Rushden is situated at the heart of England in the county of
Northamptonshire, lying on the A6 mid-way between Bedford and Kettering.
The southern limits of the town border on the county of Bedfordshire,
and to the north lies the River Nene (locally pronounced Nen) which flows into The Wash.
The parish of Rushden covers an area of some 3777 acres (15 km²),[old estimation] and
falls within the administration of the East Northamptonshire District
Council. The current population of Rushden is 25,849 (2001 census)
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 which ever way Rushden
is approached, the streets and roads can be seen stretching out in the
valley, with the spire of St Mary's church looming above the rooftops.
Rushden's roots and prosperity have resulted from a number of industries,
including lace making and farming, although the boot and shoe 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 there is just a handful of these surviving. 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 excellent shops. Rushden has
the oldest toy shop in the county.
The former British Rail Rushden 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 also 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
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 town's football club, Rushden Town merged with nearby Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992 to become Rushden & Diamonds. The new club plays in Irthlingborough.
Bedford, Burton Latimer, Corby, Higham Ferrers, Irchester , Irthlingborough, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Oundle, Raunds, St Neots, Thrapston, Wellingborough