About Market Harborough



Little Bowden Bowling Club is located in Market Harborough which is a market town lying in the valley of the River Welland on the borders of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Harborough is a medieval new town created in the reign of Henry II, the town was created to take advantage of favourable trade conditions and to give the opportunity to raise more Taxes (Things don’t change do they?). The Manor of Great Bowden was the centre of a Royal Soke and was owned by The Crown; hence the land was available to the King. The township of Harborough was created where the Leicester to Northampton Road crossed the Welland river. The original size of the town was 60 acres and it did not expand outside of this area until the early 1800’s. In 1202 the town paid three marks to have a market on Mondays, this was changed to Tuesdays in 1221, and in 1900 the market rights were purchased from the Earls of Harborough. A new market was opened on Springfield Street at this time which removed the livestock market from the town street’s, however the retail market remained on the Square until 1938 when it was removed to a new market hall on the Northampton Road. It is interesting to note that today the old square is again being used for farmers markets.


Apart from the market, the town has benefited from its excellent transport links. Market Harborough sits astride what was an important coaching route to the north of England: in 1763 for instance, 54 stagecoaches and wagons passed through the town. The arrival in 1809 of the Grand Union Canal branch and basin was a further boost to trade and it was followed by the railways in the 1850’s. The Angel Hotel was one of the premier coaching inns of the town with stabling for 90 horses and is still to be found to the north end of the High Street. In the north west corner of the High Street are some fine examples of late Georgian houses c1790 and 19th Century properties. Within 100 yards of the bowls club can be found St Nicholas Church which dates back to the 13th Century the church has been carefully protected and is open to view.


Places of Interest worthy of a visit are:

Foxton Locks (9 locks in line) and inclined plan;

Rockingham Castle near Corby;

Althorpe Hall (Home of Diana, Princessof Wales);

Leicester Space Museum