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Queens’ apartment could be unearthed at railway

The start of on site preparations for the �20m development of Northampton Railway Station with an archaeological dig within the area currently used for short-stay car parking.

The start of on site preparations for the �20m development of Northampton Railway Station with an archaeological dig within the area currently used for short-stay car parking.

 

Living quarters used by the queens of Medieval England could be revealed as part of Northampton railway station’s redevelopment.

As part of plans to build a modern station for Northampton, officials are working on proposals to create a ‘heritage gateway’ close to the site.

The gateway would highlight the history of the area, focusing on the castle which stood there until the 1850s.

Former county councillor, Dr Marie Dickie, lives close to the site and is chairman of the Friends of Northampton Castle. She said she hoped the development could see the archaeological remains of the queens’ apartments uncovered and put on display.

She said: “In the area behind what’s left of the castle’s mound we know the remains of the queens’ apartments and the great hall are buried beneath the ground. So they could be exposed and viewed.”

The rooms were last seen by archaeologists in the 1960s although another section of the castle’s remains was exposed earlier this year in preparation for the development of the new station.

Dr Dickie said she hoped the gateway development could see the remains of both the great hall and the queens’ apartments exposed then covered with a glass floor.

She added: “I would have thought that as we know there’s some of the castle under the current railway station that would be where a glass pavement could go.”

The castle dates back to the 12th century and was once used as a seat of Parliament. It was partially demolished in 1662 underthe orders of King Charles II because of Northampton’s support for the Parliamentarians during the Civil War.

The site was fully cleared in 1859 when the Victorians chose the area for the home of the railway station.

Northamptonshire County Council is currently advertising for experts to put together a plan for the gateway.

 

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