Historical evidence suggests that there have been settlements at Duston and Upton since the Stone Age. There was a large Roman settlement at Duston, and it was probably the main centre of habitation in the area until Anglo-Saxon times (fifth to eighth centuries AD), when Northampton started to emerge as the centre.
Duston was also a centre for the Vikings or Danes, but passed back into Anglo-Saxon possession before being transferred into Norman hands as the manor of ‘Dustone’ after the Norman Conquest. The meaning of Dustone, given in the Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names is 'farmstead on a mound', or 'farmstead with dusty soil'. Upton was recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Optone’ at this time.
See the topics below for the history of the area in more detail.
For more information about the history of Duston and surrounding areas, see also the following web sites and links:
Illustrated History of Duston
Special Souvenir to celebrate 900 years since the founding of St Luke's Church & St James Abbey - illustrated in right-hand column on this page. This unique set of six laminated coloured pictures shows the old parish and manors of Duston and St James End with histories on reverse. Heat resistant and ideal as table settings or framed for wall hanging. Would make a superb gift for Dustonites near or far. Cost is £14.50 per set. To order a set, contact Dave Blackburn on 01604 752506. Proceeds to St Luke's Church funds.
We need your history
Personal testimonies from local people can throw light on the character of the village over the years, and would be very welcome. How has the village changed since you were a child? What was it like to live in Duston or Upton during the War, or in the fifties or sixties? What are your memories of significant village events? See Duston Memories for testimonies we have received. Please email your memories to the Duston Directory.