Kegworth (the w is sometimes silent in local dialect) is a large village (population of approximately 3,500) and civil parish in Leicestershire, England.
Lying on the River Soar, it is situated on the A6 near junction 24 of the M1 motorway and is also close to East Midlands Airport. Nearby places include Castle Donington, Hathern and Loughborough in Leicestershire, Long Eaton in Derbyshire, and Sutton Bonington in Nottinghamshire. The post town is Derby.
Although farming was a large factor in Kegworth life and still remains on the fringes, industry started in the late 18th century/early 19th century with the introduction of stockingers shops. Some still exist and can be recognised by the long rows of windows (providing the optimum of daylight) on the first floor. As the industry grew, small courtyards of cottages were built in the old farm yards. Women and children also worked when they could, and the hosiery and lace trades were ranked as two of the most important industries in the village from 1841 onwards. The Kegworth hand-frame stockingers were highly skilled in the art of making silk stockings and they received many orders from royalty and people of high rank. Queen Victoria, the Danish Royal Family and the King of Spain were all customers of the stockingers of Kegworth.
A depression in the 1890s coincided with the introduction of the internal combustion engine. A motorcycle factory was started which developed into the present Slack and Parrs.
Industrialisation was the beginning of the end of this era in Kegworth’s history, but there were still socks and stockings being made in the village as late as the 1940s.
Despite the growth in trade and manufacturing, there was only a very slight increase in population during the 19th century. The number of inhabitants rose from 1,416 people in 1801 to 2,078 a century later, but with actual decline in some decades. Today there are approximately 3,500 people living in the village with 1,500 houses.