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Rothwell Preservation Trust

Market House Rothwell

One of the buildings in the area erected by Sir Thomas Tresham, The Market House stands at the centre of the ancient market town of Rothwell.

Sir Thomas, also known as Thomas the builder, was a Roman Catholic at the time when such beliefs were dangerous.

Sir Thomas, Lord of the Manor of Rowell (as the town is still called by locals), made an agreement with Willian Grumbold, a mason from the nearby village of Weldon, "for certain works at Rothwell Crosse".

Not only was he to erect the building, he was to carve on it the coats-of-arms of prominent Northamptonshire families.

The building is cruciform in shape and bears an inscription in Latin to explain Tresham's motives for erecting it: "This was the work of Sir Thomas Tresham, Knight. He did it for the sake of his dear land and County of Northamptonshire, but most of all on account of this, his neighbouring town. He sought nothing but the public good and lasting honour of his friends. He who wilfully mistakes his intention is unworthy of so great a benefit. In the year of Our Lord one thousand five hundred and sev..."

The last part of the inscription is damaged or was never completed. The arcades of the building, now containing windows, were originally intended to be left open so market stalls could be placed there, sheltered from the weather. The building was never fully completed, until 1827 when subscriptions were raised to repair the walls, and at a public meeting in 1887 the decision was made to complete it.

The building was started under the direction of the first Chairman of the town's newly formed Urban District Council, Frederick Barlow, and the well-known Kettering architect John Alfred Gotch. They used plans said to have been found at Rushton Hall, which had been the home of Sir Thomas, and the work was carried out between1894-97, the builders being Margetts & Neal.

Contact & Opening Times

Market House, Market Hill, Rothwell, Kettering, Northants, NN14 6BW|
[email protected]|

The interior of the Market House is not open to the public on a daily basis, please email for information.

Explore the area

Click the pins on the map to see other attractions nearby

Visitor Information & Facilities

  • Child friendly
  • Free parking
  • Group tours
  • Meeting / conference space

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