Dixie Grammar School

Dixie Grammar School

Situated in the centre of Market Bosworth, the school was re-founded in 1601 under the will of Sir Wolstan Dixie, Lord Mayor of London. The building shown dates from 1828. It now operates as an Independent day school. Samuel Johnson, author of the Dictionary of the English Language, was believed to have been a teacher here for a short while in the 18th century.

Watery Gate

Watery Gate

This ford of the Thurlaston Brook cosses the road between Earl Shilton and Croft, close to the Normanton Turville estate. It is difficult for cars to negotiate at any time, except in the driest of weather spells, and is a hazard which regularly catches out the unwary motorist.

Watery Gate

Watery Gate

Captured on a winter's day, although not at a particularly wet period, the marker indicates a water depth of half a metre.

Sketchley Boiler House

Sketchley Boiler House

This old building was the last remnant of the once nationally known Sketchley Dry Cleaning headquarters. This boiler house was the powerhouse of the operation. The company was originally set up by Alfred Hawley as a dyeing operation serving the local hosiery and knitwear industry. It used water from the local Sketchley Brook which also gave the company its name. It has now been demolished as the area is being redeveloped.

Ullesthorpe Windmill

Ullesthorpe Windmill

Restored windmill with occasional open days.

Hinckley Water Tower

Hinckley Water Tower

Once an important utility in Hinckley, this tower no longer serves its original purpose. Plans for development of the area put the tower at risk but a campaign by local residents appears to have secured its future as an historical feature.

Hinckley Water Tower

Hinckley Water Tower

Residential development will shortly change the appearance of the area.

Loughborough Carillon

Loughborough Carillon

The tower containing the Carillon is located near the centre of Loughborough. On open days the workings of the Carillon can be observed. There are also good views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the tower. The building also accommodates an interesting military museum.

Fenney Windmill, Shepshed

Fenney Windmill, Shepshed

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

A flight of staircase locks on the Grand Union Canal, Leicester arm. Staircase locks are used where a canal needs to climb a steep hill. The locks were built to connect the Leicester and Northants Union Canal with the old Grand Union Canal, 75 feet higher. Construction commenced in 1810.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

It can take an hour to move a narrow boat through the locks, even longer if there is a lot of traffic. The locks were built to a gauge of 7 feet meaning that only narrow boats can pass through.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

Long delays at the end of the 19th century led to the construction of an inclined plane, adjacent to the locks, operated by steam, which shortened the journey time. The canal was at that time owned by the Grand Junction Canal Company. The inclined plane opened in 1900. Unfortunately it was short lived and it was dismantled in the late 1920s. Plans to reinstate the inclined plane have been around for many years but a lack of funding suggests that it will not happen.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks is the largest flight of staircase locks on the English canal system with a total of 10 locks, made up of 2 sections of 5 locks.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

The area is now very popular for walking and boating with canal trips available at the bottom of the flight.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

The meeting point of the two original canals.

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

A museum of canal life on the site tells the story of the inclined plane, along with the history of the locks.

Wistow Hall

Wistow Hall

The old village of Wistow was depopulated in the 17th century and the park for the hall was laid out around the same time. The manor of Wistow was in the ownership of various branches of the Hastings family from sometime in the 13th century until the late 16th century. The Halford family owned the manor from the early 17th century until late in the 18th century.

Wistow Hall

Wistow Hall

The hall has been partially converted to apartments and some of the outbuildings have also been converted to residential occupation. It is thought to date from the early 17th century and occupies a picturesque location. Close by is Wistow Rural Centre, a rural retail village.

Old Railway Viaduct, Grace Dieu

Old Railway Viaduct, Grace Dieu

Perhaps the major construction project on the old Charnwood Forest Railway, which connected Coalville and Loughborough, the viaduct bridges a small river valley and is close to the site of the former Grace Dieu Halt.

Old Railway Viaduct, Grace Dieu

Old Railway Viaduct, Grace Dieu

Desford Station

Desford Station

This station is on the original Leicester and Swannington Railway which was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1846. The original line was a single line from Leicester West Bridge to Swannington but the Midland Railway incorporated part of the line into its branch from Knighton Junction to Burton which reduced the importance of the section from Leicester West Bridge to Desford.

Desford Station

Desford Station

As Desford was part of the new double track section a new station was constructed here in 1848, together with the Station Master’s house. The passenger service along this line was closed in 1964. The station buildings remain as a private residence.

Measham Railway Station

Measham Railway Station

This was a first class style station on the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway and the main station building has survived the 80 years since the cessation of passenger services well. It now serves as Measham Museum. The goods shed also survives, now having an industrial use.

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Not so much a castle, more a fortified manor house, construction commenced in 1480 under William, Lord Hastings. It was never fully completed due to the execution of Lord Hastings in 1483 for his opposition to the seizure of the throne of England by Richard III.

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Parts of the unfinished "castle" were occupied by other members of the Hastings family but it is believed that the accommodation was probably abandoned sometime in the 16th century. The Hastings family also owned the castle at Ashby de la Zouch.

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle

At one time the site was occupied by a farm. In 1911 the Ministry of Works took over the site, repairing the buildings and reclaiming the moat.

Kirby Muxloe Castle

Kirby Muxloe Castle

The castle is now in the hands of English Heritage.

Quorn Lock up

Quorn Lock up

Former 19th century gaol/lock up and stocks at Quorn.

Grace Dieu Priory

Grace Dieu Priory

Established between 1235 and 1241 by Rose de Verdon for an order of Nuns, the Priory fell into ruin shortly after the dissolutions of the 16th century.

Grace Dieu Priory

Grace Dieu Priory

It was a thriving self-sustaining community, with fish ponds constructed close by to provide a regular supply of fresh fish. For most of its period of occupation there were usually 14 nuns in residence. It was an independent order which, shortly before the dissolution, described itself as the White Nuns of St. Augustine. As members of the order, the nuns were forbidden to leave the precincts of the priory.

Grace Dieu Priory

Grace Dieu Priory

High Cross

High Cross

This monument was commissioned by the Earl of Denbigh of nearby Newnham Paddox in Warwickshire to mark the crossing point of the great Roman roads, Watling Street and the Fosse Way. The monument stands on the Leicestershire side of Watling Street, which, for several miles, forms the boundary between Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

Nutts Lane Pillbox, Hinckley

Nutts Lane Pillbox, Hinckley

Part of a defensive line, adjoining the Ashby Canal through Hinckley, constructed during World War II. This one has now been demolished and new residential housing cover the area.

Hinckley Pillbox

Hinckley Pillbox

Another pillbox, on Coventry Road, Hinckley, now on private land, forming part of the Ashby Canal defensive line.

Staunton Harold

Staunton Harold

The Hall and Church occupy a delightful setting in a valley alongside an ornamental lake. The Church is notable for being one of a very few built during the Commonwealth period when the Puritan Oliver Cromwell ruled England. The estate was the home of the Shirley family for over 500 years until 1954.

Staunton Harold Hall

Staunton Harold Hall

The present large hall was built in the late 18th century. During the Second World War the hall was used by the army and also to house prisoners of war. After 1954 it served as a residential home and later a hospice. It is now privately owned by a family and facilities are available for weddings and other events.

Staunton Harold Hall

Staunton Harold Hall

Staunton Harold Gateway

Staunton Harold Gateway

Moira Furnace

Moira Furnace

An old iron-making blast furnace, located next to the Ashby Canal. It was constructed in 1804 by the Earl of Moira, to take advantage of local iron ore and coal deposits. At one time it also included residential accommodation.

Earl Shilton Castle

Earl Shilton Castle

This is a folly, constructed on the site of an old motte and bailey fortification, adjoining the church at Earl Shilton.

Appleby Grammar School

Appleby Grammar School

Supposedly designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Now a Primary school.

Higham on the Hill Railway Station

Higham on the Hill Railway Station

This station was situated on the Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway, serving the small village of Higham on the Hill. The original plans for the line did not include a station here but it was built following requests by the local villagers. The station was constructed without goods facilities and is unlikely to have ever been very busy, with its reliance on passenger traffic.

Higham on the Hill Railway Station

Higham on the Hill Railway Station

The station closed in 1931 when passenger services on the line were withdrawn. The station buildings were demolished shortly afterwards, with some of the materials being put to good use by local villagers. The Station House does actually survive with the present garden covering the site of the station.

Theddingworth Station

Theddingworth Station

Situated on the former LNWR railway line between Rugby and Stamford the station is now privately owned and has been well-preserved. It is typical of so many stations built in a rural area with only a small population to serve.

Theddingworth Signal Box

Theddingworth Signal Box

Stoke Golding Station

Stoke Golding Station

Despite now being in private hands the main station building retains much of its original appearance. It was a second class station on the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway, a joint venture between the Midland Railway and the LNWR, running from Abbey Street Station in Nuneaton to Moira Junction. The railway opened in 1873. The line was always most important for mineral traffic from the coalfields of north-west Leicestershire. Regular passenger services ceased in 1931 and freight in the 1960's.

Old John, Bradgate Park

Old John, Bradgate Park

A folly located at the high point of Bradgate Park where there are extensive views of Leicestershire.

Old John, Bradgate Park

Old John, Bradgate Park

Old John, Bradgate Park

Old John, Bradgate Park

Oak & Ash

Oak & Ash

An extremely unusual phenomenon, located between Peckleton and Earl Shilton, of an oak tree and an ash tree fusing together and growing as one. The lighter bark in the centre is the ash and the darker outer areas are the oak. The ash is the taller part and the oak the wider part. Although now of some age both still seem to be flourishing.

Oak & Ash

Oak & Ash

Gopsal Hall Temple Ruins

Gopsal Hall Temple Ruins

Gopsall Hall was built in 1750 by Charles Jennens, replacing the Jacobean Gopsall Hall on the site. The Jennens family had acquired a fortune through the production of charcoal and the development of an iron smelting foundry. The new Gopsall Hall was a magnificent building, 180 feet in length. The grounds surrounding the Hall extended to 724 acres. The temple was an ornate folly/garden feature, situated in the south-east corner of the grounds.

Gopsal Hall Temple Ruins

Gopsal Hall Temple Ruins

Charles Jennens was a great charitable benefactor and patron of the arts. He was a close friend of the composer George Frederick Handel who, legend has it, may have used the temple as a quiet retreat to work on his music whilst staying at the Hall, both as a guest of Charles and previously of Charles' father, Humphrey. He is reputed to have used the organ in the chapel of the Hall. This organ was relocated to the church of St. James, Great Packington after the death of Charles Jennens.

Bilstone Gibbet

Bilstone Gibbet

A gruesome reminder of past methods of punishment for felons. After execution a convicted felon's body would be hung in chains, or an iron cage, from the gibbet until the body rotted. It was intended as a warning to others. A local man, who was a wrestler with a violent temper, was found guilty of murdering his wife in 1797, by throwing her into the village pond. He was hanged at Birstall in 1801 and his body was placed in this gibbet. Local tradition has it that it was still there in 1818.

Elmesthorpe Station

Elmesthorpe Station

The former railway station at Elmesthorpe closed in 1968. It was located on the line between Hinckley and Leicester and was built to serve the villages of Earl Shilton, Elmesthorpe and Stoney Stanton, though in reality it was not situated conveniently enough to guarantee much traffic. Demolition of the the station buildings commenced in January 1969. The goods depot behind the main station building was closed in 1964 but the goods shed remains to this day, being used by a local scrap company.

War Memorial, Breedon on the Hill

War Memorial, Breedon on the Hill

Lock-up, Breedon on the Hill

Lock-up, Breedon on the Hill

Built to house local felons and ne'er do wells.

Donington Le Heath Manor House

Donington Le Heath Manor House

An old manor house close to Coalville, dating from around 1290 with later alterations. It was restored between 1966 and 1973 and now houses a museum.

Whitwick Railway Station

Whitwick Railway Station

This unusual little station was on the Charnwood Forest Line which connected Coalville and Loughborough. This short railway provided a service to a series of small towns and villages. It included halts in very sparsely populated, rural areas. It was never economically viable and passenger services ceased in the 1930s. The line closed completely in 1963.

Whitwick Railway Station

Whitwick Railway Station

The Waiting Rooms on the single platform were demolished and it is just the old Booking Office with rooms below that remains. The building now, fittingly, provides a home for the Whitwick Historical Group and the trackbed serves as a public footpath.

Grammar School, Market Harborough

Grammar School, Market Harborough

The Old Grammar School, standing next to the parish church of St. Dionysius, dates from 1614. It is the most distinctive building in the town and was built at the instigation of Robert Smyth. The buiding really consists of one first floor room over an open area, which served as the butter market. It is still made use of today by market stalls.

Grammar School, Market Harborough

Grammar School, Market Harborough

Grammar School, Market Harborough

Grammar School, Market Harborough

War Memorial, Coalville

War Memorial, Coalville

This magnificent edifice is unusual for a war memorial as it is constructed of brick and is extremely high, dominating the area close to Coalville town centre. The Memorial Clock Tower was constructed in 1925 and stands 68 feet high. It is a Grade II listed building. It replaced an earlier memorial which was situated within the boundary of Coalville Railway Station.

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Bus Shelter, Leicester

These views show a selection of the unique bus shelters provided to the City in 1934 by Robert Rowley JP. Designed in an art deco style these spacious shelters provided an important refuge, in inclement weather, for thousands of bus passengers, as the city expanded into the suburbs. It was a time that buses provided the most vital means of transport for the majority of people.

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Whilst these examples are reasonably well maintained, unfortunately they suffer at the hands of some of the modern philistines who cannot appreciate good, functional design. Consequently the lights are now devoid of glass and graffiti despoils some of the walls.

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Bus Shelter, Leicester

Statue of Liberty, Leicester

Statue of Liberty, Leicester

This model of the Statue of Liberty, based on the famous New York icon, stands at the junction of Western Boulevard and Upperton Road in Leicester. It was originally placed on top of Lennards Shoe factory, which was located on the site of the modern building in the background of the photograph. The company changed its name to Liberty Shoes to identify itself with the statue.

Railway Station, Ashby de la Zouch

Railway Station, Ashby de la Zouch

Situated on the Leicester to Burton branch of the Midland Railway this station has a very attractive frontage constructed in a classical style. The building is now used as offices. Trams of the Burton and Ashby Light Railways terminated here and remnants of the tram tracks are still visible.

Railway Station, Ashby de la Zouch

Railway Station, Ashby de la Zouch

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