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Title: Oundle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Northamptonshire, Wilfrid, A605 road, Northamptonshire Police, East Northamptonshire
Collection: Market Towns in Northamptonshire, Oundle, Towns in Northamptonshire
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Narrow section of North Street, Oundle, looking north
Oundle is located in Northamptonshire
 Oundle shown within Northamptonshire
Population 5,735 (2011 census)
OS grid reference
   – London  80 miles (129 km) 
District East Northamptonshire
Shire county Northamptonshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Peterborough
Postcode district PE8
Dialling code 01832
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Corby
List of places

Oundle is an ancient market town on the River Nene in Northamptonshire, England, with a population at the 2011 census of 5,735.[1] It is situated 68 mi (109 km) north of London and 12 mi (19 km) south-west of Peterborough. The nearest railway station is at Corby, 9.3 mi (15.0 km) west of Oundle.


  • History 1
  • Landmarks 2
  • Education 3
  • Culture and community 4
  • Town partnerships 5
  • Economy 6
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Inhabited since the Iron Age, Oundle was originally a trading place and market for local farmers and craftsmen.

The Saxon invasion saw the arrival of a tribe called Undalas which possibly meant undivided. It is the death place of St Wilfrid in 709 AD where he had consecrated a church as well as being the location of one of his monasteries. The current St Peter's Church occupies the same site as St Wilfrid's original church.[2]

Saint Cetta or Cett[3] was a 7th-century saint[4] and is the Patron Saint of Oundle.[5] Very little is known of him, but according to the Anglo-Saxon hagiography of the Secgan Manuscript,[6] he was from around 1000AD, buried in the monastery at Oundle near the River Nene,[7] and a chapel to St Cett was built in the 11th century, on the small knoll beyond the end of St Sythes Lane. The presence of this shrine and the market charter, explain much of the growth of Oundle in the 12th century.

The Domesday Book records Oundle in Polebrook hundred with a population of 36 households, a mill and a value in 1066 of £0.3, which had risen to £11 by 1086.[8]

As the area became prosperous, wealthy traders set up shops and houses, and guilds were formed. Unlike other settlements in the vicinity, Oundle was unaffected by the Black Death in the mid-14th century.

Oundle had a grammar school since at least 1465, at which Sir William Laxton (Lord Mayor of London) was educated. He founded Laxton Grammar School in 1556, administered by the Worshipful Company of Grocers, from which Oundle School evolved.

In 1743 a group of mutineers from the Black Watch were captured at Ladywood, near Oundle. They had deserted in protest at being sent abroad, instead of patrolling the Highlands, for which the regiment had been raised.[9][10]


Among the oldest buildings is the Talbot Hotel. This was constructed of timber; it was rebuilt with stone from the ruins of nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Other public houses include the Rose & Crown (a 17th-century inn haunted by the White Cavalier), the Ship Inn (a 14th-century coaching inn), the Angel, the George and the Riverside, which has become derelict.

There are a number of churches. By far the most prominent, with the largest steeple in the district, is St Peter's Church[11] which has the main churchyard. There are also Methodist, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches. However, the Baptist church does not have its own building and holds services on Sunday mornings at Prince William School.


Local schools include a comprehensive school, Prince William School, a middle school, Oundle and Kings Cliff Middle School,[12] and Oundle Primary School rated as "Outstanding" in its most recent Ofsted inspection.[13] The town is also the location of Oundle School, a co-educational boarding independent school with around a thousand pupils, most of whom are boarders.

Culture and community

Oundle hosts a number of annual events, notably:

  • The chapel. A concurrent festival programme for the public was also planned as a recurrent feature.
  • The Oundle Festival of Literature also takes place annually.[14]
  • The Oundle carnival has taken place since 2009.[15]
  • The World Conker Championships have taken place in the nearby village of Ashton on the second Sunday of October since the championship started in 1965.

A farmers' market is held in the Market Place on the second Saturday of every month as well as a local market every Thursday. There is also a park with swings and climbing frames, as well as a skatepark which was built in 2005 and regenerated in 2012. An annual fair and circus is located in the park.

Oundle has many shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants all of which are located in the town centre. It also has two supermarkets: a Co-op and a recently built Waitrose.

Town partnerships

Oundle maintains partnerships with the following places:[16]


Oundle is home to two of the three factories producing Fairline Boats. The third site is located Weldon, near Corby. The original factory is at Barnwell Road Marina in Oundle and the newer at the Nene Valley site. The Barnwell Road Marina site is currently being mothballed as the company restructures.

Notable people


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics: Oundle CP: Parish headcounts Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  2. ^ Page, William. "A History of the County of Northampton". British History Online. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Person and Factoid: Cett 1". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  4. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  5. ^ Carwyn Hywel Morris. "The concept of territory in the late Anglo-Saxon and early Medieval cult of saints in England" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "Cett - oi". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Search | Domesday Book". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  9. ^ "The Black Watch - The Mutiny". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  10. ^ "Legends of The Black Watch". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  11. ^ "St Peters Church Oundle". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  12. ^ "Oundle and Kings Cliffe Middle School". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  13. ^ OFSTED. "Inspection Reports". Oundle Primary School. OFSTED. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to Oundle Festival of Literature". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  15. ^ "Oundle Carnival". Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  16. ^ "Oundle Chronicle". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  17. ^ [4] Archived 28 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Andrew G Marshall (1998-09-15). "Revelations; The army made a man of me; Billy Bragg, Acton, 1981 - Arts and Entertainment". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 

External links

  • Oundle Town Council
  • Oundle Chronicle
  • Oundle St Peter's
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