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Northampton was given a Town Charter in 1189 by King Richard. Most of the present structure of the Town began after 1645 following the Great Fire. Northampton became the bedrock of the boot and shoe industry and much of the town’s architecture reflects this today with traditional workers cottages, warehouses and factory conversions.
As the town grew it absorbed a number of local villages such as Duston, Dallington, Kingsthorpe, Weston Favell, Great and Little Billing and most recently Hardingstone and Wootton. The town was granted New Town Status in 1968.
Northampton has excellent transport links, being situated next to the M1 motorway and is serviced by three separate junctions, 15, 15a and 16. The A45 joins the M1 to the A14 and in turn the A1. The mainline railway station has been completely redeveloped and offers a direct line to London Euston and even the Grand Union Canal runs through the town. The town has gone from strength to strength and in 2006 was declared as a government expansion zone.
It is now the home of major companies including Barclaycard, Carlsberg, Nationwide, Travis Perkins and Avon to name but a few. The town has a University, a large General Hospital and a bustling centre with a traditional open air market. Many retail parks and additional shopping centres supplement the town centre. The town has an excellent sporting pedigree and is home to very successful rugby, football and cricket teams. It also has strong links to motorsport with a close association to Cosworth, AMG and nearby Silverstone.
The Northampton property market offers a wide and diverse range of properties which represent exceptional value for money, in an area that many consider commutable to London. Starter homes are available in the region of £160,000 and the availability of many shared ownership schemes allow first time buyers to be very active in the marketplace. Traditional three bedroom semi-detached family homes are available from in the region of £210,000 and the range of type and style is vast. There are a number of factory conversion apartments that suit first time buyers and investors alike.
The rental sector starts from around £575pcm for a one bedroom apartment. Two bedroom homes are available from the region of £700pcm and three bedroom family homes start from around £850pcm. Demand for all types of property is extremely high.
As a result of the growth in the area Northampton has attracted many new residents drawn by the improving prosperity in the Town. New developments such as the Waterside University Campus have significantly improved the flow of available property and the South and West of the town have proved to be popular with commuters seeking access to the M1 motorway or the mainline railway station. A large proportion of residents are local with a family heritage in the town going back many generations.
Sport features highly in Northampton as the town is host to very successful rugby, football and cricket teams. Silverstone Race Circuit the home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix is also within easy reach, as is Towcester Racecourse. The town centre has a range of thriving bars, nightclubs, casinos and restaurants. The Royal and Derngate Theatre and the small but superb Charles Rennie Macintosh Museum sit in the heart of the invigorated cultural quarter.
The boot and shoe industry is still very much associated with the town with top brands such as Edward Green, Church’s, Barkers, Crockett and Jones and Jeffery West all remaining local. The Guildhall and All Saints Church in the centre of town are fine examples of stunning architecture, but the eye is often drawn to the National Lift Tower when viewing the skyline. The town still has a close association with the Spencer Family with Althorp House, the family home and resting place of Diana Princess of Wales, situated close by.
Sales Manager Ben Taylor lives in the town and explains “Northampton has something on offer to suit everyone. The town is expanding and improving on a daily basis and has a vibrancy and positive feel-good factor despite the recent national economic challenges”.
Traditional Victorian/Edwardian terraced properties are mainly situated within walking distance to the town centre and railway station. Many of these streets have traffic controlling systems and are predominantly accessed by residents. There is also a good selection of modern purpose built flats close to the River Nene and town centre and a large number of warehouses and factories have been sympathetically renovated into residential dwellings.
Many fine properties line the main arterial routes into town such as the Wellingborough Road, Kettering Road, Weedon Road, Harborough and London Roads. Suburbs in Kingsthorpe, Duston, Weston Favell and Delapre offer popular family housing, invariably close to sought after schooling. Most of the latest new developments including Hunsbury, Grange Park, Wotton Fields, Upton and St Crispin’s are situated to the South and West of the town with easy access to the M1. These newer developments offer an incredible range of properties from starter homes to “eco” housing and large detached executive homes. The villages, both inside and outside of the town boundary are highly acclaimed and most have an extensive range of period property.
Open space is readily available at Abington Park, Becketts Park and the Racecourse. Delapre Park and Abbey host a large number of high profile concerts and events as does the County Cricket Ground. Just off the A45 southern ring road there is fun for all the family at Billing Aquadrome Leisure Park. Nearby villages provide splendid walks and access to many country homes including Althorp House, Castle Ashby, Holdenby House, Cottersbrooke, Lamport and Kelmarsh Halls.
Due to its size Northampton has an extensive range of shopping facilities. The town centre still has a large open air Market Square and most of the shops are located in pedestrian zones or in the covered Grosvenor Centre and Peacock Place. Many High Street stores are represented. Close by and within walking distance there are a number of retail parks hosting large brand names.
The centre is well balanced with a number of smaller independent retailers and a tempting range of dining establishments to cater for all tastes. To the North of the town, Kingsthorpe has a popular shopping area with large supermarkets like Waitrose and Asda being mixed in with many independent outlets. To the East you will find the very large Weston Favell Shopping Centre which caters for all needs on a wide scale including a 24 hour opening Tesco Superstore. The increasingly developing Riverside Retail Park is situated to the South of the Town close to the A45 ring road and is popular with shoppers and diners alike and is host to a large number of car showrooms.
The west of the town in Duston is serviced by the Sixfields Retail Park which again is popular with diners and shoppers and also with film buffs, as it is the home to a multiplex cinema.