Northampton's Boot and Shoe Quarter

Walk 1: Central Area

For this walk, the actual route taken is left to the reader. The buildings of interest are shown on the adjoining plan with their details summarised below. Some buildings have been listed (i.e. placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest) by English Heritage as grade II; these are identified by (LBII). Clicking on a number on the plan will cause the page to scroll to the description.

  •  1  Corner Upper Mounts and Overstone Road
    Site of three-storey and basement Mounts Shoe Factory. Started by John Cove in 1854; later became Cove & West. Demolished for road widening in 1970.
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  •  2  Overstone Road/St Michaels Road corner
    Hornby & West built a three-storey factory on the corner plot in 1876, extended in 1883 & 1893 (2a). GT Hawkins built his original ten- by three-bay, three-storey shoe on corner of Overstone Road and Dunster Street c.1886. By 1899 Hawkins had built a seven-bay, three-storey extension in Dunster Street and a four-storey and basement block in St Michaels Road (2b). From around 1912 GT Hawkins occupied the whole site until closure in c.2000.
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    Unicorn Works, built c.1887
    Unicorn Works, built c.1887.
  •  3  Unicorn Works, 20-26 St Michaels Road
    Ten-bay three-storey factory built c.1887. Used briefly by boot mfr James Branch, then by Beale & Co, till the 1920s. Note taking-in doors/cranes at each end suggesting it was built as two factories.
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  •  4  Trickers, 56-60 St Michaels Road (LBII)
    Three-storey factory with glazed brick façade dating from 1937, but Trickers were on this site from 1914. Appears in 2005 film ‘Kinky Boots’.
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  •  5  62 St Michaels Road
    Seven-bay three-storey factory built by 1884, with later extension. Used by Pollard & Son until the 1970s and now part of Trickers.
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  •  6  70 St Michaels Road (The Business Centre)
    Four-bay, three-storey factory built c.1890. By 1908 it was the leather warehouse of AE Rodhouse.
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  •  7  72 St Michaels Road
    Eight-bay, three-storey factory built c.1886. Initially the Pedestrian Boot Factory of George Weed, it later became a grocery warehouse.
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  •  8  Chaplins Stage School, 105 St Michaels Road
    Three-storey, T-shaped boot factory built c.1890 for HJ Bateman. From c.1910 to 1930s it was used by Northampton Machinery Company.
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  •  9  69a Kettering Road
    Three-storey gateway to Dickens Bros, leather dressers. Factory built in 1900 and still operating. One of only two leather companies left in county.
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  • 10  Grove Works, 72-74 Clare Street / Grove Road
    Fifteen x six-bay, three-storey shoe factory built in 1890 for GM Tebbutt and operational until 1970s. After 1952 known as Tebbutt & Taylor. Note diaper brickwork on gable ends.
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  • 11  Allinson House, 2 Clare Street / Earl Street corner
    Nine x nine-bay, three-storey and basement factory with datestone of 1888. Fred Juggins, boot and shoe manufacturer until 1894, then Allinson’s shoe factory until c.1982.
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  • 12  1-9 Overstone Road /Clare Street corner
    Three-storey shoe factory remodelled in 1930s/40s. Original corner factory on this site built for Kerridge Bros in 1877. Joseph Dawson here from 1889 till mid-1920s. Remodelled factory used by Leicester-based Brevitt Shoe Co.
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  • 13  73 Overstone Road
    Four-bay, three-storey factory lost a fourth storey after a 1902 fire. James Collier, leather currier here by 1884 before moving to site 15. By 1906, the premises of Glover & Barnes, gold blockers.
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    Leather dressing factory built c.1880
    Leather dressing factory built c.1880.
  • 14  78 Overstone Road / Dunster Street corner (LBII)
    Three-storey leather dressing factory built c.1880 and used by range of leather companies. Note wooden window frames in top floor which would originally have had louvres for ventillation. In 1960s and 1970s was AJ Tear’s bedding factory.
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  • 15  Globe Leather Works, 4-12 Dunster Street (LBII)
    Thirteen bays, three storeys and basement with Dutch style gables built from 1888. Occupied by James Collier, currier, for about 60 years. Inside, iron columns and joists support the floors.
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  • 16  Leather factories in Dunster Street
    Range of single, two- and three-storey buildings on south side which were used as leather warehouses.
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  • 17  113 Overstone Road
    Three storeys and basement in five bays, built in 1880s. Initially used as shoe factory; later a warehouse of the Linen Thread Company.

Peter Perkins

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