Towns in Leicestershire
Leicester Forest East
Barrow upon Soar
LE6 LE10 LE67
LE1 LE2 LE3 LE4 LE5
Leicestershire (abbreviation Leics.) is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire. 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, and Derbyshire to the north-west. The border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street (the A5).
The county has a population of just under 1 million with over half the population living in Leicester’s built-up area.
Leicestershire was recorded in the Domesday Book in four wapentakes: Guthlaxton, Framland, Goscote and Gartree. These later became hundreds, with the division of Goscote into West Goscote and East Goscote, and 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, and the urban expansion of Market Harborough has caused Little Bowden, previously 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 as it is known today. 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.
The River Soar rises to the east of Hinckley, in the far south of the county, and flows northward through Leicester before emptying into the River Trent at the point where Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire meet. 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 (912 ft), which is also a Marilyn. The lowest point is about 24.8m, north of Bottesford where the River Devon leaves Leicestershire and enters Nottinghamshire.
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The population of Leicestershire (excluding Leicester Unitary Authority) is 609,578 people (2001 census). The county covers an area of 2,084 km2 (804 sq mi). Its largest population centre is the city of Leicester, followed by the town of Loughborough. Other large towns include Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Coalville, Hinckley, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Oadby, Wigston and Lutterworth.
Some of the larger of villages are:Burbage (population estimated around 16,500 2014) Birstall (population 11,400 in 2004), Broughton Astley, Castle Donington, Kibworth Beauchamp (along with Kibworth Harcourt), Great Glen, Ibstock, Countesthorpe and Kegworth. One of the most rapidly expanding villages is Anstey, which has recently 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. Approximately 62,000 were aged under 16, 199,000 were aged 16–74, and 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 (9,880/sq mi) and for every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Leicester, 38.5% had no academic qualifications, significantly 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%.
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Engineering has long been an important part of the economy of Leicestershire. John Taylor Bellfounders continues a history of bellfounding in Loughborough since the 14th century. In 1881 John Taylors cast the largest bell in Britain, “Great Paul”, for St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Norman & Underwood have been making sand cast sheet lead roofing and stained glass since 1825 working on many of England’s major cathedrals and historic buildings, including Salisbury Cathedral, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace, and Chatsworth House. Snibston Discovery Park is built on one of three coal mines that operated in Coalville from the 1820s until 1986. Abbey Pumping Station houses four enormous steam powered beam engines built in Leicester in the 1890s in the Vulcan factory owned by Josiah Gimson, whose son Ernest Gimson was an influential furniture designer and architect of the English arts and crafts movement.
Engineering companies today include sports car maker Noble Automotive Ltd in Barwell, Triumph Motorcycles in Hinckley, Jones & Shipman (machine tools), Metalfacture Ltd (sheet metal work), Richards Engineering (foundry equipment), Transmon Engineering (materials handling equipment), Trelleborg Industrial AVS in Beaumont Leys (industrial suspension components), Parker Plant (quarrying equipment), Aggregate Industries UK (construction materials), Infotec in Ashby-de-la-Zouch (electronic information display boards), Alstec in Whetstone, Leicestershire (airport baggage handling systems), and Brush Traction (railway locomotives) in Loughborough. Local commitment to nurturing the upcoming cadre of British engineers includes apprenticeship schemes with local companies, and academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University, and Loughborough University. The Systems Engineering Innovation Centre and Centre for Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies are both based at Loughborough University. Private sector research and development organisations include PERA – the technology based consultancy in Melton Mowbray, and MIRA – the automotive research and development centre based on the outskirts of Hinckley. Automotive and aerospace engineers use the test facilities at Mallory Park, and Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome and proving ground. On 18 October 2007, the last airworthy Avro Vulcan was flown from Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome after 10 years of restoration there by aerospace engineers of the Vulcan Operating Company.
Staffordshire < Leicestershire > Rutland