The stories behind the plaques
There are fascinating stories hidden behind the snippets on the blue plaques about the people and places in Higham's past.
DISCOVER more here ...
- WALNUT TREE
This tree is reputed to be approximately 500 years old and as far back as Henry VII's reign it was know as the 'Ancient Tree'.
2. THE ALMSHOUSES
Built in 1885 by George Newman to house six widows or spinsters of the parish.
3. 52 COLLEGE STREET
Formerly known as the 'White Hart' pub. Beer was brewed here twice a year in the brew house at the rear. A licence dating back to 1764 has been preserved.
4. CEMETERY CHAPEL
Opened in 1898 as the entrance to the new Borough Cemetery. It included a mortuary chapel, which was built at a cost of £1250. The original mortuary slab is still in situ as is a funeral bier.
5. CHICHELE COLLEGE
Founded in 1422 by Archbishop Henry Chichele. It fell into disrepair following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and was used as an inn and a farm.
6. GREEN DRAGON
17th Century Coaching Inn on the London-Leicester route. Stables were located at the rear with the blacksmiths forge next door.
7. THE OLD HOUSE
Built in 1580 as a 'Market Merchants' House. The building has been used as a bakery, private residence and guest house. Being on the junction of North/South and East/West routes the market was very busy in Medieval Times.
8. TOWN HALL
Built in 1808 at a cost of £755. It served as the local 'lock-up' and court house until the 1930's. Prior to 1974 it was the offices of the Borough of Higham Ferrers Council.
9. 11 MARKET SQUARE
10. CHURCH HOUSE
One of the oldest buildings and thought to be the ancestral home of George Washington. His Great Grandfather, Lawrence Washington, who was Mayor of Northampton in 1532 and 1545 once lived here.
11. MARKET CROSS
Built in 1280. It was erected by the Burgesses and others who used the market. It was commonly used to bind oaths and contracts were made before it.
12. 2 COLLEGE STREET
Setting for the book 'Sleepless Moon' by HE Bates. He was born in Rushden but spent many of his early years in Higham Ferrers with his grandparents.
13. JOHN WHITE CLOSE
Opened in 1951 by Mrs John White. The buildings were designed by Sir Albert Richardson, a leading architect, at the request of John White.
14. CHARLES PARKER BUILDING
After a fire the Charles Parker, Boot and Shoe Manufacturers factory was rebuilt in 1906. Purchased by John White for shoe manufacturing in 1936. The building was renovated by the Rolton Group following its purchase in 1989.
15. FORMER PARISH ROOMS
Built in 1904, the former Parish Rooms were used as a VAD hospital in World War I and for ambulance services in World War II. It was sold in 1968 to the County Council for a library.
16. THE CARRIAGE HOUSE
Previously used as quarters for American officers during WWII, a high school for girls during the early days of the last century and as the John White Training School for girls from Ammanford, Wales.
17. FORMER SWAN PUB
Henry V gave Archbishop Chichele permisssion to build Chichele College in 1422. The funding to reect and maintain the College came from Chichele's properties in Essex and Higham, including the revenue from his Higham Inn, The Swan.
18. 67 HIGH STREET
This house is the traditional birthplace of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury 1414-1443.