Northampton 1290

by Rosemary Sturge

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Northampton 1290: One chilly Morning morning in January, the busy bustle of the market place is interrupted by the knifing of a vagabond. Who was this man, and why did someone want him dead? Informed that the man is Welsh, Owen ap Owen, a young knight from the Welsh borders, although loyal to King Edward, none the less has some sympathy for the rebellious men of Gwynedd. Despite his military duties, and his growing attraction to the beautiful Jewish girl, Belaset, he sets out to discover the murderer.

Historical background to the novel

Northampton today is not an Instagram-pretty town like Ludlow or Lichfield or Stratford Upon Avon. Two great fires, one in the sixteenth and one in the seventeenth century destroyed almost all of its medieval buildings. Only three stone-built Churches, St Peters, St Giles, and Holy Sepulchre survived. All Saints, which features in the story, remains on the original site but was rebuilt after serious fire damage in 1675. However, despite those disastrous fires and the sometimes-unhelpful interventions of town planners since, most of the streets in the centre of the town retain their original names, and records tell us where the medieval Jewish community would have lived (Gold Street, Silver St, Bearwood St and Sheep Street.) The castle, once a favourite of King John, who gave the town its original charter to hold regular markets, is long gone. All that remains are fragments to be found in local residents gardens. The great open marketplace in the town centre has so far resisted the desire of politicians to ‘improve it’, but for how long?

In print

Northampton 1290 is available in print from Amazon This is the UK Amazon site but it is available from other Amazon sites too.


Northampton 1290 is available for Kindle from Amazon This is the UK Amazon site but it is also available from other Amazon sites.

I would be very pleased if you could leave a review on the website where you buy it.


Holy Sepulchre church, Northampton. This wonderful round church was in use at the time of the novel and is still in use to this day.

St Peter's church, Northampton. This chuch is still standing and was in use at the time of the novel.

©2022 Rosemary Sturge