Wellingborough ( ) is a market town and civil parish in the North Northamptonshire unitary authority area of Northamptonshire, England. It is from London and from Northampton, and is on the north side of the River Nene. Google Maps: Wellingborough . Retrieved 29 January 2010
Originally named "Wendelingburgh" (the stronghold of Wændel's people),
The medieval town of Wellingborough housed a modest monastic grange – now the Jacobean Croyland Abbey – which was an offshoot of the monastery of Crowland Abbey, near Peterborough, some down-river. This part of the town is known as Croyland. The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Councillors by Wards . Retrieved 7 July 2017
All Hallows Church All Hallows Church . Retrieved 23 August 2009 is the oldest existing building in Wellingborough and dates from c. 1160. The manor of Wellingborough belonged to Crowland Abbey Lincolnshire, from Saxon times and the monks probably built the original church. Crowland Abbey . Retrieved 21 August 2009 The earliest part of the building is the Norman doorway opening in from the later south porch. The church was enlarged with the addition of more side chapels and by the end of the 13th century had assumed more or less its present plan. The west tower, crowned with a graceful broach spire rising to , was completed about 1270, after which the chancel was rebuilt and given the east window twenty years later. All Hallows Church: History . Retrieved 26 February 2010 The church was restored in 1861 by Edmund Francis Law.
Wellingborough was given a Market charter dated 3 April 1201 when King John granted it to the "Abbot of Croyland and the monks serving God there" continuing, "they shall have a market at Wendligburg (Wellingborough) for one day each week that is Wednesday". Wellingborough Market . Retrieved 28 January 2010
In the Elizabethan era the Lord of the Manor, Sir Christopher Hatton was a sponsor of Sir Francis Drake's expeditions; Drake renamed one of his ships the Golden Hind after the heraldic symbol of the Hatton family. A hotel in a Grade II listed building built in the 17th century, was known variously as the Hind Hotel and later as the Golden Hind Hotel.
During the English Civil War the largest substantial conflict in the area was the Battle of Naseby in 1645, although a minor skirmish in the town resulted in the killing of a parliamentarian officer Captain John Sawyer. Severe reprisals followed which included the carrying off to Northampton of the parish priest, Thomas Jones, and 40 prisoners by a group of Roundheads. However, after the Civil War Wellingborough was home to a colony of Diggers. Little is known about this period.
Wellingborough was bombed during World War II, on Monday 3 August 1942. Six people were killed and 55 injured; fortunately, being a bank holiday, thousands of people were away at a fair at a nearby village. Many houses and other buildings in the centre of the town were damaged in the attack.
Originally the town had two railway stations: the first called , opened in 1845 and closed in 1966, linked Peterborough with Northampton. The second station, Wellingborough Midland Road, is still in operation with trains to London and the East Midlands. Since then the 'Midland Road' was dropped from the station name. The Midland Road station opened in 1857 with trains serving Kettering and a little later Corby, was linked in 1867 to London St Pancras. In 1898 in the Wellingborough rail accident six or seven people died and around 65 were injured. Railway Archive: Wellingborough Rail Crash . Retrieved 24 January 2010 In the 1880s two businessmen held a public meeting to build three tram lines in Wellingborough, the group merged with a similar company in Newport Pagnell who started to lay tram tracks, but within two years the plans were abandoned due to lack of funds. The Northants Evening Telegraph, 'Millennium Memories', Saturday 1 January 2000,
In April 2021 the Borough of Wellingborough was abolished and replaced by a new unitary authority called North Northamptonshire, which covers the areas of the districts of Wellingborough, Corby, East Northamptonshire and Kettering. Elections for the new authorities were due to be held on 7 May 2020, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wellingborough is part of the Wellingborough Constituency which includes the town, surrounding villages and other urban areas. The current MP is Gen Kitchen. Most wards in the (former) Borough Council of Wellingborough are covered by the constituency and also include the wards in the (former) East Northamptonshire district, the wards are: Bozeat, Brickhill, Croyland, Finedon, Great Doddington and Wilby, Harrowden & Sywell (excluding Ecton, Mears Ashby, and Sywell which all appear in the Daventry constituency due to overlapping parliamentary and local government boundary reviews), Hatton, Higham Ferrers Lancaster, Higham Ferrers Chichele, Irchester, Isebrook, Queensway, Redwell, Rixon, Rushden Hayden, Rushden Spencer, Rushden Bates, Rushden Sartoris, Rushden Pemberton, Swanspool, Victoria, and Wollaston. Wellingborough Conservatives . Retrieved 28 January 2010 Wellingborough is currently represented in the House of Commons by Gen Kitchen. In the 1918 general election it became the first constituency in southern England outside London to be represented by the Labour Party.
Prior to Brexit in 2020, Wellingborough was represented by the East Midlands constituency in the European Parliament. UK Office of the European Parliament: East Midlands MEPs Access Date 2 March 2010
Iron ore quarrying was a major industry in and around Wellingborough from the 1860s until the 1960s. James Rixon and Wiliam Ashwell opened a major ironworks on the north side of the town in 1870, supplied by the extensive ironstone quarries around Finedon to the east of the town. Three narrow gauge tramways served the iron ore industry, the Wellingborough Tramway, Neilson's Tramway and the Finedonhill Tramway. The Wellingborough Tramway served Rixon's ironworks until 1966.
As a market town, Wellingborough has major high street chains mainly located in the town centre. The only shopping centre, Swansgate, Swansgate Shopping Centre . Retrieved 28 January 2010 previously known as the Arndale Centre, was built in the 1970s. Since 2009 the Borough Council has been looking at rebuilding the centre The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Rebuilding Swansgate . Retrieved 20 April 2010 and major stores want bigger floor-spaces. Northants Evening Telegraph: Big-names too large for town. Retrieved 30 January 2010 Supplementing the town centre shops are several out-of-town retail parks and supermarkets including a Sainsbury's, Sainsbury's: Wellingborough Store . Retrieved 30 January 2010 four Tesco Tesco: Store Locator . Retrieved 30 January 2010 stores, an Aldi Aldi: Wellingborough store . Retrieved 30 January 2010 store and a Morrisons Morrisons: Wellingborough store . Retrieved 30 January 2010 store in the town centre. The town has a market three times a week and a weekly privately organised market.
Other businesses operating within the town include motorsport, high performance engineering, distribution, engineering, environmental technology and renewable energy, digital and creative media, financial and business services, and global brands, once such brand being Cummins UK at Park Farm and Lok'nStore Plc. There are several industrial estates in the town, these include Park Farm, Borough Council of Wellingborough: Park Farm industrial estate . Retrieved 30 January 2010 Denington, Borough Council of Wellingborough: Denington industrial estate . Retrieved 30 January 2010 Leyland Whittle Jones : Leyland Trading Estate – Formally the British Leyland Foundry and Manufacturing Plant, until its closure in September 1981. Retrieved 30 January 2010 and Finedon Road. Borough Council of Wellingborough: Finedon Road industrial estate . Retrieved 30 January 2010
As part of its Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) study, the government has identified Wellingborough as one of several towns in Northamptonshire into which growth will be directed over the next thirty years. It allocates 12,800 additional homes to Wellingborough, and will also create additional facilities, further improve the town centre, improve infrastructure and increase employment opportunities. A jobs growth target of 12,400 jobs has been set to accompany the large scale housing growth. North Northants Development Company . Retrieved 28 January 2010 A plan for 3,000 homes north of the town has been accepted by the British Government after an appeal by Bee Bee Developments. The plan was first refused by Wellingborough Borough Council.
As a result, plans have been made for a major urban extension in the town, mainly to the east of the railway station. When finished, the town would be around 30% larger and 3,200 new homes would be built on 'Stanton Cross' site, with new schools, bus stops, community centres, shops, a doctor's surgery and new open spaces. The Borough Council of Wellingborough Housing Strategy (PDF) . Retrieved 23 August 2009 The railway station would be developed into an 'interchange' with local buses and trains. The upgrade would provide a new platform, footbridge and new station buildings. The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Development May 2009 . Retrieved 20 April 2010 Outside the station a new road bridge from Midland Road over the railway line is also planned with a new footbridge to reach the new development. The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Growth Area Fact Sheet 2007 . Retrieved 20 April 2010 Other plans to include the development of the High Street, Shelley Road and the north of the town areas are also being considered. Wellingborough planning . Retrieved 28 January 2010
In November 2021 development on two fields between Park Farm and the Queensway estate was underway with a mix of one to four-bedroom properties and much needed social housing for the town. The development will comprise 600 properties, including 180 affordable homes, education, health and sports facilities and dedicated open space.
Developer contributions to the town also include money towards the expansion of All Saints Primary School and a new secondary school at Stanton Cross. ECL was appointed as Principal Contractors for the Park Farm’s infrastructure and groundworks.
East Midlands Railway operate direct trains to London St Pancras International from Wellingborough railway station, departing every 30 minutes, with an average journey time of around 55 minutes. Trains: Midland Main Line Timetable. Retrieved 26 July 2013 The railway line also connects Wellingborough with Bedford, Luton, Kettering, Corby, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield and Leeds. Just north of the railway station is a GB Railfreight location, usage is for London Underground maintenance and other freight services. GB Railfreight: Locations, Wellingborough . Retrieved 8 August 2010 Platform 4 was rebuilt and opened in 2021.
Several UK airports are within two hours' drive of the town, including London Luton, East Midlands, Birmingham and London Stansted. Luton can be reached directly by train while East Midlands and Stansted can be reached by one change at Leicester. Sywell Aerodrome, located 5 miles northwest of Wellingborough, caters for general aviation, flight training and corporate flights.
The Tresham College of Further and Higher Education has a campus in Wellingborough, as well as locations in Kettering and Corby. Tresham College: Our Campuses . Retrieved 8 August 2009 It provides further education and offers vocational courses. Tresham College: Our Courses . Retrieved 8 August 2009 In collaboration with several universities the college also offers Higher Education options. Tresham College: Higher Education . Retrieved 8 August 2009
The University of Northampton in Northampton, with around 10,000 students on two campuses, offers courses from foundation and undergraduate levels to postgraduate, professional and doctoral qualifications. Subjects include traditional arts, humanities and sciences subjects, as well as entrepreneurship, product design and advertising. The University of Northampton: About Us . Retrieved 8 August 2009
The town also has its own Air Cadet Squadron, 378 (Mannock) Squadron which is the only squadron in the corps to not be named after a geographical location, but after a person, Mick Mannock
Wellingborough has a public library in the corner of the market square. Northamptonshire County Council: Wellingborough Library . Retrieved 28 January 2010 The Wellingborough Museum, Wellingborough Museum's website Retrieved 19 June 2010 an independent museum run by the Winifred Wharton Trust, located next door to The Castle Theatre, has exhibitions which show the past of Wellingborough and the surrounding villages. The museum is housed in a Victorian swimming pool ("Dulley's Baths") built in 1892, from 1918 to 1995 it was Cox's shoe factory. Accompanying the exhibitions and articles is a souvenir shop and café. Wellingborough Museum entry on Culture24 . Retrieved 28 January 2010
The town’s local radio stations are BBC Radio Northampton on 103.6 FM, Heart East on 96.6 FM and Smooth East Midlands (formerly Connect FM) on 97.2 FM.
Local newspapers are the Northampton Herald & Post and Northamptonshire Telegraph.
In 2009 the town's rugby club was the first club to be awarded the RFU Whole Club Seal of Approval in the East Midlands. Wellingborough Rugby Football Club . Retrieved 14 January Harrowden Hall, a 17th-century building in Great Harrowden village just on the outskirts of the town, is the clubhouse of a privately owned golf course. Wellingborough Golf Club . Retrieved 28 January 2010 The four leisure centres and health clubs in Wellingborough include Bannatyne, Redwell, Waendel and Weavers (which is part of Weavers school). The Borough Council of Wellingborough: Leisure centres. Retrieved 28 January 2010
Wellingborough was also served for many years by Club Diana. Club Diana was closed by administrators on 1 June 2011. Town fitness club in administration – Top Stories – Northamptonshire Telegraph . Northantset.co.uk (31 May 2011). Retrieved 17 July 2013. However it has now been reopened and is available once again. It has a swimming pool, 5 squash courts and a bar and restaurant.
The Waendel Leisure Centre is the main council-owned leisure centre in Wellingborough. The facility includes a six-lane 25-metre competition pool, varying in depth from 1 to 2 metres, and used for many purposes including the main training pool for Wellingborough Amateur Swimming Club. The pool is regularly used for small competitions, as other than Corby Pool it is the only other aptly equipped facility – boasting new starting blocks, as well as an integrated timing system and time board. The pool also has a small, shallow, 'teaching' pool, more suitable for non-swimmers. Waendel also operates a newly refurbished gym on the upper level.
Waendel and Redwell Leisure Centres are both owned by Wellingborough Borough Council, however are operated on their behalf by Places for People. Waendel pool is currently in need of urgent repairs due to tiles coming away from the pool floor.
Wellingborough Phoenix is one of the United Kingdom's largest basketball clubs; the men's first team currently play in EBL Division 3 and the women play in EBL Division 2. Youth teams also play in the EBL; ages ranging from u13 to u16.English Basketball League
On the second weekend in May, the annual non-competitive Waendel Walk is held in Wellingborough, with a variety of routes through the local countryside. The walk is affiliated to the International Marching League.
HMP Five Wells is based in Wellingborough.
The Three Silver Ladies is one of two identical sculptures installed on the Harrowden Road, They depict local Roman history, the river, and the townspeople working together. Geograph . Retrieved 24 June 2010
To the west of the town centre is the Roman Catholic Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church which according to Historic England has "highly original details," and a "lavishly finished interior."Historic England, Wellingborough – Our Lady and the Sacred Heart, Taking Stock, retrieved 14 May 2022