WOLLASTON THE VILLAGE
Wollaston is a village in Eastern Northamptonshire, England. The
name is derived from the Saxon "Wulflaf's Town" - named after a Saxon
chief of that name.
In common with the rest of Northamptonshire, Wollaston is noted for its shoe
industry. Until 2001,
the famous Dr
Martens boots were made in Wollaston. Wollaston also has a big chemical
factory, founded by the Quaker
Scott Bader which is now a common ownership factory.
The legendary BBC
Radio 1 Disc
Peel, DJ'd at the Nag's Head pub (now the Wollaston Inn) in the late 60s and
early 70s. He was booked by the then landlord 'Big' Bob Knight. Peel, renowned
for his love of live music, attracted many artists, such as Rod
Stewart and Led
Zeppelin, to this village pub. Peel also wore Wollaston's Dr Martens, as did
many of the artists
Wollaston is a rural village with a population around 3,600
located near the market town of Wellingborough
The village has a primary and a secondary school (Wollaston Secondary School),
local shops, post office, library and public houses. The village supports four
churches, these being Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and a Salvation Army Citadel.
The Anglican church was at one time held by the Abbey of Delapré
The village has significant industry for its size, the main employer being
the Scott Bader chemical works. Until recent time (2001) the village was also a
major centre for shoe and boot manufacture with R. Griggs and Co.
production of Dr Martens boots in the village.
The village has an excellent museum located off the north end of the High
Street. It displays and curates a growing record of Wollaston village life.
St. Mary's church Wollaston
The village first developed as a linear settlement starting at what is now Cobbs Lane moving past Bell End, Rotten Row, St Michaels' Lane and down towards
Settlement and activity in the area are known to date from at least Roman times. Remains of a large (35 hectare) Romano British vineyard are known in the
village, these being some of the very first such sites confirmed in the United Kingdom. A Roman Road passes roughly east to west just south of the modern village, with another Roman road passing north south to the East of the modern village.
The village also has strong evidence for Saxon settlement and activity from the discovery of one of the finest Saxon style iron
helmets in a warriors grave dating from around 700 AD. It is thought that the name Wollaston comes from Wulflaf’s
Town. Wulflaf being an early Saxon.
The oldest visible part of the village is known as Beacon Hill, an ancient castle earthwork or burial mound which once belonged to Bury Manor. The mound was once surrounded by a great ditch which dates back to the 12th century.
In 1260 William de Bray secured a charter from [[Henry III of England Henry
III to hold an annual Michaelmas fair and a weekly market to be held on a Tuesday.
Margery de Wolaston - was elected in 1282 as the Abbess of Delapré Abbey in Northampton; she died circa 1296.
In 1788 Wollaston land was enclosed under an act of parliament, at the time David Hennell, a lace dealer from the village wrote ''"I lament that this field is now agoing to be enclosed. Some that have large quantities of land are set upon it, and pay no regard to the many little ones that may be injured, and I fear many
ruined."'' The enclosure reduced the number of landowners in the village from 108 to just 18.
Wollaston's first school was opened in 1842. This was held in a building adjacent to the Cuckoo pub, opposite Bell End. The school was private and was run by a village curate, the Reverend J.J. Scott from his own funds. The School did not come under government control until 1873. The school has moved several times, finally being established on College street in a building dating from May 1894.
During this period significant industry came to the village in the form of shoe making.
Shoe making, and the mechanisation of this work, continued in the early 20th century with a number of nationally known shoe making companies establishing themselves in the village and surrounding area.
In 1940 Scott Bader moved manufacturing to the village from London, the move became permanent and the company is now an integral part of the local community. The company founders Ernst Bader and Dora Scott founded the Scott Bader Commonwealth in the 1950's, gifting the whole company to its employees for all time. Now the company functions as a cooperative with profits divided between investment in the company, bonus for employees and charitable donations.
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on our neighbouring village BOZEAT