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Signpost in Rushden

Rushden is a town and a civil parish in the county of Northamptonshiremarker, Englandmarker .

The parish of Rushden covers an area of some 3777 acres (15 km²) and is part of the district of East Northamptonshiremarker. The population of Rushden was recorded as 25,849 at the time of the 2001 census, and in 2009 was estimated at around 28,368 [40522], making it the fifth largest town in the county. The Rushden-Higham urban area, which includes the adjoining town of Higham Ferrersmarker, has an estimated population of 35,572.


Rushden lies on the A6 mid-way between Bedfordmarker and Ketteringmarker. The southern limits of the town border on the county of Bedfordshire, and to its north lies the River Nenemarker (locally pronounced Nen) which flows into The Washmarker. Rushden lies in a small valley, with a stream or brook known as Sidney Brook flowing through the centre of the town. In recent years, this stream has been culverted to prevent flash flooding. From whichever way Rushden is approached, the streets and roads can be seen stretching out in the valley, with the spire of St Mary's church prominent above its rooftops.
Rushden's St Mary's Church


Rushden has a town Council, which to date, has a composition of 21 Conservatives. Cllr Colin Wright is the current leader of Rushden Town Council, with Cllr Gill Mercer acting as Mayor for the 2009/10 period. As a result of recent Electoral changes, Rushden has been divided into 5 wards for both District and Town Council purposes. With the following re-classifications: Rushden Spencer (formerly North), Rushden Hayden (formerly East), Rushden Bates (formerly South), Rushden Sartoris (formerly South) and Rushden Pemberton (formerly West).


Rushden's growth has resulted from a number of industries, including lacemaking and farming, and especially shoemaking and associated trades. In the industry's heyday there were well over 100 boot and shoe factories in Rushden.

Today just a handful of these factories survive. One of the most renowned is Sanders and Sanders, which makes boots for the British Army and several other defence departments throughout the world. Some of the redundant factories have been converted into flats, and MPs support for government help has been limited.[40523] Today, as with many towns in England, industry in the town is varied, and mostly situated in an out-of-town industrial estate. As with the industry, town centre shopping in Rushden has changed considerably recently although there are many shops. Rushden has the oldest toy shop in the county.

In 1893 a short branch line railway opened linking Rushden and Higham Ferrersmarker with the Midland Main Line. The line was closed in 1959 and dismantled. In 1991 the trackbed was converted into a pocket park [40524].

The former Rushden railway stationmarker is now owned by the Rushden Historical Transport Societymarker , which operates a museum and real ale bar. The society often holds special events, including an annual 3-day transport cavalcade. The society aims to rebuild the branch line from Higham Ferrersmarker to Wellingboroughmarker.

There is also a privately owned museum in Rushden which is situated in the town's Hall Park. It is open between the months of May and October.
Hall Park with the spire of St Mary's Church in the far distance

Rushden Hall is the oldest domestic building in the town, once owned by many families throughout the year including the Sartoris family and the Pembertons family. The hall now functions as the head office of the town council and some rooms are available for hiring. It lies in of land which now is a public park (Hall Park).

A new road has been built which by passes Rushden and Higham Ferrers; it starts on the A6 Bedford Road and finishes at Chowns Mill Roundabout, Irthlingboroughmarker.

The 1970s ITV Police Drama series Munters Walk was filmed on location in Rushden and the surrounding villages.


The town's football club, Rushden Town merged with nearby Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992 to become Rushden & Diamonds. The new club plays in at Nene Parkmarker, on the outskirts of Irthlingboroughmarker, and currently competes in the Football Conference. A smaller club, Rushden & Higham Unitedmarker compete in the United Counties League

Rugby is played at Manor Park, the home of Rushden & Higham RUFC. The club was created in October 1951. Over the years the club has played at Chamberlain's Field, near the old Higham railway station, Saffron Meadows, and the John White's ground in Rushden and now plays at Manor Park, Rushden, on pitches rented weekly from the town council.


Before the single-sex senior schools were merged, the former girls school in Rushden was named "Chichele Girls School" after Henry Chichele who was born in the neighbouring town of Higham Ferrers.

Rushden is now home to one secondary school, Rushden Community College. It is part of The East Northants College together with The Ferrers School (Higham Ferrers), Huxlow School (Irthlingborough) and Manor School & Sports College (Raunds).Rushden has 8 Primary schools:

South Rushden

Whitefriars Junior

Southend Junior

North Rushden

Denfield Park Junior

Hayway Junior

Central Rushden

Alfred Street Junior

West Rushden

Newton Road Junior

Higham Ferrers

Higham Ferrers Junior

Henry Chichele Junior

For adult education, Rushden is served by a 'Learning Centre' which is located in the town centre. The Learning Centre is operated by Bedford Collegemarker, and offers Information Technology, English Language and Mathematics courses.


Rushden has many supermarkets and convenience stores. Once Rushden was home to one of 5 Safeway megastores in the country until they were bought by Wm Morrison; the store was then bought by Waitrose. In 2006 ASDA announced they would build a new £40m superstore near the town centre; it was opened in late 2006 and is now one of the biggest supermarkets in the town. In May 2007 Budgens announced it would be closing its store in the town because of the loss of trade to the new ASDA, the old Budgens site is now a Wilkinson store.


Rushden is the largest town in Northamptonshire without an operational railway station. The nearest railway station is at Wellingboroughmarker about five miles (6 km) away, on the Midland Main Line, although no bus service currently links Rushden to Wellingborough station. The X46 bus service stops at Midland Road in Wellingborough about half a mile from the station. The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and local transport campaigners have argued for the opening of a 'park and ride' station at nearby Irchestermarker. [40525] (See Rushden Parkway railway stationmarker).

Several major UK airports are only within 1 hours driving distance of the town, including Luton, East Midlands, Birmingham and Stansted.

Notable people

Nearby settlements

Bedfordmarker, Burton Latimermarker, Chelvestonmarker, Corbymarker, Finedonmarker, Higham Ferrersmarker, Irchestermarker, Irthlingboroughmarker, Ketteringmarker, Milton Keynesmarker, Northamptonmarker, Oundlemarker, Podingtonmarker, Raundsmarker, St Neotsmarker, Thrapstonmarker, Wellingboroughmarker, Wollastonmarker, Wymingtonmarker

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