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History of £20m station site to be revealed

Highly anticipated archaeological works are set to start at Northampton Railway Station. On Monday 25 March, a team of experts from Northamptonshire Archaeology will commence detailed investigations at the site of a new £20m railway station. Due to start construction in June, the 2,500 sqm building will be twice the size of the present station with better facilities.

In medieval times, a major royal castle was situated on part of the station site. The archaeological investigations will take up to 12 weeks and will record any remains in the area prior to the start of construction. Last October, an initial trench gave a glimpse of the site’s history. It unearthed a range of remains dating back to the Medieval and Saxon period, including a 12th century ironstone wall and a saxon brooch.

Chris Garden, Director of Regeneration at West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, said: “These investigations will offer a window into Northampton’s illustrious past. They will inform how we deliver the new station and are the final part of our preparations. It’s an exciting moment for the town.”

Councillor Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve reached this very exciting stage of the project and we’re eagerly awaiting the uncovering of Northampton’s colourful past. Northampton’s unique selling point over many of its neighbours is its long and important history and heritage. It had one of the first universities in England and its Castle was the scene of many important historical events.

“It is proper, as we embark on the construction of the new 21st century station, that we also take the opportunity to devote investment into interpreting its history of over 600 years. The work on the Castle site will act as an impressive gateway from the station to the town.”

Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “With so many exciting Northampton Alive projects transforming our town it is important that we take time to recognise and celebrate our rich history. This is a chance to rediscover the story of Northampton. The initial archaeological findings were fascinating, and I am looking forward to seeing what other treasures we will uncover.”

Covering the footprint of the future Northampton Train Station, the archaeological investigation will take place in the short stay car park. During the next two weeks, the site will be fully hoarded and prepared for investigation. This will result in the relocation of 21 short stay car parking spaces and 4 disabled spaces to a new position alongside the station. In addition, long stay station parking is being offered at the nearby Chalk Lane and Doddridge St car parks.

With the new Northampton Train Station and nearby Innovation Centre starting construction this year, a number of highway improvements will be carried out in the surrounding area. The first phase of these improvements, in the area around Black Lion Hill, will commence in April. Further details will be released in advance of the works.

For more information contact

Iain Andrews, WNDC
iain.andrews@wndc.org.uk
01604 586636
07799 070 324