|ounty of central England.
Leicestershire County Council - Leicester City Council - Melton Borough Council - Rutland
|owns and cities
||Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough (administrative
headquarters at Glenfield, Leicester)
||2,084 sq. km / 804 sq. miles
||Leicestershire is bounded on the north by Nottinghamshire; on the east by
Lincolnshire and Rutland; on the Southeast by Northamptonshire; on the Southwest by
Warwickshire; and on the Northwest by Derbyshire; it contains Leicester City. The broad
valley of the River Soar is one of the county's chief physical features, running from
south to north, and separating the Charnwood Forest area from the uplands of the east. The
Wreake valley, which runs from east to west, cuts through these eastern uplands. The
highest point in the county is Bardon Hill (278 m / 912 ft), in the Charnwood Forest.
rivers Soar and Wreake; Charnwood Forest (in the Northwest); Vale of Belvoir (under which
are large coal deposits)
||Industries: engineering (Loughborough); hosiery (at Earl Shilton,
Hinckley, and Loughborough); footwear; bell founding; coal (Asfordby); quarrying of
limestone (Barrow-on-Soar, Breedon-on-the-Hill), ironstone (in the Northwest), and granite
(Enderby, Stoney, and Mountsorrel, known for its paving stones)
Agriculture: good pasture with horses, cattle, and sheep (especially the New Leicester
breed, first bred by Robert Bakewell in the 18th century at Dishley); dairy products
(including Stilton cheese at Melton Mowbray); cereals
||Titus Oates, Thomas Babington Macaulay, C P Snow
home to one of Britain's most important moments in history. The Battle of Bosworth ended
Britain's mediaeval period and was the start of the Tudor reign. A visitor centre is
situated at the site of the battle, with the positions of each army marked with a flag.
The Battle of Bosworth was the Last battle of the Wars of the Roses, fought on 22 Aug
1485. Richard III, the Yorkist king, was defeated and slain by Henry of Richmond, who
became Henry VII. The battlefield is near the village of Market
Bosworth, 19 km / 12 miles West of Leicester. Richard's oppressive reign ensured that
Henry, landing in Wales, gathered an army of supporters as he marched into England to meet
Richard's army which was drawn up on a hill at Bosworth. A third, smaller, army led by
Lord Stanley stood off from both sides, undecided upon which to join. Henry opened the
battle by advancing up the hill and charging into the opposition. Lord Stanley now made
his decision and fell on the rear of King Richard's position, causing the King's force to
break and flee. Richard was unhorsed in the rush and beaten to death as he lay. As the
battle ended, Lord Stanley crowned Henry as king; Henry later married Edward IV's daughter
Elizabeth, uniting the houses of York and Lancaster to bring the Wars to an end.
Foxton, where a series of locks on the Grand Union Canal raise the water level by 75 feet.
Bardon Hill, highest point of Charnwood Forest, where the rock formations date from the
Pre-Cambrian period, being some of the oldest in the Country at over 570 million years
Belvoir Castle, seat of the dukes of Rutland since the time of Henry VIII,
rebuilt by James Wyatt in 1816; Donington Park motor- racing circuit, Castle Donington;
Leicestershire has traditionally had several fox-hunts, including the Quorn hunt. There is
only slight evidence of prehistoric settlement in the county. In the 9th century the
district was in the hands of the Danish invaders, and there are many place-names of
Scandinavian origin. Leicestershire was famous for its wool as early as 1343, and with the
introduction of the hand knitting frame in the 17th century the county soon established
itself as the main area for hosiery manufacture in the country.