Northamptonshire despite the name is in the dead centre of England with nearly 700,000 inhabitants bordering on Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire. Northamptonshire was invaded and colonised by the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th century and then by the Normans 400 years later, both sets of peoples left their marks on the landscape and culture of the area with Norman Castles and monasteries and older abbeys still extant.
The University of Northampton is a modern establishment however there was a university in the area during the 13th century which was dissolved as being perceived as a threat to Oxford. The University College Northampton was only given full university status in 2005. There are 10,000 students at the University of Northampton many of whom use the extensive link to industry to seek employment, however Northampton usually takes a mid-table place in university league tables made by the UK government.
Traditional industries in the area include leather working, pipe making, silk manufacturer, mining and quarrying.
The Northamptonshire area is heavily associated with motor sport and is the home of Silverstone which hosts the F1 British Grand Prix every year attracting visitors and media attention from across the world. Rockingham Speedway near Corby in the largest stadia in the UK with 130,000 seats and hosts cart, bike and other meet.
The family of George Washington (the first President of the USA) were all born on Northamptonshire and migrated in the 17th century. Politics must be in the Washington blood as 6 generations before Lawrence Washington has been the Mayor of Northampton.