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Northampton

This article is about Northampton, England. For info on other places called Northampton see Northampton (disambiguation)

Northampton is a market town in central England. It is the county town of the county of Northamptonshire. The River Nene flows through the town.

Its population is approximately 200,000.

History

It is believed that a farming settlement began in the Northampton area in around the 7th century and was an administrative centre for the kingdom of Mercia.

The town became significant in the 11th century, when the Normans built a large castle in Northampton.

The town was destroyed by fire in 1675, and was re-built as a spacious and well-planned town.

In the 18th century Northampton became a major centre of footwear and leather manufacture. The prosperity of the town was greatly aided by demand for footwear caused by the many wars that took place in the 18th century.

Northampton's growth was accelerated in the 19th century by first the Grand Union Canal which reached the town in 1815. and later the coming of the Railways in the 1830s. A loop of the major West Coast Mainline was built into Northampton in the 1870s.

Population growth in Northampton by year

  • 7,000 (1801)
  • 33,000 (1861)
  • 100,000 (1961)
  • 200.000 (2001)

In the 19th century Northampton accuired a reputation for political radicalism when the radical Charles Bradlaugh[?] was elected as the towns MP.

In the 1960s the town was designated a new town and the population grew rapidly due to new housing developments. The town also became linked to the M1 motorway.

The traditional shoemaking industries have declined in recent years, but have been replaced by newer industries, most notably distribution (due to its central position in England) and finance (including the headquarters of Barclaycard[?]).



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