A district steeped in history

Northamptonshire Heritage: New website launched

Northamptonshire Heritage is an exciting website showcasing Northamptonshire’s history and promoting local heritage. It tells the history of the county, features an interactive map of heritage sites to visit, and includes expert advice for a more specialist audience.

Cosgrove History Project

For further information about the project please visit: Cosgrove History Project

'The White Queen' on the BBC The White Queen

Nearly 550 years ago, a meeting under an oak tree in Potterspury changed the course of British history. The story of the 'devilishly handsome' King and a 'beautiful young widow' has been made into a drama series for the BBC:

Further information about Elizabeth Woodville and her links to South Northamptonshire can be found at:

Where to go and what to do in South Northamptonshire

Please download our new Heritage Guide

South Northamptonshire and the surrounding area is home to many important historic houses, beautiful landscaped gardens and fascinating museums. The District has links to the Romans, Saxons, Vikings as well as the War of the Roses and the Civil War.

From Tudor manor houses to 18th century landscaped gardens, from classical architecture to Art Nouveau, from US presidents to princesses. There's something for everyone in South Northamptonshire.

The District has many interesting historic churches in village centres, frequently forming part of conservation areas. They include:

All Saints' Church in Middleton Cheney attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see stained glass windows created by Pre-Raphaelite artist Burne-Jones and the firm of William Morris. The Church of Saints Peter and Paul at Preston Deanery, which is under the protection of The Churches Conservation Trust and thought to have an early Viking influence, has two 1,000-year old carvings of snakes, birds and animals.

Even the roads and lanes of the District have played an important role in its history. The A5 formed Watling Street, the Roman Road from London to Anglesey which in the late Saxon period formed the frontier with the Vikings. A number of important droving roads passed through the District - The Banbury Lane and Oxford Lane.

Please visit our conservation pages for details of heritage areas in our villages.

Attractions close to the District:

Stowe: Buckinghamshire
Just to the south of Silverstone, with beautiful open vistas and valleys, over 40 monuments and temples, hidden pathways, woodlands and ornamental lakes make Stowe Landscaped Gardens a great place to explore through the changing seasons. Dog walkers welcome. Stowe House, home to Stowe School, is open to the public at certain times by the Stowe House Preservation Trust.

Northampton itself has much to offer, including the Shoe Museum, which is housed in the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and 78 Derngate, the only known example of work in Northampton of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the renowned Scottish architect and designer, who extensively remodelled the house in 1916.

Home of the Spencer family for over 500 years, Althorp has 19 rooms with one of Europe's finest private collections of furniture, paintings, photographs and ceramics. There is a café and shop.

Bletchley Park: Milton Keynes
Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, is one of the UK's most popular museums. Home to the famous code-breakers of World War Two, it houses a number of original Enigma machines and Colossus, the world's first programmable computer.

Built in 1560, is the ancestral home of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. One of the area's most popular attractions, the house is full of Tudor and Georgian furniture, embroideries and other artefacts. There are lovely gardens, a restaurant, shop and picnic area. Various events are held throughout the year, including the Apple Day festival each autumn.