View of Loughborough

Country: England

Region (County/State / Province): Leicestershire


Contact: Lynne Dyer

Study Description 

Loughborough is a landlocked, “university market town” in the Midlands of England, the largest town in the county, outside the city of Leicester. Loughborough sits in the valley of the River Soar, and in the Borough of Charnwood, and is surrounded by the Charnwood Hills on one side, and the Wolds on the other.
Transport links have long been good; Loughborough was on the turnpike road from Manchester to London; the Grand Union Canal connected Loughborough to many other towns, and there were at one time three railways. Today, the A6 trunk road is still a popular route, and a variety of motorways are within a couple of miles of the town centre; the canal is now attractive to recreational craft; there is one main railway (to London and the north of England), and one heritage railway, and East Midlands airport is a few miles away.
Archaeological remains from Roman times have been found in the area, and at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, Loughborough had a population of 39 households. Since that time, and following the Industrial Revolution, the population has grown, and the town is now home to around 60,000.
In the Middle Ages, the principal trade was in wool, which was traded through the Staple of Calais, and later, the town became known for hosiery work, initially done in the home. With the development of the factory system, the town was very briefly engaged in lace-making, but hosiery and allied trades were dominant. Towards the middle of the 19th century, new industries like brickmaking, bell-founding, boiler-making, and the making of glasshouses, emerged, followed by engineering, and related industries.
Conceived in 1909, the institution that was to become Loughborough University, began, and today is the town’s largest employer and has a student body of nearly 20,000 students.
My study of Loughborough is quite broad, and was fired up by the possibility of Loughborough being included in a book about rubbish towns, and the impression I got that many people didn’t actually know where Loughborough was nor what it was about! Research is often related to my own personal interests, ranging from stories of people who lived and worked in Loughborough, to specific things, like Art Deco buildings, industrial history, events, etc.. In my research, I look for uniqueness, but also for connections with, and similarities to other places. I share my love of Loughborough through my blog, guided walks, and presentations, and have written several books about aspects of the town and its history.


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