Desborough Heritage Centre - The Official Website for the Town of Desborough in Northants

About Desborough Heritage Centre

Desborough has been an important place of settlement for thousands of years. Remains have been found here from the stone age, 10,000 years ago.

Archaelogical finds record inhabitants from 2,000 BC to the 7th century AD, that is through the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman Occupation, through to the time when Anglo Saxons adopted Christianity. The town's excavated treasures, indicating aristocratic or royal settlement are in the British Museum.

Splendid among these is the famous bronze Desborough Mirror, Desborough Mirrorthe most beautiful Iron Age mirror found in Britain, dating from the 1st century BC. We proudly display a specially commissioned replica of it.

Desborough Necklace

Seven centuries later, another important woman must have worn the gold Desborough Necklace, which is outstanding of its kind. It is made of gold coiled wire beads and garnet pendants, with a cross at its centre. It was found, with other possessions, in the grave of an early Christian Saxon lady, and interestingly outside the Church area.

Hand Drawn HearseAlso seizing visitors' attention among the 'things' of all sizes and kinds in the Centre is a magnificant hand drawn hearse of 1899 (carriage builder, William Pass of Kettering) which Desborough Civic Society rescued from the Cemetery Chapel in Rushton Road and conserved.

Sketch of Desborough Church Desborough Heritage Centre

Desborough Heritage Centre
Station Road, Desborough

Contact Steve Richards

Sketches provided by Robert Mercer

Other exhibitions with artefacts show Desborough's Georgian, Victorian and early 20th Century history. You may learn about its industries...

  • lace-making (1820s - 1860s)
  • silk / velvet-manufacture (1820s - 1860s)
  • shoe-making (11 factories from the late 1860s)

Desborough at WarTwentieth century life is shown through, for example, Edwardian toys, and collections showing Desborough at War.

Additionally, the visitor may wish to return, again and again, to Desborough's unusually large photographic history.

Desborough Boot & Shoe IndustryYou may see photographic records of the following industries...

  • iron ore quarrying
  • boot and shoe
  • corsetry
  • box-making (Rigid Containers)
  • food slicers
  • retail (especially the shops of Desborough's Independant Co-op formed in 1863)
  • building

Desborough Railway StationOther photographs include trade displays, churches, major streets, railway station, sporting teams (especially football and cricket) and the activities of the community of families - many of which have lived in the town for centuries.