Place:Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England

NameMarket Harborough
Alt namesMarket-Harboroughsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeTownship, Chapelry, Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates52.467°N 0.917°W
Located inLeicestershire, England
Also located inNorthamptonshire, England     (1894 - 1896)
See alsoGreat Bowden, Leicestershire, Englandparish in which it was a township and chapelry before 1866
Gartree Hundred, Leicestershire, Englandhundred in which the parish was included
Harborough District, Leicestershire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Market Harborough is a market town within the Harborough District of Leicestershire, England. It had a population of 22,911 in the UK census of 2011 and is the administrative headquarters of Harborough District Council.

Market Harborough sits on the Northamptonshire-Leicestershire border. The town was formerly at a crossroads for both road and rail; however the A6 now bypasses the town to the east and the A14 which carries east-west traffic is to the south. The town is served by East Midlands Trains with direct services to Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and St. Pancras International in London.

Market Harborough is located in an area which was formerly a part of the Rockingham Forest, a royal hunting forest used by the medieval monarchs starting with William the Conqueror. Rockingham Road takes its name from the forest. The forest's original boundaries stretched from Market Harborough northeast to Stamford in Lincolnshire and included Corby and Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The centre of the town is dominated by the steeple of St. Dionysius Parish Church which rises directly from the street, as there is no church yard. It was constructed in grey stone in 1300 with the church itself a later building of about 1470. Next to the church stands the Old Grammar School, a small timber building dating from 1614. The ground floor is open, creating a covered market area and there is a single room on the first floor. It has become a symbol of the town. The nearby square is largely pedestrianised and surrounded by buildings of varying styles. The upper end of the High Street is wide and contains mostly unspoiled Georgian buildings.


Market Harborough has two villages within its confines: from the town centre Great Bowden lies over a hill about a mile away to the north; Little Bowden is even closer but across the River Welland to the south. Until 1927 Great and Little Bowden were separate parishes. The three centres have largely coalesced through ribbon development and infill, although Great Bowden continues to retain a strong village identity. Until 1866 Market Harborough was a township and then a chapelry in Great Bowden parish.

Market Harborough became an urban district in 1894 and remained as such until 1974 when it join with Market Harborough Rural District, Billesdon Rural District and Lutterworth Rural District to form the non-metropolitan Harborough District which now covers the southeastern corner of Leicestershire.

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