A Short History of Kettering

If you are newcomer looking for houses or flats for rent in Kettering, it’s likely you won’t know much about the town’s past. However, Kettering is rich in history that can be traced back to the Palaeolithic era – and you can find out more about the town through the ages at the Manor House Museum and Art Gallery, a popular, free, family-friendly attraction on Sheep Street.

In this article Ashan Property, a leading rental agency with a wide range of property on our books including flats for rent, gives a brief history about Kettering from the early years to the present day.

Ashan Property Letting Agents – Click here to see our full range of property to let including family homes and apartments for professionals.

Timeline Charting the History of Kettering

500 BC – The name ‘Kettering’ derives from an Anglo-Saxon word that basically means the people of Ketter, and although evidence has been found of a scattering of people who lived here in the Paleolithic era, the earliest proper settlement dates from the Iron Age in 500 BC, when the area was heavily occupied. This period saw various hillforts being built, the most famous of which is The Crow Iron Age Hillfort in Irthlingborough, which is nine miles from Kettering. The hillfort is of a major significance to historians as it is the second largest of its type in the country.

4th Century – Kettering was a main centre of iron-working in the Roman era. The Romans had a fairly substantial settlement in the northern end of the modern part of the town and evidence of pottery kilns has been unearthed in the villages of Boughton and Barton Seagrove.

4th to 5th Centuries – In the 5th century, the Anglo- Saxons had a large burial site near what is now The Warren public house on Stamford Road; and two centuries later the village became part of the Kingdom of Mercia. Kettering experienced a turbulent history over the next two centuries as it changed hands several times. It was first conquered by the Danes, then the English under the son of Alfred the Great, next the Vikings of York, before being recaptured by the English.

5th to 15th Centuries – Kettering started off being a small village called Cateringe, then later Ketteringge, and had a population of 150 and two watermills. The population grew to 1,200 by the 13th century, when it was declared a market town, and it continued to expand throughout the medieval period.

16th to 18th Centuries – The town was fairly prosperous in the 16th century and even had its own grammar school. By the end of the 18th century the population had grown to 3,000 and was a major wool town. At around this time, the first boot and shoe factories were founded, by a man called Thomas Gotch.

19th Century – After the collapse of the wool industry, Kettering became famous as a centre of the boot and shoe industry and substantial houses were built for the factory owners in Rockingham Road and Headlands. This century also saw a boom in development and residents benefited from various amenities including gas lighting, a railway station (with a line linked to London) and a hospital.

20th Century – Various attractions opened up including Wicksteed Park, which opened its doors to the public in 1921 and is known as the second largest theme park in England, and the Alfred East Art Gallery which opened in 1913.

21st Century – The population has continued to grow, with new housing being built all the time and various homes to let available to cope with the pressing demand.  The decline of the boot and shoe industry has led to the founding of new companies, including service and distribution centres. The population now stands at around 67,000.

Flats for Rent Kettering – Click here to see apartments to rent in the Kettering area.