TOWCESTER is a thriving town centred on the historic Market Square, where there are shopping and other facilities. Towcester is situated on the junction of the A5 Watling Street and the A43 Oxford to Northampton Road. Improvements to the A43 have provided the town with an excellent high speed road link to Northampton, the M1 and the M40. Milton Keynes with its Inter-city rail service (London Euston 40 minutes) is approximately 12 miles to the south. Sporting facilities in the area include a Leisure Centre and horse racing in Towcester, motor racing at Silverstone and golf at Farthingstone, Silverstone and Whittlebury. There are churches of several denominations in the town. www.britinfo.net/index_Towcester.htm
Towcester lays claim to being the oldest town in Northamptonshire and possibly, because of the antiquity of recent Iron Age finds in the town, to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the country. There is evidence that it was settled by humans since the Mesolithic era (middle stone age). There is also evidence of Iron Age burials in the area.
In Roman Britain, Watling Street, now the A5 was built through the area and a garrison town called Lactodurum established on the site of the present-day town. Two candidate sites for the Battle of Watling Street, fought in 61AD, are located close to the town, these are Church Stowe which is located 7 km to the north and Paulerspury which is 5 km to the south.
Towcester & District Local History Society has produced a Town Trail, available from St. Lawrence Church, which gives directions for a short walk to visit historic sites and buildings within the town.
Church of St. Lawrence Our beautiful Norman church is well worth a visit. Descriptive leaflets have been produced detailing items of interest within the church building and in the churchyard, which is managed as a conservation area; these are available at the church.
Town Hall This Italianate building, erected in 1865 as a Town Hall and Corn Exchange, forms the focal point of the Market Square.
Chantry House Situated adjacent to the Town Hall, this building formerly housed the Grammar School founded by Archdeacon Sponne, the famous Towcester benefactor. The ridged garden wall and gate arch date back to the 15th century.
The Saracen’s Head A typical coaching inn, the Saracen’s Head was built in the 16th century. Charles Dickens often stayed here and the inn is mentioned in the Pickwick Papers.
Towcester Museum The Towcester Museum and Visitor’s Centre is situated in White Horse Yard. It offers a wide range of information and advice on Towcester and the surrounding area.
Bury Mount & The Watermeadows The refurbishment of Bury Mount in 2009/10 stabilised the Scheduled Ancient Monument structure and created a new access to the top of the Mount via a ramp and stairway. An historic timeline has been installed up the spiral path depicting key dates in Towcester’s history. The Watermeadows is linked with Bury Mount by a pedestrian bridge. There is also access from Northampton Road. This area of parkland has created an important addition to public green spaces in Towcester and is managed in a traditional way, using stock to graze during periods throughout the year.
Riverside Walk Landscaped footpaths lead alongside the Silverstone Brook and link the shopping area with the Towcester Centre for Leisure. A traditional children’s play area and skateboard park are located along the walk at the Recreation Ground and there is also a play area on Sandyhome Road. Close to Buckingham Way is Nicholas Hawksmoor Pocket Park, a conservation area including a pond and meadow. The footpath network has been extended through Belle Baulk along the River Tove to the A5 junction with Old Tiffield Road, and links up with the footpath system in the Northampton Road development.
Towcester Cheesecakes Don’t forget to try out this local delicacy, available from a number of outlets in the town, and made to a traditional recipe unique to Towcester.
Recreation and Leisure
Towcester Centre for Leisure, Springfields, Towcester. The Centre offers a range of facilities including a fully air-conditioned fitness studio, workout studio with sprung floor, creche, sports hall, 5-lane swimming pool and leisure pool with flume and wave machine. Also available is a steam room and relaxation area, Nordic sauna and beauty therapy rooms offering a range of treatments. Food is also available at a reasonable cost in the snack bar. Tel: 01327 322480 / www.towcesterleisure.com.
Towcester Racecourse, London Road, Towcester. Towcester Racecourse is located on the A5 southern approach; race meetings are held from October to May, with Arab horse meetings in the summer. The Course has a Civil Marriage Licence and there are also conference and banquet facilities available. Tel: (01327) 353414 / www.towcester-racecourse.co.uk.
Towcestrians Rugby Club, Greens Norton Road, Towcester. Incorporates Tennis Club, Hockey Club and Cricket Club all of which cater for adults and juniors. Extensive pitches, a well-equipped clubhouse. The club enters league teams for rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis and children’s mini-rugby. Tel: (01327) 350141 / www.towcestriansrfc.net.
Towcester Town Football Club Towcester Town Football Club is a Charter Standard Community club offering football to mini and youth teams between the ages of U7 to U16s. For further information please telephone Tony Pickworth (Chair) on 07525 893229 or visit www.clubwebsite.co.uk/towcestertownfc
The Wildlife Trust (BCNP) The Wildlife Trust (BCNP) Towcester Branch was formed in April 2009 to help preserve, maintain and improve the wildlife and habitats in and around the town. The group holds regular indoor meetings through the winter months with guest presenters giving talks on many interesting wildlife subjects. In the summer the group arrange guided walks and events. For further information please telephone David Reed (Chair) on 01327 352414 or Nick Holder (Secretary) on 01327 352647.
Youth Coffee Shop A drop-in youth facility situated in Branson’s Lane, Towcester, held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Vision Youth Café Open two evenings per week at Towcester Community Centre, Islington Road providing activities and opportunities for young people aged 13 to 19 years.
Sure Start Children’s Centre at Towcester Community Centre, Islington Road offering services and information for children aged 0 - 5 years and their families. For further information please telephone 01604 236828.
Details of other sports and leisure activities/organisations in the town can be found at the Library or on the Town Council’s website www.towcester-tc-gov.uk. There are a range of youth organisations including Scouts, Guides and Badgers.
Silverstone Circuit This world famous motor racing course is the venue for the British Grand Prix and many other exciting racing events. Tel: 0844 3728 200 / www.silverstone.co.uk.
Golf There are courses at Whittlebury Park Golf & Country Club (Tel: 01327 850000), Silverstone Golf Club (Tel: 01280 850005) and Farthingstone Hotel Golf & Course. Tel: 01327 361291 / www.farthingstone.co.uk.
Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa. Tel: 0845 400 0001 / www.whittleburyhall.co.uk.
Sixfields Complex, Northampton. A 15 minute car ride from Towcester along the A43 by-pass. Includes a Sports Stadium, which is home to Northampton Town F.C., and where a variety of athletics activities take place, a multi-screen cinema and assorted restaurants, fast-food outlets and bars.
Walking An extensive footpath network allows for the exploration of the surrounding countryside. In addition, the town marks the start of the Grafton Way and Knightley Way long-distance footpaths travelling north and south. The nearby Nene Way stretches 67 miles alongside the banks of the Nene. Leaflets are available describing the walks from main libraries. South Northants Council organises a weekly “Health Walk”, for further information please contact Colin Hull on 01327 322337.
Royal & Derngate Theatre, 19/21 Guildhall Road, Northampton.
Box Office Tel: 01604 624811 / www.royalandderngate.co.uk.
Milton Keynes Theatre, Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes.
Box Office Tel: 0844 871 7627 / www.ambassadortickets.com.
Towcester Leisure Centre
Towcester Centre for Leisure where you can swim, ride the flumes, surf the waves and work out all under one roof. The wide range of activities available ensures there is something for you - whatever your age or ability. Choose to train in the Competition Pool, learn to swim with a course of Swim Life swimming lessons, or simply make a splash in the Leisure Pool.