Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands of England. It lies on the River Nene, about 67 miles north-west of London and 54 miles south-east of Birmingham, it is one of the largest towns in the UK. Northampton had a population of 212,100 in the 2011 census. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon periods. During the Middle Ages, the town rose to national significance with the establishment of Northampton Castle, an occasional royal residence and hosted the Parliament of England. Medieval Northampton had many churches and the University of Northampton, which were all enclosed by the town walls, it was granted its first town charter by King Richard I in 1189 and its first mayor was appointed by King John in 1215. The town is the site of two medieval battles. Northampton's royal connection languished in the modern period; the town suffered the Great Fire of Northampton which destroyed most of the town. It was soon rebuilt and grew with the industrial development of the 18th century.
Northampton continued to grow following the creation of the Grand Union Canal and the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, becoming an industrial centre for footwear and leather manufacture. After the World Wars, Northampton's growth was limited until it was designated as a New Town in 1968, accelerating development in the town. Northampton unsuccessfully applied for unitary status in 1996 and city status in 2000. According to Centre for Cities data in 2015, Northampton had a population growth of 11% between the years 2004 and 2013, one of the ten highest in the UK; the earliest reference to Northampton in writing occurred in 914 under the name Ham tune meaning "home town". The prefix "North" was added to distinguish it from other towns called Hampton, most prominently Southampton; the Domesday Book records the town as Northantone, which evolved into Norhamptone by the 13th century and Northampton by the 17th century. Present-day Northampton is the latest in a series of settlements. Remains found in the Briar Hill district show evidence of a Neolithic encampment within a large circular earthwork where local farmers assembled for tribal ceremonies and seasonal events from 3500 BC to 2000 BC.
During the British Iron Age, people lived in protected hill forts. Present-day Hunsbury Hill is an example of this settlement. In the Roman period, a small rural settlement is thought to have existed in the present-day district of Duston. Following Danish invasion, the central area of the town was turned into a stronghold called a burh and became the base for one of the Danish armies in 850. A ditch was dug around the settlement and it was fortified with earth ramparts. Having conquered Mercia, the Danes turned the settlement into a centre for military and administrative purposes, part of the Danelaw. In the 9th century Regenhere of Northampton an East Anglian Saint with localised veneration was buried in Northampton. By 918, Northampton had an earl and an army dependent upon it, whose territory extended to the River Welland; the settlement was recovered by Edward the Elder the same year, turning it into the centre of one of the new shires, which prospered as a river port and trading centre. In 940, it resisted the invading forces of Danish opposition in Northumbria, but was burnt in 1010 by a Danish army, again in 1065 by the rebellious northern earls Edwin and Morcar.
Despite this, the Domesday Book records Northantone as possessing 316 houses with a population of 2000 people, ranking between Warwick and Leicester in size. With the Norman conquest of England, the town rose to national significance: its geographical location in the centre of England made Northampton a valuable strategical point for government and as a convenient meeting place for political, social and military events. Northampton Castle is thought to have been built by Simon de Senlis, who became the first Earl of Northampton, circa 1084, it was an earth and timber stockaded construction, rebuilt in stone. The castle became an occasional royal residence from the reign of King Henry I in 1130 until that of King Richard II. King John stayed at the castle and moved The Treasury there in 1205; some 32 Parliaments, were held there. The last Parliament at Northampton was held in 1380. Significant events in the castle's history include the trial of Thomas Becket in 1164, the publication of the Assize of Northampton in 1176, the declaration of peace with Scotland in the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, the passage of the Statute of Northampton in 1328 and the imposition of poll tax in 1380.
Royal tournaments and feasts were held at the castle. Simon de Senlis is thought to have built the medieval town walls, which enclosed about 245 acres and had four main gates. Though demolished now, the circular pattern of the main roads surrounding the town centre marks the original position of the walls. De Senlis founded the Cluniac Priory of St Andrew's—where St Andrew's Hospital now stands—and built The Church of the Holy Sepulchre—one of four remaining round churches in England—and All Hallows Church on the current site of All Saint's Church, his son
Pipewell is situated at the edge of the Kettering borough, a mile away from Corby. With 63 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest hamlets in Northamptonshire; the population remained less than 100 at the 2011 Census and the population was included in the civil parish of Wilbarston. In the 12th Century Richard I held his Midland Parliaments in Pipewell. Pipewell was the site of a Cistercian abbey established in 1143 by William Butevilain, all of the settlement is built around three fields where this used to be, which contains the Harpers Brook, a tributary of the River Nene, running through the centre, it was located within the old Rockingham Forest and some of its income came from sale of the timber and undergrowth. The abbey was suppressed as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in November 1538, despite the representations of local gentleman Sir William Parr; the site was subsequently granted to Parr. He intended before he could do so the property was looted by the locals. Demolition took place soon after and by 1720 no standing masonry was visible.
Pipewall Hall, a Grade II mansion, was built in 1675 with some of the stone from the former abbey: the abbey remains are contained in its estate. West of the site, there is a mill pond and dam, together with a series of medieval quarries which have been worked into the twentieth century. Pipewell holds Northamptonshire's smallest church building, known as the Abbey Church of St Mary, built in 1881
Peterborough is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, with a population of 196,640 in 2015. Part of Northamptonshire, it is 75 miles north of London, on the River Nene which flows into the North Sea 30 miles to the north-east; the railway station is an important stop on the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh. The city is 70 miles east of Birmingham, 38 miles east of Leicester, 81 miles south of Kingston upon Hull and 65 miles west of Norwich; the local topography is flat, in some places the land lies below sea level, for example in parts of the Fens to the east of Peterborough. Human settlement in the area began before the Bronze Age, as can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the current city centre with evidence of Roman occupation; the Anglo-Saxon period saw the establishment of a monastery, which became Peterborough Cathedral. The population grew after the railways arrived in the 19th century, Peterborough became an industrial centre noted for its brick manufacture.
After the Second World War, growth was limited until designation as a New Town in the 1960s. Housing and population are expanding and a £1 billion regeneration of the city centre and surrounding area is under way; as in much of the United Kingdom, industrial employment has fallen, with a significant proportion of new jobs in financial services and distribution. EtymologyThe town's name changed to Burgh from the late tenth century after Abbot Kenulf had built a defensive wall around the abbey, developed into the form Peterborough; the contrasting form Gildenburgh is found in the 12th century history of the abbey, the Peterborough version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in a history of the abbey by the monk Hugh Candidus. Present-day Peterborough is the latest in a series of settlements which have at one time or other benefited from its site where the Nene leaves large areas of permanently drained land for the fens. Remains of Bronze Age settlement and what is thought to be religious activity can be seen at the Flag Fen archaeological site to the east of the city centre.
The Romans established a fortified garrison town at Durobrivae on Ermine Street, five miles to the west in Water Newton, around the middle of the 1st century AD. Durobrivae's earliest appearance among surviving records is in the Antonine Itinerary of the late 2nd century. There was a large 1st century Roman fort at Longthorpe, designed to house half a legion, or about 3,000 soldiers. Peterborough was an important area of ceramic production in the Roman period, providing Nene Valley Ware, traded as far away as Cornwall and the Antonine Wall, Caledonia. Peterborough is shown by its original name Medeshamstede to have been an Anglian settlement before AD 655, when Sexwulf founded a monastery on land granted to him for that purpose by Peada of Mercia, who converted to Christianity and was ruler of the smaller Middle Angles sub-group, his brother Wulfhere murdered his own sons converted and finished the monastery by way of atonement. Hereward the Wake rampaged through the town in 1069 or 1070. Outraged, Abbot Turold erected a fort or castle, from his name, was called Mont Turold: this mound, or hill, is on the outside of the deanery garden, now called Tout Hill, although in 1848 Tot-hill or Toot Hill.
The abbey church was rebuilt and enlarged in the 12th century. The Peterborough Chronicle, a version of the Anglo-Saxon one, contains unique information about the history of England after the Norman conquest, written here by monks in the 12th century; this is the only known prose history in English between the conquest and the 14th century. The burgesses received their first charter from "Abbot Robert" – Robert of Sutton; the place suffered materially in the war between King John and the confederate barons, many of whom took refuge in the monastery here and in Crowland Abbey, from which sanctuaries they were forced by the king's soldiers, who plundered the religious houses and carried off great treasures. The abbey church became one of Henry VIII's retained, more secular, cathedrals in 1541, having been assessed at the Dissolution as having revenue of £1,972.7s.0¾d per annum. When civil war broke out, Peterborough was divided between supporters of King Charles I and the Long Parliament; the city lay on the border of the Eastern Association of counties which sided with Parliament, the war reached Peterborough in 1643 when soldiers arrived in the city to attack Royalist strongholds at Stamford and Crowland.
The Royalist forces were defeated within a few weeks and retreated to Burghley House, where they were captured and sent to Cambridge. While the Parliamentary soldiers were in Peterborough, they ransacked the cathedral, destroying the Lady Chapel, chapter house, high altar and choir stalls, as well as mediaeval decoration and records. Housing and sanitary improvements were effected under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed in 1790. After the dissolution the dean and chapter, who succeeded the abbot as lords of the manor, appointed a high bailiff and the constables and other borough officers were elected at their court leet. Among the privileges claimed by the abbot as early as the 13th century was that of ha
Corby is a town and borough in the county of Northamptonshire, England. It is located 23 miles north-east of Northampton. At the 2011 Census the town had a population of 54,927 and the borough had a population of 61,255. Figures released in March 2010 revealed that Corby has the fastest growing population in both Northamptonshire and the whole of England; the Borough of Corby borders onto the Borough of Kettering, the District of East Northamptonshire, the District of Harborough and the unitary authority county of Rutland. The town was at one time known locally as "Little Scotland" due to the large number of Scottish migrant workers who came to Corby for its steelworks. Corby has undergone a large regeneration process with the opening of Corby railway station and Corby International Pool in 2009 and the Corby Cube building opening in 2010; this is home to Corby Borough Council offices and houses a 450-seat theatre, a public library and other community amenities. Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts have been found in the area surrounding Corby and human remains dating to the Bronze Age were found in 1970 at Cowthick.
The first evidence of permanent settlement comes from the 8th century when Danish invaders arrived and the settlement became known as "Kori's by" – Kori's settlement. The settlement was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Corbei". Corby's emblem, the raven, derives from an alternative meaning of this word; these Danish roots were recognised in the naming of the most southern of the town's housing estates, around which one of the Danish settlements was located. Corby was granted the right to hold two annual fairs and a market by Henry III in 1226. In 1568 Corby was granted a charter by Elizabeth I that exempted local landowners from tolls and gave all men the right to refuse to serve in the local militia. A popular legend is that the Queen was hunting in Rockingham Forest when she either fell from her horse or became trapped in a bog whilst riding. Upon being rescued by villagers from Corby she granted the charter in gratitude for her rescue. Another popular explanation is that it was granted as a favour to her alleged lover Sir Christopher Hatton.
The Corby Pole Fair is an event that has taken place every 20 years since 1862 in celebration of the charter. According to a newspaper report dated 14 June 1862 which focuses on the extravagances of the fair, the fugitive slave John Anderson was described as being educated in the Corby British School, giving the town an unusual link to slavery in the United States; the next pole fair is to be held in 2022. The local area has been worked for iron ore since Roman times. An ironstone industry developed in the 19th century with the coming of the railways and the discovery of extensive ironstone beds. By 1910 an ironstone works had been established. In 1931 Corby was a small village with a population of around 1,500, it grew into a reasonably sized industrial town, when the owners of the ironstone works, the steel firm Stewarts & Lloyds, decided to build a large integrated ironstone and steel works on the site. The start of construction in 1934 drew workers from all over the country including many workers from the depressed west of Scotland and Irish labourers.
The first steel was produced in October 1935 and for decades afterwards the steel works dominated the town. By 1939 the population had grown to around 12,000, at which time Corby was thought to be the largest "village" in the country, but it was at that point that Corby was re-designated an urban district. During the Second World War the Corby steelworks were expected to be a target for German bombers but in the event there were only a few bombs dropped by solitary planes and there were no casualties; this may be because the whole area was blanketed in huge dense black, low-lying clouds created artificially by the intentional burning of oil and latex to hide the glowing Bessemer converter furnaces at the steelworks from German bomber crews. The only known remaining scars from German attacks can be found in the form of bullet holes visible on the front fascia of the old post office in Corby village; the Corby steelworks made a notable contribution to the war effort by manufacturing the steel tubes used in Operation Pluto to supply fuel to Allied forces on the European continent.
In 1950, with a population of 18,000, Corby was designated a New Town with William Holford as its architect. By 1951, he prepared the development plan with a car-friendly layout and many areas of open space and woodland. In 1952, Holford produced the town centre plan and in 1954 the layout for the first 500 houses; the town now underwent its second wave of expansion from Scotland. In 1967 the British steel industry was nationalised and the Stewarts & Lloyds steel tube works at Corby became part of British Steel Corporation; the Government approved a ten-year development strategy with expenditure of £3,000 million from 1973 onwards, the objective of, to convert BSC from a large number of small scale works, using obsolete equipment, to a far more compact organisation with competitive plant. Steelmaking was to be concentrated in five main areas: South Wales, Scunthorpe and Scotland, most of which are coastal sites with access to economic supplies of iron rich imported ores, it was not until 1975 that a closure programme was agreed after a 14-month review by Lord Beswick, the Minister of State for Industry https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1975/feb/04/steel-industry-closure-review.
Corby was not one of the Beswick Plants that were to close
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Rockingham Castle is a former royal castle and hunting lodge in Rockingham Forest two miles north from the town centre of Corby, Northamptonshire. The site on which the castle stands has been used in the Iron Age, Roman period and by the invading Saxons used by the Normans and used in the Medieval Period; this is because its position on elevated ground provides clear views of the Welland Valley from a strong defensible location. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a wooden Motte and Bailey at Rockingham in the 11th century shortly after the Norman Invasion of Britain. Within three decades, William II replaced it with a stone castle. A stone keep was added to the large motte and the outer bailey was enclosed by a curtain wall; the castle was used as a Royal retreat throughout the Norman and Plantagenet periods. Nearby Rockingham Forest was good for hunting wild boar and deer. In 1270 Henry III strengthened the castle with the addition of a twin D-tower gatehouse, but less than a century Edward III became the last monarch to visit the castle while it was possessed by The Crown.
By the late 15th century Rockingham Castle had fallen into disrepair. Sir Edward Watson acquired the lease of the castle from Henry VIII. Parts of the castle were subsequently replaced with a Tudor house with gardens; the former royal castle became a hunting lodge for the nobility. Watson's grandson Lewis Watson acquired the freehold of lands from the crown. Watson was successively a knight and baron. In the 1640s Rockingham was garrisoned by troops loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War. Several small skirmishes were fought with Parliamentary forces. In 1643 Rockingham was captured by Parliamentarian general Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford and Lewis Watson temporarily forced to leave, its remaining walls were slighted in 1646. In the latter 17th and 18th centuries, Rockingham returned to being a civil residence. Lewis' grandson Lewis, was created Earl of Rockingham in 1714, a barony, extinguished with the death of the 3rd baron in 1746; the estate passed to his cousin Thomas Watson-Wentworth, created the 1st Marquess Rockingham that year.
When Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham died in 1782, the estate among others passed to the son of his sister, William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. The castle underwent further restoration in the late 19th century. Today the castle remains the private home of the Saunders-Watson family and is owned by James Saunders Watson who has turned the castle into a £4M per annum business, he has been High Sheriff of Northamptonshire since 28 March 2018. Rockingham Castle is stated as being in the county of Leicestershire; this mistake arises due to Rockingham having a Market Harborough postal address though it borders directly onto the town of Corby in Northamptonshire. Rockingham village is part of, is administered by Corby Borough Council; the Castle overlooks the villages of Rockingham and Caldecott and enjoys good views over the Welland Valley. Now owned, it is open to the public on certain days. Rockingham Castle was a popular haunt of writer Charles Dickens, a great friend of Richard and Lavinia Watson, ancestors of the current family.
The Castle is arguably the inspiration for Chesney Wold in one of his greatest works, Bleak House. Rockingham Castle takes its name from the village of Rockingham. Rockingham Forest was named after Rockingham village, during the time of William the Conqueror, because of the Castle's importance as a Royal retreat. A cricket pitch is home to Old Eastonians Cricket Club. Rockingham Castle was used as the set for the BBC English Civil War period drama By the Sword Divided. In the TV series "Arnescote Castle" was the home of the Royalist Lacey family, it featured in the film Top Secret! which starred Val Kilmer. Castles in Great Britain and Ireland List of castles in England Hartshorne, Chales Henry. "Rockingham Castle". Archaeological Journal. 1: 356–378. Official website Photos of Rockingham Castle and surrounding area on geograph Map sources for Rockingham Castle