In medieval England, sport meant the hunting and fishing activities of the upper classes. Northamptonshire was a popular destination, known for its well-stocked lands and central location. Although ordinary people had less time and energy for pastimes, they became increasingly common. Indoor games, such as cards and dice, and outdoor games, such as football and hockey, were popular. Unlike modern sports, there were few rules and injuries were common. Games were also controlled by the government. It was thought games would lead working people astray or make them unfit for the army. In the 18th and 19th centuries, recognised rules were developed, leading to the modern sports we have today.
Click on the images below to learn more about these well-known sports, teams, and stadiums in Northamptonshire. The images and text are from Icons of Northamptonshire, published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire County Council. Copies are sold in Northamptonshire Libraries.