Northamptonshire, or Northants, is a landlocked county in England. At the 2011 census, the county had an estimated population of 693,900.


Map of Northamptonshire

There are many towns within Northamptonshire but as of yet no cities, although Peterborough was in Northamptonshire until 1965. Northampton itself applied for city status at the turn of the Millennium, but lost out to Wolverhampton


In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the surrounding area became industrialised. The local specialisation was shoemaking and the leather industry and by the end of the 19th century it was almost definitively the boot and shoe making capital of the world. In the north of the county a large ironstone quarrying industry developed from 1850. During the 1930s, the town of Corby was established as a major centre of the steel industry. Much of Northamptonshire nevertheless remains largely rural.

Traditionally, the town of Northampton has been a major centre of shoemaking and other leather related industries. Shoemaking has virtually ceased, though the back streets of the town still show the pattern of small shoe factories surrounded by terraced houses for the outworkers. The main industries now include distribution and finance.

One recent growing sector of the county's economy is motor racing and engineering. The Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit has meant that multiple Formula 1 teams, like Mercedes-Benz at Brackley and Force India at Silverstone are based in the county. The Rockingham Motor Speedway, near the town of Corby is home to the likes of British Formula 3 and the British Touring Car Championship.

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