Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, Derbyshire to the north-west; the border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street. Leicestershire takes its name from the city of Leicester located at its centre and administered separately from the rest of the county; the ceremonial county has a total population of just over 1 million, more than half of which lives in'Greater Leicester'. Leicestershire was recorded in the Domesday Book in four wapentakes: Guthlaxton, Framland and Gartree; these became hundreds, with the division of Goscote into West Goscote and East Goscote, the addition of Sparkenhoe hundred. In 1087, the first recorded use of the name was as Laegrecastrescir. Leicestershire's external boundaries have changed little since the Domesday Survey; the Measham-Donisthorpe exclave of Derbyshire has been exchanged for the Netherseal area, the urban expansion of Market Harborough has caused Little Bowden in Northamptonshire to be annexed.
In 1974, the Local Government Act 1972 abolished the county borough status of Leicester city and the county status of neighbouring Rutland, converting both to administrative districts of Leicestershire. These actions were reversed on 1 April 1997, when Rutland and the City of Leicester became unitary authorities. Rutland became a distinct Ceremonial County once again, although it continues to be policed by Leicestershire Constabulary; the symbol of the county council, Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Leicester City FC, is the fox. Leicestershire is considered to be the birthplace of fox hunting. Hugo Meynell, who lived in Quorn, is known as the father of fox hunting. Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough have associations with fox hunting, as has neighbouring Rutland. Leicestershire and Herefordshire are the only three English counties lacking a registered flag. A design was proposed for Leicestershire in 2017 based on symbols associated with the county – a fox and a cinquefoil; the River Soar together with its tributaries and canalisations constitutes the principal river basin of the county, although the River Avon and River Welland through Harborough and along the county's southern boundaries are significant.
The Soar rises between Hinckley and Lutterworth, towards the south of the county near the Warwickshire border, flows northwards, bisecting the county along its north/south axis, through'Greater' Leicester and to the east of Loughborough where its course within the county comes to an end. It continues north marking the boundary with Nottinghamshire for some 10 kilometres before joining the River Trent at the point where Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire meet; the geographical centre of England is in Leicestershire, near Fenny Drayton in the southwest of the county. In 2013, the Ordnance Survey calculated. A large part of the north-west of the county, around Coalville, forms part of the new National Forest area extending into Derbyshire and Staffordshire; the highest point of the county is Bardon Hill at 278 metres, a Marilyn. 150–200 metres and above in nearby Charnwood Forest and to the east of the county around Launde Abbey. The lowest point, at an altitude of about 20 metres, is located at the county's northernmost tip close to Bottesford where the River Devon flowing through the Vale of Belvoir leaves Leicestershire and enters Nottinghamshire.
This results in an altitude differential of around 257.5 metres and a mean altitude of 148.75 metres. The population of Leicestershire is 609,578 people; the county covers an area of 2,084 km2. Its largest population centre is the city of Leicester, followed by the town of Loughborough. Other large towns include Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Hinckley, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Oadby and Lutterworth; some of the larger of villages are:Burbage Birstall, Broughton Astley, Castle Donington, Kibworth Beauchamp, Great Glen, Ibstock and Kegworth. One of the most expanding villages is Anstey, which has seen a large number of development schemes; the United Kingdom Census 2001 showed a total resident population for Leicester of 279,921, a 0.5% decrease from the 1991 census. 62,000 were aged under 16, 199,000 were aged 16–74, 19,000 aged 75 and over. 76.9% of Leicester's population claim they have been born in the UK, according to the 2001 UK Census. Mid-year estimates for 2006 indicate that the population of the City of Leicester stood at 289,700 making Leicester the most populous city in East Midlands.
The population density is 3,814/km2 and for every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Leicester, 38.5% had no academic qualifications higher than 28.9% in all of England. 23.0% of Leicester's residents were born outside of the United Kingdom, more than double than the English average of 9.2%. Engineering has long been an important part of the economy of Leicestershire. John Taylor Bellfounders co
River Devon, Nottinghamshire
The River Devon is a tributary of the River Trent, which rises in Leicestershire and joins the Trent at Newark in Nottinghamshire, England. In its upper reaches, it supplies Knipton Reservoir, built to supply water to the Grantham Canal, Belvoir Lakes, designed by Capability Brown, it passes under the Grantham Canal, through Bottesford, where it is spanned by five railway bridges, only one of, still used for its original purpose. On the outskirts of Newark, it passes by two Civil War structures, just before it joins the Trent it becomes navigable, with a marina located on the west bank, its name is pronounced "Deevon", not as spelt. The river has a catchment of 109.8 square miles and had an average flow of 29.8 million gallons per day, measured at the gauging station in Cotham, near the mouth. However, the gauging station was closed in 1978, due to doubts about the reliability of its measurements, there is no gauging station on the river; the catchment receives 23.28 inches of rainfall in an average year.
The river rises as a series of springs and streams near the villages of Eastwell, Bottesford Eaton in north-east Leicestershire, close to the 490-foot contour, flows northwards. Passing close to Branston, it flows into Knipton reservoir, built in the 1790s to supply the Grantham Canal; the surface area of the reservoir is 52 acres, it feeds the canal through a channel, called The Carrier, which has open sections and runs through a tunnel for about 1 mile. In 2006, British Waterways completed a refurbishment programme on the dam and spillway which cost £170,000; the village of Knipton is a little further to the north, on the eastern bank of the river. An unnamed tributary flows through the village to join the river, after which it enters woodland, where it is joined by a stream flowing eastwards from a small lake called Frog Hollow. Belvoir upper lake and Belvoir lower lake come next, each covering 12 acres and created by the landscape architect Capability Brown in the grounds of the Belvoir Castle estate.
They are used for course fishing. Between them, an early 19th-century bridge with five arches and long retaining walls, built from ironstone and limestone, acts as a weir. After the lakes, the river passes to the east of Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir and the hamlet of Stenwith, to flow under the Grantham Canal in a conduit. By this time it is below the 160-foot contour; the county border between Leicestershire and Lincolnshire follows the course of the river for a short distance near the bottom lake, beyond Woolsthorpe, the river is in Lincolnshire. Passing back into Leicestershire, it flows through Muston and Bottesford, where there are a number of bridges. At the end of Church Street, Fleming's bridge is a double-arched grade II listed medieval bridge, now just used by pedestrians, built for Samuel Fleming, rector in the village between 1581 and 1620. At Devon Lane, there is a ford, besides which stands a single-arched brick bridge, with two holes passing through the spandrels, iron railings in the centre of the parapet.
It was built in the early 19th century. Beyond the village, the river is crossed by four railway bridges, only one of, still in use, carrying the line from Grantham to Nottingham. A fifth bridge, located in fields to the north of the village, consisting of three brick arches, carried the Newark to Leicester railway line over the river, it was opened in 1860, ceased to be used for railway traffic in 1960. The centre arch collapsed after heavy rain in 2007, the whole structure has been replaced by a single steel span, resting on the remains of two of the piers; the river again forms the county border, until it reaches Staunton in the Vale, in Nottinghamshire. The Winter Beck joins the west bank; the river passes Cotham which lies to the east, runs close to a Civil War redoubt at Hawton, to arrive at the outskirts of Newark-on-Trent. Here it passes another civil war defence, the Queen's Sconce, built in 1644 at a strategic point overlooking the Devon, the Trent and the Great North Road; the site was bought by Newark Urban Council in 1912, formed part of Devon Park, which has since been extended by further acquisitions of land.
Crossing under the B6166, which follows the course of the Fosse Way Roman road at this point, the Devon joins the River Trent. Below the bridge, the river is used for moorings, there is a marina on the western bank; the mouth is below the 50-foot contour. The Environment Agency measure water quality of the river systems in England; each is given an overall ecological status, which may be one of five levels: high, moderate and bad. There are several components that are used to determine this, including biological status, which looks at the quantity and varieties of invertebrates and fish, chemical status, which compares the concentrations of various chemicals against known safe concentrations. Chemical status fail; the water quality of the Devon was as follows in 2015. Data for the middle section covers a large section of the River Smite and a small section of the Devon after the two rivers have joined. Reasons for the quality being less than good include sewage discharge for most of the river, physical modification of the channel and poor nutrient management on adjacent agricultural land on the upper sections
Redmile is a village and civil parish in the Melton district of Leicestershire, about ten miles north of Melton Mowbray and seven miles west of Grantham. The population of the civil parish was 921 at the 2011 census, up from 829 in 2001; the parish lies in the Vale of Belvoir close to the county boundary with Nottinghamshire to the west, where the nearest places are Granby, Sutton-cum-Granby and Elton on the Hill. Other nearby places are Bottesford and Stathern. In 1936 the adjoining civil parishes of Barkestone and Plungar were merged into Redmile. Redmile has a Church of England primary school with about 70 pupils; the original national school opened in 1839 and was rebuilt on the same site in 1871. It was extended with new classrooms in 1999 and 2001 and a school hall in 2009; the most recent Ofsted report, in October 2013, found the school outstanding in all five of the main criteria of assessment. St Peter's Church dates back to the 13th century: the earliest references are to an earlier building, to whose parish the prior of Belvoir Priory was patron in 1155 and whose first rector was installed in 1220.
The parish is now served by the Vale of Belvoir Team. The present-day Church of England building is Grade II* listed and dates from the 14th century, with additions and restorations in the 15th century and in 1840 and 1857. Three of the gravestones in the churchyard are listed. Dating from the late 17th century, they are examples of a local type known as "Belvoir Angels" and made of Swithland slate. One of them is dated 1690; the former Methodist Chapel, built in 1869, is now a private residence. There are ten other listed buildings in some dating back to the 17th century. Redmile has two pubs, both now doubling as restaurants: the Windmill Inn; the 18th-century Peacock has bed-and-breakfast accommodation. Redmile was used as a filming location in the majority of the second-series episodes of the popular British comedy drama Auf Wiedersehen, about a group of seven British migrant construction workers, with the Windmill Inn being used as the Barley Mow pub; the village featured as the fictional town of Kings Oak in a number of location scenes for the 2001 revival of the television soap Crossroads.
The village has a weekday daytime bus service to Melton Bottesford. The nearest railway station is at Bottesford on the Nottingham to Grantham/Skegness line. Redmile and Belvoir railway station opened in 1879 but closed to passengers in 1951; the Grantham Canal to Nottingham opened in 1797 and closed in 1936. Short sections have been reopened for leisure craft. Thomas Daffy, who became rector of Redmile in 1666, was the inventor of a patent medicine, Daffy's Elixir, in about 1647; the Leicestershire cricketer Frederic Geeson was born in Redmile. The international cricketer Luke Wright attended the village school. Media related to Redmile at Wikimedia Commons
Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states: Then, at the midwinter, was the king in Gloucester with his council.... After this had the king a large meeting, deep consultation with his council, about this land. Sent he his men over all England into each shire, it was written in Medieval Latin, was abbreviated, included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which allowed William to reassert the rights of the Crown and assess where power lay after a wholesale redistribution of land following the Norman conquest; the assessors' reckoning of a man's holdings and their values, as recorded in Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal. The name "Domesday Book" came into use in the 12th century; as Richard FitzNeal wrote in the Dialogus de Scaccario: for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity.
That is why we have called the book "the Book of Judgement"... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable. The manuscript is held at The National Archives at London. In 2011, the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online; the book is an invaluable primary source for historical economists. No survey approaching the scope and extent of Domesday Book was attempted again in Britain until the 1873 Return of Owners of Land which presented the first complete, post-Domesday picture of the distribution of landed property in the British Isles. Domesday Book encompasses two independent works; these were "Little Domesday", "Great Domesday" No surveys were made of the City of London, Winchester, or some other towns due to their tax-exempt status. Most of Cumberland and Westmorland are missing. County Durham is missing; the omission of the other counties and towns is not explained, although in particular Cumberland and Westmorland had yet to be conquered. "Little Domesday" – so named because its format is physically smaller than its companion's – is the more detailed survey, down to numbers of livestock.
It may have represented the first attempt, resulting in a decision to avoid such level of detail in "Great Domesday". Both volumes are organised into a series of chapters listing the fees, held by a named tenant-in-chief of the king, namely religious institutions, Norman warrior magnates and a few Saxon thegns who had made peace with the Norman regime; some of the largest such magnates held several hundred fees, in a few cases in more than one county. For example, the chapter of the Domesday Book Devonshire section concerning Baldwin the Sheriff lists 176 holdings held in-chief by him. Only a few of the holdings of the large magnates were held in demesne, most having been subinfeudated to knights military followers of the tenant-in-chief which latter thus became their overlord; the fees listed within the chapter concerning a particular tenant-in-chief were ordered, but not in a systematic or rigorous fashion, by the Hundred Court under the jurisdiction of which they were situated, not by geographic location.
As a review of taxes owed, it was unpopular. Each county's list opened with the king's demesne lands, it should be borne in mind that under the feudal system the king was the only true "owner" of land in England, under his allodial title. He was thus the ultimate overlord and the greatest magnate could do no more than "hold" land from him as a tenant under one of the various contracts of feudal land tenure. Holdings of Bishops followed of the abbeys and religious houses of lay tenants-in-chief and lastly the king's serjeants, Saxon thegns who had survived the Conquest, all in hierarchical order. In some counties, one or more principal towns formed the subject of a separate section: in some the clamores were treated separately; this principle applies more to the larger volume: in the smaller one, the system is more confused, the execution less perfect. Domesday names a total of 13,418 places. Apart from the wholly rural portions, which constitute its bulk, Domesday contains entries of interest concerning most of t
Witches of Belvoir
The Witches Belvoir were a mother and her two daughters accused of witchcraft in England in the deaths of two young nobles and Francis Manners, the heirs to Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland, whose seat was at Belvoir Castle. The mother, Joan Flower, died on the way to her trial, the two daughters and Philippa, were supposed to be hanged in Lincoln, it is said that Phillipa drugged the guards and managed to escape and make her way to Kent where she died after having three children. Joan and Philippa Flowers were "known to be herbal healers" and came from a local family that "had fallen on hard times", they accepted employment as servants with the 6th Earl and Countess of Rutland, at Belvoir Castle near Grantham, when additional staff were needed for an upcoming visit by King James I. But the sisters, their mother, were unpopular with the other staff, there were suggestions of theft, misdemeanors. All three were dismissed and only Joan was given a payment of severance amounting to "40 shillings, a bolster, a mattress of wool".
After the sisters were dismissed, the Earl and Countess fell ill, suffering from "vomiting and convulsions". Their son and heir, Baron de Ros and was buried on 26 September 1613, their younger children and daughter Katherine and Francis died 7 March 1620. The deaths of the two boys left the Earl without a male heir and Earldom passed to his brother after his own death in 1632. Three years after Henry's death, on 16 July 1616, nine women were hanged as witches in Leicestershire for having bewitched a young boy and, in charges similar to those in the Flowers' case, were said to have kept cats as familiars, but it was to be five years after the Flowers were dismissed from Belvoir Castle, following the death of their second son, that the Rutlands had the Flowers arrested, before Christmas of 1618. After initial examinations, in February 1619, by the Earl of Rutland, Hon. Robert Bertie, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, Sir George Manners, Sir William Pelham, Sir Henry Hastings, clergyman Samuel Fleming and others, the women were to be taken to Lincoln gaol.
When arrested Joan Flower professed her innocence. She was not known to be a Church-goer, but at Ancaster, en route to the prison at Lincoln, she asked for bread as a substitute for the Eucharist, she claimed that something so blessed could not be consumed by a witch but she was to choke and die, after the first bite. At Lincoln, Margaret was to accuse her mother of witchcraft, while Phillipa admitted to witchcraft on behalf of herself and Joan; the sisters said they had entered into communion with familiar spirits that had assisted them with their schemes. The mother's familiar; the women admitted that they stole the glove of Lord Ros and gave it to their mother, who had dipped it in boiling water, stroked it along Rutterkin's back, pricked it. Combined with some incantations this caused Lord Ros to become ill and die. An attempt to harm Lady Katherine, the Earl's daughter, had failed when it was found that Rutterkin had no power over her; the women had taken some feathers from the quilt of Rutland's bed and a pair of gloves.
By boiling these in water mixed with blood they cast spells to prevent the Earl and Countess from having any more children. Both women admitted to experiencing visions of devils and that their familiar spirits visited them and sucked at their bodies. During the examination, they revealed the names of other women who had aided them: Anne Baker of Bottesford. All three women were taken for examination and revealed that they too had visions and consorted with familiar spirits. Willimott said her familiar was called Pretty and had been blown into her mouth by her former master in the form of a fairy reappearing in the form of a woman who asked her to give up her soul. Willimott testified more as a cunning woman than a witch, insisted Pretty only helped her to inquire about the health of people she had attempted to heal: She never hurt any body, but did help divers persons that were stricken or fore-spoken: and that her Spirit came weekly to her, would tell of divers persons that were stricken and fore-spoken: and she saith that the use which she had of the Spirit, was to know those did which she had undertaken to amend and she did help them by certain prayers which she used.
Greene claimed that she had accompanied Willimot into a wood where she said Willimot had conjured up two spirits in the form of a kitten and a "moldewarp" which had climbed on her shoulders and sucked at her ears. Greene sent these familiars to kill a man and woman with whom she had argued and both died within a fortnight. Baker confessed to possessing a familiar in the form of a white dog, but most of her testimony concerned the visions she had witnessed. Margaret and Philippa Flowers were tried before Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Edward Bromley, a Baron of the Exchequer, found guilty, and Margaret was hung at Lincoln castle on 11 March 1619. That year a ballad, Damnable Practises of Three Lincolnshire Witches Joane Flower and Her Two Daughters, printed by'G. Eld for John Barnes' appeared; the Earl and Countess remained so convinced that their son had been killed by the effects of witchcraft that they had it inscribed on their monument at Bottesford church. It reads, in part: In 1608 he married ye lady Cecila Hungerford, daughter to ye Honorable Knight Sir John Tufton, by whom he had two sons, both of which died in their infancy by wicked practises and sorcerye In 1953, Hilda Lewis published a historical romance, The Witch and the Priest, which consists of a series of conversations between Samuel Fle
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Melton Mowbray is a town in Leicestershire, England, 19 miles north-east of Leicester, 20 miles south-east of Nottingham. It lies on the River Eye and the River Wreake and has a population of 25,554; the town is best known for the Melton Mowbray pork pie. In addition, it includes one of the six makers of Stilton cheese. Melton Mowbray is promoted as Britain's "Rural Capital of Food"; the name comes from the early English word Medeltone – meaning "Middletown surrounded by small hamlets". Mowbray is a Norman family name – the name of early Lords of the Manor – namely Robert de Mowbray. In and around Melton, there are 28 scheduled ancient monuments, around 705 buildings listed as having special architectural or historical interest, 16 sites of special scientific interest, several deserted village sites. There is industrial archaeology, including the Grantham Canal and the remains of the Melton Mowbray Navigation. Windmill sites, ironstone working and smelting archaeological evidence suggest that Melton borough was densely populated in Bronze and Iron Ages.
Many small village communities existed and strategic points at Burrough Hill and Belvoir were fortified. There is evidence to suggest that the site of Melton Mowbray in the Wreake Valley was inhabited before Roman occupation. In Roman times, Melton benefited from the proximity of the Fosse Way and other important Roman roads, of military centres at Leicester and Lincoln. Intermediate camps were established, for example, at Six Hills on the Fosse Way. Other Roman trackways in the locality passed north of Melton along the top of the Vale of Belvoir scarp, linking Market Harborough to Belvoir, the Fosse Way to Oakham and Stamford. Evidence of settlement throughout Anglo-Saxon and Danelaw period is reflected in many place names. Along the Wreake Valley, the Danish suffix "-by" is common, as is evident in Asfordby, Frisby, Hoby and Gaddesby. In addition, a cemetery of 50–60 graves, of Pagan Anglo-Saxon origin, has been found in Melton Mowbray. Although most villages and their churches had origins before the Norman Conquest of 1066, stone crosses at Asfordby and Sproxton churches and Anglo-Saxon cemeteries as found at Goadby Marwood and Stapleford pre-date the Conquest.
Melton Mowbray itself had six recorded crosses, whose construction spanned several centuries: Kettleby Cross,. All the original crosses were removed or destroyed during the Reformation and other iconoclastic periods, or to make room for traffic or other development; the effects of the Norman Conquest are recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. This indicates that settlements at Long Clawson and Bottesford were of noteworthy size, that Melton Mowbray was a thriving market town of some 200 inhabitants, with weekly markets, two water mills and two priests; the water mills, still in use up to the 18th century, are remembered in the present names of Beckmill Court and Mill Street. So Melton Mowbray has been a market town for over 1,000 years. Recorded as Leicestershire's only market in the 1086 Domesday Survey, it is the third oldest market in England. Tuesday has been market day since royal approval was given in 1324; the market was established with tolls before 1077. Legacies from the Medieval period include consolidation of market town patterns.
The latter had a market in medieval times that continued until 1921, an annual fair of horses and cattle. Many buildings in Melton Market Place, Nottingham Street, Church Lane, King Street and Sherrard Street have ancient foundations. Alterations to No. 16 Church Street revealed a medieval circular stone wall subjected to considerable heat. This is the'Manor Oven' mentioned in 13th century documents. Surveys of 5 King Street show it to be part of an early medieval open-halled house, it fortified Manor of the Mowbrays, which existed in the 14th century. King Richard I and King John may have stayed at an earlier castle. In 1549 following the Dissolution of the chantries and religious guilds, church plate was sold and land purchased for the town. Resulting rents were used to maintain Melton School, first recorded in 1347, as one of the oldest educational establishments in Britain. Funds were used to maintain roads, bridges and to repair the church clock. Anne of Cleves House, now a public house, During the English Civil War, Melton was a Roundhead garrison commanded by a Colonel Rossiter.
Two battles were fought in the town: in November 1643, Royalists caught the garrison unaware and carried away prisoners and booty. Around 300 men were said to have been killed. According to legend a hillside where the battle was thought to have been fought was ankle deep in blood, hence the name'Ankle Hill'. However, this name is alre