Measham - Conkers - Moira Furnace - Measham
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From Measham this walk follows the old railway line, now a cycle trail, to Conkers Adventure Park. At Waterside, you can stop for a picnic beside the canal basin or visit the cafeteria (free entry) for a choice of food and drinks to eat inside or outside by the lake. After a look around there, walk onwards through the newly-planted Donisthorpe woodlands, once a coal mine. Psss the lakes full of wildlife as you approach Oakthorpe, crossing fields again back into Measham.
The manor and lands of Measham originally belonged to King William the 1st before being given to the de Measham family, who owned it until 1308 when William de Beresford became lord of the manor. A market and three-day fair was granted in 1310. Measham was a farming community but coalmining was already being undertaken from the 13th Century. William de Beresford was himself killed while getting coal in 1326. An enquiry after his death stated 'the coal there is worth 13s.4d yearly'. Other holders of the manor included Walter Blount, who was created Lord Mountjoy and was Lord High Treasurer of England in 1464. In 1780 Joseph Wilkes purchased the manor for the sum of £50,000. Wilkes was one of the most influential men of the industrial revolution.
This began a prosperous period in the history of Measham lasting well into the next century. Coalmines, banking, tramways, boots, lace, cotton and bleach mills were all serviced by the new Ashby Canal. Wilkes also made Jumbbricks to avoid paying tax; some of these can still be seen in older buildings in the village. Other interesting sites include St Laurence's Church, rebuilt in 1340 on the site of an existing chapel of ease which dated from 1172. The Baptist Chapel was erected in 1811, although the Baptist ministry has been active in the village since the 1730s. The Roman Catholic Church of St Charles Borromeo was built in 1881. The Temperance Hall (now Age Concern) has been the focus of many village activities since 1852.
Measham is still making history. In 1992 the village became the first rural housing renewal area in the country and was designated the first model village in the new National Forest. In the new millennium Measham also saw the opening of a new leisure centre and plans are in the pipeline to restore the Ashby Canal in the village.
Donisthorpe Woodland Park is a 36-hectare former colliery site in the National Forest where there are twenty hectares of mixed woodland and 3km (1.85 miles) of stone-surfaced paths, which are suitable for all users.
Conkers Adventure Park is open all year round. Suitable for a day out any time of the year, fun, entertainment and discovery are all rolled into one. Children and adults can explore the interactive exhibits indoors, tackle the assault course outdoors and take a ride on the steam train. There is also an indoor play centre for children at Waterside. 23 different outdoor activities include lakeside walks, sculpture and nature trails, an assault course, train rides, playgrounds and water play, plus a lakeside cafeteria. To visit the Adventure Park take the light railway, then follow the Ashby Canal down to Moira Furnace Museum and the limekilns.
Moira Furnace Museum is an early 19th Century iron blast furnace with interactive displays relating to the iron-making process. There are limekilns, tramways, towpaths, cycleways and children's adventure play areas. There are also tea rooms, shops and toilets.
England - Central England - Leicestershire - Countryside
Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Museum, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
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