Another such is Northampton. Like Oxford, most (all in fact) of the trains run to or from London, although the latter will reconnect to Cambridge in a few years, with Milton Keynes and Northampton joining the line via Bletchley. Northampton is only currently accessible from East Anglia via London, Birmingham, or switching to a coach at Peterborough. This is an interesting paradox as the station was built over the remains of the Castle (above), where Becket was tried in 1164.
So much for getting there, what about the city itself? It is the seat of the county of Richard’s birth, adjacent to that of his death, but the site of his brother’s great triumph, deploying cannon in England for the first time, just weeks before that tactic literally misfired at Roxburgh. Naturally, Delapre Abbey (left) was on my agenda, about half a mile from the town centre, with the Eleanor Cross (below left) at Hardingstone nearby as one of only three remaining originals. The Abbey, now a listed building, was peacefully dissolved today in 1538 and became a home to the Tate and Bouverie families then a Record Office, fortunately escaping demolition in the sixties.
Francis Crick was from Weston Favell, where I stayed.