hold and palace, and many parliaments were held at Northampton. In its heyday, Northampton could boast a Cluniac priory, an Augustinian priory elevated to abbey status, a Cluniac nunnery as well as houses of all four major orders of friars and several other religious establishments.
However, just as the buildings in Northampton have suffered through time, so have the documentary records, and we only have an extremely patchy backcloth on which to attempt to paint a detailed picture of the topographical development of Northampton. A basic historical framework can nevertheless be established. Some time between 914 and 918 the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, in our earliest reference to Northampton, notes that Northampton was captured by Edward and Aethelflaed from the Danes. This certainly implies a Danish presence, and Northampton's name itself probably suggests a pre-Danish, Saxon settlement. In the 11th century, Northampton was a mint and was described as a "port"— a market centre of more than local importance and a fairly considerable growth up to the time of the Norman Conquest is highly likely.
both a distinguished public servant and scholar of Northampton, looked at the modern street plan and argued quite convincingly that Bath Street, College Street and
Kingswell Street on the one hand, and Scarletwell Street, Bearwood Street, the Drapery and Bridge Street on the other, fossilised the intramural and extramural streets
With the Conquest came a "novus burgus" of French settlers and a castle under Waltheof the first great vassal to be called Earl of Northampton. His policy of expansion and growth was continued by his son-in-law, Simon de Senlis I, until the motte had become by 1154 one of the strongest private fortresses in the kingdom, and the town one of the largest and richest private boroughs. After 1154 the fortress was taken over by the crown, but the town continued to grow as an industrial, commercial, administrative and educational centre. From some time after the middle of the thirteenth century, the town perhaps entered a period of gradual decline not arrested until the advent of Victorian industrialism.
The late alderman Frank Lee,