Raunds ˈrɔːndz is a small market town in rural Northamptonshire. It had a population of 8,641 as at the 2011 census.
Raunds is 21 miles northeast of Northampton, on the southern edge of the Nene valley and surrounded by arable farming land. It stands close to Stanwick Lakes; a country park developed from gravel pits and managed by the Rockingham Forest Trust. This park is internationally recognised for its birdlife and can be reached on foot from Raunds along Meadow Lane bridleway.
In the mid-1980s, during sand excavations in the Nene valley, the remains of a Roman villa were discovered. Excavation of the area, near Stanwick, Northamptonshire, was delayed by several years while archaeologists studied the remains. In 2002 Channel 4's Time Team excavated a garden and found remains of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
St Peter's Church, where building work was started in the 13th Century, has the second tallest spire in Northamptonshire at 202 feet. The church stands on the site of a Saxon place of worship. During the 15th century patronage of the church changed from St Mary to St Peter. The church features a rare 'left-handed fiddler' decoration above the western entrance. A tombchest dedicated to John Wales, vicar from 1447 to 1496, proves the building has been in use for more than 550 years.
Raunds played a role in the boot and shoe industry until its decline in the 1950s and 60s. In 1905, a dispute arose about wages to be paid to army bootmakers, which culminated in a march to London in May that year. Several factories remained into the early 1990s but all are now closed, with many being demolished and housing estates built. The Coggins boot factory was the last to go, and the site of it is now Coggins Close. The land on which the shoe factory and the original Coggins houses stood (not Coggins close), was purchased by Robert Coggins on 25 February 1899 from the Duchy of Lancaster, for the sum of £14.10s. The houses are still there, but were sold to Charles Robinson of Wellingborough in 1934. Robert Coggins lived in the Hall where his picture hangs in the meeting room, and he is buried in St Peters churchyard. There is no industry in the town now, although there are some industrial sites on the outskirts.
Raunds once held the record for the highest temperature in Britain at 36.7 °C (98.1 °F) set on 10 August 1911 which stood until 1990
Raunds was the home of broadcaster, writer and television personality Sir David Frost in his youth, when his father, Paradine Frost, was a minister at the Methodist church. It appears that he was a good cricketer, topping the averages at the cricket club in 1956.
The town is also the home of the internationally acclaimed composer and musician Alan Goose who has been a resident since birth.
Raunds was visited by the Channel 4 programme 'Inbetweeners' on 19 January 2011, in connection with the Comic Relief fund-raising 'Rude Road Trip', because of the interesting signs: Titty Ho and Butts Road.
There are many small businesses and many people commute to larger centres for work (see section on Road transport). Raunds is home to a Hotpoint distribution centre, and depots for Robert Wiseman Dairies and Avery Dennison. Raunds Co-operative Society ran a supermarket and department store and had 4,000 members until 2007 when it merged with the larger Midlands Co-operative Society. The shops still operate.
A market is held on Fridays in the square. Regular stalls include butchers, plant stockists and confectioners. Local organisations and clubs can also set up a stall.
Raunds holds an annual music festival over a weekend in early May. Events include: rock, jazz and folk concerts starring nationally and internationally known artists, performances by Raunds Community Choir and Raunds Temperance Band, song and tune sessions, dancing displays, a ceilidh and an annual youth dance competition.
Raunds Music and Drama Society (MADS) holds several stage performances throughout the year.
The town holds a Christmas festival in the square. Continental markets are held annually to celebrate neighbouring countries.
Woodbine Working Mens Club (1901-2005) and the Conservative Club (1920 to date) have offered community and recreational facilities.
For the past few years, an annual "Beer Festival" has been held at the cricket club. This features a range of local beers and ciders, as well as traditional world beverages, all accompianied by local music artists.
Sport and leisure
- Archery: Archers of Raunds meet at Manor School and Sports College
- Cricket: Raunds Town Cricket Club have a ground in Marshalls Road
- Football: Raunds Town FC
- Raunds War Memorials Research wit interesting Raunds facts.
- RPC Containers
- Raunds Methodist Church
- Raunds Temperance Band
- Raunds Rainbow Nursery School
- Raunds Playgroup
- MyBritishRoots A List of Headstone inscriptions in St Peters Churchyard
- History of St. Peter's church
- Photos of St. Peter's church interior
- 2nd Raunds St. Peter's Brownies
- Hall, David; Raunds: Picturing the past (F.W. March, 1988) ISBN 0-9509908-3-3