Bottesford, Leicestershire

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Bottesford market cross.jpg
Bottesford Market Cross
Grid reference: SK8038
Location: 52°56’15"N, 0°48’7"W
Population: 3,436
Post town: Nottingham
Postcode: NG13
Dialling code: 01949
Local Government
Council: Melton
Rutland and Melton

Bottesford is a village in Leicestershire, about 16 miles north of Melton Mowbray and 20 miles east of Nottingham. The village is the largest in the Vale of Belvoir and is near to Belvoir Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.

The village had a population of 3,587 at the time of the 2011 census. It borders parishes in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire; nearby places being Sedgebrook (in Lincolnshire), Elton (in Nottinghamshire), and Redmile (in Leicestershire). There is a post office, a railway station and a library in Bottesford.


The village has a large mediæval church, St Mary's, sometimes known as the "Lady of the Vale", which has the highest spire in Leicestershire (at 212 feet) and is the burial place of several earls of Rutland. One of the Rutland tombs is famous for its inscription, which attributes a death to witchcraft by the Witches of Belvoir.

Most of the church is 15th century, but the chancel was rebuilt in the 17th century to accommodate the Rutland monuments. These completely fill the chancel and offer a fascinating view of changing aristocratic taste in the 16th and 17th centuries.[1] After the Manners family were elevated to the dukedom of Rutland in 1703, they built a mausoleum in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, the family home.[2] All the Dukes have been buried there, and not in Bottesford church.[3]

  • Church of England:
    • St Mary the Virgin
    • St John the Baptist (Muston)
  • Baptist: Bottesford Baptist
  • Methodist: Bottesford Methodist Church

Transport links

Bottesford is served by a railway station on the Nottingham to Grantham Line. There are regular buses to Melton Mowbray and other services to Grantham and Bingham.

The town was bypassed by the A52 road in February 1989 at a cost of £3 million.


The village was built around the river Devon (pronounced Dee-von) and was named because of the ford at the centre of the village.

There is an active local history group which researches and charts village history.[4] There is some evidence of occupation in Roman times and earlier, which suggest that the Romans had a good eye for country and good woollen coats.[5]

Bottesford was the venue of one of the country's early friendly societies, thought to have been founded in the 1750s. It provided members with sickness and funeral benefits for over 200 years.[6] Eleven contributors from the history group produced in 2009 a book on the local history since 1850.[7]

During the Second World War, from December 1941, there was an RAF Bomber Command airfield located to the north of the town, near Long Bennington called RAF Bottesford. Initially it belonged to No 3 Group, then after being used by USAAF's IX Troop Carrier Command for D-Day, was used by No 5 Group RAF from late 1944. It is no longer in use as an airfield, but the runways can still be seen.

Entertainers Laurel and Hardy stayed for Christmas 1952 at the Bull Inn, where the landlady was Stan Laurel's sister Olga. They were appearing at the Empire Theatre in Nottingham. There is a plaque to this effect on the building.[8]

There were two brickyards at Beckinthorpe in the 19th century, one of them also producing the unique Bottesford Blue pantiles still to be seen on some local buildings.[9] Local employment declined in the 20th century. The four pubs, six restaurants, at least 16 retailers, and 20 odd small producers and service providers today are one-person or family concerns, whereas the building firm of William Roberts Ltd, founded by Joseph William Roberts (1898-2010) in Sutton-cum-Granby and moved to Bottesford in 1937, employed over 500 people at one time.[10]

About the village

Village sign in Bottesford

The Victory Commemoration (or VC) Hall is the local name for Bottesford Village Hall. The name came about because some of the funds used to purchase the original hall came from money raised by the village during the War to send parcels to those serving in the armed forces. After the war there was money left in that fund, and a decision had to be made whether it should be divided between those who had been on active service or donated to the Village Hall fund.

A new village hall was built in 2003, mainly funded by a grant from 'Awards for All' (Lottery) and contributions from the local people. For more information follow this link Bottesford VC Hall To mark the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee in 2002, several large developments occurred in Bottesford, including the creation of a memorial green.

One of the 2010 Low Carbon Awards given by the Royal Institute of British Architects went a house in Bottesford.[11]

Big Society

The village has several clubs, including two badminton clubs, a bowling club, a cricket and social club, four football clubs, several sections of the Scout and Guides movement as well as many other clubs and events such as a youth club catering for 11–19 year olds and a skatepark. The village has several charity groups primarily raising funds to provide for new facilities for local groups. One group raising funds in Bottesford in particular is the Vale of Belvoir Lions.

Local community information has appeared since 2002 in the Village Voice newsletter, which is delivered free to every house in the parish.[12]

The Rosie May Storrie Memorial Fund established by the parents of Rosie May Storrie, who was murdered during a party in Normanton in 2003, and in her memory. It has raised over £270,000 towards charity work with children, notably a Rosie May Children's Home at Boossa, Galle in Sri Lanka.[13]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bottesford, Leicestershire)


  1. Betjeman, J. (ed.) (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the North. London: Collins; p. 166
  2. The English Heritage listing of the mausoleum as a Grade II historic building
  3. A pictorial description of the chancel with its monuments. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  4. Bottesford Living History
  5. Bottesford History
  6. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  7. Not Forgetting Aspects of Village Life in Bottesford, Easthorpe, Muston and Normanton (Bottesford, 2009).
  8. Leicestershire Magazine, 31 July 2010 [1]. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  9. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  10. Grantham Journal obituary: Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  11. This is Leicestershire report
  12. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  13. Rosie May Storrie Memorial Fund