Pictures of Rothwell
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Interesting market town, with a long history, its market charter was granted in 1204. This event is traditionally celebrated the Monday following Trinity Sunday, or the Spring Bank Holiday as it is now known, when the town becomes crammed with visitors from all over.
There are many lovely old buildings in and around the town, the Nunnery is especially interesting, it stands close to the site of a medieval Priory founded by the powerful Care family, who where Lords of the Manor. This was quite possible the original convent home of the 'Poor Clare' order. The convent closed at the time of the dissolution. It is thought the present house incorporates parts of the earlier building.
The historic market house is one of the town's most beautiful buildings. It was built by Sir Thomas Tresham, who because of his catholic faith, was often imprisoned during the persecution. Thomas was known as 'Thomas the Builder' because of his passion for erecting unusual buildings. The market house is designed in the shape of a cross, and as at the time Thomas was unable to openly practice his faith, this was probably a deliberate gesture of defiance. Decorative friezes depict the Tresham coats of arms, and the coats of arms of other influential Northamptonshire families. Sir Thomas Tresham was the grandfather of Francis Tresham, one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder plot.
Rushton Hall, the stunning Elizabethan home of the Treshams' lies two miles north-east of Rothwell. It was built of local stone in around 1438, and was occupied by the Tresham family for over two hundred years. It is a house of magnificent proportions, with stunning historical arte-facts. Interestingly, Rushton Hall, now a luxury hotel, continues to celebrate the gunpowder plot on 5th November, this year being the 400th anniversary.
Holy Trinity Church is both impressive and beautiful. Its crypt contains thousands of bones uncovered by a sexton while digging a grave in 1700. No one has ever been able to establish how they came to be there. The church can be found adjacent to the market square, it dates from the 14th-century, has a sturdy clock-face tower, and is one of the longest parish churches in England. It is surrounded on three sides by a peaceful churchyard containing graves of local families.
Jesus Hospital was founded for poor men in 1585. These atmospheric buildings, set around a central courtyard are now converted into apartments for the elderly. The manor house is a building from the 18th-century. It is noted for its impressive facade and elegant ionic columns.
With some well known inns, good shopping, plenty to see and do, Rothwell offers a pleasant place from which to explore some of the loveliest parts of England. Northamptonshire is often called the county of squires and spires, and these together with rivers and forests dominate the beautiful surrounding countryside.
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