Description in 1877:
"Loughborough, the second manufacturing and market town in the county, has been greatly improved and extended during the present century, and is pleasantly situated on the western side of the Soar Navigation and the Midland Railway, 11 miles N. by W. of Leicester, 15 S. by W. of Nottingham, 17 miles S. E. of Derby, and 108 N. N. W. of London, to which it was a great thoroughfare for coaches, vans &c., from the north, before the opening of the railway on which it has a commodious station. The Charnwood Forest Railway, now in the course of construction, will extend from Loughborough, by Sheepshed, to Coalville. The line will be worked by the London and North-Western Railway Company. Loughborough is a polling place, and the principal place of election for the Parliamentary representatives of the Northern Division of Leicestershire; and gives name to a Poor Law Union, and a County Court District. The navigation of the River Soar, is brought close to the east side of the town, by a canal, cut about 1776, and communicates directly with the Trent, and with Leicester and the Union Canal. A tramway , extending about 2 1/2 miles westward, to Broadhurst Hill, connected the town with Charnwood Forest Canal, which was formed about 1823, but has never been used and has long been dry. Few towns experienced a more rapid increase during the first thirty years of the present century than Loughborough; and for this increase it is indebted to the manufacture of worsted hosiery, introduced by the late Joseph Paget, Esq., and Mr. John Cook; to the spinning of mohair, a patent for which was obtained by the late Mr. Cartwright; to the great increase of cotton hosiery; and chiefly to the introduction of the lace, or bobbin net machine, by Messrs. Heathcoat and Lacey, in 1809."
White's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland, 3rd Edition," 1877