21. Nunn Mills Road/Portway


Nunn Mills Road today

This road may look new, but it is in fact very old indeed. It is part of a Roman road called The Portway. This is a common term for a road which connected a marketplace to a port. In this case the Portway connected the Roman settlements in the area to Watling Street, the main Roman road which led to London and the English Channel.  A Dupondius, a bronze Roman coin was once found near the power station in 1975.

OS map shows the course of Nunn Mills Road over the railway and into Delapre (1885)

By the Medieval period this road had become an established thoroughfare connecting Northampton to Hardingstone village. When the London North Western Railway built their Northampton to Peterborough line in the 1840’s the track ran across the road on a newly constructed dyke and a level crossing was added. The road was tarmacked in the early 20th century to provide road access to the power station built in 1913.

The road is still a public footpath, which can be followed into the Delapre estate and on to Hardingstone.




Nunn Mills Road looking south towards the railway line (1950)
Nunn Mills Road today
Nunn Mills Road looking north towards the level crossing (late 1960s).