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Irthlingborough facts for kids

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Church of St Peter, Irthlingborough - - 120204.jpg
St Peter's Church, Irthlingborough
Population 8,900 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SP945705
  • East Northamptonshire
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district NN9
Dialling code 01933
Police Northamptonshire
Fire Northamptonshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Corby
List of places
NorthamptonshireCoordinates: 52°19′26″N 0°36′50″W / 52.324°N 0.614°W / 52.324; -0.614

Irthlingborough is a town on the River Nene in Northamptonshire, England. It had a population of 8,535 at the 2011 census and is the smallest town in England to have had a Football League team, Rushden & Diamonds F.C. The parish church, St Peter, has a lantern tower, unusual for Northamptonshire churches, which was built to guide travellers across the Nene valley in foggy weather. It also has doors at the four cardinal points; of note are the eight misericords in the chancel.


Irthlingborough was called Yrtlingaburg in the 8th century, Erdiburn in the Domesday Book, and later Artleborough. King Offa of Mercia held court near Irthlingborough circa 790.

John Pyel

In 1375 John Pyel, Mayor of London in 1372 - who is believed to have been born at Irthlingborough circa 1310 - obtained a royal licence to found the college of St. Peter, Irthlingborough by upgrading the parish church of St Peter. The college was to have six secular canons — one a dean — and four clerks, but he died before his intention was actually carried out. The design was eventually accomplished by his widow, Joan, in 1388.


In the past ironstone was mined near Irthlingborough, and as part of the local ironstone mine, a tunnel was bored between Irthlingborough and nearby Finedon. The tunnel still exists, although the Irthlingborough end has been landscaped over and the Finedon end sealed with concrete. Irthlingborough railway station closed in 1964 to passengers.


More recently the River Nene floodplains located between the town and its neighbour, Higham Ferrers, have been quarried for gravel. Quarrying in the area was extensive, stretching to Northampton in the west (upstream) and Thorpe Waterville in the north-northeast (downstream). The quarries were later left to fill with water creating man-made lakes. In 2012 the area was acquired by The Wildlife Trust, and has since been turned into Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows, a Nature Reserve. It will forms part of the Upper Nene Valley Special Protection Area.


The town can be divided quite easily into areas with Pine Trees to the south-west, Victoria and Allen roads in the centre running parallel to the High Street on either side, Knightlands to the North, Crow Hill to the north-east (over a mile from the town centre) and the football ground and training facilities to the east.

The A6 used to pass through the town, but was bypassed in the 1930s to the north. The former route is the B5348. Irthlingborough Viaduct was built in 1936 and connects the town to Higham Ferrers and the busy A45. The A45 (former A605) is a more dependable road than the A6, being less twisty and with fewer tractors in the traffic.

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