Wigston

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Wigston
Wigston shopping parade - geograph.org.uk - 814551.jpg
Wigston shopping parade
Leicestershire UK location map.svg
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Wigston
Location within Leicestershire
Population32,321 
OS grid reference SP6197
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WIGSTON
Postcode district LE18
Dialling code 0116
Police Leicestershire
Fire Leicestershire
Ambulance East Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Leicestershire
52°34′52″N1°05′35″W / 52.5812°N 1.093°W / 52.5812; -1.093 Coordinates: 52°34′52″N1°05′35″W / 52.5812°N 1.093°W / 52.5812; -1.093

Wigston, or Wigston Magna, is a town in Leicestershire, England, just south of Leicester on the A5199. Wigston had a population of 32,321 in 2011.

Contents

Geography

Wigston is five miles south of Leicester, at the centre of Leicestershire and the East Midlands. Oadby is to the east, connected by the B582 road. To the west along the B582, or Blaby Road is South Wigston. It is the largest of Leicester's satellite towns.

The Grand Union Canal runs from Wistow, south of Wigston, to nearby Kilby Bridge, and for several miles through South Wigston, Glen Parva, Blaby and on towards Leicester.

Wigston's population of approximately 32,000 live in both the post-war private suburban housing estates surrounding the old town centre, and the 19th century buildings now sandwiched between modern housing developments. The oldest of the post-war developments is Wigston Fields north of Wigston towards Knighton and Leicester; the Meadows and Little Hill estates were developed in the 1970s and 1980s to the east and south of Wigston's old centre. Wigston Harcourt is an area of housing developed up until the early 1990s between the Little Hill and Meadows estates. These three estates mark the boundary of the greater Leicester urban area, beyond which lies agricultural land.

History

One of the earliest records of Wigston is in the Domesday book as Wichingstone in the ancient wapentake of Guthlaxton, [1] listed amongst the lands held by Hugh de Grandmesnil [2] for the King.

In the Middle Ages it was known as Wigston Two Spires as, unusually, there were two mediaeval churches there, All Saints' and St Wistan's.

St Wistan's is so called because it was one of the places where the body of St Wistan or Wigstan rested before burial. Wigstan was a Mercian prince who was assassinated, but was regarded as a Martyr. He was initially buried at Repton, but his body was then moved to Evesham.

It was the birthplace of George Davenport, a notorious highwayman; Abigail Herrick, the mother of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels ; former Leicester Tigers and England scrum-half Harry Ellis who attended Bushloe High School; and former Leicester Sound and BBC Radio Leicester presenter, Mark Hayman. Graham Chapman, of Monty Python fame, lived (around 1951/52) in what was then Wigston police station, (the building on the corner of Pullman Road – opposite the swimming baths) during the time that his father was the inspector there. He attended South Wigston Junior School. Author and journalist John Marquis was born in Wigston and educated at Abington and Guthlaxton schools. The Leicester City footballer Howard Riley was also Wigston born and bred. Composer and piano virtuoso Michael Garrett was educated at Guthlaxton school. The music hall star Gertie Gitana is buried in Wigston cemetery, having been married for many years to local theatrical impresario Don Ross. She died in the 1950s, having been a showbiz celebrity in the early years of the 20th century. Another Guthlaxton pupil was prominent policeman Geoffrey Barrett, who received a Governor's commendation as a member of the Hong Kong anti-corruption squad in the 1970s and ended his career as head of the Leicester murder squad.

Bushloe House, now the Council Offices of the Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, was originally a c1850 house which was extended in c1880. The interior decoration of the house and the design of most of the furniture (and possibly the design of the extension) was carried out by Christopher Dresser for the owner, his solicitor, Hiram Abiff Owston (1830–1905).

Henry Davis Pochin the manufacturing chemist who later owned the Bodnant Estate (now the National Trust's Bodnant Garden) was born in Wigston, son of another notable householder William Pochin.

There is a Framework Knitting Museum here, as it was an important occupation in this area from the 17th to 19th centuries. Hosiery manufacture continued to be an important industry in the town after the decline of hand process of framework knitting with manufacturing firms such as Two Steeples, George Deacon and sons, Wigston Co-Operative Hosiers, A H Broughton and William Holmes. In neighbouring South Wigston Henry Bates was the leading hosiery manufacturer.

Wigston was the subject of W. G. Hoskins's pioneering historical study, The Midland Peasant (London: Macmillan, 1965), which traced the social history of this village from earliest recorded history into the 19th century.

Local economy

Since the 1980s Wigston's retail economy has become increasingly dependent on national retailers. Up to 50% of retail in the town belongs to supermarkets and chain stores. The share of local business has caused local and independent businesses to close. This followed the trend of the 1990s homogenisation of British high streets.

McDonald's, Sainsbury's, Peacocks, Boots, Poundland, Iceland, Superdrug, Farmfoods, Aldi, B&Q, Wetherspoons, Subway, Greggs, and Ladbrookes all hold businesses around the town centre or nearby. One particular unit in the town centre became a branch of International Stores in the late 1970s and was later successively a Gateway Foodmarket, Solo (a Gateway Foodmarket re-brand), Kwik Save, Somerfield, then Kwik Save and Somerfield again, before becoming vacant for quite some time. This unit was re-opened in 2009 as a branch of Wilko which relocated from Long Street.

Sainsbury's opened a store on Bell Street in 1980, stands on the site of Bell Street Primary School. There are also a number of independent stores including several charity shops, two car dealerships, hair and beauty salons, opticians, florists, fish and chip shop, newsagents, and public houses.

On 22 January 2013 the Midlands Co-operative announced that eight of their department stores were to close, one of those being the Wigston department store. which closed in June 2013, although part of the unit was converted into a Co-op food store which itself closed in June 2016, the unit that was previously the department store is now home to Peacocks (features the local post office), Edinburgh Wollen Mill, Pondem Homes and Poundland.

Education

There are numerous primary schools in Wigston including All Saints Primary School, Glenmere Primary School, Little Hill Primary School, The Meadow Community Primary School, Thythorn Field Community Primary School and Water Leys Primary School.

Wigston Academy is the secondary school for the area. It was formed in September 2015 from the merger of Abington Academy and Bushloe High School. Wigston College (formerly known as Guthlaxton College) is the post-16 provider for the area. Both institutions are part of Wigston Academies Trust.

South Leicestershire College is a large further education provider for the area. It was rebuilt on Canal Street, South Wigston in 2010.

1461 (Wigston) Squadron of the Air Training Corps is located in Tigers Road, South Wigston, and recruits many members from the schools in Wigston.

South Wigston railway station lies on the Birmingham to Peterborough Line. Trains to Leicester run every hour and take five minutes.

Wigston Magna and the surrounding estates are served by bus services operated by Arriva Midlands and Centrebus.

Related Research Articles

Leicestershire County of England

Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, and Derbyshire to the north-west. The border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street, the modern A5 road.

Oadby and Wigston Borough in England

Oadby and Wigston is a local government district and borough in the English county of Leicestershire. It was formed in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, from the merger of the Oadby and Wigston urban districts. The population of the district at the 2011 census was 56,170. The district forms part of the Harborough constituency.

Blaby District Administrative district of Leicestershire, England, UK

Blaby is a local government district in Leicestershire, England.

Oadby Town in Leicestershire, England

Oadby is a small town in Leicestershire, three miles south east of Leicester city centre. The town is famous for Leicester Racecourse, situated on the border between Oadby and Stoneygate, and the University of Leicester Botanical Garden. Oadby had a population of 23,849 in 2011 and like its neighbour Wigston, Oadby is made up of five wards and is one of several satellite towns surrounding Leicester. The Borough of Oadby and Wigston is twinned with Maromme in France, and Norderstedt in Germany.

Guthlaxton is an ancient hundred of Leicestershire. Its jurisdiction was in the south of the county, and covered Lutterworth and Wigston Magna. At the time of the Domesday Book, it was one of Leicestershire's four wapentakes, and covered a much larger area, including Market Bosworth and Hinckley, which would later be made part of the Sparkenhoe hundred.

Harborough (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Harborough is a constituency covering the south east of Leicestershire represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Neil O'Brien of the Conservative Party.

Glen Parva Human settlement in England

Glen Parva is a civil parish in the Blaby district of Leicestershire, England with a population of over 17,000. The population of the civil parish was measured at 17,189 in the 2011 census. To the north it runs into Aylestone and to the east South Wigston. To the south and west it is not immediately surrounded by development. There is also a housing estate called Glen Parva next to the parish of Glen Parva but is mostly referenced as the Leicester City Council Ward name Eyres Monsell, so people don't get confused. The Gilmorton Estate that is In Aylestone is also referenced as Glen Parva as well. All three areas are in the LE2 9 postcode sector and the postcode sector is called Glenhills. Eyres Monsell forms part of the City Of Leicester District but is included in the Parish of Glen Parva. Glen Parva forms part of the Leicester Urban Area due to its close proximity to Leicester City Centre. Glen Parva is in the Saxondale ward of Leicestershire. Glen Parva with Eyres Monsell is 4.5 miles south of Leicester City Centre, 1 mile South East Of Fosse Shopping Park that is in Enderby and half a mile from Blaby.

Countesthorpe Human settlement in England

Countesthorpe is a large village and civil parish in the Leicestershire district of Blaby, with a population of 6,393 (2001 census, falling slightly to 6,377 at the 2011 census. It lies to the south of Leicester, and is about six miles from the city centre, but only two miles south of the suburb of South Wigston. Nearby places are Blaby and South Wigston to the north, Kilby to the east, Peatling Magna and Willoughby Waterleys to the south, and Broughton Astley, Cosby and Whetstone to the west. According to the 1066 census it had a population of 6.

South Wigston Human settlement in England

South Wigston is a large village to the south of Leicester, England. It is outside the city boundary, forming part of the Oadby and Wigston district of Leicestershire. The population of the ward rose slightly from 7,471 at the 2001 census to 7,490 at the 2011 census.

Kilby Human settlement in England

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The Leicestershire Senior League is a football competition based in Leicestershire, England.

Willoughby Waterleys Human settlement in England

Willoughby Waterleys is a small village and civil parish in the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England. It is situated near the A426 Leicester–to–Lutterworth road. Nearby villages are Ashby Magna, Peatling Magna and Countesthorpe. Main Street is the basis of the village running north to south, there have been some new developments such as bungalows and large detached houses however many farms still remain in the parish.

Wistow, Leicestershire village and civil parish in Harborough, Leicestershire, England

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Bushloe High School was a middle school with academy status located in Wigston, Leicestershire, England.

East Midlands Regional Womens Football League

The East Midlands Regional Women's Football League is at the fifth and sixth levels of the English women's football pyramid, with the seven other Regional Leagues – Eastern, London & SE, Southern, South West, West Mids, North East and North West. The East Midlands Regional Women's Football League feeds directly into the Midland Combination Women's Football League, and lies above the Leicestershire Women's Football League, Lincolnshire Women's Football League, Northamptonshire Women's Football League, Nottinghamshire Women's Football League and the Derbyshire Girls & Ladies League in the pyramid. The pyramid structure was founded in 1998.

Wigston College is a coeducational upper school and sixth form located in Wigston Magna in the English county of Leicestershire. The college forms part of the Wigston Academies Trust, together with neighbouring Wigston Academy.

References

  1. Open Domesday Online: Wigston (Magna), accessed January 2017
  2. Domesday Book: A Complete Transliteration. London: Penguin, 2003. p. 652 ISBN   0-14-143994-7