Irthlingborough St Peter’s Historical Society was founded in 1990 with the specific aim of actively researching and recording the history and development of the town from its earliest period of existence. The results of their labours were regularly published in a series of paperback books which have been well received by a wide range of readers.

Later titles – “Thanks for the Memories” (1999) and “Clicking to Closing” (2003) were published in hard cover and a larger format.

The current Irthlingborough Historical Society is descended from that original organisation – many of the committee members’ remain the same – and has inherited much of the material published by St Peter’s. We have been able to reprint many of the original publications and, more importantly, researched and published new titles – “Irthlingborough’s War 1939 – 1945” (2010), “Irthlingborough In Sickness And In Health” (2016) and “A Year’s Journey” (2017) as full hardback books. We have also produced a soft-cover book “Laundry Tales – It’ll All Come Out In The Wash” in 2018.

Many of our current publications can be found on sale at Seasons Garden Centre in Burton Latimer. Look out for them on your next visit.

The society has more ideas up its sleeve, so this list of titles should grow in time.

History of Irthlingborough

A simple title which says it all. Written in 1972 by W.E.Lawrence, then Headmaster of Irthlingborough County Junior School. Digitised, illustrated and published in soft cover in October 2022, 50 years later!

A Year’s Journey

The archive of Irthlingborough Historical Society cradles numerous gems. It is only when the dedicated delve beneath the surface that recollections and accounts from yesteryear are exposed to light. Stories from local newspapers are among those perused on the day but forgotten with the passage of time. In this volume, days have been borrowed from time to be loved and cherished. One page for each day of the year, to be enjoyed in daily snippets or to savour in longer immersions.

Laundry Tales

Subtitled “It’ll all come out in the wash“, a most amusing collection of anecdotes written by Barry Postle, a well-loved member of the society who worked in Irthlingborough Co-op Laundry for 40 years.

Irthlingborough In Sickness and In Health

It is very difficult for us, living as we do under the protection of both the all-embracing National Health Service and Social Services provision which we undoubtedly take very much for granted, to appreciate how people managed in times past if one had no money to purchase a requirement one simply went without it!

Irthlingborough’s War 1939 – 1945

Just twenty one years after the end of “the war to end all wars” this country again found itself at war with Germany. A new generation of young men and women came forward to fight for what was undoubtedly a just cause, whilst many of those who had fought in the former conflict offered themselves to serve in what might be called the “supporting services”.
In memory of the men of this town who gave their lives in the Second World War 1939-1945.

Clicking to Closing

From the mid nineteenth century until the late 1960’s Irthlingborough was a “Boot and Shoe Town”, the industry employing a very large proportion of the population. None of the many factories and workshops which once dominated the town remain in production. Soon all memories of shoe production here will fade as the generations of men and women who worked in the factories pass on. Soon all visible trace and memory of the trade will be lost for ever.

Thanks for the Memories – Irthlingborough

This book, published to mark the Millennium, traces the development of Irthlingborough over the past one hundred years from a mean agricultural village of 2998 people, through tje bustling era and almost total decline of the factories and tanneries, to the town as we know it today with a population in excess of six and a half thousand.
All material gathered has come either from printed sources or the memory of individuals, some of whom wish to remain anonymous. All events and happenings are recorded in good faith and, we trust, with accuracy.

Living Off The Land

The story of farms and farming in Irthlingborough.

Life in The Yards

An intriguing exploration of life in the “yards” of Irthlingborough

Irthlingborough Co-Op; “Time Runs Out”

This book describes the loss that Irthlingborough sustained when the last Co-op shop closed in February 1993 after trading in the town for almost 108 years.

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

1897 was the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign. Already Ecton, Earls Barton, Irchester, Sywell, Isham, Grendon, Bozeat and Orlingbury had made plans to light huge bonfires, and the Local Government Board had offered to allow any reasonable expenses which the Wellingborough Rural District Council might incur in presenting a congratulatory address to the Queen on the occasion of the record reign, but in Irthlingborough, no celebrations to mark the occasion had been discussed at all.
With just three weeks remaining before the national festivities were due to commence on 20th June, the Parish Council belatedly decided to call a parish meeting to decide what should be done to commemorate the long reign of the Queen…

Irthlingborough Working Men’s Club – centenary celebrations

A brief history of the Working Men’s Club in Irthlingborough with memories, pictures and documents provided by current members in 1994 on the 100th anniversary of the club’s foundation.

The Leaning Tower

The tower of Irthlingborough Parish Church is unique. The original was built in the closing years of the 14th century and remained standing until 1883 when it began to lean perilously. This book describes how it was carefully demolished and rebuilt as accurately as possible between 1887 and 1893.

Irthlingborough On Foot

Very little remains of Irthlingborough as it was a generation ago. In the name of modernisation many historic and beautiful buildings have disappeared. This book provides a trail to guide you around part of the town and to help you to appreciate what Irthlingborough was really like, not so long ago.

The Street Where You Live

There is a story behind the name of every street in Irthlingborough. It may be the story of a long forgotten act of heroism in the Boer War or a memory of steam driven lorries hauling 20 ton loads on solid rubber tyres, a reminder of those intolerant times when Catholic priests were hunted down and incarcerated for their beliefs, or of the fledgling Methodist community beginning their ministry in a small barn. In this publication the society reveals why many of the streets in the town were so named and, in many cases, why they were renamed.

How School Lane became Board Street

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the closure of the Church School in the High Street, this book looks back at the facilities for the education of the children of our town over the centuries.


The society commissioned eight postcards of images from their archives, to be published by “Photographic Heritage”.