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This is about the district of Harborough; there is also the Harborough constituencymarker.

Harborough ( ) is a local government district of Leicestershiremarker, Englandmarker, named after its main town, Market Harboroughmarker. Covering 230 square miles, the District is by far the largest of the eight district authorities in Leicestershire and covers almost a quarter of the County.

The District extends south and east from the Leicestermarker urban area; on the east it adjoins the County of Rutlandmarker;has a boundary on the north with the Boroughs of Charnwood and Meltonmarker; on the south it has a long boundary with the County of Northamptonshiremarker comprising the Boroughs of Corbymarker, Ketteringmarker and the District of Daventrymarker. To the west the boundary is with Warwickshiremarker and the Borough of Rugbymarker, a boundary formed for much of its length by the line of Watling Streetmarker. The north-western boundary of the district adjoins Blabymarker District and the Borough of Oadby and Wigstonmarker. The villages of Thurnbymarker, Bushbymarker and Scraptoftmarker abut the suburbs of the City of Leicestermarker.

The population of the District at mid 2007 was estimated as 82,300.

The principal centres of population are Market Harboroughmarker (20,170), Lutterworthmarker (9,000) and Broughton Astleymarker (8,660). The District also has four large villages of over 3,000 population - Kibworthmarker (4,910);Fleckneymarker (4,910); Great Glen (3,460) and Thurnby and Bushbymarker (3,160). The District has 17 parishes with populations between 500 and 3,000 , 40 parishes with populations between 100 and 500 and 28 parishes with populations of below 100. (mid 2004 population estimates)

History of the District

The district was formed in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It was a merger of Market Harborough urban district, Market Harborough Rural Districtmarker, Billesdon Rural Districtmarker and Lutterworth Rural Districtmarker.

Situated in the south of East Midlands but linking to Northamptonshire and the South East Region, and between the West Midland and East of England Region with access to three national transport routes - the M1 motorway the Midland Mainline railway and the A14East West national trunk road, the District has always occupied a important strategic position.

Topography and Landscape

The landscape of the District comprises both pastoral and upland characters. . Generally the A6 Market Harborough to Leicester Road forms the boundary between each. The lower pastoral landscape of South Leicestershire is found to the west of the A6 whilst the more undulating upland landscape of High Leicestershire is found to the east.

South Leicestershire consists of gentler country around Lutterworth and Kibworth. Low hills swell out of shallow valleys and villages are pinpointed by church spires peeping above dark spinneys. Near Foxton and Gumley the Laughton Hills tumble down to the Grand Union Canal and Welland Valley, forming one of the best landscapes in this part of the District.

High Leicestershire consists of the tract of land between Market Harborough, Tilton On The Hill and towards Melton Mowbray and forms some of the loneliest countryside in the Midlands. Many villages were deserted centuries ago and remote hills such as Robin-a-Tiptoe in the parish of Tilton peer out over pastures and the occasional farmhouse.

The infant River Avon and River Wellandmarker form the southern border of the District with Northamptonshire with sources at Nasebymarker and Sibbertoftmarker respectively.

Built Heritage

Stanford Hall, Leicestershiremarker is located in the south west of the District. The village of Stanford on Avon is in Northamptonshire but the house and park are on the Leicestershire bank of the River Avon

The Grand Union Canal marker cuts across the District from Husbands Bosworth to Newton Harcourt with a spur to Market Harboroughmarker which leaves the Canal at Foxton.

South East Leicestershire Treasure: More than 5,000 silver and gold coins, around 2,000 years old, were found at a site near Harborough around 2002. The finds are to be exhibited at Harborough Museummarker in Autumn 2009.

Social and Sporting

The Harborough District has a long association with fox hunting and is the base for the Fernie Hunt. Although hunting wild animals with dogs has stopped following the Hunting Act 2004, the Fernie Hunt continues to operate under the three principal exemptions to the Act - trail hunting, hound exercise and flushing coverts to a bird of prey. A historical account of fox hunting in the Harborough District (when the hunt was known as Mr Fernie's Billesdon Hunt) is available in the book "Annals of the Billesdon hunt (Mr. Fernie's) 1856-1913 : notable runs and incidents of the chase, prominent members, celebrated hunters and hounds, amusing stories and anecdotes" by F. Palliser de Costobadie/ Also see an earlier guide to the fox hunting country north of Market Harborough published in 1882.

Community organisations

The Harborough Youth Council was set up in 2007 to represent the views of young people (aged 13–19) and aims to improve life for young people. It holds a District Youth Conference each year where young people give their views in front of district councillors. The HYC meets usually once per month, and sends representatives to CYCLe (County Youth Council Leicestershire).

The Harborough District Sport and Activity Alliance aims to make sport and physical activity accessible for all people throughout the Harborough District enabling them to fulfil their potential through sport and physical activity.

Civil parishes

Map of Parishes

Market Harboroughmarker is unparished.

External links


  1. Leicestershire County Council website
  2. Harborough DC Press Release 2004
  3. Harborough District Official Guide (undated)
  4. Harborough Museum - Treasure webpage
  5. Coin Hoard Article on treasure hunting website
  6. Fernie Hunt
  7. Annals of the Billesdon hunt (Mr. Fernie's) 1856-1913 : notable runs and incidents of the chase, prominent members, celebrated hunters and hounds, amusing stories and anecdotes (1914) by F. Palliser de Costobadie
  8. Billesdon Hunt – now Fernie – pages from “The Hunting Countries of England, Their Facilities, Character, and Requirements “ Volume I By Edward Pennell Elmhirst 1882

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