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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 Library
Penn Lloyd Building
Adam and Eve Street
- The Cemetery, half a mile south of the town in the parish of Little Bowden on Northampton Road, covers over 4 acres. It opened in 1878 and two acres were added in 1904.
- The Cemetery is under the control of the Urban District Council and is shared by the three parishes under its control.
- There is an older burial ground in Great Bowden parish.
- The parish was in the Market Harborough sub-district of the Market Harborough Registration District.
- The 1851 Census for Leicestershire has been indexed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. The whole index is available on microfiche. Volume 3 includes Market Harborough.
- The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
||H.O. 107 / 589
||R.G. 9 / 2249
||R.G. 10 / 3225
||R.G. 12 / 2491
- The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Denis (or Dionysius) the Areopagite. (Dionysius was a Judge of the Areopagus (an Athenian High Court), who had converted to Christianity.
- The church was built in 1250.
- The church had considerable repairs done in 1844.
- The church was restored in 1886-87.
- The church seats 700.
- David SPICER has a photograph of the Church of St Dionysius on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.
- The Anglican parish register dates from 1583.
- The Society of Genealogists holds copies of Market Harborough parish records which can be studied at their library in London.
- FreeREG has Marriages 1696-1837 and Baptisms 1783-1875 for Market Harborough.
- The church is in the rural deanery of Gartree (first division).
- The Catholic church, in Coventry Road was built in 1877 and dedicated to Our Lady of Victories.
- A Congregationalist chapel was built in 1844 to replace meeting rooms founded in 1673.
- A Baptist chapel was built in 1830 and rebuilt in 1907. It was vacant in 1925.
- The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here in the early 1900s.
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.
You can see pictures of Market Harborough which are provided by:
- British History Online provides an extensive history of Market Harborough. This is material from the Victoria County History.
- 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 Harborough ComKnet Project has published Alison Hutchins' collection of old postcards of Market Harborough on their website.
- The Town Hall in High Street was built in 1788.
- The Elms, at the north end of town, was the property of Sir William de Capell BROOKE, baronet, in 1881.
- See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP734872 (Lat/Lon: 52.477770, -0.920707), Market Harborough which are provided by:
- 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 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.
- There is a War Memorial on the square which can be seen in Jon BILLINGER's photo (linked in the Description section).
- In 1925, the 5th Battn. Leicestershire Regiment, had a unit here, Lieut. A. BRIGGS, platoon comander.
- In 1925, the A Squadron of the Leicestershire Yeomanry were also here at the Drill Hall on Coventry Road; Capt. R. SANDERS, officer comanding.
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.
- The "Market Harborough Advertiser" began in 1854 and was still in service in 1925, on Church Street (later St. Mary's Road), published weekly on Fridays.
- The "Midland Mail" began in 1800 and was still in service in 1912, on St. Mary's Road, published weekly. This paper merged with the "Advertiser" in the early 1900s.
- 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.
- This place was an ancient Chapelry in the parish of Great Bowden.
- It was incorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.
- The parish lies in the Gartree Hundred (or Wapentake) in the southern division of the county.
- An Urban District Council was established in 1894 for this town and the neighboring villages of Great Bowden and Little Bowden.
- This Civil parish was enlarged by 4,700 acres when Great Bownden and Little Bownden Civil Parishes were abolished and merged into this parish in October, 1927.
- In April, 1935, Foxton Civil Parish transfered an additional 9 acres to this Civil Parish and received 18 acres in return as part of a boundary adjustment.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Market Harborough petty session hearings held at the Police Station every other Tuesday at 11AM.
- The Common Land was enclosed here in 1777.
- After the 1834 Poorlaw Amendment Act, the parish became the centre of he Market Harborough Poorlaw Union.
- The Grammar School was built in 1614 on the south side of the church by Mr. Robert SMYTH. The school could hold 100 boys.
- The British School operated on Back Street in 1849.
- The National School operated on Lubenham Lane in 1849.