A view of the new county infirmary and part of the town of Northampton
Artist: Wells, WF
The old medieval town of Northampton was destroyed in a fire in September 1675, and had to be almost entirely rebuilt. Viscount Lord Torrington, who visited Northampton in 1793, commented: "Their new County Infirmary looks magnificently, let a foreigner travel England, and he must suppose it the land of disease and roguery; 'What great building is that? That is an infirmary. What magnificent house is this? This is the county jail.' Every poor man must wish himself in one, or the other." Daniel Defoe opined that "the grand new church, the townhall, the jayl, and all their public buildings, are the finest in any country town in England".