26 October 2015

A book celebrating the unique treasures of Northamptonshire is celebrating its first birthday.

Icons of Northamptonshire is published jointly by Northamptonshire County Council and the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Northamptonshire).

The county council presented CPRE Northamptonshire with a cheque for £2,000 – a proportion of the profits raised from book sales since it was launched in October 2014.

Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of the county council, said: “This is a wonderful record of the many, many things for which the county is renowned and I’m delighted that they have been brought together in this compilation.

“One of the attractions of the county is that we have so many unheralded treasures that many people feel a genuine sense of discovery when they encounter what we have to offer.

“I take terrific pride in being Northamptonshire born and bred and I feel this volume is a fitting tribute to our wonderful county.”

Sir Paul Hayter, chairman of CPRE Northamptonshire and editor of the book, received the cheque and said: “This joint venture with Northamptonshire County Council has been a great pleasure. We share a deep love of the county, and the sale proceeds of the book will support CPRE’s work to protect its countryside for the benefit of all.”

A note from Sir Terry Wogan

In the book 70 contributors - including broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and parish priest Richard Coles – pay homage to their favourite iconic places, buildings and events in the county.

Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan writes about the Express Lifts Tower, the landmark he dubbed the Northampton Lighthouse, while Sir Ranulph Fiennes writes about Ashby St Ledgers and its links to the Gunpowder Plot.

The Revd Richard Coles writes about St Peter’s church, Lowick; Lady Heseltine explains the history of her 18th century Georgian home, Thenford House and the Lord-Lieutenant of the county, David Laing, writes about a skateboard alley in Corby.

Other entries include details of:

  • the annual conker festival near Oundle which sees men, women and children compete for the title of World Conker Champion
  • the bronze head of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180) discovered near Brackley
  • Silverstone circuit, the home of British motorsport
  • Boughton House, one of Britain’s grandest and best-preserved stately homes known as the Versailles of England because of its elegant grandeur.

The book is on sale in Northamptonshire's county libraries, price £17.50.