Bottesford Market Cross
Bottesford shown within Leicestershire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Rutland and Melton|
Bottesford lies about 20 miles (32 km) east of Nottingham and 16 miles (26 km) north of Melton Mowbray. The village is the largest in the Vale of Belvoir and is near to Belvoir Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland. It had a population of 3587 at the time of the 2011 census. It borders parishes in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, nearby places being Sedgebrook (in Lincs), Elton (in Notts), and Redmile (in Leics). There is a post office, a railway station and a library in Bottesford.
The village is served by Bottesford railway station on the Nottingham to Grantham Line. There are also the Number 24 and 26 buses which run to Melton Mowbray at least every two hours, and other services to Grantham and Bingham.
The town was bypassed by the A52 road in February 1989 at a cost of £3m.
The village was built around the river Devon (pronounced Dee-von) and was named because of the ford at the centre of the village. St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bottesford, sometimes known as the "Lady of the Vale", is a large medieval church 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 view of changing aristocratic taste in the 16th and 17th centuries. 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. All the dukes have been buried there, and not in Bottesford church.
There is a local website that covers many sides of Bottesford's local history, including mounting evidence of occupation in Roman times and earlier. 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. Eleven contributors from the history group produced in 2009 a book on the local history since 1850.
During World War II, from December 1941, there was an RAF Bomber Command airfield located to the north near Long Bennington called RAF Bottesford. Initially it belonged to No. 3 Group RAF, then after being used by USAAF's IX Troop Carrier Command for D-Day, was used by No. 5 Group 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.
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. 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.
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 WW2 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. To mark the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002, several large developments occurred in Bottesford, including the creation of a memorial green.
Clubs and groups
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.
Bottesford has a playgroup as well as a primary school (5–10), Bottesford Primary School, and a high school (11–16), Belvoir High School. In 2008 Belvoir High School had its first ever group of year 10s, having expanded from being a middle school that year. This initially controversial change was being hailed as a success after the schools inspectorate Ofsted rated Belvoir as "outstanding" in its 2010 inspection report.
There is a public library in the Old School, Grantham Road.
Places of worship
There are Church of England churches in Bottesford (St Mary's) and Muston (St John the Baptist). The poet George Crabbe (1754–1832) moved to Muston Rectory from Stathern in 1789, remaining as incumbent of Muston and of West Allington, Lincolnshire until 1792. His Natural History of the Vale of Belvoir was a pioneering study of the district.
Telephone numbers and times of services can be found in the online community listing service Village Guide.
Ten-year-old Rosie May Storrie of Bottesford was murdered during a house party in Normanton on 30 December 2003, two days after she had made her first stage appearance as a dancer in a pantomime. She was found by other guests smothered and partly stripped, and died in hospital 36 hours later. Paul Smith of Sedgebrook, aged 18, was convicted of the murder. It was also established that Smith was suffering from a form of autism. Finally convicted on 27 October 2004, Smith was given a life sentence, of which a minimum of 14 years' imprisonment were to be served.
It emerged during the trial that Smith had made previous attacks on at least two other young girls, but criminal charges had not been brought. It was stated subsequently by a spokesman for the National Autistic Society, "There is no evidence to suggest that people with Asperger syndrome are more likely to break the law than anyone in the general population."
The Rosie May Storrie Memorial Fund established by the victim's parents in her memory raised over £270,000 towards charity work with children, notably a Rosie May Children's Home at Boossa, Galle, Sri Lanka.
- Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Betjeman, J. (ed.) (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the North. London: Collins; p. 166
- The English Heritage listing of the mausoleum as a Grade II historic building. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- A pictorial description of the chancel with its monuments. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Bottesford Living History Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Not Forgetting Aspects of Village Life in Bottesford, Easthorpe, Muston and Normanton (Bottesford, 2009).
- Leicestershire Magazine, 31 July 2010 . Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Grantham Journal obituary: Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Bottesford VC Hall
- This is Leicestershire report: Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- John Marius Wilson: Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72.
-  Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- BBC coverage. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- Telegraph report. Retrieved 12 September 2012; BBC news report Retrieved 5 February 2013.; BBC report. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Charity website. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
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