Kettering in 1839
Kettering is in Huxloe hundred, 74 miles from London. The area of the parish is 2,840 acres ; the population in 1831 was 4,099, about one-eighth agricultural. The town is on the slope of a hill, at the foot of which runs a small brook, a feeder of the Ise. The market-place is spacious, and is surrounded by well-built houses and respectable shops. The church is a large and handsome building of perpendicular character, consisting of a nave, side aisles, and chancel, with a very fine tower and rich hexagonal crocketed spire at the west end. The west door and a four-light window over it are rich examples of the perpendicular style.
There are several dissenting places of worship. Wool stapling and wool-combing are extensively carried on in the town ; there is a considerable manufacture of shoes ; and that of silk shag for hats has been lately introduced ; about 200 men were, in 1831, employed in these last two branches of industry. The market is on Friday, and there are three yearly fairs for live-stock and pedlery. The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £786, with a glebe-house.
There were, in 1833, a free grammar-school, with a good endowment, containing 37 boys ; another endowed school, with 22 girls ; nine other day-schools, with 194 children ; one boarding and day school, with 22 girls ; two national day and Sunday schools, with 195 children in the week and 298 children on Sundays ; and four Sunday schools, with 525 children. Besides these there are several schools for teaching lace-making.