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Castle Donington is a market town and civil parish in Leicestershire, England, located on the outskirts of the National Forest and near East Midlands Airport.
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‘Donington’ means ‘farm/settlement associated with Dunna.’ Another possibility is that it refers to a “farm/settlement on a hill.”
The nearby River Trent crossing, King’s Mill, is mentioned in a charter issued by Thelred the Unready in 1009 regarding the boundaries of Weston-on-Trent. Dunintune or Dunitone is mentioned twice in the Domesday Book of 1086 as having land assigned to Earl Hugh and land belonging to Countess lfgifu. In a 1484 duchy of Lancaster warrant, it is referred to as Castoldonyngtoin.
King Edward I granted a charter for a weekly market as well as an annual Wakes Fair in 1278. Every October, the Fair is held in Borough Street for three days.
Lace-making was a significant industry until the 1850s, when there was a significant decline in population. The population did not return to pre-war levels until a century later, when over 3,000 people were recorded as living in the village in 1950.
Bondgate, Borough Street, and Clapgun Street formed the historic village’s nucleus, with the Castle formerly standing on Castle Hill at the eastern end of Borough Street. It was demolished and the stone used to construct Donington Hall within Donington Park.
Local councils in Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester were looking for a suitable site to build a regional airport in the early 1960s. The former RAF Castle Donington, located to the south of the village, was chosen, and land in the parishes of Kegworth, Hemington, and Lockington was purchased to form an enclosed site that is now East Midlands Airport. The airport, which opened in 1965, is now the tenth largest in the United Kingdom and the second-largest in terms of freight and cargo. The airport site is now a significant economic centre and a major employer in the community.
The power station was demolished in 1996.
Castle Donington Power Station, one of Europe’s largest coal-fired power stations, was built in 1958. It was demolished in 1996 after being closed in September 1994.