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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

A Wide angle view of the River Stour at Mistley, Essex, where there are usually hundreds of Swans.


in the county of Essex

Pictures of Fotheringhay

in the county of Northamptonshire

About Fotheringhay

The lantern tower of the Church of St. Mary and All Saints at Fotheringhay shines through the deepening shadows of the great trees that frame it, shadows matched in darkness by those less visible that haunt the village where the final tragedy of Mary, Queen of Scots was enacted.

A mound here once carried the grim castle in which Mary was imprisoned and executed in 1587. Today, the place in which Queen Mary met her death remains thistle-barbed and grassy and each summer Scottish thistles cover the site, growing tall and quite splendid as if reaching for the sky. It is said that Mary planted these Thistles shortly before she died. The castle was built in 1100 and was rebuilt in the 14th-century when it was used as a Royal residence. During the 17th-century, the castle fell into a state of decay and was demolished.

Fotheringhay parish church, the Church of St.Mary and All Saints has a most magnificent tower that can be seen from miles around. It rises in stages and is grandly topped by a gilt falcon, the badge of the illustrious House of York. This church is of Cathedral like proportions and it's size is matched by the treasures housed within, there are numerous windows which allow in floods of light. This is a building that looks quite magificent when an early spring sun illuminates the tower and equally so in high summer when the church is dappled in the late evening sunlight.

In the main street, limestone cottages stand solid and often four square with heavy slate roofs. At the east end of the village stands a house reputed to have been built as a hostel by Edward IV when he was resident at the castle, it has a 15th-century gateway and a Gothic arch.

Nowadays, the mellow old cottages and willow-hung banks of the river Nene create an air of pure tranquility, so much so that it difficult to imagine the macabre deeds of 1587. It is a pretty place strewn with a diversity of quaint old cottages and the grander, more elegant houses of a later build. The river Nene wends it's way through Fotheringhay as it does through much of the pleasant Northamptonshire countryside.

Close-by is the Nene Valley Railway, as is Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre. Prebendal Manor House, Elton Hall and the National Trust Property of Lyveden New Bield are all worthy of a visit. There is much of interest to see and do in this delightful region but long after you return home it will be the abiding memory of tall strong Thistles and a magnificent church dappled in late evening sunlight that will remain with you forever.

Recommended towns & villages near Fotheringhay


Stamford (246 Pictures) a Historic Market Town in the county of Lincolnshire

(8.8 miles, 14.2 km, direction N of Fotheringhay)

Of the 17 churches, only 6 now remain in Stamford, which is without doubt, one of the finest medieval towns in the British Isles, if not in Europe...

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Peterborough (143 Pictures) a Historic City in the county of Cambridgeshire

(8.9 miles, 14.3 km, direction E of Fotheringhay)

The magic of Peterborough lies in the richness of its beautiful Cathedral. It is a glorious historical treasure house, it is unique and quite beyond compare...


Oakham (86 Pictures) in the county of Rutland

(15.9 miles, 25.6 km, direction NW of Fotheringhay)

For centuries the countryside around Oakham has echoed to the sound of hunting horns, for the vales and rolling farmland surrounding this sedate market town, have been the stamping ground for the counties hunting fraternity...

Medieval buttercross

Hallaton (18 Pictures) in the county of Leicestershire

(16.8 miles, 27.1 km, direction W of Fotheringhay)

Easter Monday sees the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne engaged in a riotous 'bottle kicking' contest which is said to have pagan origins...

At the Spalding Flower Show.

Spalding (104 Pictures) in the county of Lincolnshire

(21.8 miles, 35.1 km, direction NE of Fotheringhay)

In springtime, the town of Spalding, in it's favoured position on the banks of the River Welland becomes a riot of blazing colour as tulips, daffodils and other glorious spring flowers come into bloom...

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Nearby attractions..

Nene Park (Ferry Meadows Country Park) Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Ferry Meadows Country Park (47 Pictures)

(5.8 miles, 9.3 km, direction NE)


Lyveden New Bield

Lyveden New Bield (33 Pictures)

(6.9 miles, 11.1 km, direction SW)

This magnificent ruin is a rare romantic survival from the great Elizabethan period. The landscape on which the relic of this.....

Deene Park, Corby, Northamptonshire

Deene Park (5 Pictures)

(7.0 miles, 11.2 km, direction W)


Burghley House

Burghley House (72 Pictures)

(8.2 miles, 13.2 km, direction N)

This is a graceful house which perfectly epitomises the wealth of the prosperous Elizabethan period. Burghley was completed in.....

Kirby Hall

Kirby Hall (30 Pictures)

(8.4 miles, 13.5 km, direction W)

Looking around the romantic ruin of Kirby Hall it is easy to imagine the splendour of an age when romance was all, and great.....

Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Peterborough Cathedral (68 Pictures)

(9.0 miles, 14.4 km, direction NE)

The magnificent cathedral church in Peterborough was given cathedral status by Henry VIII in 1541. Formerly it had been one of.....

Flag Fen Bronze and Iron Age Centre at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire

Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre (8 Pictures)

(11.0 miles, 17.7 km, direction E)

This is a wonderful heritage museum which began when the site was uncovered during excavations of 1982. It focus's on the.....

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