Higham Ferrers  Northamptonshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Higham Ferrers like this:

HIGHAM-FERRERS, a small town, a parish, a subdistrict, and a hundred in Northamptonshire. The town stands on a rocky height, near the river Nen and the Northampton and Peterborough railway, 3 miles from the boundary with Beds, and 15½ ENE of Northampton. It was known, at Domesday, as Higham; and it took its after name from the Earls Ferrers, who were its lords. ...

Its site has yielded relics which show it to have been probably occupied by the Romans; and is within 3 miles of the Roman station of Chester. A castle was built at it, either by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, or by the Ferrers; but nothing of this remains except part of the earthwork. The town has a plain appearance, is about a mile long, and contains some houses of the 15th century. An ancient cross is in the market place; and the shaft of another is in the churchyard. The church is early English; has been thoroughly restored, and partially rebuilt, at a cost of £6, 000; measures 119 feet by 69; comprises a sort of double nave, a choir, and several chapels, with a tower and hexagonal spire 180 feet high; and contains a screen, some carved seats, a double piscina, some armour of John of Gaunt, and many brasses. An old Baptist chapel, noted for preachings by John Bunyan, is now a stable. There are a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed grammar school, and charities £30. An ancient hospital, called the hospital of St. James, is extinct. A college was built, in the time of Henry V., by Archbishop Chichele, a native of the town; and was suppressed at the dissolution of monasteries. A bede house also was built by the archbishop; still stands on the S side of the churchyard; and is now used as a Sunday school. The town hall is a small edifice of 1808. Markets used to be held thrice a week, but have ceased; fairs are still held on the Thursday before 5 Feb., 7 March, the Thursday before 12 May, 28 June, the Thursday before 5 Aug., 11 Oct., and 6 Dec.; and shoe making and lace making are carried on. The town has a headpost office, ‡ a railway station, and a good inn. It is a borough by prescription; and it sent a member to parliament, from the time of Queen Mary, till disfranchised by t] act of 183222.—The parish comprises 2, 260 acres. Real property, £4, 775, of which £20 are in gas works. Pop., 1, 152. Houses, 246. The manor belongs to the Hon. G. W. Fitzwilliam. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Chelveston, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £300.* Patron, the Hon. G. W. Fitzwilliam.—The sub-district contains also four other parishes and an extra-parochial tract in Northamptonshire, and three parishes in Beds; and is in the district of Wellingborough. Acres, 18, 356. Pop., 7, 100. Houses, 1, 564.-The hundred contains fourteen parishes and part of another. Acres, 29, 660. Pop. in 1851, 10, 090; in 1861, 11, 508. Houses, 2, 506.

Higham Ferrers through time

Higham Ferrers is now part of East Northamptonshire district. Click here for graphs and data of how East Northamptonshire has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Higham Ferrers itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Higham Ferrers in East Northamptonshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 28th May 2020

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