A church had stood here in the heart of Northampton since Norman times. However, Northampton came down strongly on the Parliamentarian side in the Civil War and after the Restoration it fell from favour. The Castle was deliberately reduced to nothing but earth and the town went into a period of decline. This bad period came to a head in 1675 when the majority of the town centre buildings were swept away in a massive fire known, unimaginatively, as the Great Fire of Northampton.
This disaster seemed to change the thinking of Charles II and he contributed greatly to the rebuilding of the town and the church which would stand at its heart. This seems to have healed the rift between King and Shire and Northampton emerged from its dark period to become the market town familiar today.
Key to this is the rebuilding of All Saints Church, now the main church in town, at the very centre of the towns restructure. It is much smaller than its predecessor but has a more square plan as was the habit in late Stuart architecture. Much rebuilding occurred in the early 18th Century, including the addition of the portico.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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