Woodford Halse, Daventry

Published: 01st June 2011
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Villages or small towns that are or have been located near rail stations have always been quicker to develop as compared to other similar settlements, thanks to the large traffic, people and opportunities that are strictly related to any important means of transportation. Daventry makes no exception.

Located in the south-west of Daventry, at north-east of Banbury, Woodford Halse is a village standing on the disused trackbed of the former Great Central Main Line railway, being one of the three civil parishes of Woodford cum Membris, together with West Farndon and Hinton. As an old parish, Woodford Halse really stands its ground and has the same interesting features as all Old English parishes.

Woodford Halse has played a highly significant role as part of the railway centre, because for several decades the main stations were located miles away in the west and the south-east, part of the East and West Junction Railway, which later became part of the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway. Given the fact that the area was thinly populated, the existence of an additional line seemed less probable. Still, in the last late 1890s, Woodford Halse gained a major trunk route, the Great Central Railway, which was the last main line build from the north of England to London.

The 2001 census has shown a population of over 3,000 people in the parish as a whole, but Woodford Halse only accounted for half the figure. There are several schools in Woodford Halse. Thus, Woodford has a primary school, the Woodford Halse C of E School, that features one of the largest playing fields from all the schools in Northamptonshire. There is a long tradition of cross-country racing at the Woodford Halse C of E School, which attracts more than 700 competitors from more than 30 countries. So this is certainly one of the main attractions here.

Given the fact that there were a lot of railway workers living in the area, a lot of terraced houses were built, and the shops that went along an entire street were also a result of the people living there. Woodford Halse gained an industrial look, and this made the small town look rather peculiar when compared to the other villages surrounding it. Nevertheless, as time passed by and the economy and the industry evolved, the people there won their right to a cinema. By this time, the population of Woodford Halse was just under 2,000 people.

Today, a lot of the historical houses and buildings are still there, and people living there have a lot of entertainment options, such as clubs, shops and a lot of small businesses that have slowly developed over time. The Annual Christmas Street Fair attracts a lot of visitors every year, but the main people enjoying its beauty are the residents there. The wonderful Summer Boat Races is another strong reason for everyone here to come comes together, so if you ever decide to come here in the winter or the summer, you will definitely find plenty of things to do.

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