Description in 1877:
"Market Harborough is a small market town, in the heart of a rich farming and grazing district, pleasantly situated on the north side of the small river Welland, which divides it from Northamptonshire, 14 1/2 milesS. E. of Leicester; 83 miles N.N.W. of London; 13 miles E. by N. of Lutterworth;17 miles N. E. of Northampton; and 11 miles N. W. by W. of Kettering. Market Harborough is the head of a Poor-Law Union, a Petty Sessional and County CourtDistrict, and is a township and parochial chapelry, in the Parish of Bowden Magna, or Great Bowden, comprising but very little land besides the site of the town. It is a polling place for the southern division of the county. It had only 1617 inhabitants 1801, and 1873 in 1821 but in 1831 they had increased to 2,272, and in 1841 to 2,433; but in 1851 they had decreased to 2,325, and in 1861 to 2,302, but in 1871 they had increased to 2,362. A branch of the Union Canal, which was opened onOctober 13, 1809, extends south eastward in a sinuous course to within a short distance of the north side of the town; and the great turnpike road from London to Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, &c. passes through the principal street. There is a railway station near the church of St. Mary-in-Arden, about half a mile east of the town, where the Rugby and Stamford, the Leicester and Hitchin, the Northampton and Harborough, and the Newark and Market Harborough railways intersect." [WHITE's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland." 3rd Edition 1877]
Market Harborough is a market town, a chapelry and a parish in southern Leicestershire near the Northamptonshire border. It is 82 miles north of London, 18 miles north-east of Rugby, and 16 miles south-east from Leicester city.
If you are planning a visit:
The town sits on the north bank of the River Welland and is bounded on the north by the Union Canal.
The train station is on the east side of town.
Jonathan BILLINGER has a photograph of The Square on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2010.
Mat FASCIONE also has a photograph of The Square on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2007.
You can see pictures of Market Harborough which are provided by:
On the east side of town are traces of a Roman encampment. Roman urns have been found nearby.
The late Barry Summers who died in July 2000 published the fruits of some of his research about Market Harborough during the First World War on the web at www.harboro.ndirect.co.uk/Index.htm. This page is not active, but may be available through internet archives. It included a list of servicemen and their units at www.harboro.ndirect.co.uk/people.htm.
The Town Hall in High Street was built in 1788.
The Train Station at the eastern edge of the town was built in 1850, but it was soon obvious that a larger station was needed, and the station was rebuilt and opened in 1884.
The Cottage Hospital, on the Coventry road, in connection with the District Nursing Association, was opened in 1910: there were 2 public wards and 5 private wards, containing 14 beds in all. A new wing, built in memory of the men of Market Harborough who fell in the Great War, 1914-18, was opened March i5th, 1924. Hospitals were not required to archive patient records, but the archives may contain administrative and accounting records and old photographs. Most patient records would be covered by Closure regulations.
David THOMPSON has a photograph of The Cottage Hospital in Coventry Road on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2016.
In 1881, the Leicestershire Rifle Volunteers (1st), M Company, had their headquarters on High Street. Captn. William Wade WARTNABY, commanding; J. GOSS, head instructor.
In 1921 a War Memorial altar was erected in a side chapel of the Catholic church; it is of Seaton stone, from the old Roman quarries of Seaton, in Dorset, and of marble.
In 1923, members of the community funded a War Memorial display of 1,665 names of people who had served in the FIrst World War. The panels of names are in a portico at the Market Harborough and District Hospital. There were promises made that it would be moved before the hospital closed, but at last report (Jan. 2014), the National Health Service has advised that there are no funds to preserve it.
In 1920 a war memorial was erected in the market square: the octagonal bases are richly moulded and carved with a shaft r4 feet long in one stone, with niches containing: seven ligures of the virtues, surmounted by a dome and cross.
The War Memorial on the square can be seen in Jon BILLINGER's photo (linked in the Description section).
David THOMPSON has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.
There are twenty-one Commonwealth War Graves in the Northampton Road Cemetery from World War I and one from WW II:
T. ALLEN, lance cpl., Bedfordshire Regt., age 20, died 4 Nov. 1918. Son of Thomas and Elizabeth ALLEN. This is probably Thomas Towers ALLEN who was born in Great Bowden in 1897. He can be found there in the 1901 census, age 4.
G. APPLEWHITE, priv., 52nd Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers, age 18, died 2 Dec. 1918. Son of Joseph and Rosamond APPLEWHITE. The father was Joseph Henry APPLEWHITE of North Scarle, Lincolnshire who married Rosamond FOSTER in 1897.
Ernest Cyril BORROW, lieut., Northamptonshire Regt., age 21, died 24 March 1919. Son of Frederick and Ethel BORROW. This is probably Cyril E. BORROW, born 1898 in Sussex.
A. J. BROMLEY, priv., Lincolnshire Regt/. died 6 March 1919. This is possibley Alfred J. BROMLEY. No other data available.
Walter BROWN, air mech. 2nd class, 44 Sqdn. RFC, died 4 Sept. 1917.
William COTTON, priv. Labour Corps, age 38, died 11 Nov. 1918. Husband of Beatrice Fanny COTTON.
T. G. COX, priv., Leics. Regt., age 18, died 20 Nov. 1918.
C. R. DILKS, corp., 14th Btn. Training Reserve, died 27 Oct. 1918. Husband of B. E. DILKS. This is probably Charles R. DILKS, born 1887 in Market Harborough.
H. J. FUGGLE, lance corp., 1st Btn. Northamptonshire Regt., age 18, died 16 Aug. 1920. Son of Herbert and Mary FUGGLE. This is probably Herbert John FUGGLE, born circa 1901 in Market Harborough.
Fred HARDWICK, priv., 10th Btn. Leics. Regt., died 24 March 1916. Husband of Ethel HARDWICK. They married in 1908.
G. P. HINTON, priv., 2nd Btn. Leics Regt., died 28 Nov. 1920. This was probably George P. HINTON. born circa 1887.
Thomas HOBBIS, staff srgt., Army Service Corps, age 46, died 9 Aug. 1916. Husband of Mary Matilda HOBBIS. They married in 1904 in Market Harborough Reg. District.
Henry JEFFERY, priv., Army Service Corps (remounts), age 39, died 22 July 1918. Husband of Ellinor JEFFERY.
A. J. KIMBLE, 2nd corp., Army Ordnance Corps, age 32, died 3 Nov. 1918. Son of George William KIMBLE.
James RAPHAEL, priv., 52nd remounts, Army Service Corp., died 1 June 1918. (Served as THOMPSON). Born 1866.
Alick SMITH, priv., Aux. Remounts, Army Service Corps, 9 Nov. 1918. This is probably Alick Leonard SMITH, born 1897 in the Loughborough Reg. District.
J. THOMPSON, priv., ALIAS, died 1 Aug. 1918. See RAPHAEL, the true family name.
Herbert WADSWORTH, priv., Coldstream Guards, age 37, died 1 Jan. 1918. Husband of G. E. WADSWORTH.
S. WEBSTER, priv., 1st/5th Btn. Leics. Regt., age 21, died 8 May 1918. Son of the late George WEBSTER.
James George WILSON, srgt., Royal Field ARtillery, age 48, died 8 Feb. 1916. Husband of Temima WILSON.
O. S. WINTER, priv., M.T. Depot Royal Army Service Corps, died 4 April 1920.
World War II:
Guy Edward SANDERS, aircraftman 2nd, Royal Australian Air Force, age 23, died 9 March 1943. Son of the Revd. Cecil SANDERS and Ivy SANDERS.
Symingtons, a Market Harborough firm, became world famous for the invention of the "Liberty Bodice" and as producers of womens' corsetry. The Symington Collection of Corsetry is now housed at the Harborough Museum.
In 1912, the town had malthouses, brick, brush, bent timber, joinery and india-rubber works, boot and shoe, stay and hosier factories and a type foundery, plus a few hotels and many specialty shops.