Powerflush nearby to Melton Mowbray
Melton Mowbray is a town in Leicestershire, England, located 19 miles (31 kilometres) north of Leicester and 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Nottingham. It is located on the River Eye, also known as the Wreake below Melton. In 2019, the town’s population of 27,158 was estimated to be 27,670, up from 27,158 in the 2011 census. Stilton cheese and (originally as a by-product) Melton Mowbray pork pie are its culinary specialties. It is also home to one of the six licenced Stilton producers. It is sometimes referred to as the “Rural Capital of Food” in the United Kingdom.
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The name is derived from the Old English word Medeltone, which means “middletown surrounded by small hamlets” (as do Milton and Middleton). Mowbray is a Norman surname used by early Lords of the Manor, such as Robert de Mowbray.
History from the beginning
There are 28 scheduled ancient monuments in and around Melton, as well as 705 buildings of special architectural or historical interest, 16 sites of special scientific interest, and several deserted village sites. The Grantham Canal and the Melton Mowbray Navigation are among its industrial archaeology. Windmill sites and evidence of ironstone working and smelting indicate that the area was densely populated during the Bronze and Iron Ages. There were many small communities, and strategic points such as Burrough Hill and Belvoir were fortified.
The Roman era
Melton benefited from its proximity to the Fosse Way and other major Roman roads, as well as military centres in Leicester and Lincoln, during the Roman period. On the Fosse Way, for example, intermediate camps were established at Six Hills. Other Roman trackways ran north of Melton along the scarp of the Vale of Belvoir, connecting Market Harborough and Belvoir, and south to Oakham and Stamford.
Place names reveal evidence of settlement during the Anglo-Saxon and 8th–9th-century Danelaw periods. The Danish suffix “-by” is common along the Wreake Valley, for example, in Asfordby, Dalby, Frisby, Hoby, Rearsby, and Gaddesby. In Melton Mowbray, a cemetery of pagan Anglo-Saxon origin with 50–60 graves has been discovered. Most villages and churches predate the Norman Conquest of 1066, as evidenced by stone crosses at Asfordby and Sproxton, as well as Anglo-Saxon cemeteries at Goadby Marwood, Sysonby, and Stapleford.
Melton Mowbray had six recorded crosses from several centuries: I Kettleby Cross near today’s filling station near the junction of Dalby Road and Leicester Road, (ii) Sheep Cross at Spital End, now Nottingham Street/Park Road junction, (iii) Corn Cross at Swine Lane/Spittle End junction, remade and re-erected in 1996 at the Nottingham St/High St junction as a memorial to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, (iv) Butter Cross or High Cross at the west end of Beast Market, rebuilt in 1986–1987 in the Market Place from the remains of an original Saxon cross, (v) Sage Cross at the east end of Beast Market near Saltgate, in Sherrard Street opposite Sage Cross Street, and (vi) Thorpe Cross at the end of Saltgate, near the junction of Thorpe Road and Saxby Road. During the Reformation and other iconoclastic periods, or to make way for traffic or other development, the original crosses were removed or destroyed.
According to the effects of the Norman Conquest recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, settlements at Long Clawson and Bottesford were notable in size, and Melton Mowbray was a thriving market town of around 200 people, with weekly markets, two water mills, and two priests. The mills, which were still in use until the 18th century, are commemorated by the names Beckmill Court and Mill Street.
So Melton has been a market town for over a thousand years. It is the third oldest market in England and was recorded as Leicestershire’s only market in the 1086 Domesday Survey. Tuesday has been a market day since 1324, when royal permission was granted. Tolls were used to establish the market before 1077.
In Melton Mowbray, Bottesford, Wymondham, and Waltham-on-the-Wolds, mediaeval legacies include the consolidation of village and market-town patterns. The last had a market in mediaeval times that lasted until 1921, as well as an annual horse and cattle fair. Many of the structures in Melton Market Place, Nottingham Street, Church Lane, King Street, and Sherrard Street have historic foundations. No. 16 Church Street was altered, revealing a mediaeval circular stone wall that had been subjected to a lot of heat. This is most likely the Manor Oven mentioned in documents from the 13th century. Surveys of 5 King Street reveal that it was once home to an early mediaeval open-halled house. It could have been part of the Mowbrays’ 14th-century castle or fortified manor.
King Richard I and King John may have visited the town and stayed at an earlier castle. Following the dissolution of chantries, monasteries, and religious guilds in 1549, the church plate was sold and land was purchased for the town. The resulting rents were used to support Melton School, which was founded in 1347 and is one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. Funding was also used to maintain roads and bridges, as well as to repair the church clock.
The Civil War
Melton was a Roundhead garrison commanded by Colonel Rossiter during the English Civil War. In November 1643, Royalists surprised the garrison and took prisoners and booty; in February 1645, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, commanding a Royalist force of 1,500 men, inflicted severe losses on the Roundheads. It was reported that 300 men were killed. According to legend, the hillside where the battle took place was ankle deep in blood, hence the name Ankle Hill. However, the name appears in documents from before the Civil War, and the names of Dalby Road and Ankle Hill have been switched, making the true location of the battle difficult to determine.
Local notable families appear to have had divided loyalties, despite the fact that the Civil War ended with celebrations outside the Limes on Sherrard Street, Sir Henry Hudson’s home. In 1640, his father, Robert Hudson, established the Maison Dieu almshouses opposite the Church to supplement the stone Anne of Cleves House. This structure was constructed in 1384 and housed chantry priests until the Dissolution. In the 16th century, Henry VIII included it in the estates of Anne of Cleves as part of a divorce settlement, though there is local debate about whether she ever stayed there. It is now a public house owned by Everards, a Leicester brewery, and is a Grade II* listed building.
According to the London Examiner, on April 6, 1837, the 3rd Marquess of Waterford and a hunting party went on a spree through Melton streets, causing significant damage. This is said to be illustrated by Henry Alken’s paintings A Spree at Melton Mowbray and Larking at the Grantham Tollgate. In 1838, they appeared in a play called The Meltonians, which was performed at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
RAF Melton Mowbray was located to the south of Great Dalby from 1942 to 1964. The RAF Transport Command took over the Class A airfield, which was originally intended for aircraft maintenance. The Polish Resettlement Corps used it as a displaced persons camp from 1946 to 1958. Melton Mowbray was a Thor strategic missile site from 1958 to 1963, when 254(SM) Squadron flew three nuclear missiles from the base.