Wellingborough: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 52°17′38″N 0°41′47″W / 52.29396°N 0.69645°W / 52.29396; -0.69645

Wellingborough Embankment on the River Nene
Wellingborough is located in Northamptonshire

 Wellingborough shown within Northamptonshire
Population 72,519 (2001 Census)[1][2]
OS grid reference SP8967
    - London  69.8 miles (112.3 km) 
District Wellingborough
Shire county Northamptonshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NN8 NN9
Dialling code 01933
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Wellingborough
List of places: UK • England • Northamptonshire

Wellingborough is a market town and borough in Northamptonshire, England situated some 11 miles (18 km) from the county town of Northampton. The town is also situated on north side of the River Nene,[3] most of the older town is sited on the flanks of the hills above the river's flood plain.[4] Due to frequent flooding by the River Nene, the town was mostly built above the level of the flood plain. Originally named 'Wendelingburgh', the town was founded in the early 6th century Saxon period by a Saxon leader called Waendel[5] and is mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name of Wendelburie. The town was granted a royal market charter in 1201, by King John of England.[6]

As of the 2001 census it has a population of 72,519.[1] The town of Wellingborough is governed by The Borough Council of Wellingborough, with their office located in the town centre.[7] The town is twinned with two places: Niort in France and Wittlich in Germany.

The town is due to grow by around 30% under the Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) study, as the UK government has identified Wellingborough as one of several towns in Northamptonshire where growth will be directed over the next thirty years. The study allocates 12,800 additional homes mainly to the east of the town.[8] The town has also a growing commuter population as its located on the Midland Main Line railway, which has InterCity trains directly into London St Pancras International station taking under an hour, giving an interchange with Eurostar services.[9]



The town was founded in the early 6th century Saxon period by a Saxon leader Waendel. The town was named 'Wendelingburgh' now known as Wellingborough.[5] There are five wells that are found around the town these are Red Well, Hemming Well, Stanwell, Lady's Well and Whyte Well, which appear on its coat of arms.[10]

All Hallows Church

The medieval town of Wellingborough housed a modest monastic grange – now the Jacobean Croyland 'Abbey' – which was an offshoot of the larger monastery of Croyland Abbey, near Peterborough, some 30 miles (48 km) down-river. This part of the town is now known as 'Croyland'.[11]

All Hallows Church[12] is the oldest existing building in Wellingborough and dates from c. 1160. The manor of Wellingborough belonged to Crowland Abbey Lincolnshire, from Saxon times and the monks probably built the original church.[13] The earliest part of the building is the Norman doorway opening in from the later south porch. The church was enlarged with the addition of more side chapels and by the end of the 13th century had assumed more or less its present plan. The west tower, crowned with a graceful broach spire rising to 160 feet (49 m), was completed about 1270, after which the chancel was rebuilt and given the east window twenty years later.[14] The twentieth century Church of St Mary was built by Ninian Comper.[15]

Wellingborough was given a Market Charter dated 3 April 1201 when King John granted it to the "Abbot of Croyland and the monks serving God there" continuing, "they shall have a market at Wendligburg (Wellingborough) for one day each week that is Wednesday"[6]

In Elizabethan times the Lord of the Manor, Sir Christopher Hatton was a sponsor of Sir Francis Drake's expeditions; Drake renamed one of his ships the Golden Hind after the heraldic symbol of the Hatton family. A hotel in a Grade II listed building built in 1600s, is still named the Hind Hotel.[16]

Wellingborough Croyland Abbey

During the Civil War the largest substantial conflict in the area was the Battle of Naseby in 1645, although a minor skirmish in the town resulted in the killing of a parliamentarian officer Captain John Sawyer. Severe reprisals followed which included the carrying off to Northampton of the parish priest, Thomas Jones, and 40 prisoners by a group of Roundheads. However, after the Civil War Wellingborough was home to a colony of Diggers. Little is known about this period and local historians suspect deliberate suppression, although the naming of a residential street after Gerrard Winstanley, a prominent leader of the Diggers, suggests some public knowledge. The neighbouring streets name other religious reformers John Knox and Matthew Newcomen, implying that the naming was based Winstanley's life rather than on the Digging.[17]

Originally the town had two railway stations called London Road which was the first station in the town, linking Peterborough with Northampton, this line closed in 1966. The second station, Midland Road, is still in operation with trains to London and the East Midlands. Since then the 'Midland Road' was dropped from the station name. The 1857 railway station serving Kettering and a little later Corby, was linked in 1867 to London St Pancras. In 1898 in the Wellingborough rail accident six or seven people died and and around 65 were injured.[18] In the 1880s two businessmen held a public meeting to build three tram lines in Wellingborough, the group merged with a similar company in Newport Pagnell who started to lay tram tracks, but within two years the plans are abandoned for lack of funds.[19]


The Borough Council of Wellingborough

Wellingborough is part of The Borough Council of Wellingborough which is currently (as of March 2010) a Covservative borough.[20] The borough council covers 20 settlements including the town together with Bozeat, Earls Barton, Easton Maudit, Ecton, Finedon, Great Doddington, Great Harrowden, Grendon, Hardwick, Irchester, Isham, Little Harrowden, Little Irchester, Mears Ashby, Orlingbury, Strixton, Sywell, Wilby, and Wollaston.[11]

Local Wards

The electoral wards in the town comprise of:[11] Brickhill, Castle, Croyland, Hemmingwell, North, Queensway, Redwell East, Redwell West, South, Swanspool West while other, non-political divisions, are areas in Wellingborough such as as: Gleneagles, Hampden Park, Hatton Park, Hemmingwell, Kingsway, Queensway, Redhill Grange, and Redwell.

Wellingborough Constituency

Wellingborough is part of the Wellingborough Constituency which includes the town, surrounding villages and other urban areas. The current MP is Peter Bone. Most wards in The Borough Council of Wellingborough are covered by the constituency and also include the wards in East Northamptonshire, the wards are: Brickhill, Castle, Croyland, Finedon, Great Doddington and Wilby, Hemmingwell, Higham Ferrers Lancaster, Higham Ferrers Chichele, Irchester, North, Queensway, Redwell East, Redwell West, Rushden Hayden, Rushden Spencer, Rushden Bates, Rushden Sartoris, Rushden Pemberton, South, Swanspool, and Wollaston.[20]

European Parliament

For European representation, Wellingborough is part of the East Midlands constituency with five MEPs.[21]

Local economy and amenities

Wellingborough has approximately 2,500 registered businesses within its boundaries. Much of the town centre was redeveloped during the 1970s, when it grew rapidly from London overspill. The Borough Council has adopted a 'Town Centre Action Plan'.[22] The former traditional economic structure based on footwear and engineering is gradually diversifying with wholesale, logistics, and service sectors providing new opportunities for employment. Over 50 companies in the town employ between 100 to 500 people through a base of local companies and those that have arrived via inward investment.

Local shops
The Swansgate Shopping Centre in 2008

As a market town, Wellingborough has major high street chains mainly located in the town centre. The only shopping centre, Swansgate,[23] previously known as the Arndale Centre, was built in the late 1970s. Since 2009 the Borough Council has been looking at rebuilding the centre[24] and major stores want bigger floor-spaces.[25] Supplementing the town centre shops are several out-of-town retail parks and supermarkets including a Sainsbury's,[26] four Tesco's[27] stores, an Aldi[28] store and a Morrisons[29] store in the town centre. The town has a market three times a week and a weekly privately organised market.[6]

Other business

Sectors currently operating within the town include motorsport, high performance engineering, distribution, environmental technology and renewable energy, digital and creative media, financial and business services, and global brands. There are several industrial estates in the town, these include Park Farm,[30] Denington,[31] Layland[32] and Finedon Road.[33]


At one time, the town had four cinemas in the town centre, possibly the largest number of screens per head of population in the country. The Palace (converted from a theatre), The Regal (same management as The Palace), The Silver Cinema and The Lyric (latterly the ABC). The oldest is now a kebab shop, although it still has distinctive pre-war cinema architecture on the first and second floors, and the newest of the three became a supermarket before being demolished in the 1990s to make space for a taxi rank. The Art Deco Lyric was demolished to make way for an Arndale Shopping Centre. The town no longer has a cinema, with the longest lasting one being The Palace, which has now been made into a new bar named 'The Cutting Room' downstairs and the upstairs into a snooker and pool hall. Local redevelopment plans have recently ruled out the building of a new cinema.

The Castle Theatre

The Castle Theatre[34] was opened in 1995 on the site of Wellingborough's old Cattle Market. It brings not only a theatre to the area but other facilities for local people. Most rooms are used on a daily basis by the local community, users include the Castle Youth Theatre[35] and Youth Dance.[36]

Museums and libraries

Wellingborough has a public library in the corner of the market square.[37] The Wellingborough Museum, located next door to The Castle Theatre, has exhibitions which show the past of Wellingborough and the surrounding villages. Accompanying the exhibitions and articles is a souvenir shop.[38]


Wellingborough is home to two football clubs: Wellingborough Town[39] and Wellingborough Whitworth.[40] In 2009 the town's rugby club was the first club to be awarded the RFU Whole Club Seal of Approval in the East Midlands.[41] Harrowden Hall, a 17th century building in Great Harrowden village just on the outskirts of the town, is the clubhouse of a privately owned golf course.[42] The five leisure centres and health clubs in Wellingborough include Bannatyne's,[43] Club Diana,[44] Redwell, and Waendel and Weavers (which is part of Weavers school).[45]



The A45 dual carriageway skirting to the south, links the town with the A14, and M1 which also allows links to the east and west of the country. The A45 links Wellingborough with Northampton, Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Raunds, Thrapston, Oundle and Peterborough.


The town is served by a bus network provided by Stagecoach in Northants and First Northampton, with local Connect Wellingborough buses W1, W2, W3, W4, W5, W6, W7, and W8 linking the town centre (Church Street) with local suburbs and villages.[46][47] The route 23 is a local commuter bus from the town centre to Park Farm Industry Estate. Departing every 30 minutes the X4 service also links the town with Milton Keynes, Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Oundle and Peterborough.[48] Other routes include the 24, 38, 45 and X46.[46]

Wellingborough station building

East Midlands Trains operate direct trains to London St Pancras International from Wellingborough railway station, departing every 30 minutes, with an average journey time of around 55 minutes.[49] The railway line also connects Wellingborough with Bedford, Luton, Kettering, Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield and Leeds. Wellingborough originally had two railway stations, the current station and another on London Road. Wellingborough London Road station was linked to the Midland Main Line and provided connections to Peterborough and Northampton on the Northampton and Peterborough Railway. This station was closed to passengers in 1964.


Several UK airports are within 2 hours' drive of the town, including London Luton, East Midlands, Birmingham International and London Stansted. Luton can be reached directly by train while East Midlands and Stansted can be reached by one change at Leicester. Sywell Aerodrome, located 5 miles northwest of Wellingborough, caters for private flying, flight training and corporate flights.


Following the post World War II arrival of immigrants from the commonwealth group of nations into Britain, Wellingborough was seen as an attractive location for many who chose to work in the many local industries, most of which are now extinct. A sizeable Black Caribbean and Indian/Pakistani community grew up in this small market town, and now represents 7% of the population in the Borough and to 11% within the town.[2]



Fourteen government controlled primary schools feed the secondary schools that include: Wellingborough School, an independent, fee-paying school with a cadet force, and the state secondary schools of Sir Christopher Hatton School, Weavers School, Wrenn School (formerly the Wellingborough Grammar School), and Friars School.[50]


The Tresham College of Further and Higher Education has a main campus in Wellingborough, and outreach locations in Kettering, Oakham and Corby.[51] It provides further education and offers vocational courses, GCSEs and A Levels.[52] In collaboration with several universities the college also offers Higher Education options.[53]

Northampton University

The University of Northampton in Northampton, with around 10,000 students on two campuses. offers courses from foundation and undergraduate levels to postgraduate, professional and doctoral qualifications. Subjects include traditional arts, humanities and sciences subjects, as well as entrepreneurship, product design and advertising.[54][55]

Emergency services


Several NHS centres provide health care facilities, with Isebrook Hospital being equipped for procedures such as large X-Rays and neurological investigations, and long-term care, that are not catered for by primary care surgeries. Accident & Emergency (A&E), maternity,[56] and surgical issues are mainly covered by Kettering General Hospital. Air Ambulance is provided by Warkshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance service.[57] A petition signed by thousands of local residents in the towns of Wellingborough and Rushden for a new A&E to be built in Wellingborough has been handed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's home, 10 Downing Street by local MP Peter Bone on 10 February 2010.[58]

Fire and Police

Other emergency services are provided by the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Northamptonshire Police. The HM Prison Wellingborough is located just outside the town.

Notable Wellingburians

Sir David Frost attended Wellingborough Grammar school

Wellingborough is the birthplace and residence of many notable people, including the former world champion snooker player Peter Ebdon, and Sir David Frost, OBE a broadcaster, who attended Wellingborough Grammar School (now the Wrenn School).[59] The winner of Britain's Strongest Man contest in 2002, Marc Iliffe, lives in the town.

Scientist Kenneth Mees, and Frederic Henry Gravely an arachnologist, entomologist, and zoologist were born in the town. Paul Pindar, an ambassador of King James I to the Ottoman Empire, was born and grew up in the town, and attended Wellingborough School.

The town has sports people such as Rory McLeod and[60] Jamie O'Neill both snooker players, born in the town,[61] and football players Trevor Benjamin[62] and Bill Perkins both grew up in the town. Perkins played for a number of teams including Liverpool Football Club, Kettering Town and Northampton Town.[63] Fanny Walden was born in the town, formerly playing for Northampton Town and Tottenham Hotspur. Brian Hill, referee, was also born in the town.[64]

Wellingborough is home to singers Peter Murphy of Bauhaus who lived a large portion of his early life in here, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and politicians Alfred Dobbs, Arthur Allen (for the Labour Party) and Brian Binley (for the Conservative Party) were all born in the town.

Authors connected with the town include Lesley Glaister who was born in Wellingborough, while Stephen Elboz was born and currently lives in the town.[65] Jim Murray also lives in the town and Bruce Quarrie formally lived in the town before his death in 2004. A school in Wellingborough is named after Sir Christopher Hatton, and Edward Mannock is mentioned on the Wellingborough War Memorial.



The town is sited on the hills adjoining the flood plain of the River Nene.[4][66] In the predominantly agrarian medieval period, this combination of access to fertile, if flood-prone, valley bottom soils and drier (but heavier and more clay-rich) hillside/ hilltop soils seems to have been good for a mixed agricultural base. The clay-rich hilltop soils are primarily a consequence of blanketing of the area with boulder clay or glacial till during the recent glaciations.[67] On the valley sides and valley floor however, these deposits have been largely washed away in the late glacial period, and in the valley bottom extensive deposits of gravels were laid down, which have largely been exploited for building aggregate in the last century.

Iron ore

The most economically important aspect of the geology of the area is the Northampton Sands ironstone formation. This is a marine sand of Jurassic age (Bajocian stage), deposited as part of an estuary sequence and overlain by a sequence of limestones and mudrocks. Significant amounts of the sand have been replaced or displaced by iron minerals giving an average ore grade of around 25 wt% iron. To the west the iron ores have been moderately exploited for a very long time, but their high phosphorus content made them difficult to smelt and produced iron of poor quality until the development of the Bessemer steel making process and the "basic slag" smelting chemistry, which combine to make high quality steelmaking possible from these unprepossessing ores. The Northampton Sands were a strategic resource for the UK in the run-up to World War II, being the best developed bulk iron producing processes wholly free from dependence on imported materials. However, because the Northampton Sands share in the regional dip of all the sediments of this part of Britain to the east-south-east, they become increasingly difficult to work as one progresses east across the county.[68][69]


Wellingborough experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification) which is similar to most of the British Isles.

Climate data for Wellingborough, GBR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 2
Precipitation cm (inches) 4.51
Source: [70] 2 February 2010


Wellingborough's nearest towns are Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough.

Twin towns

Wellingborough is twinned with:

and also has relations with Willingboro, township in Burlington County, New Jersey, USA,[71] while Irchester and Grendon, two of the villages within Wellingboroough borough, have twin town partners at Coulon near Niort, and Bois-Bernard near Arras.[71]

Future developments

Milton Keynes South Midlands Study

As part of its Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) study, the government has identified Wellingborough as one of several towns in Northamptonshire into which growth will be directed over the next thirty years. It allocates 12,800 additional homes to Wellingborough, and will also create additional facilities, further improve the town centre, improve infrastructure and increase employment opportunities. A jobs growth target of 12,400 jobs has been set to accompany the large scale housing growth.[8]

As a result, plans have been made for a major urban extension in the town, mainly to the east of the railway station. When finished, the town would be around 30% larger and 3,200 new homes would be built on 'Stanton Cross' site, with new Schools, Bus stops, Community Centres, Shops, a Doctor's surgery, and new open spaces.[72] The railway station would be developed into an 'interchange' with local buses and trains. The upgrade would provide a new platform, footbridge and new station buildings.[73] Outside the station a new road bridge from Midland Road over the railway line is also planned with a new footbridge to reach the new development.[74] Other plans to include the development of the High Street, Shelley Road and the north of the town areas are also being considered.[75][76]

A plan for 3,000 homes north of the town has been accepted by the UK Government after an appeal by Bee Bee Developments. The plan was first refused by Wellingborough Borough Council.[77]

See also


  1. ^ a b UK Statistics: Wellingborough Retrieved 28 January
  2. ^ a b The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Population Retrieved 23 August 2009
  3. ^ Google Maps: Wellingborough Retrieved 29 January 2010
  4. ^ a b Northamptonshire flood plains Retrieved 28 January 2010
  5. ^ a b The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Wendel History Retrieved 28 January 2010
  6. ^ a b c Wellingborough Market Retrieved 28 January 2010
  7. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough Location map Retrieved 28 January 2010
  8. ^ a b North Northants Development Company Retrieved 28 January 2010
  9. ^ East Midlands Trains: Interchange with Eurostar Retrieved 2 March 2010
  10. ^ Explore Northamptonshire: About Wellingborough Retrieved 28 January 2010
  11. ^ a b c The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Councillors by Wards Retrieved 19 November 2009
  12. ^ All Hallows Church Retrieved 23 August 2009
  13. ^ Crowland Abbey Retrieved 21 August 2009
  14. ^ All Hallows Church: History Retrieved 26 February 2010
  15. ^ Comper churches Retrieved 23 August 2009
  16. ^ Hind Hotel Retrieved 21 August 2009
  17. ^ Winstanley Rd-Google Maps Retrieved 28 January 2010
  18. ^ Railway Archive: Wellingborough Rail Crash Retrieved 24 January 2010
  19. ^ The Northants Evening Telegraph, 'Millennium Memories', Saturday 1 January 2000, ISBN 0-9502845-1-3
  20. ^ a b Wellingborough Conservatives Retrieved 28 January 2010
  21. ^ UK Office of the European Parliament: East Midlands MEPs Access Date 2 March 2010
  22. ^ Growth in Wellingborough Retrieved 28 January 2010
  23. ^ Swansgate Shopping Centre Retrieved 28 January 2010
  24. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Wellingborough Masterplan Retrieved: 18 November 2009
  25. ^ Northants Evening Telegraph: Big-names too large for town Retrieved 30 January 2010
  26. ^ Sainsbury's: Wellingborough Store Retrieved 30 January 2010
  27. ^ Tesco: Store Locator Retrieved 30 January 2010
  28. ^ Aldi: Wellingborough store Retrieved 30 January 2010
  29. ^ Morrisons: Wellingborough store Retrieved 30 Jaunary 2010]
  30. ^ Borough Council of Wellingborough: Park Farm industrial estate Retrieved 30 January 2010
  31. ^ Borough Council of Wellingborough: Denington industrial estate Retrieved 30 January 2010
  32. ^ Whittle Jones: Layland trading estate Retrieved 30 January 2010
  33. ^ Borough Council of Wellingborough: Finedon Road industrial estate Retrieved 30 January 2010
  34. ^ Castle Theatre Retrieved 23 August 2009
  35. ^ Castle Theatre: Youth theatre Retrieved 2 March 2010
  36. ^ Castle Theatre: Youth dance Retrieved 2 March 2010
  37. ^ Northamptonshire County Council: Wellingborough Library Retrieved 28 January 2010
  38. ^ Wellingborough Museum entry on Culture24 Retrieved 28 January 2010
  39. ^ Wellingborough Town F.C. Retrieved 28 January 2010
  40. ^ Wellingborough Whitworth Retrieved 28 January 2010
  41. ^ Wellingborough Rugby Football Club Retrieved 14 January
  42. ^ Wellingborough Golf Club Retrieved 28 January 2010
  43. ^ Bannatyne Wellingborough Retrieved 28 January 2010
  44. ^ Club Diana Wellingborough Retrieved 28 January 2010
  45. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Leisure centres Retrieved 28 January 2010
  46. ^ a b Stagecoach in Northants Retrieved 28 January 2010
  47. ^ First Northampton Retrieved 28 January 2010
  48. ^ Stagecoach Northants X4 Retrieved 28 January 2010
  49. ^ East Midlands Trains: Midland Main Line Timetable Retrieved 28 January 2010
  50. ^ Northampton County Council: Map of Schools Retrieved 28 January 2010
  51. ^ Tresham College: Our Campuses. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  52. ^ Tresham College: Our Courses. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  53. ^ Tresham College: Higher Education. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  54. ^ The University of Northampton: Course finder. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  55. ^ The University of Northampton: About Us. Retrieved 8 August 2009
  56. ^ NHS: Maternity Details Retrieved 28 January 2010
  57. ^ Warkshire and Northamptonshire Air AmbulanceRetrieved 2 March 2010
  58. ^ Northants Evening Telegraph: Petition handed over for hospital Retrieved 16 February 2010
  59. ^ Wellingborough Grammar School Retrieved 28 January 2010
  60. ^ The Independent Retrieved 24 February 2010
  61. ^ Global Snooker Centre Retrieved 25 February 2010
  62. ^ Northants Evening Telegraph: Transfer Talk Retrieved 25 February 2010
  63. ^ IFC History:Bill Perkins Retrieved 25 February 2010
  64. ^ Rushden Heritage Retrieved 25 February 2010
  65. ^ Oxford University Press: Stephen Elboz Retrieved 25 February 2010
  66. ^ Wellingborough Geology Map Retrieved 28 January 2010
  67. ^ Wellingborough Council: Northamptonshire Geology Retrieved 28 January 2010
  68. ^ Northants Geology Map Retrieved 28 January 2010
  69. ^ Northamptonshire Jurassic age Retrieved 28 January 2010
  70. ^ "Average weather for Wellingborough". http://weather.msn.com/monthly_averages.aspx?&wealocations=wc%3aUKXX1388&q=Wellingborough%2c+GBR&setunit=C. 
  71. ^ a b c d Wellingborough Borough Council: Town twinning. Retrieved 2 March 2010
  72. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough Housing Strategy (PDF) Retrieved 23 August 2009
  73. ^ The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development May 2009 Retrieved 22 November 2009
  74. ^ Growth Area Fact Sheet 2007 Retrieved 14 January 2010
  75. ^ Wellingborough planning Retrieved 28 January 2010
  76. ^ Wellingborough 2020 Vision Retrieved 14 January 2010
  77. ^ Northants Evening Telegraph: Green light for 3,000 new homes Retrieved 25 February 2010

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Wellingborough is a city in Northamptonshire.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WELLINGBOROUGH, a market town in the eastern parliamentary division of Northamptonshire, England, 632 m. N.N.W. from London by the Midland railway; served also by the London & North-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 18,412. It lies on the declivity of a hill near the junction of the Ise with the Nene, in a pleasant well-wooded district. The church of St Luke is a beautiful building with Norman and Early English portions, but is mainly Decorated, with a western tower and spire. The grammar-schools, founded in 1594 and endowed with the revenues of a suppressed gild, include a school of the second and a school of the third grade, the former a building of red brick in the Renaissance style erected in 1880, and the latter an old Elizabethan structure. Another educational endowment is Freeman's school, founded by John Freeman in 1711. There are also several charities. The principal public building is the corn exchange. The town is of some importance as a centre of agricultural trade; but the staple industry is in leather. A great impulse to the prosperity of the town was given by the introduction of the boot and shoe trade, especially the manufacture of uppers. Smelting, brewing and iron-founding are also carried on, as well as the manufacture of portable steam-engines, and iron ore is raised in the vicinity.

In 948 Edred gave the church at Wellingborough to Crowland Abbey, and the grant was confirmed by King Edgar in 966. In the reign of Edward II. the abbot was lord in full. The town received the grant of a market in 1201. It was formerly famed for the chalybeate springs to which it owes its name, and in 1621 was visited by Charles I. and his queen, who resided in tents during a whole season while taking the waters. It was after its almost total destruction by fire in 1738 that the town was built on its present site on the hill.

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