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RETRO: Wellingborough picture special - a trip down memory lane

Do you remember when the town was like this?

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 9:48 am

Since Wellingborough was registered in The Domesday Book of 1086 that showed that approximately 250 people lived in "Wendleburie" at the time, a succession of landowners have been responsible for the town and its people.

From AD 948 to 1539 much of the area was in the hands of the fenland monastery of Crowland and after the dissolution of the monasteries returned to the crown.

Queen Elizabeth I gave the manor and other parish land to Sir Christopher Hatton and a smaller portion to the Earl of Leicester.

The town is noted for its wells, was popular with the early Stuart nobility and visited by Charles I.

Early in the Civil War, the town was plundered for two days as a reprisal for its Royalist stance and prior to the Battle of Naseby in 1645, the town was full of Parliamentarian troops.

After the Civil War, the "Diggers", a party of agrarian communists led by Gerrard Winstanley, organised some of the people of Wellingborough to dig, plough and cultivate common land on the outskirts of the town.

At this time the 'Wellinborrow' Digger manifesto mentions that 1,169 people in the town were in 'extreme poverty' out of a population of little more than 2,000.

The uprising was crushed by elite Parliamentarian soldiers.

Wellingborough like the rest of Northamptonshire had a reputation for shoe making, this remaining its most important industry until the mid-twentieth century.

With the coming of the railway the town expanded rapidly and has grown steadily ever since with a diverse population making their home in the town.

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