Facts about Northamptonshire
In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Northamptonshire area forming their most northerly possession. The Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, and an important Roman settlement, Lactodorum, stood on the site of modern-day Towcester.
After the Romans left, the area eventually became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and Northampton functioned as an administrative centre. The Mercians converted to Christianity in 654 AD with the death of the pagan king Penda. From about 889 the area was conquered by the Danes and became part of the Danelaw – with Watling Street serving as the boundary – until being recaptured by the English under the Wessex king Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, in 917.
Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2015 it had a population of 723,000. The county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and by seven non-metropolitan district councils. It is known as “The Rose of the Shires”. Covering an area of 2,364 square kilometres, Northamptonshire is landlocked between eight other counties.
Northamptonshire is the southernmost county in the East Midlands region. Apart from the county town of Northampton, other major population centres include Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Daventry. Northamptonshire’s county flower is the cowslip. The Soke of Peterborough falls within the historic boundaries of the county, but its area has been part of the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire since 1974.