South Northamptonshire

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South Northamptonshire District
Shown within Northamptonshire
Shown within Northamptonshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast Midlands
Administrative countyNorthamptonshire
Admin. HQTowcester
 • TypeSouth Northamptonshire District Council
 • Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive:Conservative
 • MPs:Chris Heaton-Harris,
Andrea Leadsom
 • Total244.8 sq mi (634.0 km2)
Area rank65th
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total94,490
 • RankRanked 258th
 • Density390/sq mi (150/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code34UG (ONS)
E07000155 (GSS)
Ethnicity98.4% White

South Northamptonshire was from 1974 to 2021 a district in Northamptonshire, England. Its council was based in the town of Towcester, first established as a settlement in Roman Britain. The population of the Local Authority District Council in 2011 was 85,189.[1]

The largest town in the district was Brackley, which had a population of 14,000 in 2008[2] followed by Towcester which has a population of nearly 10,000.[2] Other significant settlements in size included Deanshanger, Bugbrooke, Roade, King's Sutton, Silverstone and Middleton Cheney. Many of the villages listed have populations exceeding 1000.[n 1]


Elevations and shape[edit]

The northern half of the district was generally higher than the south, reaching 192m northeast of the centre of Aston-le-Walls AOD[3] and 182m on the road east of Culworth, a village which also rests on top of the ridge following the general WSW line of the county and of the district but except for this is north of the district. This ridge is part of the Jurassic Way.[n 2] Lower parts are at 85m AOD (above mean sea level) in the southwest corner[n 3] and 50 m (160 ft) AOD in the northeast.[n 4]

The district was shaped approximately like the Christian cross in an ENE orientation extending from its top at the southeast of Northampton and reaching to a north–south line south-by-southeast of Banbury, Oxfordshire. An additional arm near its foot reached north through the large village of Chipping Warden to Upper Boddington.

Soil and geology[edit]

Land was taken up with for the most part with arable agriculture peppered by villages, however allows space for two towns of significant size. Supporting this [4] is a regular interspersion of two high fertility types of soil for most plants and crops: freely draining slightly acid but base-rich; and lime-rich loamy and clayey soils with impeded drainage soils, on a default (generally slightly lower) soil of slowly permeable seasonally wet slightly acid but base-rich loamy and clayey soils (of medium fertility). The district in terms of watercourses had sources and headwaters of the rivers Cherwell, Great Ouse and Nene.[3]

Whittlewood Forest[edit]

Whittlewood Forest occupies a modest area for a forest and is broken up by fields (in the southern arm close to Milton Keynes which reaches to the Great Ouse) and this surrounds Whittlebury, the fields south of the upland village of Paulerspury on straight, Roman Watling Street which passes through the forest. This lies between Silverstone and Potterspury (also with a conservation area on Watling Street) or equally between Deanshanger and Towcester.

Demography and human geography[edit]

With just over 79,293 people in 2000[5] and 91,000 in 2008, a 14.8% increase.[2]

The growth in population between 2001 and 2007 was the third largest of all districts in the country and consisted of 35,700 households.[6]

The district was notable for the proportion of and growth in detached houses, and the district was one of a tiny proportion to have seen a growth in the proportion of this type of home relative to other types between 2001 and 2011.[7]


The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, and was a merger of the municipal borough of Brackley, along with Brackley Rural District, Towcester Rural District, and part of Northampton Rural District.

Abolition and replacement[edit]

In March 2018 at Northamptonshire County Council, following financial and cultural mismanagement by the cabinet and officers, the then Secretary of State for Local Government, Sajid Javid, sent commissioner Max Caller into the council, who recommended the county council and all district and borough councils in the county be abolished, and replaced by two unitary authorities, one covering the West, and one the North of the county.[8] These proposals were approved in April 2019. It meant that the districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire were merged to form a new unitary authority called West Northamptonshire, whilst the second unitary authority North Northamptonshire consists of Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough districts. These new authorities came into being on 1 April 2021.[9] Elections for the new authorities were due to be held on 7 May 2020, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]

Settlements and parishes[edit]

For a county-wide list for Northamptonshire see List of places in Northamptonshire



Towcester Museum


Coat of arms of South Northamptonshire
On a wreath of colours out of a coronet Or a cock's head Gules combed and wattled Or the whole between two roses Gules barbed and seeded Proper.
Azure a lion rampant within an orle of garbs Or.
Hora E Sempere (Now And Always)[11]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Such as Kislingbury, Potterspury and Yardley Gobion
  2. ^ On the third main ridge of Oolitic limestone in Britain (other than the Cotswolds and the North York Moors)
  3. ^ The border here in the southwest is the River Cherwell
  4. ^ The border here in the northeast is the River Nene after it has flowed through Northampton
  1. ^ "District population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c South Northamptonshire Council (2009). "State of the Districts Economy in 2009" base on Office for National Statistics data. Towcester: SNC. p. 5.
  3. ^ a b pOrdnance Survey map for grid reference SP44
  4. ^ National Soil Resources Institute - Cranfield University
  5. ^ "A Vision of Britain - extensive local statistical data". Archived from the original on 2004-11-26. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  6. ^ South Northamptonshire Council (2008). The Way Ahead. Towcester: SNC. p. 3.
  7. ^ 2011 Census interactive census map
  8. ^ "Northamptonshire County Council: statement". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Northamptonshire: Unitary authorities plan approved". BBC News. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  10. ^ "AT LAST! Northamptonshire's new unitary councils are made law by parliament". Northampton Chronicle. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  11. ^ "East Midlands Region". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 8 March 2021.

Coordinates: 52°06′N 1°06′W / 52.10°N 1.10°W / 52.10; -1.10