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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Pictures of Melton Mowbray

About Melton Mowbray

Melton Mowbray has its historic roots firmly entrenched in Saxon times but it is the heady times of the late 19th and early 20th-centuries, that are reputed to be the 'heyday' of this charming town.

The countryside of Leicestershire, perfect for Hunting, soon began attracting fashionable folk from all over and this included members of the English aristocracy and the Royal family, who sometimes brought with them, members from foreign Royal Houses.

Finely clothed in 'Hunting Pink' they provided a colourful spectacle, not only for the hunt but they quite literally 'Painted the town Red' such was the social life of this romantic period. Lord Cardigan, who famously led The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, owned a house in Burton Street, Engerton Lodge, occupied by the Wilton family, was said to be the centre for the Hunting confraternity. Interestingly, it was at close-by Burrough-on-the-Hill, that the Prince of Wales met Mrs Simpson, the woman who was to become his Duchess and for whom he gave up the Throne of England.

John Fernely, a local painter, gained national fame when he captivated the colourful hunting scene for posterity. His works along with the work of other painters can be seen in the Melton Carnegie Museum at Melton Mowbray.

The picturesque countryside of Melton Mowbray still continues to be a mecca for the Hunting confraternity and famous hunting packs continue to meet here. The district is often loud with the noise of horns, hounds and horses.

It is recorded that Melton Mowbray was important for its wool trade in the 14th-century and from this period the town made steady progress until 1795 when the Melton Navigation Canal was built. This enabled the importing of coal which led to increased trade in all areas and it is around this time that Saddle, Boot and Shoe making became important. Thus, the town grew in prosperity.

By the Mid 19th-century, Melton had become famous for its Pork packed pies and Stilton cheeses, both are savoured all over Britain and in many other countries.

Of the interesting places to visit, the Melton Carnegie Museum is a must, here you can trace the entire history of the town and its products. St. Mary's Church is arguably the most impressive of all the county's churches, and contains some very fine monuments.

Nearby villages to visit are - Sysonby, mentioned in the Domesday book, Freeby - dates from Edward the Confessor, as does the village of Eye Kettleby. Burton Lazars, a pretty village, set on a ridge to the south of Melton, with fine vistas of farmlands all around.

As you can imagine, in this famous hunting county there are many fine Inns where you are sure to find a genial host offering tasty dishes that will doubtless include Melton's famous Pork pies and Stilton cheese. But of all the fine things in this old town it is the abiding memory of the Hunting scene that will captivate you for ever.

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