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History of Northampton Galleries

The unique story of Northampton from its origins to a centre of high-end bespoke manufacture today.

The History Galleries are housed on the second floor of the museum and display the archaeology and history of Northampton and the wider county from prehistoric times up until the present day. Come and find out about our town and the people who have created it.

Image looking into corner case of gallery with large graphic of people on left.

History of Northampton Gallery 1 at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.



The History of Northampton Gallery 1 moves chronologically through time and displays Northampton’s history from the pre-history until the Civil War. The displays include objects from Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in the Nene Valley, the Iron Age hillfort at Hunsbury, a Roman settlement at Duston, an Anglo-Saxon and Viking battle ground, an Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval town with religious organisations, a significant medieval royal castle, a battle site during the Wars of the Roses, and a key battle site deciding the Civil War.

The History of Northampton Gallery 2 tells the story of Northampton from the fire of Northampton and the rebuilding of the town, as well as identifying key trades and businesses. These include shoemaking, lacemaking and brewing. As the gallery moves through time, the displays illustrate that as transport links developed in the town, trades and engineering increased. The story continues with objects relating to modern day manufacture, revealing that still today, the idea of creating high-end, bespoke items has never ceased within Northampton.

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery