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The Boroughs in 1851

Northampton’s population has increased fourfold from 1801 reaching over 30,000. This is reflected in the number of new streets and houses in the Boroughs

The Boroughs in 1851

The Boroughs was one of the main areas of population in Northampton at this time. Most of the workers in the footwear industry lived here. A contemporary account describes “Bearward Street, Harding Street, Spring Lane with stagnant, duck-weeded water at its foot; Scarletwell Street, so-called because its well used to be supposed to supply water peculiarly adapted for scarlet-dyeing; and Crispin Street, are the most fashionable quarters of the cordwainers’ colony, a part of the town which is almost solely peopled by shoemakers and their purveyors. Neatly built, yet squalid, unfragrant, two floored cottages; roadways splashed with slops, and littered with garbage; dirty children quarrelling, grubbing in the dirt, racing, squealing, squatting on the kerbstone in rows; vixenish women and beery men, in and outside of low “publics”, are the salient features of this area..”

The first record of Spring Lane is recorded on this 1851 plan

This plan of the Boroughs is the first to show Spring Lane; it runs downhill to the River Nene. Much of the land is devoted to orchards and it is evident from the plan that the northern part of the Boroughs was essentially rural at this time. To the south of Scarletwell Street the Boroughs has been built up and many streets have been laid out since the 1831 map
Enlarging the thumbnail plan on the left border will reveal the new St Andrew’s Church built in 1842 at a cost of £7000 and able to seat 1200 worshippers to serve the growing population. St Katherine’s was erected in 1839 to seat a thousand people. It was to be another thirty years before the children of the Boroughs were to be provided with an education in the new Board School in Spring Lane.


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