"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

A Day Out in Market Bosworth

When we visited the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre a year or so back we all said at the time that one day we would visit Market Bosworth the town. E was on holiday last week so it seemed an ideal place to go although sadly D was working so couldn't come too.

Market Bosworth is located on a wooded hilltop and the spire of St Peter's can be seen for miles. The site has been occupied from early times and the name Boseworde came from the Anglo-Saxon Bosa's Worth or homestead. The beginning of the name Market dates from 12th May 1285 when Edward I granted a market charter which allowed a weekly Wednesday market which continued until the 18th century. The market was revived in 1968.

I did have a copy of the Town Trail leaflet which we vaguely followed but B and E are not as interested in history as D and I so I didn't visit all of the streets and buildings mentioned.

The 16th century Rainbow Cottage

The Black Horse Inn which is also 16th century.

The Old Police House

I concentrated in the market square on taking photos of small areas as there were cars parked everywhere.

Market Bosworth participates in "Britain in Bloom" so there were hanging baskets, troughs and tubs and window boxes full of flowers everywhere you looked.

The HSBC bank has a crest in mosaic of the former Market Bosworth Rural District Council.

The shields displayed on buildings around the market square are those of noble families who took part in the Battle of Bosworth (August 1485)

Bank and Dixie Grammar School

The Dixie Grammar School has foundations from 1320 and was refounded by the Dixie family in 1601. The present building was built between 1827 and 1829. Since 1987 it has been an independent Grammar School.

Samuel Johnson (of dictionary fame) worked here briefly as a master in 1731 but, according to his biographer, he did not enjoy it. From 1596-1604 Thomas Hooker was a pupil here and his preachings later in life were used for the foundations of the American Declaration of Independence.

The former London City and Midland Bank building 1904 is now part of the school. The site of the bank previously had the old town lock-up dating from 1592.

Thistle and Rose cottages are two former Estate cruck framed cottages. The thistle and rose design are due to Charles Tollemache Scott in the late 19th century to show his Scottish and English connections.

Timothy has a new t-shirt meant for next summer but the weather has been so lovely he has been wearing it now.

Commemorating Richard III and 22nd March 2015 when his remains rested here on their final journey to Leicester Cathedral.

Lunch at the Red Lion (I am afraid Timothy has been at the "pop" again).

Ye Olde Red Lion Hotel is a 16th century building with a timber frame behind the more modern exterior facade of 1896.

After lunch we continued to explore

The Forge dates from the late 18th century and was last used by a blacksmith Clem Phillips between 1933 and 1972.

We discovered two borders in front of offices which were planted with Sedums (Ice Plants), Lavender and Dwarf Buddleia and the flowers were covered in butterflies -

at least eight Painted Ladies, Red Admiral and around five to six Small Tortoiseshells.

The borders above were inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet who often used pastel colours in his paintings as Bosworth in Bloom this year has the theme "Art in the Landscape"

At this point I had a look round the church which I will write a separate post about while B and E went a walk in the country park and we met up later at Bosworth Hall.

The Old School

I loved this bed (I am not sure if it is meant to represent the Ashby de la Zouche canal and Bosworth Field trail railway line as there were signs with information about both these attractions).

It was good to see that the town had planted a wild flower area along with the formal displays seen earlier around the town centre.

The Country Park

The Squires of Bosworth

The history of the town is connected with the Harcourt, Dixie and Tollemache Scott families.

From the 12th century the Bosworth Estate was held by the Harcourt family and when the Battle of Bosworth Field took place in 1485 they lived in a moated manor on the site of the present Bosworth Hall which was built in 1682. The Hall is now a hotel but part of the moat does survive.

In 1589 Wolfstan Dixie, a former Lord Mayor of London, who had made a lot of money from the fur trade (I shall refrain from comment!) bought the estate and there is a snow leopard in the family coat of arms. Charles II awarded a baronetcy to the Dixie Family in 1660.

There is a tragic tale about the second daughter of the 4th Baronet, Anna, who fell in love with a local farmer's son and often met him in the grounds of the hall. Her father Sir Wolfstan Dixie was very protective and no suitors were good enugh for her and he arranged for a man trap to be hidden in the grounds to frighten the man away but sadly Anna was the person who fell into the trap. She was eventually discovered and taken back to the hall where she died from loss of blood. There is apparently a blood stain in the ceiling of the hall which no-one has been able to remove. A ghost known as The Grey Lady has been seen in the grounds at night and it is said it is Anna's ghost. Tales are also told of a cold presence felt in the Hall especially on the 20th of October on the anniversary of her death.

In 1885 the estate was sold by the Dixie Family to Charles Tollemache Scott.

The estate was later broken up and sold in 1918 and the hall became a hospital and then from 1990 a hotel.

The parkland landscape was established by the Harcourt family and the Dixie family introduced black deer to create a deer park. The black deer are no longer around but there is a model of one.

Part of the moat

This bridge led to a fairy garden.

The Water Tower

The Old Rectory built in 1849 copying the Elizabethan style was used as a rectory until 1985.

Oakwood - a half timbered house rebuilt from a nail maker's work shop by Tollemache Scott in 1985 to be used as the gamekeeper's house.

And finally we were back at the car park.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.

Reference: Leaflet "Town Trail of Market Bosworth"