A view of the town of Northampton from the West Bridge
Artist: Wells, FJ
The old medieval town of Northampton was destroyed in a fire in September 1675, and had to be almost completely rebuilt. Travelogue author Celia Fiennes visited the area in the 1690s, noting that about a mile to the town there opened up a "noble prospect to your sight, a large town well built, the streets as large as most in London ... the houses well built of brick and stone". Daniel Defoe thought Northampton "the handsomest and best built town in all this part of England".