Pictures of Northampton
The landscape of Northampton is dotted with reminders of its illustrious history. Despite the great fire of 1675 when much of Northampton was destroyed, it was rebuilt in such a spacious, well-planned manner leading Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) to remark "Northampton is the handsomest and best built town in this part of England", and fortunately today the town remains attractive, retaining the same pleasant atmosphere.
During the 18th-century the town founded its prosperity of the manufacture of leather goods. In the collection owned by Northampton Museum and Art Gallery are the slippers worn by Queen Victoria on the occasion of the marriage to Prince Albert, Margot Fonteyn's ballet pumps, and sandals from Roman times, thus giving credence to the town's place in history as an important centre for leather. This is also famous hunting country and the town was known for its production of riding boots and saddles.
In the town centre visitors can see superb architecture, the guildhall is singularly spectacular, and of interest is the mighty Express Lift Tower which is fondly referred to as " The Northampton Lighthouse" there are some lovely three-storey Victorian houses and All Saints Church is a wonderful example of the rebuilding and restoration work following the fire. The church dominates the centre of the town and is surrounded by a myriad of picturesque streets and narrow alleyways. The central market square remains the hub of the town, it is renowned throughout the county for it lively open-air market. The square is 750 years old, and one of the largest in the country.
The town is fortunate in its spectacular position on the River Nene, the Grand Union Canal is another of Northampton's famous waterways. A couple of centuries ago the canal was the scene of barges hauling goods, now it is narrow boats and eye catching pleasure craft attracting attention. Other leisure facilities close to the town include; Silverstone motor racing circuit, and the Santa Pod and Rockingham Speedway.
One of Northampton's historic treasures is Castle Ashby House, this was built by the Compton family in 1574 with the sole intention of it being a fitting place in which to lavishly entertain Queen Elizabeth I. Today, the family still live in their historic home, but the entertainment is for corporate events and weddings.
Within the town there are excellent shopping facilities, a good choice of pubs and restaurants, and those seeking night-life will find plenty of entertainment in the towns clubs and casino's.
Northampton is surrounded by lovely countryside where you can explore waterways, woods and historic sites. Althorp Park, home of the late Diana, Princess of Wales is within easy driving distance, this for its now legendry associations as well as being the last resting place of the late Princess is well worth seeing.
This is a town that offers huge scope, there are leisure opportunities as well as opportunities to explore the town's social and development history. It is a town of charm which will not disappoint.