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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

How a group of enthusiasts are raising awareness of the long-lost Northampton Castle


STANDING on a small mound of earth and peering down on the Northampton station car-park below, I imagined myself as a king or queen visiting the town in days gone by.
No, I hopefully hadn’t gone barmy or been taken over by megalomania, rather, the place where I was standing, at the top of St Andrew’s Road, is believed to have once been the home of the old castle’s Great Hall.
Part of the 11th century Northampton Castle site, this is thought to have been the location of Thomas Becket’s fateful trial in 1164.
Marie Dickie, who chairs the Friends of Northampton Castle, showed me around the area, which is sadly now littered with the odd piece of rubbish, as well as a defaced sign explaining what great history once unfolded there.
The group actively campaigns to do all it can to make people aware that, although many of the visible remnants of Northampton Castle were destroyed when the railway station was built in 1879, the history and archaeology should be valued a great deal more than they currently are.
The group was founded following on from a project in which local young people made a video exploring the history of the Spring Boroughs area.

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