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Market Street, Lutterworth.jpg
Market Street
Grid reference: SP541848
Location: 52°27’31"N, 1°12’10"W
Population: 8,293  (2001)
Post town: Lutterworth
Postcode: LE17
Dialling code: 01455
Local Government
Council: Harborough
Website: Lutterworth Town Council

Lutterworth is a fine market town in southern Leicestershire. It is 15 miles south of the county town, Leicester, and 7 miles north of Rugby, in Warwickshire.


The name of Lutterworth may be derived from the Old Norse name "Lutter's Vordig" meaning Luther's Farm.[1] Lutterworth was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The town was granted its Market Charter in 1214 by King John and the town continues to hold a market to this day.

St Mary's Parish Church, Lutterworth

In the 14th century religious reformer Canon John Wyclif was Rector in Lutterworth's Parish Church of St Mary between 1374 and 1384, and it was here that he is traditionally believed to have produced the first translation of the Bible from Latin into English.

In the days of the stagecoach, Lutterworth was an important stopping-place on the road from Leicester to Oxford and London, and many former coaching inns remain in the town. The town also contains some historic timber framing|half-timbered buildings, some of which date back to the 16th century.

The architect of Lutterworth Town Hall was Joseph Hansom, who took out the first patent of the horse-drawn Hansom cab. He built Lutterworth's town hall as a prototype for his later design of Birmingham Town Hall.

Parish Church and Wycliffe

The parish church is St Mary's, a mediaeval church, and the church where John Wycliffe preached. Wycliffe ("the Daystar of the Reformation") sought to reform the Church of England of errors and abuses. In this he preceded the European Reformation by more than a century. Wycliffe made the first translation of the Bible into English since Anglo-Saxon days and so made it available to the common man, and wrote a great many books and works on the Church and Christianity. He died on 28 December 1384 in Lutterworth.

In 1415, Wycliffe has posthumously condemned by Rome, his body was exhumed and burned and his ashes cast into the river to prevent his grave from becoming a shrine. His followers, the Lollards, survived waves of persecution until the Reformation, which vindicated them.

Ultimately Wycliffe was condemned by the authorities and

Sir Frank Whittle

Whittle memorial

Lutterworth may claim that it gave birth to modern aviation. Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, developed some of the world's first jet engines at the British Thomson-Houston works in Lutterworth, and in nearby Rugby, during the late 1930s and the 1940s. The engine for the United Kingdom's first jet aeroplane, the Gloster E.28/39, was produced in Lutterworth. A statue of the plane stands in the middle of a roundabout just south of the town as a memorial.

For many years there was a pub on Leicester Road called "The Frank Whittle". It was demolished in the 1990s and replaced with a car show room. During 2010 that showroom has also now been replaced with residential apartments. In the centre of the town on the Greenacres estate, the public house previously known as "The Balloon" has been renamed as "The Sir Frank Whittle" so the connection of the name to the town is intact.

The Cavalier Inn

One of the Established Landmarks of the town is the 17th century building on the corner of George Street and Leicester Road, a Tavern called The Cavalier Inn.

The Cavalier Inn (The Cav to its locals) is located just on the north edge of the town centre of Lutterworth and dates back to the 17th century. Although the building has been tastefully modified over the years, it still retains its rustic charm with granite walls and low ceilings and beams. It is said that it acquired its name after wounded royalist soldiers sheltered in Lutterworth following the Battle of Naseby in 1645.

In October 2010 the landlady of 30 years elected to retire, and the pub has now closed. The building itself belongs to the local Co-op store and the future use of the building is yet to be decided. It is a listed building so the notable facade should be kept intact.

The Shambles Inn

Another of the Established Landmarks of the town centre is the Thatched roof & timber framed building now known as 'The Shambles' This former abattoir and butchers is the oldest timber-framed building in Lutterworth dating back to the 16th century, it was a first used as a public house in 1791 until 1840 it was then converted back to a home and butchers shop. In 1982 it was converted back into a public house and named the Shambles.


Lutterworth lies on the A426 Leicester–Rugby road, adjacent to the M1 motorway at junction 20. It is also located within a few miles of the M6 motorway and A5 trunk road. A southern bypass, the A4303, was opened in 1999, providing a route for traffic from the M1 to the A5 to avoid Lutterworth town centre.

The town once had a station on the Great Central Railway; however, since its closure the nearest railway station is now at Rugby. Altogether three railway stations have borne the name Lutterworth, but only one was actually in the town. The first was "Ullesthorpe & Lutterworth", about 3 miles to the north west, on the former Midland Railway (later part of the LMS) line from Rugby to Leicester, closed on 1 January 1962. The second was "Welford & Kilworth", at one time known as "Welford & Lutterworth", some 5 miles east on the London and North Western Railway (also later LMS) line from Rugby to Market Harborough and Peterborough, closed on 6 June 1966. The third (the only one actually in Lutterworth) was on the Great Central Railway (later part of the LNER), opened on 15 March 1899. Detractors of the Great Central point out that Lutterworth was the only town along its whole route not previously served directly by another line, and that the Great Central's presence had no real effect on the town, since it remained at roughly the same size throughout the line's existence, only growing substantially since the line's closure on 5 May 1969.


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