A History of the County of Northampton

A History of the County of Northampton

VII: Corby and Great Oakley

Edited by Mark Page, Matthew Bristow


Victoria County History



Comprehensive and authoritative history of Corby and Great Oakley, charting their growth and development from the early medieval period to the present day.
Lying in north Northamptonshire, close to the borders with Leicestershire and Rutland, the neighbouring parishes of Corby and Great Oakley were formerly part of the ancient administrative division of Corby hundred. Both remained agricultural villages, typical of much of rural Northamptonshire before 1932 when the landscape of the area was dramatically altered by large-scale industrialisation associated with the production of iron and steel following the discovery of rich ironstone deposits to the north and east of Corby village. Corby was most directly affected by these changes, with the parish experiencing a dramatic rise in population after the Stewarts & Lloyds Company chose to concentrate their entire steel producing operation there. Between 1932 and 1950, the increasing population resulted in the hasty construction, firstly by the Stewarts & Lloyds Company and later by the Corby UDC, of housing estates on former agricultural land adjacent to the steelworks, before Corby was designated a New Town in April 1950 and responsibility for it passed to the Corby Development Corporation. From this point on, Great Oakley was inexorably drawn into the expanding new town as it spread southwards, eventually being incorporated firstly into Corby urban district in1967 and in 1993 into Corby Borough.
Although Corby is perhaps best known for the social problems or "New Town Blues" that blighted it after the steelworks (the town's principal employer) closed in 1980, this volume documents the lesser known medieval and early modern history of Corby and Great Oakley; it shows how generations of inhabitants utilised the rich natural geology and the abundant woodland to supplement the local agrarian economy, before examining in detail Corby's industrialisation, physical and economic growth, post-industrial decline and 21st-century regeneration.

Mark Page is Assistant Editor, Victoria County History, Oxfordshire; Matthew Bristow is Research Manager, Victoria County History.


July 2013
78 black and white, 17 line illustrations
263 pages
30.5x20.8 cm
Victoria County History
ISBN: 9781904356370
Format: Hardback
Victoria County History
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Corby and Great Oakley: Agriculture and Industry in a Woodland Landscape - Mark Page
Corby to 1932 - Mark Page
Great Oakley - Mark Page
Industrial Corby and New Town 1932-79 - Cynthia Brown and Matthew Bristow
Post-Industrial Corby 1980-2012 - Cynthia Brown and Matthew Bristow


This book is the latest of the recent VCH volumes that have reached new heights in terms of the information they contain. LANDSCAPE HISTORY

The most significant achievement of the volume is that it shows how this unusual twentieth-century community was shaped .This is scholarship that matches the highest standards of the volumes produced by the long-serving county editors of past generations. LOCAL HISTORIAN, January 2014

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