The Old Market Inn

In the 17th and 18th centuries people started to travel more, and the road network gradually improved to cater for this trend. Wayside Inns became increasingly important components in peoples’ voyages. Inns not only provided food and drink for travelers, but also overnight accommodation; they provided for the care of the horses pulling the stagecoaches, and a change of horses on long journeys. They were a place where passengers could wait for the arrival and departure of the coaches, and acted as early post offices where parcels and letters could be left for collection and onward dispatch. With its strategic position on several main routes, Kettering was well provided with public houses, inns and hotels, and became a popular stopping off point for coaches. Their function went into decline with the advent of the railway, which in Kettering arrived in 1857, but there is no doubt that the railway brought enormous opportunities and wealth to the town.

The Old Market Inn stands on the site of an inn that has probably been there for 300 years or more. It is first recorded in the 18th century when it was called the Saracen’s Head. In 1796 it became the yarn market, a function that was previously situated in the old Duke’s Arms in Market Street. The Duke’s Arms dates from 1667 but was demolished in 1879. Yarn markets were an important trading site in towns where wool was an important product, as was the case with Kettering.

After several name changes over the years, the name became the New Inn in 1815 when it was taken over. One hundred years ago the ales and stout served were the product of the Northampton Brewery Company. which started life as Phipps brewery, and proudly continued to brew beer for over 150 years. More recently the name was changed yet again, and as the New Market Inn it still provides food and drink to weary travelers!

Researched by David Brown & Bernadette Millar

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