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Loughborough
Loughborough Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 3932.jpg
Loughborough Town Hall
Loughborough shown within Leicestershire
Population 59,317 (2012)
OS grid reference SK536195
District
  • Charnwood
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LOUGHBOROUGH
Postcode district LE11
Dialling code 01509
Police Leicestershire
Fire Leicestershire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Loughborough
List of places
UK
England
LeicestershireCoordinates: 52°46′14″N 1°12′17″W / 52.7705°N 1.2046°W / 52.7705; -1.2046
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Loughborough (Listeni/ˈlʌfbərə/ LUFF-bərə or /ˈlʌfbrə/ LUFF-brə) is a town with the Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, England. It is the seat of Charnwood Borough Council and home to Loughborough University. The town had a population of 57,600 in 2004, making it the second largest settlement in Leicestershire. The town is close to the Nottinghamshire border and is within a short distance of locations such as Nottingham, the East Midlands Airport and Derby.

The town has the world's largest bell foundry — John Taylor Bellfounders, which made the bells for the Carillon war memorial, a landmark within the Queens Park in the town, Great Paul for St Paul's Cathedral, and York Minster. The first mention of Loughborough is in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Loughborough's local weekly newspaper is the Loughborough Echo. The town is also served by Leicestershire's daily newspaper, the Leicester Mercury.

History

Medieval

Loughborough's earliest historical reference was as Lucteburne in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Industrialisation

The first sign of industrialisation in the Loughborough district came in the early years of the 19th century, when John Heathcoat, an inventor from Derbyshire patented in 1809 an improvement to the warp loom, known as the twisted lace machine, which allowed mitts with a lace-like appearance to be made.

Heathcoat, in partnership with the Nottingham manufacturer Charles Lacy, moved his business from there to the village of Hathern, outside Loughborough. The product of this "Loughborough machine" came to be known as English net or bobbinet. However, the factory was attacked in 1816 by Luddites thought to be in the pay of Nottingham competitors and 55 frames were destroyed. This prompted Heathcoat to move his business to a disused woollen mill in Tiverton, Devon.

In 1888 a charter of incorporation was obtained, allowing a mayor and corporation to be elected. The population increased from 11,000 to 25,000 in the following ten years.

Among the factories established were Robert Taylor's bell foundry John Taylor & Co and the Falcon works, which produced steam locomotives, then motor cars, before it was taken over by Brush Electrical Machines. In 1897, Herbert Morris set up a factory in the Empress Works in Moor Lane which become one of the foremost crane manufacturers by the mid-20th century.

There was also strong municipal investment: a new sewage works in 1895, then a waterworks in Blackbrook and a power station in Bridge Street in 1899. The corporation took over Loughborough Gas Company in 1900.

Tourism

In 1841, Loughborough was the destination for the first package tour, organised by Thomas Cook for a temperance group from Leicester.

Transport

Railway

Loughborough Great Central Station - geograph.org.uk - 1148657
Loughborough Great Central Station

Loughborough railway station is the mainline national station serving the town. Network Rail has recently redeveloped the station, increasing the length of platforms and improving access. The local council has made concurrent improvements to the surrounding area. The station has services from London St. Pancras International, to which its twice-hourly London service goes, giving a link to the continent via the Eurostar. East Midlands Trains is the primary long-distance operator, running services between London and northern England, and provides local services throughout the East Midlands. These rail routes run north–south through Loughborough along the Midland Main Line, going south to Bedford, Luton and London; and north to Lincoln, Sheffield, Leeds and York. Junctions at Leicester and Derby stations link with CrossCountry trains route, serving the far north-east of Scotland and the south-west of England.

There were at one time three railway routes to the town: the still operating Midland line; the Great Central Railway that closed as a result of the Beeching cuts; and a branch line from Nuneaton, part of the London and North Western Railway. Today, the Great Central Railway line is in operation as the Great Central Steam Railway heritage railway and is the terminus of the south section of the railway. It has an active Great Central station running services daily. The station was opened by the Great Central Railway on 15 March 1899, closed in 1969 and re-opened again in March 1974.

Brush Traction, a manufacturer of railway locomotives, is also located in the town, close to Loughborough's railway station.

Motorways

The M1's Junction 23 lies just to the west of Loughborough. The north of the town can be accessed from Junction 24, travelling through Kegworth and Hathern on the A6 road and the south west of the town from Junction 22, via Copt Oak and the small hamlet of Nanpantan.

Buses

Local buses are operated by Arriva Midlands, Centrebus, Paul S Winson, Nottingham City Transport, Trent Barton and Kinchbus.

Service Operator Destinations Places on the way Frequency
1 Nottingham City Transport Nottingham, Gotham,

Loughborough*

Stanford upon Soar,

Gotham, Clifton, Wilford

15mins*
2 Kinchbus Leicester, Sileby, Loughborough Quorndon, Barrow upon Soar,

Sileby, Cossington, Birstall

30mins
3 Paul S Winson Local Service Local Infrequent
5 Kinchbus Local Service Local 30mins
8 Centrebus Loughborough, Melton Mowbray,

Grantham

Melton Mowbray Infrequent
9 Kinchbus Loughborough, Nottingham Cotes, Hoton, Costock,

Rempstone, Bunny, Ruddington

30mins
11/12

circular

Kinchbus Loughborough Circular Shelthorpe, town centre, Thorpe Acre, Dishley

Waterways

The River Soar passes by to the east of the town. Navigation from Loughborough north towards the Trent was achieved in 1778 by the Loughborough Navigation, which terminates at Loughborough Wharf between Derby Road and Bridge Street. Subsequently the Leicester navigation was constructed, connecting to the Loughborough Navigation at Chain Bridge and to the River Soar south of the town. Both form part of the Grand Union Canal.

The now derelict Charnwood Forest Canal once linked Nanpantan (on the west side of Loughborough) with Thringstone, with goods being carried into Loughborough by a horse-drawn wagonway.

Climate

As with the rest of the British Isles and East Midlands, Loughborough experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest Met Office weather station is at Sutton Bonington, about 3.5 miles due north of the town centre. The highest temperature recorded in that area was 34.8 °C (94.6 °F) on 3 August 1990.

Arts and heritage

All Saints Church, Loughborough 2006-04-06 061web
Loughborough parish church
Loughborough Carillon - geograph.org.uk - 3930
WW1 memorial carillon in Queen's Park

Loughborough has five museums, the largest being the centrally located Charnwood Museum, which houses a range of exhibits reflecting the natural history, geology, industry and history of the area. Nearby in Queens Park is the Carillon and War Memorial, home to a small museum of military memorabilia from the First and Second World Wars. Loughborough Library is on Granby Street. Also to be found in the town centre, near the fine medieval All Saints parish church, is the Old Rectory. Dating back to 1288 the remaining portion of the Great Hall has been restored and houses a small museum run by the Loughborough and District Archaeological Society.

Loughborough has for more than a century been the home of John Taylor & Co bell founders and the firm has a museum—the Bellfoundry Museum—located on two floors telling the story of bell making over the centuries. The recording of the tolling bell at the beginning of Hells Bells, the first track on AC/DC's 1980 album Back in Black was made on a quarter weight near replica of the Denison bell in the Carillon war memorial, .

There is a museum at the Great Central Railway station illustrating the history of the railway from its earliest days up to its present state as a double-track preserved heritage railway.

Although it has no dedicated art gallery, fine pieces of sculpture can be found in the town's environs, including recently installed sculptures from a local artist in commemoration of the First World War Centenary outside of Charnwood Museum, and the ‘Sock Man’, a bronze statue celebrating Loughborough's association with the hosiery industry. This can be found in the Market Place near the Loughborough Town Hall, which itself contains a number of art works.

The Loughborough Town Hall is the venue for a range of events, including concerts, exhibitions, musicals, comedy shows and a Christmas pantomime. Groups make use of the town hall for their shows.

Events are also organised by Charnwood Arts, a voluntary managed and professionally staffed body, which promotes a year-round programme of professional performances across the borough. The organisation is responsible for The Picnic In the Park event, which was inaugurated in 1980 and is held in Queens Park in May. Streets Alive, jointly organised by Charnwood Arts and Charnwood Borough Council takes place at a similar time of year.

The Loughborough Canal Festival, which started in 1997, is an annual event in May centred on Chain Bridge.

Great Central Railway is a heritage railway based at Loughborough Central Station, which is south of the town centre. It is operated largely by volunteers and trains run every weekend of the year and bank holidays, as well as daily during the summer.

Every November, the street fair takes over the centre of the town and closes the A6 and other roads. The fair runs from Wednesday afternoon until Saturday night. The fair has many rides, amusement arcades, food stands and games.

The town has an Odeon cinema. This cinema was designed by Archibald Hurley Robinson. There are six screens in the theatre, which is built to an art deco style. The cinema was built in 1914 as the Empire Cinema, and was remodelled in 1936 by Archibald Hurley Robinson as the New Empire Cinema. Over the years it has been named the Palm Court and Ballroom, Empire, Essoldo, Classic, Curzon and Reel.

Twin towns

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the United Kingdom
UK Loughborough
Signpost for Loughborough, naming its twin towns.

Loughborough is twinned with:

Loughborough has a friendship link with India Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India

Closest cities and towns

This list is of the closest cities and towns to the town of Loughborough. This list does not include villages.


Images for kids


Loughborough Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.