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Oundle 1469.JPG
North Street, Oundle
Grid reference: TL038880
Location: 52°28’48"N, 0°28’19"W
Population: 5,755  (2010 est.)
Post town: Peterborough
Postcode: PE8
Dialling code: 01832
Local Government
Council: North Northamptonshire

Oundle ˈaʊndəl is an ancient market town in Northamptonshire; a pretty place on the River Nene, with a population of around 5,800. It is 12 miles southwest of the county's only city, Peterborough. The nearest railway station is at Corby, 9 miles west of Oundle.


Inhabited since the Iron Age, Oundle was originally a trading place and market for local farmers and craftsmen. It is the death place of St Wilfrid in 709AD where he had consecrated a church as well as being the location of one of his monasteries. The current St Peter's Church occupies the same site as St Wilfrid's original Church.[1] As the area became prosperous, wealthy traders set up shops and houses, and guilds were formed. Unlike other settlements in the vicinity, Oundle was unaffected by the Black Death in the mid-14th century.

Oundle had a grammar school since at least 1465, at which Sir William Laxton (Lord Mayor of London) was educated. He founded Laxton Grammar School in 1556, administered by the Worshipful Company of Grocers, from which Oundle School evolved.

In 1743, a group of mutineers from the Black Watch were captured at Ladywood, near Oundle. They had deserted in protest at being sent abroad, instead of patrolling the Highlands, for which the regiment had been raised.[2][3]


Among the oldest buildings is the Talbot Hotel. This was constructed of timber; it was rebuilt with stone from the ruins of nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Other public houses include the Rose & Crown, the Ship Inn (a 14th-century coaching inn), the Angel, the George and the Riverside, which is currently derelict.

There are a number of churches. By far the most prominent, with the largest steeple in the area, is St Peter's Church which occupies the main churchyard. There are also Methodist, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches. However, the Baptist church does not have its own building and holds services on Sunday mornings at Prince William School.

Culture and community

Oundle hosts a number of annual events, notably:

  • The Oundle International Festival: an annual music festival and pipe organ school, founded in 1985, with the training of young organists as its core. These summer schools are centred on a Frobenius organ in the Oundle School chapel. A concurrent festival programme for the public was also planned as a recurrent feature.
  • The Oundle Festival of Literature, annually.
  • The Oundle Carnival, since 2009
  • The World Conker Championships have taken place in the nearby village of Ashton on the second Sunday of October since the championship started in 1965.

A farmers' market is held in the Market Place on the second Saturday of every month as well as a local market every Thursday. There is also a park with swings and climbing frames, as well as a skatepark which was built in 2005 and regenerated in 2012. An annual fair and circus is located in the park.


Oundle has two of the three factories producing Fairline Boats. The third site is located Weldon, near Corby. The original factory is at Barnwell Road Marina in Oundle and the newer at the Nene Valley site. The Barnwell Road Marina site is currently being mothballed as the company restructures.

Outside links