New mural and banners showcase Northampton’s history to passengers at train station

Thomas Becket, c.1120-1170, tried at Northampton Castle
in 1164 Image: Northamptonshire County Council
Thomas Becket, c.1120-1170, tried at Northampton Castle in 1164 Image: Northamptonshire County Council

Visitors arriving at Northampton Station will now get a flavour of the county’s rich history thanks to new art installations on the site.

A 27metre-long mural detailing the history and culture of Northampton and Northamptonshire shows a timeline of events from ancient times to the 21st century.

While five flagpoles and banners will show 10 people with Northamptonshire links who have helped shape the county identity.

The mural and banners are part of a number of heritage elements that have also been installed at the station, which include three way-finding signs, a cast bronze model which portrays a map of Northampton town, some pavement poetry with quotes from Shakespeare’s play King John and granite benches.

Overall, these elements are part of Northamptonshire County Council’s wider Heritage Gateway programme, and are all aimed at promoting the important historical and present day heritage and culture of Northamptonshire

Councillor Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “These installations are some of the finishing touches to the new Northampton Station.

“They will give anyone arriving in the town an idea of what Northampton and the wider county are about and help make them aware of our unique history.

“It’s interesting looking at these artworks just how many influential people have been associated with Northamptonshire and just how important the county and Northampton have been in shaping the nation’s history.

“Not only do the installations make a welcome addition to the railway station but they also contribute to our developing Heritage Gateway initiative.”

The installations at Northampton Station have been delivered by the county council working in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, the University of Northampton, The Churches Conservation Trust and the Friends of Northampton Castle.

The flagpoles and banners depict:

* Thomas Becket (1120-1170) Tried at Northampton Castle in 1164

* Elizabeth Woodville (1437-1492) ‘The White Queen’ born at Grafton Regis

* John Clare (1793-1864) ‘The Northamptonshire peasant poet’

* Caroline Chisholm (1808-1877) Humanitarian, ‘the emigrant’s friend’, born in Northampton

* Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke (1877-1953) Model engineer and patron of architecture and design in Northampton

* Walter Tull (1888-1918) Northampton town footballer from 1911-1914

* Francis Crick (1916-2004) Co-discoverer of DNA double-helix, born in Weston Favell

* Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) Composer of light music and film scores, born in Northampton.

* Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290) Queen consort commemorated on the Geddington Cross

* King John (1167-1216) English monarch held court at Northampton Castle