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Quorn is the hill side Leicestershire village that gave its name to the famous Quorn Hunt.
Quorn Hall lies at the edge of the village, it was the home of Hugo Meynell, who was a household name amongst the fox hunting fraternity of the day. He was Master of the Quorn Hunt from the time he moved into the property in 1753, until 1800. When he ceased to be Master, he moved into a cottage he had built several years earlier beside the stable block, and this is where he lived until he died in 1808. Quorn Hall continued as the headquarters for the hunt for the next 100 years, it only moved because the need arose for bigger and more substantial premises. Eventually, in 1906, horses and hounds departed from the Quorn's original home and settled into smart modern buildings at Pawdy Crossroads outside Barrow.
These days the magnificent hall echoes not to the sound of the hunting horn but to scores of European students and school parties. After its fortunes fluctuated for several years, the hall became an International Education Centre and when it is not catering for students and children, it is used as a conference centre. The beautifully decorated rooms, dining rooms and lounges all take their names from previous owners e.g. the Farnham Room and the Meynell Room. In the old stable block, used by the Quorn until 1904, is an Outdoor Education Centre. It is perfectly suited to this purpose, as the hall stands on a stretch of the Soar ideal for canoeing and other water-sport pursuits. Enthusiasts may part-take of residential or none residential holidays. In these days of "anti fox hunting" one cannot help but ponder what Hugo Meynell would have though of all this!
Originally the village was called Quorndon, it was not known as Quorn until 1889 when its name was officially shorten owing to postal difficulties arising from similar names. In the Iron-Age and Roman periods the region was established as a centre for quarrying, but the first known evidence of the village comes from registers of the early part of the 13th century.
Today, Quorn is by-passed by the busy A6, thus relieving it from the disturbance of heavy traffic thundering en-route to the north of the country. Its one time bustling railway station that in Victorian times saw members of the aristocracy arriving to hunt with the Quorn, is now preserved as the Great Central Railway Centre, with a heritage steam line running through the glorious Leicestershire countryside between Birstall, Quorn and Loughborough, with steam driven trains travelling at an average speed of 25 miles per hour. This enjoyable journey is not simply a trip into the past but a wonderful way to unwind and relax.
Visitors will find Quorn a pleasant lively place, it has a superb mixture of interesting properties and a good range of accommodation including inns retaining an "old world" charm and atmosphere. The summer sees the village busy with a whirl of activities and special events. Arts and Craft fairs are held in the village hall, and at the atmospheric 18th century Quorn Grange Hotel at the edge of Charnwood Forest, there is open air theatre and musical performances.
The village is well served by churches and shops. St. Bartholomew's Church has its origins deeply rooted in the 12th century, it possibly owes its foundation to the Norman hunting Lords of the Manor of Barrow-upon-Soar. In those days the hunt would be stalking deer and wild boar in local woods and the park between Buddon Wood and Woodthorpe. The church is well worth seeing, it lies in a quiet grave scattered churchyard and has many impressive features and church treasures.
Quorn can be found between Leicester and Loughborough, it is surrounded by magnificent countryside and a wealth of visitor attractions. It would make a splendid base for anyone wishing to explore this colourful area of Leicestershire, once home to some of the finest fox hunting in the land.
For further information about Quorn, please visit the village website at: www.quorndon.com
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