Northampton has such a wide history and is well known for its shoe making. In the town centre the museum celebrates the rich history and culture it has created.


The museum was established in 1865 but didn’t start collecting shoes until about 1873. There are around 15,000 shoes in the collection and then on top of that, the exhibition for making and selling of shoes. There’s the machinery, the tools, shoe boxes, foot leisure’s and shoe bags. The whole collection is about 70,000 objects. Most of it is to do with Northampton’s history but the museum does have a worldwide remit. The museum has managed to get such a large collection as a lot of the shoes have been donated. Sometimes they are turned down but the museum does take a lot of them. More so in the 1960s and 70s when quite a number were purchased.


It is an exciting time for the museum as it’s at the start of expanding. They have now closed in the town centre to make way for the expansion. No need to worry though as the Abington Park Museum remains open. Shoes are very important to the town. There are lots of local people in the town and in the county who are really interested in the history of Northampton as a shoemaking town. That’s the main audience in a way. But there’s also a huge collection of shoes that people are interested in from designer
s, to students of footwear, to fashion students. The interest in shoes over the last few years has grown, people seem to be quite shoe obsessed and will always be interested in shoes and the local history as well.


The museum is free entry for everyone and great for all ages to see where Northampton came from and the how it became the town it is today.