The town has a history going back to Roman times. During Roman times it was a walled garrison town called Lactodorum on the Roman road the Watling Street (now called the A5) which runs through the town. Towcester used to be the principal railway junction of the now defunct Stratford Junction Railway.
In fiction, the "Saracen's Head Inn" in Towcester features in Charles Dickens's novel The Pickwick Papers as one of Mr Pickwick's stopping places. The town also has a 13th century church which features a collection of chained books.
The town is most famous for its Racecourse, where many important national Horse racing events are held. Also nearby to Towcester, is the Silverstone motor racing circuit.