Thrapston is a delightful small town in Northamptonshire Near the River Nene, with a population of just over 5,000 residents. It is just off the A14 between Kettering and Huntingdon. The town has a long history with a mention in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Trapestone. It was granted its charter in 1205 in exchange for two palfreys (horses)! Thrapston was quite likely an earlier Roman town, situated at the crossroads on the road linking Durovigutum (Godmanchester) and Ratae, now known as Leicester. This was intersected by a second Roman road that ran between Durobrivae, now Water Newton, and Irchester. Several Roman buildings have been found four miles away at Ringstead on what would have been the Irchester road. St James Parish Church dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the area, built near the site of an ancient castle. When it was completed, it belonged to the Abbey of Bourne in Lincolnshire until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. The church has a sloping floor to accommodate the ploughs that were brought into the porch in mediaeval times. The eight bells were dedicated in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Relatives of George Washington, first President of the United States, lived in Thrapston. Sir John Washington, brother of George's great-grandfather, lived in Chancery Lane and his wife's tombstone can be seen in the local church. Note the stone tablet with the stars and stripes, which were part of the Washington family coat of arms. They are said to have inspired the American Flag.
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