Oundle

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Template:GBmap Oundle is an ancient market town on the River Nene in Northamptonshire, England, with a population of 5,345 (2001 census). It is 80 miles north of London and 12 miles south-west of Peterborough.

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History

Oundle, as many other villages and towns in England, originated as a trading place and market for local farmers and craftsmen. As the area became more prosperous, wealthy traders set up shops and houses, and guilds were formed. One of the oldest references to the location of Oundle were as an hospitium in 638 AD, a building used by monks to give shelter and assistance to travellers. On the same site, The Talbot was eventually built, initially out of timber and later rebuilt with stone from the ruins of nearby Fotheringhay Castle. Mary, Queen of Scots was executed in that castle, and it is a common legend that if you look closely enough, it is possible to see a scratch on the stairs in the Talbot that was created by Mary's ring as she was taken to be beheaded. Other public houses in the area include 'The Rose and Crown', 'The Ship Inn'- a 14th Century coaching inn, 'The Angel', and 'The George' (some distance from the centre).

Buildings

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St. Peter's Parish Church

There are, or were, a number of churches in Oundle. By far the largest and most prominent - with the largest steeple in the area - St. Peter's Parish Church occupies the main churchyard. There is also a methodist church.

Other major buildings include the Stahl Theatre, a primary school, many very large Oundle School buildings which are sometimes open to the public such as a full-length swimming pool and the Great Hall for concerts.

Schools

The town has both a primary and middle school, as well as the independant Laxton Junior School, closely tied with Oundle School.

Oundle is well-known for its public school, Oundle School which was created when Sir William Laxton, then Master of the Grocers' Company of London and Mayor of London, refounded the Grammar School of which he had been a student.

The town also has a comprehensive school, Prince William School. Opened under another name in 1971 by Prince William of Gloucester, the school was renamed in his memory following his death in a plane crash in 1972.

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