Borough of Northampton — Town & Borough — Northampton Guildhall, built 1861-4, by E.W. Godwin Coordinates: Sovereign state United Kingdom Constituent country England Region East Midlands Ceremonial county Northamptonshire Founded Admin. HQ Northampton Government – Type Northampton Borough Council
Mayor of the Borough and Chair 2011–2012
Cllr Jamie Lane
– Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Cllr David Palethorpe
– Executive: Conservative – MPs: Brian Binley,
Area – Total 31.2 sq mi (80.76 km2) Area rank 237th Population (2010 est.) – Total 212,100 – Rank Ranked 74th – Density 6,802.1/sq mi (2,626.3/km2) Demonym Northamptonian Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) – Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1) Postcode NN1-NN6 ISO 3166-2 ONS code 34UF OS grid reference NUTS 3 Ethnicity 86.1% White
3.9% Black British
2.1% Mixed Race
2.3% Chinese or other
Northampton (pronounced /nɔrˈθæmptən/ ( listen)) is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and around 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is Northamptonian.
Original settlements in Northampton date back to the 6th century. Its modern development is largely due to its rapid population increase since the 1960s after a planned expansion occurred under the New Towns Commission in the early 1970s. In 2001, its urban area population was 197,199 while its town population was 189,474, making Northampton the 27th largest settlement in England, and the UK's 3rd largest town without official city status after Reading and Dudley. Northampton is the most populous district in England that is not a unitary authority, a status it failed to obtain in the 1990s local government reform.
Northampton has a history of the manufacture of boots and shoes yet engineering has taken over as a modern key industry; other industries include food processing, brewing, and the manufacture of shoe machinery, cosmetics, leather goods, and car accessories. At present, the major employers are public administration, financial services, and the distribution trade.
- 1 History
- 2 Government and politics
- 3 Geography
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Leisure
- 7 Contemporary culture
- 8 Sport
- 9 Education
- 10 Media
- 11 Notable buildings
- 12 Notable residents
- 13 Related towns
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Remains found here date from the Bronze Age. Farming settlement probably began around the 7th century AD. In the 8th century it was an administrative and/or religious centre for the kingdom of Mercia. The pre-Norman town was known as Hamtun and was only ca.0.60 acres (2,400 m2).
A large hall was discovered just west of St. Peter's church that is estimated to be 8–9th century
The town became significant in the 11th century, when the Normans built town walls and a large castle under the stewardship of the Norman earl, Simon de Senlis. The original defence line of the walls is preserved in today's street pattern (Bridge St, The Drapery, Bearward St and Scarletwell Street). The town grew rapidly after the Normans arrived, and beyond the early defences. By the time of the Domesday Book, the town had a population of about 1500 residents, living in 300 houses.
The town and its castle were important in the early 12th century and the King often held Court in the town. During his famous fallout with Henry II, Thomas Becket at one time escaped from Northampton Castle through the unguarded Northern gate to flee the country.
Northampton had a large Jewish population in the 13th century, centred around Gold Street. In 1277 300 Jews were executed, allegedly for clipping the King's coin, and the Jews of Northampton were driven out of the town. Archaeological sites include a medieval Jewish cemetery and the Northampton Medieval Synagogue.
The town was originally controlled by officials acting for the King who collected taxes and upheld the law. In 1189 King Richard I gave the town its first charter. In 1215 King John authorised the appointment of William Tilly as the town's first Mayor and ordered that: 'twelve of the better and more discreet residents of the town join him as a council to assist him' . In 1176 the Assize of Northampton laid down new powers for dealing with law breakers.
A university was established in 1261 by scholars from the University of Cambridge. It briefly flourished, but was dissolved by Henry III in 1265 apparently as it posed a threat to the University of Oxford.
The first Battle of Northampton took place at the site of Northampton Castle in 1264 – when the forces of Henry III overran the supporters of Simon de Montfort. In 1460, a second Battle of Northampton took place in the grounds of Delapré Abbey – and was a decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, and King Henry VI was captured in the town by the Yorkists.
In May 1328 the Treaty of Northampton was signed – being a peace treaty between the English and the Scots in which Edward III recognised the authority of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland and betrothed Bruce's still infant son to the king's sister Joanna.
Civil War to 1900
Northampton supported the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War. For this reason the town walls and castle were later torn down on the orders of King Charles II as punishment. The railway station in Northampton stands on the site of the former castle, and used to be called "Northampton Castle Station".
The town was destroyed by fire in both 1516 and 1675 (for the latter see Great Fire of Northampton), and was rebuilt 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 Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In his 18th century "Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain", Daniel Defoe described Northampton as, "...the handsomest town in all this part of England."
Northampton's growth was accelerated in the 19th century, first by the Grand Union Canal, which reached the town in 1815 and later the coming of the railways. The first railway to be built into Northampton was a branch from the main London-Birmingham line at Blisworth to Peterborough through Northampton which opened in 1845. This was followed by lines to Market Harborough (1859) and Bedford (1872). The Northampton loop of the West Coast Main Line was built in the late 1870s. After 1850 the town grew beyond the old town walls. In 1800 the population was round 7,000 and was 87,000 a century later. In the 19th century Northampton acquired a reputation for political radicalism when radical non-conformist Charles Bradlaugh was elected as the town's Member of Parliament.
Growth after 1900 slowed until the 1960s. The shoe industry declined and other employment was slow to arrive. In the 1920s and 30s, council houses were built in the east of the town at Headlands; north at St. David's; and south in Far Cotton. The Borough boundary, first extended in 1900, expanded again in 1932. From the 1920s until 1975 the town had its own power station supplying electricity to areas as far away as Wolverton.
In the 1960s The Deco was an ABC cinema. The Beatles appeared there twice on stage in 1963, on Wednesday, 27 March as part of the Tommy Roe/Chris Montez Tour. Montez commented "Who are these guys The Beatles? I try to keep up with the British scene, but I don't know their work". The Beatles were back on Wednesday, 6 November, in their own right and on their own tour.
Northampton was designated a New Town in 1968, and the Northampton Development Corporation (NDC) was set up to almost double the size of the town, with a population target of 230,000 by 1981, rising to 260,000 in later years. In 1959 the M1 motorway was opened nearby. Growth was slower than planned. The 1960s and 70s saw the town centre change with development of a new bus station, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, flats and hotels.
The population grew to 100,000 by 1961, and 130,000 by 1971. When NDC wound up after 20 years, another 40,000 residents and 20,000 houses had been added. The borough boundaries changed in 1974 with the abolition of Northampton county borough and its reconstitution as a non-metropolitan district also covering areas outside the former borough boundaries but inside the designated New Town.
The rail link and busy M1 motorway to London helped the growth as a commuter town for London. Northampton's housing expansion was east with the 1970s eastern district estates built mainly for the London overflow population and more recently, in the west at Upton and south near M1 junction 15 at Grange Park, initially of 1,500 houses actually in South Northants Council area.
Current projections (February 2008) are that the district's population will grow to 226,400 by 2016 and to 261,300 by 2026. Northampton asked, unsuccessfully, for city status as a part of the 'millennium cities' scheme. The University of Northampton was established in 2005 after several years as a University College and before that being Nene College.
In 2006 Northampton became a government expansion zone with new growth by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) an unelected quango. Expansion began in 2007 at Upton and St Crispins spreading west towards junction 16 of the M1. The other major projected area was south-east of the town enveloping villages such as Little and Great Houghton, Quinton, Hackleton and Cogenhoe though as at 2011 nothing had happened. Some expansion will be on brownfield sites such as Ransome Road, Far Cotton, an inner suburb, and in existing borough boundaries.
Government and politics
Northampton is administered by both Northampton Borough Council, run from May 2007 for the first time by the Liberal Democrats and from 2011 by the Conservatives, and also Northamptonshire County Council. From 2005 the latter has been controlled by the Conservative Party. The Borough Council runs services such as housing, waste collection and smaller planning items in the Borough. The County Council looks after social services, education and libraries in the whole county. Since April 2006 major planning decisions such as large housing schemes and new roads have been the responsibility of the WNDC.
Northampton is represented in Parliament by three MPs:
- Brian Binley, Conservative, (Northampton South)
- Michael Ellis, Conservative, (Northampton North)
- Andrea Leadsom, Conservative, (South Northamptonshire)
Northampton's constituency boundaries changed significantly for the 2010 General Election with the creation of a new constituency, South Northamptonshire, which includes large residential areas in the south of Northampton borough, including East and West Hunsbury and Upton.
Destinations from Northampton Rugby, Coventry, Birmingham Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham Kettering, Corby Daventry, Long Buckby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester Earls Barton, Wellingborough, Rushden Northampton Towcester, Brackley, Banbury Milton Keynes, Aylesbury Bedford, Dunstable, Luton, London
As with the rest of the British Isles, Northampton experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The official Metoffice Weather Station for Northampton is the Moulton Park Weather Station at the University of Northampton. Situated at an elevation of around 130m above sea level compared to Northampton town centre at 50-60metres, it is one of the highest points in the Borough, and so may not be a perfect representation of other parts of the town. Its hilltop location means less pooling of cold air on calm clear nights, and lower maximums during summer. The absolute maximum recorded is 34.7c (94.5f) on 3 August 1990. A high of 34.4c (93.9f) was recorded on 19 July 2006. The absolute minimum is −16.8c (1.8f), recorded during February 1986. It is likely the absolute maximum in the town centre is a degree or so higher owing to the lower elevation, and absolute minimum on the eastern and western edges of the Borough around the Nene valley a couple of degrees colder due to katabatic drainage of cold air allowing a frost hollow effect. Most recently, the temperature fell to −9.6c(14.7f) on 20 December 2010.
Rainfall, at around 650mm per year is not high, though is often unpredictable, giving rise to flooding events such as 1998, but also short term droughts. Desborough Weather Station also supplies the public with a local weather service.
Climate data for Northampton Moulton Park, elevation 127m, 1971–2000. Rainfall data Althorp, elevation 122m, 1841–1987 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °C (°F) 6.4
13.3 Average low °C (°F) 0.8
5.6 Precipitation mm (inches) 54.7
Source no. 1: YR.NO Source no. 2: WorldClimate
Northampton was a major centre of shoemaking and other leather industries, although only specialist shoemaking companies such as Church's and Trickers, formerly located in nearby Earls Barton, survive. A large number of old shoe factories remain, mostly now converted to offices or accommodation, some of which are surrounded by terraced houses built for factory workers. Northampton's main private-sector employers are now in distribution and finance rather than manufacturing, and include Avon Products, Barclaycard, Blacks Leisure Group, Nationwide Building Society, Panasonic, Travis Perkins, Coca Cola, Schweppes, National Grid, Texas Instruments and Carlsberg. The University of Northampton is also a major employer, as is St Andrew's Healthcare, a national mental health charity whose St Andrew's Hospital campus in Northampton is by far the UK's largest psychiatric hosptial.
Anglia Building Society was formed by amalgamation of Northampton Town and County Building Society with Leicestershire Building Society in 1966 and subsequently merged with Nationwide Building Society in 1987.
Northampton railway station is on the Northampton Loop of the West Coast Main Line, and has regular services to London and Birmingham provided by London Midland. Virgin Trains provide one commuter service to London and a departure from Birmingham New Street late at night. These two Virgin Train services are scheduled to be Pendolinos.
Sywell Aerodrome is the nearest airfield which has recently been upgraded with a 1000 metre concrete runway. For international links, East Midlands Airport and Luton Airport are quickly accessible by the M1; Birmingham International Airport via the M1/M6 and also by train.
In the town, buses are operated by Stagecoach Northants and First Northampton from the Greyfriars bus station. Stagecoach provide travel to outlying villages and towns during the day. National Express cover routes between major towns. There are good local links to Daventry, Wellingborough, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Rushden, Kettering, Corby and Market Harborough.
Northampton is the terminus of an arm of the Grand Union Canal. The arm connects to the River Nene and from that to the River Great Ouse and the North Sea. No longer used for freight, the waterway is now popular with anglers and narrowboaters. Principal outlying villages on the canal include Gayton, Blisworth, Braunston and Stoke Bruerne.
Northampton had a horse-drawn tramway which opened in 1881. The system was extended in stages and taken over by the council in 1897 and named Northampton Corporation Tramways. It was electrified in 1904, but closed in 1934 mainly as a result of competition from motor buses which were introduced in 1929. Two of the original tram shelters are preserved: one at the Racecourse park and another in Kingsthorpe opposite the Cock Hotel.
Formal parks include: Abington Park; The Racecourse, which used to be home in summer to the Balloon Festival and originally used for horse-racing until 1904 and also used as a cricket ground between 1844–1885; Delapré Park; Bradlaugh Fields; Becket's Park, named after Thomas Becket as are nearby Becket's Well and Thomas á Becket pub. There is a park around an Iron Age fort in West Hunsbury.
Billing Aquadrome leisure park is on the eastern outskirts with a caravan site, marina, funfair, bar, riverside restaurant and converted water mill with original workings. Other smaller ones are Thorntons Park and Victoria Park.
The main shopping centre is the Grosvenor Centre built in the 1970s. The town has one of Britain's largest market squares, dating from 1235. Outside the centre the Weston Favell Centre built in the 1970s is in the eastern district together with various out of town retail and leisure parks.
The Derngate and Royal theatres are in Guildhall Road, opposite Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. They were renovated and reopened in 2006, at a cost of £15 million. The Deco is a 900-seat theatre/conference centre based on the Grade-II listed former Cannon Cinema, in Abington Square used mainly by the voluntary and charitable sector. It was restored by the Jesus Army as part of their Jesus Centre project.
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery has a world-class collection of historical footwear, and also Italian art, glass and ceramics, plus visiting exhibitions and local history. There is also a smaller historical museum in a former mansion within Abington Park.
The old Fishmarket opposite the market square, was renovated by the Northampton Arts Collective. It has three art gallery spaces, retail units, a café, and an arts studio and is host to exhibitions by leading artists and live music, community events and workshops.
An independent contemporary arts gallery and studios, The Sanctuary, self-funded and supported by the Arts Council has 16 studios. The Avenue Gallery is at the Avenue campus of Northampton University. Northamptonshire runs an annual county-wide Open Studios event in which artists' studios are open to the public.
The university spent £3m on its Portfolio Innovation Centre, and in early 2011 it now houses around 60 creative freelancers, digital media developers, and designers.
Two commercial cinemas are also in the town: Vue (formerly UCI) at Sol Central, Cineworld (formerly UGC, Virgin Cinema and MGM) at Sixfields. There is also the subsidised Forum Cinema at Lings Forum, whose film programme is widely varied and includes art-house and non-mainstream films.
Many local music venues provide events. One venue is The Roadmender, which used to be run and funded by the council and later bought by The Purplehaus group. It is host to mainstream touring bands and one off gigs. Alan Moore's underground magazine Dodgem Logic included a CD "Nation of Saints, 50 Years of Northampton Music" in the first issue, December 2009.
The town is home to Premiership Rugby union club Northampton Saints, who play at Franklin's Gardens in the St James area. "The Saints" had their greatest moment when they won the Heineken Cup in 2000 at Twickenham, beating Munster 9–8. There are also a number of "Junior" rugby clubs in the area, the most successful of these at producing young players is Northampton Old Scouts RFC who have produced Ben Cohen and Steve Thompson amongst others.
League Two football club Northampton Town, known as "The Cobblers" from the town's shoemaking background, are based at Sixfields Stadium. Established in 1897, in their centenary season of 1997 they reached Wembley through the play-offs and beat Swansea City 1–0 with an injury time winning free kick from John Frain. In 2010, they were drawn against premiership team Liverpool in the 2010-11 Football League Cup 3rd round/last 32. They were drawing 1–1 after full-time but won 2–4 on penalties. But they lost out against Ipswich Town 3-1 in the 4th round/last 16. It was the first club to set up a trust for supporters to work with the club as many have done. There is an athletics track adjacent to the ground. There are also three non-league clubs in the United Counties Football League: Northampton Spencer; Northampton Sileby Rangers; and Northampton Old Northamptonian Chenecks.
Northampton International Raceway near Brafield is a leading venue for stock-car racing and hosts the European Championships every July. Speedway racing has been staged at Brafield in the 1950s and again in the 1960s. In the 1950s the team was known as The Flying Foxes and in the 1960s they were known as The Badgers.
Speedway was also staged at the greyhound stadium in Northampton in the pioneer days of the late 1920s.
Until 2004 the county operated a three-tier system involving lower, middle and upper schools. In 2001 the move to a two-tier system began, aiming at improving educational standards. A complete list of primary and secondary schools in the town and surrounding area is available on the County Council website.
Primary and secondary schools
For a complete list see the NCC site.
- Great Houghton (co-educational, 1–13)
- Maidwell Hall for boys aged 8–13
- Northampton High School, girls 2–18
- Northamptonshire Grammar School (co-educational, 3–18)
- Overstone Park School (co-educational, 2–18)
- Quinton House School (co-educational, 2–18)
- St Peter's Independent School(co-educational, 5–18)
- Spratton Hall School, co-educational, 4–13
Newspapers The Northampton Chronicle & Echo is the town's only paid-for newspaper. There are other free newspapers, but with a town circulation only: The Mercury (Thursday) and Northants on Sunday, both from the publishers of the Chronicle & Echo, and the Herald and Post (Thursday). These free papers are mostly advertising with limited news. The Mercury is one of the oldest newspapers still in circulation first published in 1720. It is the fifth-oldest such newspaper in the UK and the tenth-oldest such in the world.
Radio Three stations are based in the town, two of which broadcast county-wide. BBC Radio Northampton broadcasts news, topical items and some music, switching to a regional network after 7 pm. A commercial station, Heart 96.6 (formerly Northants 96), broadcasts mostly popular music. A community radio station, Inspiration FM was awarded a 5 year licence on 24 July 2008 and officially launched on Saturday 24 July 2010.
Regional TV news is broadcast on the BBC East (terrestrial and satellite) with a main programme, BBC Look East, and on ITV's Anglia News. From 1999–2004, Northants TV (NTV) on cable and later terrestrial showed local ads, sport, and limited local activities.
Film and TV Northampton was the town location in the BBC's Keeping Up Appearances from 1990–1995. Parts of the 2005 film Kinky Boots were made in Northampton and featured shots of the statue outside the Grosvenor Centre in the Town Centre and inside RE Tricker's shoe factory in St. Michaels Road representing the original factory, in Earls Barton. The third series of BBC Three's Bizarre ER was filmed at Northampton General Hospital.
- Northampton's oldest standing building, the Church of The Holy Sepulchre, is one of the largest and best-preserved round churches in England. It was built in 1100 on the orders of the first Earl of Northampton, Simon de Senlis, who had just returned from the first Crusade. It is based on a plan of the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
- The current All Saints' Church was built on the site of a great Norman church, All Hallows, which was almost completely destroyed by the Fire of Northampton in 1675. All that remained was the medieval tower and the fine vaulted crypt, but by 1680 All Saints had been rebuilt, with the help of donations from all over England, including 1,000 tons of timber from King Charles II, whose statue can be seen above the portico. Famously, the poet John Clare liked to sit beneath the portico of the church.
- The Guildhall in Northampton (see picture at top) was constructed mostly in the 1860s in Victorian Gothic architecture, and extended in the 1990s. It is built on the site of the old town hall.
- 78 Derngate is a Grade II* listed Georgian Town House remodelled by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke in 1916–17. It contains notable Mackintosh interiors (which have been restored) and is his only major domestic commission outside Scotland. It is open to the public.
- The 127.45 m (418 ft 2 in) tall Express Lift Tower is a dominant feature and visible from most of the town. A Terry Wogan radio phone-in during the 1980s to came up with the name "Northampton Lighthouse" as Northampton is one of the furthest places from the sea. It is also known as the "Cobblers' Needle". It was built for testing new lifts at the Express Lifts factory, now closed. Though now redundant, it is a listed building.
- Northampton Castle (now only remaining as a rebuilt postern gate in a wall outside the railway station and the hill on which it stood) was for many years one of the country's most important castles. The country's parliament sat here many times and Thomas Becket was imprisoned here until he escaped.
- The Carlsberg UK brewery.
- Delapre Abbey – former Cluniac nunnery, founded by Simon de Senlis – later the County Records Office and site of the second Battle of Northampton.
- Queen Eleanor's body rested here on its way to London – and the nearby Eleanor cross in Hardingstone, now part of the Delapre area of the town, commemorates this. Out of the twelve originally erected, this cross is one of only three left including others at Geddington and Waltham. The original top of the monument widely thought to have been an ornate cross has apparently been destroyed and replaced several times from as early as 1460. The last cross is reported to have been knocked off by a low flying aircraft from a nearby airfiled during WWII. However The Friends of Delapré Abbey charity is raising funds for the restoration of the cross in their tea room inside the abbey. The Cross is also referred to in Daniel Defoe's a "Tour through the whole island of Great Britain" where he describes the Great Fire of Northampton, "...a townsman being at Queen's Croos upon a hill on the south side of the town, about two miles off, saw the fire at one end of the town then newly begun, and that before he could get to the town it was burning at the remotest end, opposite where he first saw it."
- The 1970s Greyfriars Bus Station was built which replaced one in Derngate. In the 2000s it was featured on Channel 4's Demolition programme as the ugliest transport station in the UK and worthy of demolition.
- St Andrew's Hospital, opened 1838, and its new building William Wake House, the largest neo-classical structure in England since the Ministry of Defence.
- Northampton & County Club, established 1873, was the old county hospital before becoming a private members' club; the cellars are medieval.
Other notable church buildings include: St Edmunds, closed 1978 and demolished 2007 with the bells now in St Paul's Cathedral, Wellington, New Zealand; St Giles; St Matthew's in Phippsville, built 1891-4 has a Henry Moore sculpture of the Madonna ; Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate & St Thomas of Canterbury, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton and seat of the Bishop of Northampton.
- Will Alsop architect, was born, raised, and studied for his Foundation degree in the town. Designed the Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto and North Greenwich tube station on the London Underground Jubilee Line
- Dallas Campbell, TV presenter, studied Drama and English at the University of Northampton between 1989~1992
- Judy Carne, actress, born Joyce Botterill 27 April 1939 in the town. Her catch phrase wasphrase "Sock it to me!" on Laugh-In
- Alan Carr, comedian, attended what is now Weston Favell School, but was not born locally. His father Graham Carr managed Northampton Town FC
- Andrew Collins journalist and broadcaster, grew up in the town and wrote about it in his memoir Where Did It All Go Right?
- Delia Derbyshire (deceased), who produced the original Doctor Who theme tune, spent her final years in the town
- Marcia Matilda Falkender, Baroness Falkender, formerly Marcia Williams, private secretary to Prime Minister Harold Wilson was educated at Northampton High School for Girls
- Anne Fine – Author of Madame Doubtfire attended Northampton High School for Girls
- Joan Hickson, who played Miss Marple, comes from Kingsthorpe
- Ruaridh Jackson, who plays rugby union for Glasgow Warriors and Scotland, was born in the town
- Lesley Joseph Birds of a Feather actress grew up in the town
- Robert Llewellyn, actor, (Kryten from Red Dwarf) was born here and lived at 47 Booth Rise until the age of 13
- Tim Minchin comedian, actor and musician was born here
- Alan Moore, writer of V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Voice of the Fire, a fictionalised history of the town, is a lifelong resident
- James Morrison singer/songwriter lived in the town for 18 months and went to Kingsthorpe Middle School
- Nanette Newman, actress and author, wife of Bryan Forbes was born here
- Anna Murby, former BBC radio presenter attended Campion School, Bugbrooke
- Des O'Connor, television presenter and singer, evacuated to the town in 1932 during WWII and briefly played for Northampton Town FC
- Myrea Pettit, fantasy artist of fairies, flowers and butterflies learned her craft in the county
- Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves lived for a number of years at the old rectory in Cogenhoe
- Derek Redmond, Olympic runner, was born and raised here and attended Roade Comprehensive School, now Roade Sports College, where the sports hall is named after him
- Ian Sampson, former Northampton Town, Sunderland United and Tottenham Hotspur football player and Northampton FC Manager
- Norman Smiley, professional wrestler, was born here
- Matt Smith, actor, who plays the eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who and is the youngest actor in the role, went to Northampton School for Boys
- Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Spencer) is buried at Althorp, the country estate of Earl Spencer where Charles Spencer, the current and 9th Earl Spencer (b.1964) is her brother. In 1989, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles & Diana, made an official visit to Northampton and Diana was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough. The Royal Pioneer Corps from the former Simpson Barracks, which were located at Wootton in the south of the town, stood guard of honour on the day. There is a bronze plaque in her memory on the outside of the Guildhall 1992 extension
- Graeme Swann, cricketer was born in Northampton and played for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club from 1998–2004 before moving to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. He currently plays in both the England Test and One Day International teams
- Michael Underwood, TV presenter, lives in the town and attended what is now Weston Favell School
- Marc Warren, played Danny Blue in the BBC's Hustle series, was born in Kingsthorpe
- Jo Whiley, a former BBC Radio 1 presenter, now presenting on BBC Radio 2, attended Campion School, Bugbrooke
- Stuart Pearson Wright, award winning artist, was born here in 1975
- Lee Hasdell, a former professional kickboxer and mixed martial artist. Also pioneer of British mixed martial arts.
- Robert Adams Sculptor and designer born in the Far Cotton area of the town
- William Alwyn, composer born in the town
- Sir Malcolm Arnold composer
- George Baker (topographer)
- Margaret Bondfield Labour MP for Northampton in 1923, first woman Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom and one of the first three female Labour MPs
- John de Bothby, former Lord Chancellor of Ireland, spent his last years as vicar of the church of The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton c.1380.
- Elizabeth Bowen, 20th century Anglo-Irish writer, lived here after her marriage
- Charles Bradlaugh radical MP and member for the town
- Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) a puritan poet later based in Massachusetts
- Alban Butler (1710–1773) the author of Lives of the Saints
- John Clare, the poet, was detained in Northampton County Lunatic Asylum, now St Andrew's Hospital, and remained until his death in 1864
- Francis Crick, scientist, born in the town in 1916. With James D. Watson discovered the structure of DNA and Nobel Prize winner. In December 2005, a public sculpture called Discovery by Lucy Glendinning was erected in Abington Street as a memorial to him
- Philip Doddridge (1702–1751) was an English Nonconformist leader, educator, and hymnwriter.
- Errol Flynn acted in the Northampton Repertory Theatre 1933–34
- Violet Gibson, would-be assassin of Benito Mussolini, is buried in Kingsthorpe
- James Harrington (1611–1677), philosopher and author of "Oceana", was born at nearby Upton Hall
- Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat and other works, died here in 1927
- Spencer Perceval was a local MP and Prime Minister. Shot in the House of Commons by assassin John Bellingham in 1812
- Pickering Phipps Brewer and local MP
- Edmund Rubbra composer born in the town
- Charles ("C.T.") Studd Victorian cricketer and pioneer missionary who played in the first Ashes test, was born at Spratton
- Walter Tull, Northampton Town FC player who became Britain's first black army officer in the First World War.
- VV Brown, artist-songwriter-producer
- New Cassettes, indie rock band formed in 2005
- The Departure, rock band who have gone on to gain mainstream success
- Pat Fish, leader of the Jazz Butcher
- Rebecca Hunter singer from pop group allSTARS*
- James Chapman, Northampton-based Mercury-nominated musician
- Moom, progressive rock band formed in 1992
- Medium 21, alternative rock band formed in 1999
- Slipstream, alternative band formed in 1994
- Faye Tozer, singer from pop group Steps
Northampton is twinned with:
Northampton is also a sister town of:
- Northampton, Maryland, United States
- Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
- Northampton, New York, United States
- Northampton, North Carolina, United States
- Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States
- Northampton, Virginia, United States
- Districts of Northampton
- St Peter's Church, Northampton
- HMS Laforey
- Flooding in Weedon Road, St James and Far Cotton around Easter 1998
- ^ a b NBC Councillors 2007–2011 Accessed 16 August 2011
- ^ "Office for National Statistics (Northampton Area)". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=277057&c=northampton&d=13&e=13&g=473257&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1207126453659&enc=1&dsFamilyId=1812.
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Ceremonial county of Northamptonshire Boroughs or districts Major settlements Rivers Canals Topics Northampton Borough Council Suburbs and Villages Attractions Constituencies Higher Education Sport Transport Settlements on the River Nene, Source– Wash Derbyshire Leicestershire Lincolnshire Nottinghamshire Northamptonshire Rutland 25 largest settlements in the UK by urban core population**Based on 2001 Census data.
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