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The Boroughs in 1610

The Boroughs in 1610 is dominated by the Norman Castle which has not yet been destroyed by the vengeful actions of King Charles II

1610 map of the Boroughs by John Speed

There are many interesting points which relate to the origins of the Boroughs as the Medieval and Saxon hub of the town

The destruction of the town’s walls was yet to take place – an act of vengeance after the restoration of the monarchy since Northampton supported the Parliamentarians in the Civil War. The walls stretched aroun Northampton with five gates – the North Gate is indicated at the end of North Street.

The Castle itself is imposing on its familar natural mound.

The influence of the religious orders is highlighted by St Andrew’s Priory, just outside the Boroughs itself and the names St Marys Street and St Martins Lane recall the important medieval churches which once stood in the area

The essentially rural nature of the small town where the sale of animals was a regular event at the frequent fairs is shown by the streets’ names – Horse Market, Sheep Street and Hog Market. Mare Hole is an unusual spelling of the Mayorhold – this was alleged to have been the original Market Square of the medieval town

The River Nene runs to the west of the Boroughs -its original course which was diverted in 1871 to make space for the marshalling yards of Castle Railway Station. Scarletwell Street runs down to the river, its name unchanged through the centuries


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