Narrow section of North Street, Oundle, looking north
Oundle shown within Northamptonshire
|Population||5,735 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||80 miles (129 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Oundle // is an ancient market town on the River Nene in Northamptonshire, England, with a population at the 2011 census of 5,735. It is situated 68 mi (109 km) north of London and 12 mi (19 km) south-west of Peterborough. The nearest railway station is at Corby, 9.3 mi (15.0 km) west of Oundle.
The Saxon invasion saw the arrival of a tribe called Undalas which possibly meant undivided. It is the death place of St Wilfrid in 709 AD where he had consecrated a church as well as being the location of one of his monasteries. The current St Peter's Church occupies the same site as St Wilfrid's original church.
Saint Cetta or Cett was a 7th-century saint and is the Patron Saint of Oundle. Very little is known of him, but according to the Anglo-Saxon hagiography of the Secgan Manuscript, he was from around 1000AD, buried in the monastery at Oundle near the River Nene, and a chapel to St Cett was built in the 11th century, on the small knoll beyond the end of St Sythes Lane. The presence of this shrine and the market charter, explain much of the growth of Oundle in the 12th century.
As the area became prosperous, wealthy traders set up shops and houses, and guilds were formed. Unlike other settlements in the vicinity, Oundle was unaffected by the Black Death in the mid-14th century.
Oundle had a grammar school since at least 1465, at which Sir William Laxton (Lord Mayor of London) was educated. He founded Laxton Grammar School in 1556, administered by the Worshipful Company of Grocers, from which Oundle School evolved.
In 1743 a group of mutineers from the Black Watch were captured at Ladywood, near Oundle. They had deserted in protest at being sent abroad, instead of patrolling the Highlands, for which the regiment had been raised.
Among the oldest buildings is the Talbot Hotel. This was constructed of timber; it was rebuilt with stone from the ruins of nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Other public houses include the Rose & Crown (a 17th-century inn haunted by the White Cavalier), the Ship Inn (a 14th-century coaching inn), the Angel, the George and the Riverside, which has become derelict.
There are a number of churches. By far the most prominent, with the largest steeple in the district, is St Peter's Church which has the main churchyard. There are also Methodist, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches. However, the Baptist church does not have its own building and holds services on Sunday mornings at Prince William School.
Local schools include a comprehensive school, Prince William School, a middle school, Oundle and Kings Cliff Middle School, and Oundle Primary School rated as "Outstanding" in its most recent Ofsted inspection. The town is also the location of Oundle School, a co-educational boarding independent school with around a thousand pupils, most of whom are boarders.
Culture and community
Oundle hosts a number of annual events, notably:
- The Oundle International Festival (OIF) is an annual music festival and pipe organ school, founded in 1985, with the training of young organists as its core. These summer schools are centred on a Frobenius organ in the Oundle School chapel. A concurrent festival programme for the public was also planned as a recurrent feature.
- The Oundle Festival of Literature also takes place annually.
- The Oundle carnival has taken place since 2009.
- The World Conker Championships have taken place in the nearby village of Ashton on the second Sunday of October since the championship started in 1965.
A farmers' market is held in the Market Place on the second Saturday of every month as well as a local market every Thursday. There is also a park with swings and climbing frames, as well as a skatepark which was built in 2005 and regenerated in 2012. An annual fair and circus is located in the park.
Oundle has many shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants all of which are located in the town centre. It also has two supermarkets: a Co-op and a recently built Waitrose.
Oundle maintains partnerships with the following places:
Oundle is home to two of the three factories producing Fairline Boats. The third site is located Weldon, near Corby. The original factory is at Barnwell Road Marina in Oundle and the newer at the Nene Valley site. The Barnwell Road Marina site is currently being mothballed as the company restructures.
- Ebenezer Prout - a musical theorist born in Oundle
- Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of independent record label 4AD was born nearby and went to school in Oundle
- Louise Mensch - briefly the local Member of Parliament, lives in Oundle
- William Abell - a vintner (wine merchant) born in Oundle
- Richard Dawkins - a scientist educated in Oundle
- Marian Hobbs - former politician (formerly on the staff of Prince William School)
- Billy Bragg - an English alternative rock musician and left-wing activist who wrote material whilst in Oundle in the 1980s, most notably "A New England"
- Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson attended Oundle School as a teenager.
- Office for National Statistics: Oundle CP: Parish headcounts Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Page, William. "A History of the County of Northampton". British History Online. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Cett 1". Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Google Translate". Translate.google.com.au. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Carwyn Hywel Morris. "The concept of territory in the late Anglo-Saxon and early Medieval cult of saints in England" (PDF). Etheses.bham.ac.uk. p. 5. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- [dead link]
- "Cett - oi". Oxfordindex.oup.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Search | Domesday Book". Domesdaymap.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "The Black Watch - The Mutiny". Electricscotland.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Legends of The Black Watch". Electricscotland.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "St Peters Church Oundle". Oundlestpeters.org.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Oundle and Kings Cliffe Middle School". Okcms.org. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- OFSTED. "Inspection Reports". Oundle Primary School. OFSTED. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Welcome to Oundle Festival of Literature". Oundlelitfest.org.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Oundle Carnival". Oundlecarnival.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Oundle Chronicle". Oundlechronicle.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
-  Archived 28 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Andrew G Marshall (1998-09-15). "Revelations; The army made a man of me; Billy Bragg, Acton, 1981 - Arts and Entertainment". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
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