Rockingham in 1839
Rockingham is in the hundred of Corby, 83 miles from London. The area of the parish is 890 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 296, chiefly agricultural. This place consists of one street, on the declivity of a hill running along the road, and is in the midst of Rockingham forest, anciently one of the largest forests in the kingdom. The town is said to have derived its origin from a castle built on the top of the hill by William I for the defence of the extensive iron-works then carried on in the forest. Some of the earlier kings occasionally resided here. Many of the works were standing in Leland’s time. It was fortified for the king in the civil war of Charles I, and besieged by Cromwell ; at present the only remain is a grand entrance gateway, flanked on each side by a tower. Part of the church was destroyed during the siege of the castle by Cromwell ; the remainder contains several sumptuous monuments. The market has been discontinued : there is a yearly fair for live-stock, clothes, and general merchandise. The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £81. There was, in 1833, one day-school, supported by Lord Sondes, with 49 children.