Ibstock - Battram and the Woods

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Ibstock is a small town and civil parish in north-west Leicestershire, with a population of around 6,700. It is on the A447. The name Ibstock is a derivative of 'Ibestoche', meaning simply a dairy farm. It is an ex-coalmining community and was recorded in the Domesday Book as a hamlet. The Domesday Book records six ploughlands here in 1086. The parish, along with a grange belonging to the Abbot of Garendon, has a long early association with the Burtons of Bourton on Dunsmore in Warwickshire. In the early seventeenth century the Manor of Ibstock was owned by Sir William Stafford of Blatherwick in Northamptonshire. The famous William Laud, later Archbishop of Canterbury, supporter of the divine right of kings and author of the 'Laudian Reforms' (later executed), had the living here from 1617-1626.

In 1642, at the start of the English Civil War, John Lufton, then rector of Ibstock, was accused in the House of Commons of interrupting the execution of the militia ordinance. Ralph Josselin, the famous clerical diarist and incumbent of an Essex parish, briefly stayed in Ibstock during the Civil War. On 17th September, 1645 he marched from Leicester with the Parliamentary army and quartered at Ibstock, noting that it had been 'Laud's living and now Dr Lovedyn a great Cavailier' and that although his diet was 'very good' his lodgings were 'indifferent'. Josselin was alarmed to discover on his return the next day that a man had been slain just outside his lodgings, near where he had stood closely a while before 'not knowing of the pardue in the ditch' (Diary, p46). The township was enclosed in 1774 and in 1792 a free school was set up for fifty poor children of the parish. The parliamentary census of 1801 gives a total population of 763, composed of 152 families, two-thirds engaged in agriculture, the rest in trade and manufacturing. By 1811 the population had increased to 836.

The parish church of St Denysâ is situated at the western end of a fine avenue of trees, close to its attractive 18th Century rectory alongside the A447. The church is mainly of the 14th Century, apart from the 15th Century clerestory and late 19th Century vestry. Extensive restoration works were carried out by Goddard and Paget between 1884 and 1900. Archbishop William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury 1633-45 and supporter of King Charles I, was rector here for nine years. Miner's Way was created in 1994 to mark the centenary of Ibstock Parish Council. This 5.5-mile trail commemorates the many hundreds of miners who walked these paths to find work in the local coalmines.

Battram Wood was created by the Royal Forestry Society in 1998. The woodland includes walking trails, cycleways, nature conservation areas, commercial plantations and a millennium circle of oak and yew. It is one of a complex of four different woods covering a total of 163 hectares, Workman's Wood, Grange Wood and Park Farm being the others.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
9/2/2012 - Debra Wyatt

Absolutely loved this walk and will definitely do it again. A couple of the fields had cows in but apart from that the dogs could safely go off the lead for 95% of the walk. All stiles and gates were easily accessible and even though it rained yesterday it wasn't too muddy at all. The dogs absolutely loved the wooded areas running in an out of the hedgerow and trees. Definitely one for the dog walker.

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24.9 Miles