4 Miles

Fotheringhay is a picturesque, medieval village that is worth a visit. It is most noted for being where Mary, Queen of Scots, was tried and beheaded in 1587, her body lay there for some months before its burial at Peterborough Cathedral and then its final burial in Westminster Abbey. It is also the site of Fotheringhay Castle which was razed in 1627. Although it is often said that James I destroyed the castle because his mother was killed there, the facts are rather more prosaic; it fell into such disrepair that it had to be pulled down, and the stones were all taken to be used in other buildings. Local legend has it that the staircase from the Castle is now in the Talbot Hotel in Oundle and it is believed that the imprint of a crown, on the dark polished wood of a stair balustrade was made by the ring on Mary's finger as she gripped the rail for support on her way to the block.

There is nothing left of the castle today other than the motte on which it was built that provides excellent views of the River Nene. The Nene Way long distance footpath runs through the village.

'Northamptonshire really is a secret joy..'

Simon Hoggart, The Guardian

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