County of Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a county in central
England (since April 1997 Leicester City and Rutland have been separate
2,084 square kilometres/804 square miles.
and cities Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Market
Harborough (administrative headquarters at Glenfield, Leicester).
Rivers Soar and Wreake; Charnwood Forest (in the
north-west); Vale of Belvoir (under which are large coal deposits).
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.
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 north-west), and granite (Enderby, Stoney, and Mountsorrel, known
for its paving stones).
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.
(1995) 592, 700.
people Titus Oates, Thomas Babington Macaulay, C
Richard III was defeated by Henry VII at the Battle
of Bosworth in 1485.
Leicestershire is bounded on the north by
Nottinghamshire; on the east by Lincolnshire and Rutland; on the
south-east by Northamptonshire; on the south-west by Warwickshire; and on
the north-west 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 metres/912 feet), in the Charnwood Forest.
remains There is only slight evidence of
prehistoric settlement in the county. In the 9th century the
county was in the hands of the Danish invaders, and there are many
place-names of Scandinavian origin.
past 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.