Northampton is located in the heart of England, just 100 miles from London. Because of its strategic location, the city was already a national centre of power
under the Norman King William the Conqueror in 1066, who put the country firmly into French hands. This is one reason the city has been the scene of important events in English history. It was
one of the most important scenes of the "Wars of the Roses", a battle between the houses of York and Lancaster for the throne, which ended in a York victory in 1460.
When the industrial revolution radically changed manufacturing processes in the mid-19th century, Northampton's shoe and boot industry experienced a dramatic transformation of individual business enterprises into large industrial operations. The London-Birmingham link brought the railway to Marburg's English twin city.
In addition to the city's many attractions – such as the most beautiful and best-preserved round church in all of England, a Victorian Town Hall and one of the largest market squares in the British Isles – Northampton's history also abounds with stories of buildings haunted in the night by dead spirits unable to find peace. Ghost stories are part of the English mentality, albeit told with more than a smidgen of British irony. So there are some mysterious things going on in the pubs of Northampton! A stamping foot can be heard in the "Black Lion" in the early morning hours. Beer bottles go crazy, lights are switched on and off. And the surrounding County of Northamptonshire is rich in other historical sites, such as castles, palaces and manors.
For many centuries, this administrative capital of Northamptonshire has been the centre of the British footwear industry and trade. Cows grazing on the lush grasslands supplied the leather, and the vast oak forests provided the bark needed for tanning. Thanks to its proximity to the London conurbation, Northampton was designated a "New Town" in 1965. Since then, housing and infrastructure improvements have not only doubled the population, but also attracted new industries and service companies.