25th May 2024

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Kettering's Heritage

There are a number of groups in the town who work to promote the area's heritage and history. Find out more below.

Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum

David Brown and Ian Luck with one of the heritage signs.

David Brown and Ian Luck with one of the heritage signs.

Heritage Quarter flyer

Heritage Quarter flyer

Market Street walk flyer

Market Street walk flyer

High Street and Gold Street walk flyer

High Street and Gold Street walk flyer

The Alfred East Gallery and Manor House Museum are impressive in their collections of art, archaeology and historical artefacts for the Roman and Saxon times in the borough. They also need funds for restoration and conservation and improving the buildings' space.

The Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum have supported The Alfred East Gallery and Manor House Museum since 1956 - raising funds o help make their extraordinary collections available to visitors.

The Friends run a varied programme of behind-the-scenes visits, talks and private views.

QR Codes Bring Town's Heritage to Life

The Friends have also created a series of heritage walks around the town centre with QR codes to scan for more information. There are three walks covering High Street, Market Street and the Heritage Quarter areas of Kettering. Click on the images to the right to download the information.

There are now a total of 45 QR code plaques forming a trail around Kettering town centre, created as part of a three-year history project.

Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum produced the QR plaques that are displayed on the two-sided wayfinder 'totems' – street signs – located in shopping areas.

People can use their smartphones to access information allowing residents and town centre visitors to take a walk down memory lane at the touch of a button.

Dr David Brown, chairman of the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum, said: "This is the culmination of a three-year project by the Friends of the Alfred East Gallery, with sponsorship from Historic England.

"People can now walk around the town and get information instantly on the surrounding buildings of interest, by using the QR reader on their smart phones.

"Many people have been involved in generating the online content for the plaques, and producing the plaques themselves which are displayed on the many 'wayfinder totems' around town.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their work to what I hope will be an enduring contribution to Kettering's heritage."

The Friends have also produced the QR codes on leaflets - which can be downloaded by clicking on the images on this page.

The project was funded through Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by Arts Council England, accessing funding from the High Street Action Zone project.

Kettering's High Street Heritage Action Zone secured £4,354,000 from Historic England and the former Kettering Borough Council to improve the High Street, with £90,000 earmarked for community projects including Kettering Cultural Consortium's programme of activities.

Find out more about the friends


The Lost Mosaic

The Lost Mosaic

Kettering Civic Society

Presenting the Rose Bowl

Presenting the Rose Bowl

Children's magazine

Children's magazine

Blue plaques

Blue plaques

Kettering Railway Station

Kettering Railway Station

Kettering Civic Society was formed in 1969 to Preserve, Promote and Protect the town by:

encouraging high standards of architecture and planning in Kettering.

To stimulate public interest in the town and its surroundings.

To encourage the preservation, development and features of public historic interest.

To inspire civic pride

Annually the Society presents the Silver Rose Bowl Award for good environmental design or civic pride.
Kettering Civic Society is a voluntary organisation.

It is completely independent.

Its income is derived entirely from voluntary subscriptions, contributed by public-spirited individuals, businesses, grants and fundraising.

It maintains close contact with local authorities, professional institutions, other civic societies and likeminded organisations.

It works through exhibitions, discussions and publications, talks and outings.

It worked for many years to save the Kettering Mosaic which was removed from Kettering Grammar School in 2007. A smaller version was installed in the Alfred East Art Gallery in 2022. The story behind the mosaic has been documented in a film, 'The Lost Mosaic', staring Victoria Wicks and Ian Addis. It is available on DVD and Amazon Prime. The film has been shown to many organisations and the Society can be contacted for further film shows.

The Society has produced a set of Kettering History magazines suitable for the whole family.

The Society has a Blue Plaque Trail around the town.

The Society has kept a watchful eye on Kettering Railway Station ensuring that the iron canopies were not removed in the 1970s and it continues to ensure the station is welcoming to commuters by tending to the gardens and planting. The Society has a community room on platform 1.


Art works on Openreach Telecoms Boxes

Artists Daisy Farrar-Hayton, Mark James, and Sally Leach

Artists Daisy Farrar-Hayton, Mark James, and Sally Leach

The Kettering Civic Society has embarked on an innovative street art project, transforming three BT Openreach boxes into vibrant artworks by local talents Daisy Farrar-Hayton, Mark James, and Sally Leach. This initiative, supported by community discussions and feedback, aims to celebrate the town's cultural heritage and local artists while adding a splash of colour to Kettering's streets.

The project sees Daisy Farrar-Hayton's "Pleasure Park Mural" on Masefield Road, celebrating Rockingham Pleasure Park; Mark James' "The Shoemaker" on Wood Street, honouring Kettering's history of shoe making; and Sally Leach's "Cafe Corner" at Oaktree Court, incorporating residents' wishes for a garden design while remembering the former bus station.

Check the artists' Instagram account for all the images.

Find out more about the society

Last updated: Wed, 15 May 2024 12:22