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Loughborough, Leicestershire

Historical Description

Loughborough, a municipal borough and market-town in Leicestershire. The town stands on the Loughborough Canal, and on a branch of the river Soar, adjacent to the M.R. and L. & N.W.R., on each of which it has stations, 1¼ mile S of the boundary with Notts, 11 NNW of Leicester, 16½ SE of Derby, and 115½ from London. It was visited by Henry VIII.; was desolated by the "sweating sickness" in 1557, and by the plague in 1564; numbers among its natives the naturalist Pulteny, born in 1730; and gave the title of Baron to Sir Edward Hastings in 1557, to Henry the second son of the Earl of Huntingdon in 1643, and to Alexander Wedderburn in 1780. The title in the first and second instances became extinct, and in the third instance hasdescended to the Earl of Eosslyn. The town, in point of size and importance, ranks as the second in the county; it received much stimulus to its trade and general consequence from the enclosing and cultivating of Charnwood Forest, lying to the SW; and it has long been a seat of considerable manufacture. The chief industry is the knitting and weaving of hosiery, but brewing, brickmaking, dyeing, engineering, iron, brass, and bell founding and machine making are carried on. There are also a bell foundry and the Brush Electrical Engineering Company, the largest in England. There is also a considerable trade in coal. Loughborough is situated in the midst of a beautiful tract of country; it comprises one principal street, on the line of communication between Leicester and Derby, and a number of smaller streets at right angles with the principal one; it includes a large oblong market-place, surrounded by good houses and elegant shops; and it has for a considerable series of years been undergoing material improvement. The town-hall and corn exchange, in the market-place, is a handsome stone edifice erected in 1856 at a cost of about £8000. The building was purchased in 1889 by the corporation, and extensive alterations and improvements were made at a cost of £3000. The town-hall contains an apartment called the Victoria room, used for public assemblies, and capable of seating 600 persons; and contains also the town clerk's and borough accountant's offices. The corn exchange is at the rear, and is a well-lighted apartment 80 feet long. The county buildings, erected in 1860, are of brick, and include the petty sessional court and police station. The dispensary in Baxter Gate was built in 1862 at a cost of about £5000, was enlarged in 1888 at a cost of £1200, and is ornamental and convenient. The theatre was built in 1822, and was sold in 1856 to the Oddfellows, to be used as a meeting-hall. The town offices, erected in 1877, are of red brick with stone facings, in the Tudor style. The free library adjoining is also a building of red brick in the Tudor style, was erected in 1886, and contains about 5000 volumes. There are also a philharmonic hall, a large athletic ground, recreation grounds with an area of about 15 acres, and an open-air swimming bath. The grammar school stands on the Leicester Koad, in the midst of pleasant grounds; was rebuilt in 1853 at a cost of £7800; is a handsome edifice in the Tudor style, with an embattled tower, and has attached a good boarding house for the head-master. The Burton and Hickling charities, which were united by Order in Council in 1875, and are administered under a scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners, serve to assist the grammar school, the upper girls' school, a middle-class school, and boys', girls', and infant schools on the Lancastrian system. There are also Board, Roman Catholic, and National schools.

The town from 1850 until 1888 was governed by a local board of twelve members, but in 1888 it was granted a charter of incorporation, and it is now governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, who also act as the urban sanitary authority. It is the head of a petty sessional division and county court district; has a head post office, five banks, several good hotels, and publishes three weekly newspapers. The market is on Thursday, cattle market on Monday, and market for meat and vegetables on Saturday. Fairs are held on the second Thursday in the months of February, March, April, August, September, and November. The corporation are proprietors of the markets and fairs, and receive the tolls appertaining to them.

Ecclesiastically the town is divided into the three parishes of All Saints (which is the mother parish), Emmanuel, and Holy Trinity. The living of All Saints is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; net value, £700 with residence, in the gift of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The church is a fine building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles; comprises chancel, nave, N aisle, double S aisle, transepts, N and S porches, and a very fine western tower nearly 100 feet in height, with a splendid peal of ten bells. It was restored under the direction of the late Sir George Gilbert Scott, E.A., in 1863-64, at a cost of about £9000. The ecclesiastical parish of Emmanuel was formed in 1837. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough; net value, £288 with residence, in the gift of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The church, erected in 1837, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, and comprises chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and a handsome western tower. The ecclesiastical parish of Holy Trinity was formed in 1878 from the parishes of All Saints and Emmanuel. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough; net value, £305 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Peterborough. The church, erected in 1878, is a building of Mountsorrel granite in the Early Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, N and S porches, vestries, and bell-turret There are also a mission church (connected with the parish church), three Baptist, Congregational, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, United Methodist, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels, a Christian meeting-house, and a Salvation Army barracks. There is a convent of the Sisters of Providence in Park Road. The cemetery, formed in 1857, has two mortuary chapels, and is 7½ acres in extent.

The parish includes the township of Woodthorpe. Acreage, 4720; population, 18,357. The municipal borough is divided into three wards, called respectively East or Hastings, North or Storer, and West or Burton. Population, 18,196. Of the ecclesiastical parishes, All Saints has a population of 10,439; Emmanuel, of 4065; and Holy Trinity, of 3984.

Loughborough Parliamentary Division, or Mid Leicestershire, was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 55,164. The division includes the following:- Loughborough (part of)-Barrow-on-Soar, Belton, Burton-on-the-Wolds, Castle Donnington, Charley, Cotes, Diseworth, Garendon, Hathern, Hemington, Hoton, Isley Walton, Kegworth, Knight Thorpe, Langley Priory, Lockington, Long Whatton, Loughborough, Mountsorrel (North), Mountsorrel (South), Prestwold, Quorndon, Rothley, Rothley Temple, Sheepshed, Swithland, Thorpe Acre and Dishley, Ulverscroft, Woodhouse (including Maplewell Longdale), Walton-on-the-Wolds, Woodthorpe, Wymeswold; Leicester (part of)-Ansty, Ansty Pastures, Beaumont Leys, Birstall, Cropstone, Gilroes, Leicester Abbey, Leicester Frith, Markfield, Newton Linford, Ratby, Thurcaston; Ashby-de-la-Zoueh (part of)-Bardon, Breedon, Thringstone, Osgathorpe, Whitwick.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyLeicestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishLoughborough All Saints 
HundredWest Goscote 
Poor Law unionLoughborough 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish registers of All Saints date from the year 1538; there are churchwardens' accounts from 1583 and a list of rectors from 1193. The register of Emmanuel dates from the year 1838; that of Holy Trinity from the year 1879; and that of St. Peter's from 1909.

Findmypast, in association with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, have the following parish records online for Loughborough:

All Saints1538-19161653-19361538-19311538-1913
Holy Trinity1879-19161879-19311879-1931 
St Peter's1909-19161912-19341912-19311912-1991


The parish church (All Saints) is a noble edifice of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of four bays, north aisle, double south aisle, low transepts, north and south porches and a fine western tower, nearly 100 feet in height, erected in the 16th century, with canopied buttresses at the angles, an em battled parapet pierced with qnatrefoils, and eight crocketed pinnacles; the tower contains a clock, with dials and 10 bells; the old peal of six, cast in 1754, were recast in 1840, by Mr. John Taylor (who in that year removed from Oxford to Loughborough), and two new bells were added, and in 1887, two additional treble bells were presented by Messrs. Taylor, and the whole peal of 10 has been entirely rehung: the stained east window was presented by the late Miss M. A. Herrick, who died 25 Dec. 1871: the west window is also stained and there are three stained windows in the aisles: the brass eagle lectern was the gift of the Misses Erle, in memory of the Ven. Archdeaeon Fearon M.A. rector 1848-85: on the west wall of the tower are now placed the mutilated brass effigies of Giles and Margaret Jordan, noticed by Burton in his description of Leicestershire, 1622: with these is also a much worn inscription on brass, presumed to relate to the two effigies, and probably dating from c. 1441: this plate is a palimpsest, and has on the reverse side an inscription to Elizabeth Lisle, daughter of John Cerff, Remembrancer of the Exchequer of Henry VI. Otuel, her son, and Johanna and Elizabeth, her daughters, all of whom died in Hilary Term, 1438: there is a large brass with Latin inscription to the Rt. Rev. George Davys S.T.P. Bishop of Peterborough 1839-64, who was born at Loughborough, 1 Oct. 1780, and died 18 April, 1864, and tablets to Thomas Burton, a great benefactor to the town, ob. 1496, and George Bright, 1696: the church was completely restored in 1863-4, under the direction of Sir G. Gilbert Scott R.A. at an expense of £9,000, in addition to which the tower was placed in thorough repair and the pinnacles and stone mouldings renewed, by W. Perry-Herrick esq. of Beaumanor Park: there are about 1,000 sittings.

Emmanuel church, erected at a cost of £7,000, and consecrated 6 Sept. 1837, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel and clerestoried nave, under a continuous roof with embattled parapet, aisles, south porch with a western tower, with pierced parapet and pinnacles, containing one bell: the stained east window is a memorial to the late Miss Mary Pinfold Tate, of Burleigh Hall: in the chancel is a mural monument, executed by Thomas Brock R.A. and erected by Mrs. Crosher, of Loughborough, to the memory of her late husband, and a mural tablet to the late Rev. W. Holme, first rector of this parish: there are 850 sittings: a large churchyard, planted with shrubs and trees, surrounds the church.

Holy Trinity church, situated on the south-east side of the town and erected in 1878, at a cost of £5,670, is a building of Mountsorrel granite with Bath stone dressings, in the Early Decorated style, and consists of chancel, nave, transepts, north and south porches, vestries and an open turret of framed woodwork, with spirelet, rising from the intersection, and containing 3 bells: there are 510 sittings, all free. A serious fire occurred in 1918 and partly destroyed the chancel and the south transept, since restored.

St. Peter's church, erected in 1911-12, is a building of granite with stone dressings, in the Decorated Gothic style, and consists of chancel, nave with passage aisles, north and south porches, clergy and choir vestries and a turret on the south side containing one bell: the sanctuary and choir are paved with Sicilian and Derbyshire marble: the cost, exclusive of the granite, which was the gift of the Mountsorrel Granite Co. was about £6,000: there are 500 sittings, all free.

The Roman Catholic church of St. Mary, in Ashby road, was originally erected in 1835: a new church was erected in 1924-25 in the Greek Corinthian style: the old church forms the sanctuary and chancel of the new church.

The Baptist chapel, Woodgate, erected in 1881, is a structure of red brick with stone dressings, in an early form of Continental Gothic, with a square angle tower, terminating in pyramidal roof, rising to a height of 80 feet: the chapel affords 850 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Loughborough from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Leicestershire is online.


Online maps of Loughborough are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Leicestershire newspapers online:

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtLE11
Post TownLoughborough