Infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Rushden
latitude= 52.288
longitude= -0.601
civil_parish= Rushden
population = 25,849 (2001 Census)
shire_district= East Northamptonshire District
shire_county= Northamptonshire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= Wellingborough
post_town= RUSHDEN
postcode_district = NN10
postcode_area= NN
dial_code= 01933
os_grid_reference= SP955665

Rushden is a town in England in the county of Northamptonshire.

The parish of Rushden covers an area of some 3777 acres (15 km²) and is part of the district of East Northamptonshire. The population of Rushden was recorded as 25,849 at the time of the 2001 census; now the estimated population is around 28,368 [] , making it the fifth largest town in the county. The Rushden-Higham urban area, which includes the adjoining town of Higham Ferrers, has an estimated population of 35,572.


Rushden lies on the A6 mid-way between Bedford and Kettering. The southern limits of the town border on the county of Bedfordshire, and to its north lies the River Nene (locally pronounced Nen) which flows into The Wash. Rushden lies in a small valley, with a stream or brook known as Sidney Brook flowing through the centre of the town. In recent years, this stream has been culverted to prevent flash flooding. From whichever way Rushden is approached, the streets and roads can be seen stretching out in the valley, with the spire of St Mary's church prominent above its rooftops.


Rushden's roots and prosperity have resulted from a number of industries, including lace making and farming, although the Shoe making industry, and associated trades were responsible for the largest growth in the town. In the industry's heyday there were well over 100 boot and shoe factories in Rushden.

Today just a handful of these factories survive. One of the most renowned is Sanders and Sanders, which makes boots for the British Army and several other defence departments throughout the world. Some of the redundant factories have been converted into flats. Today, as with many towns in England, industry in the town is varied, and mostly situated in an out-of-town industrial estate. As with the industry, town centre shopping in Rushden has changed considerably recently although there are many shops. Rushden has the oldest toy shop in the county.

In 1893 a short branch line railway opened linking Rushden and Higham Ferrers with the Midland Main Line. The line was closed in 1959 and dismantled. In 1991 the trackbed was converted into a pocket park [] .

The former Rushden railway station is now owned by the Rushden Historical Transport Society [ ] , which operates a museum and real ale bar. The society often holds special events, including an annual 3-day [ transport cavalcade] . The society aims to rebuild the branch line from Higham Ferrers to Wellingborough. There is a local heritage centre situated in part the former Council Offices in Newton Road. The Rushden and District History Society have a cabinet, and also host special displays from time to time. Exhibitions are changed every six weeks. The centre is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm, and on the second, third and fifth Saturdays of each month at the same times.

There is also a privately owned museum in Rushden which is situated in the town's Hall Park. It is open between the months of May and October.

Rushden Hall is oldest domestic buildings in the town, once owned by many families throughout the year including the Sartoris family and the Pembertons family. Nowadays the hall is the head office of the town council and some rooms are available for hiring. It lies in 32 acres of land which now is a public park (Hall Park).

A new road has been built which by passes Rushden and Higham Ferrers; it starts on the A6 Bedford Road and finishes at Chowns Mill Roundabout, Irthlingborough.

The 1970's ITV Police Drama series "Hunters Walk" was filmed on location in Rushden and the surrounding villages.

Notable people

* H E Bates (author)


The town's football club, Rushden Town merged with nearby Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992 to become Rushden & Diamonds. The new club plays in at Nene Park, on the outskirts of Irthlingborough, and currently competes in the Football Conference. A smaller club, Rushden & Higham United compete in the United Counties League

Rugby is played at Manor Park, the home of Rushden & Higham RUFC. The club was created in October 1951, and set up by two people new to the area - the then landlord of The Green Dragon, Higham Ferrers, Dick Faulkner and head of Rushden Secondary Modern School for Boys, Jack Wilce. In January 1952, the fledgling team played its first game on ground near The Hedges and although it ended as a 3-14 defeat it did not stop the club progressing. Over the years the club has played at Chamberlain's Field, near the old Higham railway station, Saffron Meadows, (in 1959 when the club's historian Geoff Wiggins joined) and the John White's ground Rushden and now it plays at Manor Park, Rushden, on pitches rented weekly from the town council which owns the ground.


Before the single-sex senior schools were merged, the former girls school in Rushden was named "Chichele Girls School" after Henry Chichele who was born in the neighbouring town of Higham Ferrers.

Rushden is now home to one secondary school, Rushden Community College. It is part of The East Northants College together with The Ferrers School (Higham Ferrers), Huxlow School (Irthlingborough) and Manor School & Sports College (Raunds).


Rushden has many supermarkets and convenience stores. Once Rushden was home to one of 5 Safeway megastores in the country until they were bought by Wm Morrison; the store was then bought by Waitrose. In 2006 ASDA announced they would build a new £40m superstore near the town centre; it was opened in late 2006 and is now one of the biggest supermarkets in the town. In May 2007 Budgens announced it would be closing its store in the town because of the loss of trade to the new ASDA, the old Budgens site is now a Wilkinsons store.


Rushden is on the A6 trunk road between Luton and the East Midlands.

Rushden is the second largest town in Northamptonshire without an operational railway station. The nearest railway station is at Wellingborough about four miles away, on the Midland Main Line, although no bus service currently links Rushden to Wellingborough station. The X46 bus service stops at Midland Road in Wellingborough about half a mile from the station. Local transport campaigners have argued for the opening of a 'park and ride' station at nearby Irchester. []

Several major UK airports are only within 1 hours driving distance of the town, including Luton, East Midlands, Birmingham and Stansted.


Rushden has a town Council, which to date, has a composition of 21 Conservatives. Cllr Colin Wright is the current leader of Rushden Town Council, with Cllr Barbara Jenney acting as Mayor for the 2008/09 period.

As a result of recent Electoral changes, Rushden has been divided into 5 wards for both District and Town Council purposes. With the following re-classifications: Rushden Spencer (formerly North), Rushden Hayden (formerly East), Rushden Bates (formerly South), Rushden Sartoris (formerly South) and Rushden Pemberton (formerly West).

Nearby settlements

Bedford, Burton Latimer, Chelveston, Corby, Finedon, Higham Ferrers, Irchester, Irthlingborough, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Oundle, Podington, Raunds, St Neots, Thrapston, Wellingborough, Wollaston, Wymington

External links

* [ Rushden and District History Society]
* [ Rushden Online]
* [ Rushden on the Web]
* [ Rushden town council]
* [ Rushden and Diamonds]

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