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Kettering, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Kettering, a market and a union town and parish in Northamptonshire. The town stands on a hill slope near the river Ise, 14 miles NE from Northampton, and 11 SE from Market Harborough. It has a station on the M.R. main line -from which two lines go northwards, one towards Peterborough and the other towards Leicester-and a head post office. The parish comprises 2814 acres; population, 19, 454. Kettering was known to the Saxons as Kateringes, was given m 976 by Edwy to his servant Elfsige, passed to the abbots of Peterborough, and became a market-town under the abbots in the time of Henry III. Some Roman antiquities, including coins of several emperors and urns, were found in the neighbourhood in 1726. The seal of a Papal bull was also dug up during the restoration of the church. The town is governed by a local board of nine members. It is the head of a petty sessional division and county court district, and is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county. A weekly market is held on Friday, and fairs are held on the Thursday before Easter, the Friday before Whitsunday, the Friday before 11 Oct, and the Friday before St Thomas' Day. The industries include the manufacture of boots, shoes, brushes, and clothing, stay-making, currying, and leather-dressing. There are three banks, several good hotels, and three weekly newspapers. The town-hall and corn exchange, which is situated in the market-place, is a handsome edifice of brick and stone, and was opened in 1862. There are the Victoria Hall, erected in 1889, with seats for 1200 people, the Temperance Hall, Conservative, Liberal, and Working Men's Club buildings, a church institute, with a library and reading-room, and a Nonconformist reading-room. The grammar school, rebuilt in 1856, has an endowment worth about, £700 a year. The workhouse, which was erected in 1837 at a cost of £6000, is a building of stone, and has accommodation for 150 inmates. There is a police station for a division of the county police. The cemetery, opened in 1861 and enlarged in 1871, has an area of 5 acres and mortuary chapels for Church of England and Nonconformist services. There are endowed almshouses for six aged women, a dispensary, an hospital for infectious diseases, and several small charities. The parish church, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, is a fine large building of stone chiefly in the Perpendicular style, with a lofty tower and spire. It was recently restored at a total cost of £9000. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; gross yearly value, £1090 with residence. There is a chapel of ease dedicated to St Andrew, which is a building of stone in the Decorated style, and another erected in 1894, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, the gift of an anonymous donor. There are also Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, and a Friends' meeting-house. Gill, the expositor was a native, and Fuller the theologian lived and died here. The manor belongs to the Duke of Buccleuch and the Watson family. There is also a manor attached to the rectory, of which the rector is lord.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyNorthamptonshire 
Ecclesiastical parishKettering St. Peter 
Poor Law unionKettering 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


The Cemetery, on the London road, was formed at a cost of £4,000, and consecrated 15th May, 1861, and in 1871 was enlarged at a further cost of £1,000; in 1894 it was again enlarged by 12½ acres, at a cost of about £5,000; and then comprised 17½ acres (of which 3½ acres still remained to be laid out), with a building surmounted by a spire and comprising mortuary chapels for the Church of England and Nonconformists.

Church Records

The register of SS. Peter and Paul dates from the year 1637, and was written in Latin till 1650, when the English register commences., in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.


Church of England

All Saints, William Street

All Saints' iron church, in William street, erected in 1899, will seat about 280.

SS. Peter and Paul (parish church)

The church of SS. Peter and Paul, which stands on high grounds and presents a striking appearance as seen from the railway, is a large and handsome edifice of stone, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel with chapels, clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, south chantry, south porch and a lofty western tower of two stages, with embattled parapet and short octagonal turrets at the angles, also embattled, from within which rises an elegant octagonal crocketed spire with three tiers of dormer lights; the lower stage of the tower is panelled, and the belfry, lighted by triplets, contains a clock and 8 bells with chimes: the stained west window overlooking the baptistery, inserted in 1893, at a cost of £320, is a memorial to the Rev. Canon Henry Lindsay M.A. late rector, 1863-92, and the east window and several others are also fitted with stained glass: a bronze mural tablet was erected to the late Miss Lindsay in 1906: the brass lectern was presented by Lady Elizabeth Villiers: the fittings of the church are of oak: in 1893 a new organ was erected at a cost of £1,100: there are several mural tablets and floor stones dating from 1700: the interior of the church was completely restored in 1893, under the direction of the late Sir A. W. Blomfield M.A., A.R.A. (d. 1899), at a cost of about £8,000: there are 1,200 sittings.

St. Andrew, Rockingham Road

The church of St. Andrew, in the Rockingham road, a chapel of ease to the parish church, was erected in 1870, at a cost of £4,500, and is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle and a turret containing one bell: the stained east window is a memorial to the Rev. Canon Henry Lindsay M.A. rector 1863-92, and was erected in 1893 at a cost of £200: and there is also a memorial window to the late John Margetts: the organ was renovated in 1902, at a cost of about £40: the church has been reseated and a clergy house erected: there are sittings for 500 persons.

St. Luke's Mission church

St. Luke's Mission church, a plain building of brick, was erected in 1876, and will seat 300 persons.

St. Mary the Virgin, Fuller Street

The church of St. Mary-the-Virgin, in fuller street, is an edifice of stone, erected in 1893-5, at a cost of about £7,000, and will seat about 600 persons.

St. Philip's Mission church, Brook Street

St. Philip's Mission church, Brook street, opened in 1894, is a building of brick with stone dressings, and cost £600.


Baptist chapel, King Street

The Baptist chapel, in King street, erected in 1912, at a cost of £3,600, will seat 780 persons; the original chapel, later used as a Sunday school, was erected in 1894, and will seat 500 persons.

Fuller Baptist chapel, Gold Street

Fuller Baptist chapel, in Gold street, was founded in 1696, and has 1,150 sittings.


Congregational chapel, London Road

The Congregational chapel, in London road, erected in 1893, will seat 700 persons.

Toller Congregational chapel, Gold Street

Toller Congregational chapel, in Gold street, was founded in 1662, and has 800 sittings.


Primitive Methodist chapel, Bath Road

The Primitive Methodist chapel, in Bath road, was erected in 1906, at a cost of £5,000, and has 700 sittings.

Wesleyan chapel, Silver Street

There is a Wesleyan chapel in Silver street, with 550 sittings.

Wesleyan chapel, Rockingham Road

There is a Wesleyan chapel in Rockingham road, with 600 sittings.

Society of Friends

Friends' Meeting House, Northall Street

The Friends' meeting house, in Northall street, was rebuilt in 1868, and enlarged in 1905.

Roman Catholic

St. Edward's Catholic church, The Grove

The Catholic church, in The Grove, and dedicated to St. Edward, is a plain edifice of red brick, erected in 1893, at a cost of £667, and affords 250 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kettering from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Northamptonshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Kettering are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Northamptonshire papers online:

Poor Law

Kettering was the head of a Poor Law Union comprising the following 32 parishes, viz.:- Barford, Barton Seagrave, Beanfield Lawns, Broughton, Burton Latimer, Carlton (East), Corby, Cattingham, Cranford St. Andrew, Cranford St. John, Cransley, Desborough, Geddington, Glendon, Grafton Underwood, Harrington, Kettering, Loddington, Middleton, Newton, Oakley (Great), Oakley (Little), Orton, Pytchley, Rothwell, Rushton, Stanion, Thorpe Malsor, Warkton, Weekley, Weldon (Great) & Weldon (Little).


The workhouse, in London road, was built in 1837 of stone, at a cost of £6,000; a new infirmary and laundry was erected in 1894, at a cost, including the site, of £10,000; tramp wards on the cellular system were built in 1900, at a cost of £1,230; the infirmary was extended by the erection of chronic wards and a phthisis sanatorium, and additional land purchased in 1903, at a total cost of £8,000; the workhouse would then hold 282 inmates; a new board room and offices and master's house were erected in 1909-10 at a cost of £2,580; a new day room for men was erected about 1910, and an improved drainage system introduced about 1915.

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNN16
Post TownKettering