Sunday 10 March 2019

Melton Mowbray

Melton Mowbray is a bustling market town in Leicestershire, famous for its pork pies and stilton cheese. This historic town, full of many medieval and ancient buildings dates back to before the Roman Occupation. The attractive stone built " Anne of Cleeves House" near the church was included in the estates of Anne of Cleeves by Henry VIII as an annulment settlement. It is now a cosy public house, serving excellent food. St Mary's church, an impressive Norman Church is built on the site of one or more Anglo-Saxon churches and has been described  as one of "the finest parish churches in Leicestershire.

The name Meton Mowbray comes from the early English word Medeltone, meaning "Middletown surrounded by small hamlets". Mowbray was added by the Normans and is the family name of early Lords of the Manor. 

There is much evidence to suggest that the area was well populated in both the Bronze and Iron Ages. About seven miles south of the town on Burrough Hill are the remains of an old Iron Age hill fort. In Roman times the town grew in size and importance helped by the building of nearby roads and trackways to and from bigger towns and settlements. 

After the departure of the Romans the town was occupied by both the Anglo-Saxons and Danes. The town had six recorded stone crosses, constructed over several centuries. St Mary's church is built on the site of an old Anglo-Saxon Church. After the Norman Conquest the town flourished and by 1086 Melton Mowbray was a thriving market town. It is now the third oldest market in England. The " Anne of Cleeves" house was built in 1384 and used to house chantry priests until the Dissolution in the mid 16th century. It was included in the estates of Anne of Cleeves, given to her by Henry VIII as part of divorce settlement and is now a homely public house. Opposite are the attractive Maison Dieu almshouse, founded in 1640 by Robert Hudson. 

In addition to Stilton Cheese and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies the town is also the home of Melton Cloth, first mentioned in 1823 and used to make tough hard working garments such as sailors pea coats and workmen's donkey jackets.

Anne Of Cleeves

Miason Dieu almshouses

St Mary's Church
This impressive church dates back to about 1170 and has been described as the largest and one of the finest parish churches in Leicestershire. The church was built on the site of an older Anglo-Saxon church and was added to in the 13th - 15th centuries. Restoration work was carried out during the victorian era but the church was left in a poor state of repair.  Recent renovation work undertaken means this old church is now safe and open to the public again.  

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church

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