Northampton is an old market town, and the county town of Northamptonshire.
Of some importance in the Anglo-Saxon and Danish periods, its Market Place is one of England's largest. The town's charter was received in 1189. In the 1960s, Northampton was designated a New Town.
A devastating fire in 1675 destroyed most of the town centre, but two Norman churches survived - the round Holy Sepulchre Church and St. Peter's Church. There are a number of other interesting churches.
Northampton became famous for its boot and shoe industry, particularly after the footwear for Cromwell's army was made here, and even Northampton Town Football Club are known as "The Cobblers".
On the outskirts of the town, at Hardingstone, is one of the three surviving Eleanor Crosses.
At the Battle of Northampton in 1460, the Yorkists captured Henry VI, leading to Edward IV seizing the throne.
Northampton Cathedral (Catholic) was designed by A. W. Pugin.
Major companies in Northampton include Carlsberg Brewery, Avon Cosmetics, Barclaycard and Express Lifts, owners of the lift testing tower which can be seen from miles away.
People born in Northampton include composer Malcolm Arnold; scientist Francis Crick; King Harold I; and actress Joan Hickson.
The peasant poet John Clare spent the last 23 years of his life at Northampton Asylum, and another writer to die in the town was Jerome K. Jerome.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Northampton for groups.