Markfield - Bagworth - Stanton under Bardon - Markfield

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Markfield is a commuter village sitting within both the National Forest and Charnwood Forest. It has a long association with the quarrying industry and has a particular type of granite (microdiorite) named after it. The granite stone (microdiorite) or 'Markfieldite' is a very hard granite found in the local area and used in roadstone and railway construction.

Thornton derives its name from an old reference to the thorny vegetation that grew wild around the village. Thornton Reservoir is more than 150 years old. Built in 1854, the creation of the reservoir took almost seven years of planning and building works. It was originally constructed to provide water for Hinckley and Nuneaton, together with the western parts of Leicestershire. It has a total capacity of 1,320,000 cubic metres. Severn Trent Water closed the reservoir in 1982, but it was reopened to the public in 1997. The 31-hectare (75-acre) site is now a refuge for a diversity of wildlife, including mammals, birds, butterflies and dragonflies. In 2005, Thornton Reservoir was designated as a Local Wildlife Site due to its importance for wildlife.

Bagworth was a mining village, at one time holding a record for the amount of coal extracted in a shift. In the 20th Century the Victorian church and medieval tower suffered subsidence, so in 1968 they were demolished. They were replaced with a new modern church building that is unusual in being built of CLASP prefabricated concrete panels; surely there is no other church built like this one. Sadly this was also subsiding and had to be demolished.

Markfield Knoll Hill was once one of four granite hills in the area, the others being Billa Barrow, Cliffe Hill and Bardon. Trees once covered the hilltop but these were cut to make pit-props for Desford Colliery in 1916. A windmill stood here in 1743 which may have dated from the 17th Century. The youngest quarry worker was Michael Russell who was aged nine in 1861. There were many trades associated with the quarry workers, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, engine drivers and even engine stokers. Horses provided the power for quarry deliveries. The quarry was a dangerous place to work, at least six men dying there during the 19th Century. Quarry dust was a continual problem and the quarrymen used to grow long moustaches to cover their noses. Some of the men worked there for over fifty years. After Hill Hole Quarry closed it became a real problem during summer months; many people, adults and children, lost their lives here while swimming.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
2/28/2016 - Sarah Groves

27.2.16 As part of a year long challenge to walk 662 miles, my partner in crime and I needed a 10 miler. We are not big walkers, at least we weren't until taking on this challenge, and 10 miles is our furthest distance to date. We added in walking around Thornton Reservoir to add in the extra, and took a mini detour to a tea shop in Stanton Under Bardon. Loved the walk, instructions were great, and delighted to have found this website! If anyone is interested there are more photos and details about the challenge here

1/30/2014 - Michael IAnson

I've done this walk twice now, once as a 'recce' by myself on 20/1/14 and then again today, 30/1/14 leading a party of eleven members of Hinckley Ramblers. It's a really good walk and everyone enjoyed it, despite the poor weather and the mud. The directions were very clear and the footpaths well-marked and easy to follow. We stopped for a coffee break at a picnic table which had been helpfully placed just after the point where we first crossed the railway line and enjoyed a lunch stop at 'The Old Thatched Inn' in Stanton-under-Bardon, where we received a warm welcome from the landlord. It's a pity the weather prevented us from enjoying the views from the old Hole Hill quarry above Markfield (they were great when I did the recce in unbroken sunshine), but I'll probably repeat this walk in the Summer when hopefully we'll have better luck!

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26.7 Miles