugbrooke
- Stuart Pearson Wright, award winning artist, was born here in 1975
- Robert Adams Sculptor and designer born in the Far Cotton area of the town
- William Alwyn, composer born in the town
- Sir Malcolm Arnold composer
- George Baker (topographer)
- Margaret Bondfield Labour MP for Northampton in 1923, first woman Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom and one of the first three female Labour MPs
- John de Bothby, former Lord Chancellor of Ireland, spent his last years as vicar of the church of The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton c.1380.
- Elizabeth Bowen, 20th century Anglo-Irish writer, lived here after her marriage
- Charles Bradlaugh radical MP and member for the town
- Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) a puritan poet later based in Massachusetts
- Alban Butler (1710–1773) the author of Lives of the Saints
- John Clare, the poet, was detained in Northampton County Lunatic Asylum, now St Andrew's Hospital, and remained until his death in 1864
- Francis Crick, scientist, born in the town in 1916. With James D. Watson discovered the structure of DNA and Nobel Prize winner. In December 2005, a public sculpture called Discovery by Lucy Glendinning was erected in Abington Street as a memorial to him
- Frank Dickens, biochemist best known for his work on the pentose phosphate pathway which produces NADPH, born in the town 15 December 1899
- Philip Doddridge (1702–1751) was an English Nonconformist leader, educator, and hymnwriter.
- Benjamin Franklin's family is from Ecton, just east of Northampton
- Errol Flynn acted in the Northampton Repertory Theatre 1933–34
- Violet Gibson, would-be assassin of Benito Mussolini, is buried in Kingsthorpe
- James Harrington (1611–1677), philosopher and author of "Oceana", was born at nearby Upton Hall
- James Hervey 18th century philosopher.
- Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat and other works, died here in 1927
- Spencer Perceval was a local MP and Prime Minister. Shot in the House of Commons by assassin John Bellingham in 1812
- Pickering Phipps Brewer and local MP
- Edmund Rubbra composer born in the town
- Charles ("C.T.") Studd Victorian cricketer and pioneer missionary who played in the first Ashes test, was born at Spratton
- Walter Tull, Northampton Town FC player who became Britain's first black army officer in the First World War.
- VV Brown, artist-songwriter-producer
- New Cassettes, indie rock band formed in 2005
- The Departure, rock band who have gone on to gain mainstream success
- Pat Fish, leader of the Jazz Butcher
- Rebecca Hunter singer from pop group allSTARS*
- James Chapman, Northampton-based Mercury-nominated musician
- Moom, progressive rock band formed in 1992
- Medium 21, alternative rock band formed in 1999
- Faye Tozer, singer from pop group Steps
Related towns 
Northampton is twinned with:
Northampton is also a sister town of:
- Northampton, Maryland, United States
- Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
- Northampton, New York, United States
- Northampton, North Carolina, United States
- Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States
- Northampton, Virginia, United States
See also 
- Districts of Northampton
- St Peter's Church, Northampton
- HMS Laforey
- Flooding in Weedon Road, St James and Far Cotton around Easter 1998
- Cllr David Mackintosh's Profile on the NBC website Accessed 26 November 2012
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- "Climate Normals 1981-2010". Met Office. November 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Climate Normals 1971–2000". YR.NO. August 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
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- Church's English Shoes. Church-footwear.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
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- '' 'Avon New European HQ to Open Autumn 2009' '' Northampton Chronicle & Echo report. Northamptonchron.co.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
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- Extract from Building Societies Yearbook 2009/10 (p.127) Building Societies Association (Retrieved 17 November 2009)
- English Partnerships. English Partnerships. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
- BBC: Princess Benedikte of Denmark visits Carlsberg brewery http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-19085817
- Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopaedia (2000 paperback edition; first published 1992). London: Virgin Publishing, London W6 9HA. pp. 9 and 776. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
- Avenue Gallery[dead link]
- Open Studios. Open Studios. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
- The Portfolio Innovation Centre. Portfoliocentre.co.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
- Northampton Old Scouts RFC. Nosrfc.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
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- Sywell Aerodrome – new concrete runway to open. Northamptonchron.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "Trams". Far Cotton History Group. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- "Five-star performance by NSB's A-level students". Newspaper (Chronicle & Echo). 14 August 2008. Archived from the original on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
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- Anglian TV's Celebrity Going Home: Robert Llewellyn (2004)
- Northampton Chronicle & Echo 16 January 2009. Northamptonchron.co.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
- "BBC – Doctor Who – The Official Site". BBC. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "BBC – Doctor Who – News Story". BBC. 3 January 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
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- "Royal Pioneer Corps, guard of honour for visit of Prince & Princess of Wales, 1989, when Diana received Freedom of the Borough". Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- Sculpture celebrates DNA pioneers BBC News, 13 December 2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Northampton|
- Northampton Borough Council
- Northamptonshire County Council
- Love Northampton
- The University of Northampton
- Northampton College
- Northampton General Hospital
- Northampton Chronicle & Echo
- 1950s Ordnance Survey Maps of the town and the website of 1950s Delapre resident now living in New York