18 things you really ought to know about Northamptonshire

From George Washington and Frances Crick to the Gunpowder Plot and Formula 1, you'll love our Northamptonshire trivia.

  • The Gunpowder Plot was hatched in the county at Ashby St Ledgers
  • The English Civil War battle that secured the future of parliamentary democracy was fought at Naseby in 1645
  • The head of Lord Cardigan’s horse from the Charge of the Light Brigade is still displayed at Deene Park
Deene Park near Corby, Northamptonshire

Deene Park near Corby, Northamptonshire

  • The world’s first radar station was built at Daventry
  • Shakespeare’s granddaughter (his last direct descendant) is buried in Northampton
  • Francis Crick, who discovered DNA with James Watson, was born in Northampton
  • Northamptonshire once led the world in shoe and bootmaking. Several companies still remain, among them Horace Batten – it’s still run by Timothy Batten and his daughter, Emma, the seventh generation, and is arguably the finest bespoke bootmaker left in this country.
Horace and Emma Batten (©Country Life)

Horace and Emma Batten (©Country Life)

  • The families of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin came from Sulgrave and Ecton respectively
  • Oak Apple Day has recently been revived as a reminder of the time when Charles II donated much of the oak to help restore Northampton after it was devastated by fire
  • Northamptonshire has more historic houses than any other county
  • 80% of the world’s Formula 1 cars are built in Northamptonshire

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A mechanic works on a racing car at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire

  • The River Nene, which rises in Northampton, is pronounced ‘nen’ to rhyme with hen in most of the county, but becomes ‘neen’ as you go east
  • Open-space visitor attractions and gardens include the 750 acres of Stanwick Lakes, the late-Tudor landscape design at Lyveden and the nationally important arboretum at Lord Heseltine’s Thenford House, containing 3,500 species. The long, deep borders and potager designed by Rosemary Verey at the quintessentially English Old Rectory garden at Sudborough are worth visiting all year
  • The world’s first garden gnomes were introduced at Lamport House in 1843 by Sir Charles Isham

#gnomadicmonday #Denbo is contemplating this rainy morning somewhere at the York St. location. Where is he? #gardengnome

A post shared by Denver Botanic Gardens (@denverbotanic) on

  • 78, Derngate, a narrow terraced house in Northampton, is the only domestic building in England to be designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • The Eleanor Cross at Geddington is the best preserved of only three remaining examples that marked the resting places on the journey south of Edward I’s beloved wife, Eleanor of Castile, after she died in Nottinghamshire in 1290

Queen Eleanor Cross, Geddington, Northamptonshire. This is the best preserved of the remaining 3 that still stand from the original 12.

  • Northamptonshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1878 and became a First Class county in 1905
  • Richard III was born at Fotheringay Castle and Mary, Queen of Scots was executed there
Richard III, last king of England from the Royal house of York

Richard III, last king of England from the Royal house of York