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Raunds ( ) is a small market town in rural Northamptonshiremarker, Englandmarker. It has a population of 8,275 (2001 census), is a civil parish, and is part of the East Northamptonshiremarker district.

Geography

Raunds is situated 15 miles north-east of Northamptonmarker. The town is on the southern edge of the Nenemarker valley and surrounded by arable farming land.

Raunds is 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 Meadows Lane bridleway.

Raunds has two day nurseries (Raunds Rainbow Nursery School and Raunds Day Nursery), an infant school (Park Infants), two primary schools (Windmill and St Peter's Junior School) and one secondary school (Manor School and Sports College). Manor school has had a new all-weather, floodlit, sports pitch installed, costing half a million pounds.

History

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, Northamptonshiremarker, was delayed by several years while archaeologists studied the remains. In 2003 Channel 4's Time Team excavated a garden and found remains of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery .

St Peter's Church, believed to have been built in the 15th century, has the second tallest spire in Northamptonshiremarker at 202 feet (61.5m). 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 most are now closed. Several buildings were demolished and housing estates were added. There is little industry in the town, but on the outskirts there are some industrial sites.

Raunds once held the record for the highest temperature in Britain at (set in 1911). This record stood until 1990.

Transport

Road

Raunds is adjacent to the A45 and close to the A14. Access to the M1 and A1marker is close and the A14 runs into the M6. Consequently the area attracts distribution companies, and there are many warehouses.

Bus

Bus services are not great, although Raunds does have some. The X46 links the town with Wellingborough and Northampton, running half-hourly. There are intermittent routes to Huntingdonmarker and a local service termed the 'Raunds Rover'.

Rail

Connections are provided by East Midlands Trains from Wellingboroughmarker, and Ketteringmarker. There was a Raunds railway station, on the cross-country Midland Railway between Kettering and Cambridge, 1½ miles from the town. This closed in 1959. It was also planned that the Wellingborough-Higham Ferrers branch would continue to Raunds, but landowners prevented it.

Waterways

Stanwick Lakes are within walking or cycling distance of Raunds, and river ways connect to the Nene Valley river section. By boat, Oundlemarker can be reached in a day. The Nene Valley river section connects to the Middle Level Navigation System, making it possible to reach Cambridgemarker and Peterboroughmarker. The nearest marina is Willy Watt's in Ringstead, Northamptonshiremarker.

Trade

There are many small businesses and many people commute to larger centres for work (see section on Road transport). Raunds is home to the manufacturing plant of RPC Containers, 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.

Culture

Raunds holds an annual music festival in May: Raunds Music Festival Website.

Raunds Music and Drama Society (MADS) hold 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 and Conservative Club have offered community and recreational facilities from their current sites since 1901 and 1902 respectively.The Woodbine Working Mens Club no longer exists.

Sport

Football

Raunds Town FC are at Kiln Park and play in the United Counties Football League. As well as the first team, they also have reserve, women's and youth teams. Raunds Tigers FC focus on junior soccer and have several youth teams.

Cricket

Raunds Town Cricket Club have a ground in Marshalls Road. The team plays in the Northamptonshire League.

Archery

Archers of Raunds meet at Manor school.

Mayors of Raunds

In 2005, the Raunds Town Council decided to (instead of having a chairman of the council) pick a mayor. Holders have been:
2005-2006: Lisa Costello
2006-2007: Dudley Hughes
2007-2008: Michelle Goring
2008-2009: Peter Wathen


Nearby settlements

Ringsteadmarker, Keystonmarker, Stanwickmarker, Rushdenmarker, Higham Ferrersmarker, Thrapstonmarker, Hargravemarker, Wellingboroughmarker, Irthlingboroughmarker, Chelvestonmarker.

References

Sources

  • Hall, David; Raunds: Picturing the past (F.W. March, 1988) ISBN 0-9509908-3-3


External links




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