Pictures of Hallaton
As an area of such outstanding beauty, it is not surprising that the lands all around here are known for providing the finest hunting in all England. There is simply mile after mile of undulating countryside, a complete patchwork of hedged rectangular fields, criss-crossed here and there by meandering little streams. It is an engaging picture, with long winding leafy lanes, resplendent with gracious stone houses and cottages, gloriously adorned with ravishing gardens that are a riot of colourful summer flowers, foxglove, lupin, sweet pea and roses that climb, to cover old mellow stone walls. These lanes are often more suited to the horses riding out along them, than they are to the traffic of today.
Hallaton has a beautiful old church. The church of St.Michael, dates mainly 13th-century but there are fragments from Norman times. In the porch there is a tympanum, depicting St.George and the Dragon. The aisles are 14th-century and there is some good 13th-century decoration to the chancel, there is also some exquisite 19th-century stained glass. There is a cool serenity about this lovely church, it is well worth a visit.
Easter Monday sees the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne engaged in a riotous 'bottle kicking' contest which is said to have pagan origins. The local vicar distributes slices of Hare Pie, the remains of which are scattered on Hare Pie Bank. The villagers then engage to carry bottles of beer over the opposition boundary. The winner is carried shoulder high to Hallerton's butter cross to sample the beer, the celebrations continue in the local inns. The contest may be a pagan rite and have to do with hare worship, or it could derive from sacrificial rites in connection with the godess Eostre. But, whatever, it is an exhilarating time of fun and merriment, everyone joins in, it is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Hallaton is mentioned in the Domesday book under the old name of Alctone. It is believed that Castle Hill, just outside Hallaton, was inhabited more than a thousand years before the Normans came and this is supported by findings during the 19th-century that are on display in Leicester museum. The lovely building of Hallaton Hall dates back to the 18th-century.
This is prime hunting country and Hallaton is but one of a collection of quintessentially English villages interspersed throughout the beautiful Welland Valley. It is an area of rich grazing lands, gloriously green, and not to be missed.
Hallaton lies close to the boarder of the beautiful county of Rutland and the delightful town of Market Harborough is about 10 miles away.