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Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Wellingborough, a market town in Northamptonshire, 7 miles S from Kettering, 10 NE by E from Northampton, and 65½ by rail from London. The town is situated on the slope of a hill near the junction of the Ise with the river Nene, and consists chiefly of four principal streets diverging from a central market square. The M.R. has a station on its main line about a mile E of the town, and the L. & N.W.R. has a station on its Northampton and Peterborough branch about one mile S. The town is well paved, and has a good supply of water. Its chalybeate springs were formerly in high repute, and there is a local tradition to the effect that they were visited by Charles I. and Queen Henrietta. It formerly had important industries in the manufacture of woollen cloth and lace, but these have been abandoned for the making of shoe uppers, of entire boots and shoes, and in the raising and smelting of iron ore, immense quantities of which are found in this district. There are also two breweries. The market day is Wednesday, and fairs are held in the Market Square on Wednesday in Easter week, Wednesday in Whitsun week, and 29 Oct. for cattle and pleasure. There are a head post office and three banks, and the town publishes two newspapers. The Corn Exchange, which stands in the Market Square, was erected in 1861, and is a substantial building of red and white brick, with dressings of Bath stone. There is a county police station, with a room for the meetings of the magistrates and for the sittings of the county court, the town being the head of a petty sessional division and county court district. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough; net value, £700 with residence. The church, which has been restored throughout, is a large and imposing building of stone in the Norman, Early English, and later styles, consisting of chancel with aisles, nave with aisles, chapel, N and S porches, and a western tower with pinnacles and spire. It belonged to the abbey of Crowland from a period long before the Conquest, and so continued until the dissolution of monasteries. The ecclesiastical parish of All Saints was formed in 1872 from the mother parish of St Luke. The church, erected in 1867-68, is a lofty building of Finedon and Bath stone in the Early Decorated style. It was enlarged in 1890. The living of All Saints is a vicarage, of the net value of £230 with residence, in the gift of the Vicar of Wellingborough. There is a chapel of ease at the west end of the town, dedicated to St Barnabas. The Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a cruciform building of stone, consisting of chancel with aisles, nave, transepts, Lady chapel, organ chamber, sacristy, and presbytery. It has a fine reredos, and some very beautiful stained glass. There are two Baptist chapels, two Congregational chapels-one of which, standing in the High Street, is a fine building of stone erected at a cost of about £12,000- Primitive Methodist, Reformed Wesleyan, and Wesleyan Methodist chapels, and a Friends' meeting-house. The charities, which are devoted chiefly to education and to ecclesiastical purposes, amount to over £1000 a year. The grammar schools, founded in 1595, have endowments amounting to about £1500 a year, and are administered under a scheme approved of by the Charity Commissioners in 1876. Area of the parish, 4265 acres; population, 15,068; of the ecclesiastical parish of St Luke, 7891; of the ecclesiastical parish of All Saints, 7177.

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 parishWellingborough All Saints 
Poor Law unionWellingborough 

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

Church Records, in association with the Northamptonshire Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts for Northamptonshire online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Wellingborough from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Wellingborough 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:

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNN8
Post TownWellingborough