Find out more about our New Town heritage


Discover how Northampton and Corby transformed into the places we live in today.

Led by Sabine Coady Schäbitz and Bob Colenutt from the New Town Heritage Research Network, our Old Town New Town events will introduce you to many aspects of New Town development from urban planning, housing, parks and green infrastructure to wellbeing, community and public arts and culture.

Whether you know a great deal about New Towns, or if the notion of New Towns is completely new to you, we’d love for you to join us.
Our first event will be an introduction to the New Town development as a national and international movement and to the work the New Town Heritage Research Network has done so far. This will be followed by specific events focused on Corby (a first wave New Town in 1950) and Northampton (which was expanded as part of the third wave in 1968).
The events are free, but booking is recommended. We will be announcing the dates of these sessions shortly. You can sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about them.

New Town Heritage Research Network

The New Town Heritage Research Network was funded by the Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with several events in the UK and Europe, 2016-2018.

The central theme of the network is the architectural and urban heritage of post war New Towns in the UK and Europe and its value for the cultural, social and economic sustainability of these towns. It is part of a wider movement on the evaluation of the post-war modernist heritage of the 20th century.

The Network brings together international researchers and policy makers from universities, government, and the community sector who are studying this built heritage, and are engaged in policy debates about its value.

The largely untold narrative around the legacy of our New Town designation feels particularly vital at this point in time. Our councils are preparing to undergo significant structural change following the collapse of the Northamptonshire County Council, and the public have recently been consulted on a new ‘masterplan’ as part of Northampton Forward’s initiative to regenerate the town centre.

Just as the New Town designations previously marked a significant chapter in our civic history, it feels that we’re once again entering a crucial chapter.

Whereas Your Story enables residents to provide their personal experiences of Northampton and Corby becoming New Towns, Old Town New Town provides a platform to put our local New Town stories into a wider national and international context and to provoke detailed, intergenerational conversation about our past, present and future.

Andy Routledge, Founder

Heritage open days

Following our previous event in 2018, we will additionally be returning with two Heritage Open Days events in September 2020. One of these will occur in Northampton and one in Corby. These will be presentational and interactive days with family focussed activities centred around our New Town heritage. More information of this will be released nearer the time.
You can be the first to hear about these events by signing up to our mailing list.

Our New Town Heritage


Throughout 2020, we will be filling this page with further details of our New Town heritage, including incredibly rare archive footage. In the mean time, here are some articles to give you a greater overview into New Towns:

Looking Back: The shaping of Northampton New Town

In 1965, it was announced by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government that Northampton was to be one the new towns offering housing to people living in poor conditions in English cities.

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Fifty years since a plan that transformed Northampton

On February 3 1965, Minister for Housing Richard Crossman announced that Northampton was to be one of a number of new towns offering housing to people living in poor conditions in London. 

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‘Mark 3’ New Town – Designated 14 Feb 1968

Historically a market town, Northampton was designated as a New Town to accommodate London overspill and provide for regional growth.

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‘Mark 1’ New Town – Designated 1 April 1950

Increased demand for iron and steel in the late 1940s led to the expansion of steelworks at Corby as a ‘matter of national importance’. 

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Garden Cities and New Towns

The TCPA New Towns Network brings together local authorities where the UK’s 32 New Towns are located to share experience through peer to peer learning and other activities.

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Early settlement in Corby dates back to the 8th century when a group of Danish invaders, with their leader, Kori, settled there. It thus became known as ‘Kori’s by’ – Kori’s settlement. 

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How the town of Corby dusted off the ashes of post-industrial decay

Northamptonshire town, one of UK’s fastest growing, is twinned with a Chinese megacity – and is doing its best to catch up.

Read Article
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