Northampton in England, what to see

Northampton is a town in the East Midlands region of England. The town has a population of approximately 225,000  inhabitants and is located in approximately 80 km from Birmingham.Despite its size and historical significance, Northampton is not officially a city, it continues to apply to become one, but the application is always rejected. This is another place that is not on the list of the average tourist, but  is a town with a long history and some interesting things.

At least 6. 000 years ago, a camp was set up at Briar Hill. More recent traces of early settlements in the area date back to the period between 700 BC and the 50 AD

Richard I granted the city its first statute in 1189 and, by the 13th century, Northampton had become an important market town and its market square, dating back to that period, was the second largest in the country.  With the establishment of Northampton Castle, it became an occasional royal residence which regularly housed the Parliament of England.

For centuries Northampton has been associated with trade of footwear. Tradition has it that here in 1213 a pair of boots were made for King John.The shoe trade industry grew rapidly across the country and at the end of 1800 involved the 40% of the population. Northampton continued to grow with the arrival of the Grand Union Canal and railways in the 19th century.

The Central Museum and the Art Gallery houses the a world famous footwear collection, which shows the footwear fashions over the centuries and the machines that produced them.

There is also an outstanding collection of British and Oriental ceramics, leather goods from around the world and some beautiful paintings, including Italian works from the 15th to 18th centuries and British art.

The Abington Museum , housed in a 15th century manor house century in Abington Park, has a number of interesting exhibits , including a 16th century oak paneled room, exhibits that detail the county’s military history, a 19th-century fashion gallery and the Leather Museum .

Northampton has two outstanding churches: All Saints, designed by Henry Bell in the English Baroque style and the wonderful Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of only four round churches left in the country. It is the oldest building in Northampton and is nearly identical to the Jerusalem original. The Great Northampton Fire in 1675 destroyed much of the city, for this reason little remains of the medieval city.

The Guildhall is the best-known building in the city in Victorian Neo-Gothic style and very similar to the Natural History Museum in  London . It was built in 1864 by Edward Goodwin and Matthew Holding, then in 1900 Arnold Jeffrey expanded it.

The Royal Theatre is one of the oldest Victorian theatres and was built in 1884 in an opulent Italian style. The Theatre currently houses one of the oldest repertoire companies in England.

 Another surprising building is the n. 78 of Derngate, designed by the Scottish architect of Art Nouveau Charles Rennie Mackintosh. In 1290, the coffin of Queen Eleanor, wife of Edward I, stayed for the night at Delapre Abbey. Therefore south of the city, Hardingstone on London Road A 508, there is one of the three remaining Eleanor Crosses of the 12 originally erected to celebrate the progress of the sad procession towards London. One, effectively a Victorian copy, stands in front of the station of Charing Cross in London.

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