Kettering is a small industrial market town set in the pleasant Northamptonshire countryside. Once a prosperous boot and shoe manufacturing centre, its origin dates back to the 10th century. The town was granted market rights in 1227 by Henry III and its large central square still holds regular street markets.
Kettering Market Place © Travel About Britain
The much restored Church of St Peter and Paul, behind the market place, is built of Barnack limestone. The town has a good number of Victorian and Edwardian public buildings, including the Alfred East Gallery, the old Corn Exchange (see image above) and the public library. The old Georgian manor, beside the church, is the Town Health Department. A fine row of 17th-c Sawyer's Almshouses can be found in Sheep Street and the Mission House, in Lower Street, is where the Baptist Missionary Society was founded in 1792.
Alfred East Gallery & Town Park © TAB
The Boot and shoe-making industry transformed Kettering from a small market town into a large industrial centre. The town museum displays an important boot and shoe collection, plus local Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts. Adjoining the museum is the Alfred East Art Gallery, containing a fine collection of paintings by local artists.
The 100 acre Wicksteed Park, just to the south of the town, was opened by Charles Wicksteed at the turn of the century. This popular family pleasure park has many amenities including gardens, fairground rides, boating lake and a miniature railway.