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The Norman legacy in Northampton
The door of Northampton Castle
The door of Northampton Castle.

A Northampton historian says the loss of Northampton Castle is 'frustrating', as it would have helped uncover more about the Normans.

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror ordered Northampton Castle to be built.

It was situated on what is now the train station and its grounds stretched as far as Moulton Park.

Over the years, the castle was demolished and little evidence of it remains.

Iain Soden is from Northamptonshire Archaeology and says, "The Norman's lasting legacy was to build castles and churches across England and Wales.

"The castles were used as police stations, as the country had become a police state after the Norman invasion."

The Normans displaced many Saxons who lived on the land in order to build Northampton Castle. The town itself, also grew under the Normans as French settlers came to help build the structure.

Northampton Castle played a crucial role in history, being used as a royal stronghold throughout much of the Norman era, and during the 12th and 13th centuries.

It was famously used for the trial of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket in 1164. Centuries later the castle become neglected and whatever was left of it was torn down to make way for the railway station in 1879.

Iain adds, "The loss of the castle is frustrating, because we could have learnt so much more about the Normans."

The only piece of the castle that does remain is a wooden door, which historians believe was later converted by the Tudors.

It stands opposite Northampton train station on Marefair.




SEE ALSO
Shropshire's Norman history trail
26 Jul 10 |  History
Design for new look rail station
29 Jun 10 |  Northamptonshire
Ten objects from Northamptonshire
15 Jan 10 |  Nature & Outdoors

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