Hinckley town centre
Hinckley shown within Leicestershire
|OS grid reference|
|District||Hinckley and Bosworth|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Hinckley is a market town in southwest Leicestershire, England. It is administered by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. Hinckley is the second largest town in the administrative county of Leicestershire, after Loughborough (The county town, Leicester, is a unitary authority and excluded from this ranking).[a]
- 1 History
- 2 Local government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Industry
- 5 Transport
- 6 Media and culture
- 7 Sport
- 8 Education
- 9 Cultural associations
- 10 Notable people
- 11 Folklore
- 12 Twinning
- 13 References
- 14 External links
- 15 Notes
Hinckley has a history going back to Anglo-Saxon times. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Hinckley was quite a large village, and grew over the following 200 years into a small market town—a market was first recorded there in 1311.
In the 17th century, the town developed a hosiery industry, producing stockings and similar items. Hinckley played a prominent part in the English Civil War. Its proximity to several rival strongholds—the royalist garrisons at Caldicote, Ashby de la Zouch and Leicester, those of the Parliamentarians at Tamworth and Coventry, and the presence of parties of troops or brigands occupying several fortified houses in nearby Warwickshire—ensured frequent visits by the warring parties. The local townsfolk were forced to decide whether to declare their allegiances openly or attempt to remain neutral—with the risk of having to pay levies, ransoms, and fines to both sides. In March 1644, Hinckley was occupied by a group of Royalist troops, though they were soon driven out by a force of Parliamentarians, who took many prisoners.
The Civil War years were a particularly unsettled time for the clergy in and around Hinckley. Parsons with parliamentary leanings like Thomas Cleveland, the vicar of Hinckley, suffered sequestration by the Leicester County Committee, like some of his "malignant" neighbours accused of visiting royalist garrisons or preaching against Parliament.
The town was visited by both parliamentary and royalists troops from the rival garrisons, particularly parliamentary troops from Tamworth, Coventry and Astley Castle in Warwickshire. Troops from Coventry garrison were particularly active in the town, taking horses and "free quarter" and availing themselves of 'dyett and Beere', and taking some of the inhabitants hostage for ransom. Royalist troops raided the town to threaten those with parliamentary sympathies. The notorious Lord Hastings of Ashby de la Zouch is recorded to have "coursed about the country as far as Dunton and Lutterworth and took near upon a hundred of the clergymen and others, and carried them prisoners … threatening to hang all them that should take the Parliament's Covenant". Parliamentary newssheets record that on the night of 4 March 1644, Hastings's men brought in "26 honest countrymen from several towns" intending to take them to Ashby de la Zouch, along with a huge herd of cattle, oxen and horses from the country people and a minister named Mr Warner. These prisoners were herded into Hinckley church and asked "in a jeering manner, 'Where are the Round-heads your brethren at Leicester? Why come they not to redeem you?'"
The Parliamentarians responded in a memorable "Skirmish or Great Victory for Parliament". Colonel Grey with 120 foot soldiers and 30 troopers from Bagworth House rushed to Hinckley and re-took the town, routed the Royalists, rescued the cattle and released their imprisoned countrymen. No doubt the inhabitants of the town were as relieved as any when Ashby finally surrendered, as Vicars records, "a great mercy and mighty preservation of the peace and tranquillity of all those adjacent parts about it."
At the time of the first national census in 1801, Hinckley had a population of 5,158: twenty years later it had increased by about a thousand. The largest industry in the early 19th century was the making of hosiery and only Leicester had a larger output of stockings. In the district, it was estimated ca. 1830 that 6,000 persons were employed in this work.
Castle Street is the first known location of 'Luddism', where disgruntled workers, replaced by machinery in their jobs, took sledgehammers to the machines. Joseph Hansom built the first Hansom cab in Hinckley in 1835.
The area was subject to new housing developments in the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s.
Hinckley became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894, covering the ancient parish of Hinckley. In 1934, under a County Review Order, Hinckley urban district expanded to include the ancient parishes of Barwell, Burbage and Earl Shilton and most of Stoke Golding. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972 the Hinckley urban district was abolished, becoming an unparished area in the borough of Hinckley and Bosworth. Since then, the civil parishes of Barwell, Burbage, Earl Shilton and Stoke Golding have been re-established. The core urban area remained unparished.
Hollycroft, Middlefield, and Wykin are suburbs of Hinckley.
Burbage is often thought to be a suburb of Hinckley but is in fact separate. It is a large village merging with Hinckley to the south, separated by the railway line. Sketchley is another small village which has merged into Burbage.
Places of interest
- The site of the Battle of Bosworth, administered by Leicestershire County Council, includes an interpretation centre at Ambion Hill, where Richard III encamped the night before the battle. St James's Church at Dadlington is the place where many of the dead were buried and where a chantry was founded on their behalf
- Hinckley Museum is in a range of 17th century timber-framed framework knitters' cottages
- Stoke Golding has one of the most beautiful medieval churches in Leicestershire, with an exquisitely carved arcade and very fine 13th-century window tracery
- St Mary's Church, the Church of England parish church of the Assumption of Saint Mary the Virgin, in the centre of Hinckley, is 13th-century. There is a local folk tale that a tombstone in the churchyard marking the grave of Richard Smith, a young saddler murdered in the Market Place in 1727, "bleeds" every April. The church is open daily, Monday - Saturday, 10.00 to 4.00pm, and Sunday during services.
- The Great Meeting of 1722, hidden away behind old hosiery factories, is a notable early example of nonconformist architecture with a galleried interior
- Britannia (Burbage) Scout HQ: the home of 1st Britannia Scout Group is a specially designed and built scout hall
- Parks Hollycroft Park was donated by the notable local Atkins family to the people of Hinckley in 1934, the park has two tennis courts, a bowling green, golf course, band stand and gardens. The park is the base for some of the town's biggest events including the Proms and Worldfest music events.Due to the high standards achieved within Hollycroft Park it has been awarded with Green Flag status for both 2010/1 and 2011/2
- Brodick Park in the west of Hinckley was recently the subject of controversy between local people and the Council which had wanted to sell the park for housing, however following a recent change in administration, this sale has been cancelled. The park has now been planted with trees to make a nature reserve.
- The Ashby Canal, the longest contour canal in England, passes through the town
- The award-winning public toilets in Station Road by St Mary's car park. Operated by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, they are open during daytime hours
- Hinckley has two former quarries, quite close to one another, called the Little Pit and Big Pit. The Little Pit is now designated a Site of Ecological Interest (SINC), and has been transformed by a local community group into an angling club to preserve the area of water and surrounding wildlife. The Big Pit remains the subject of controversy between local residents and developers.
- Shopping Centres: Hinckley's biggest shopping centre, Britannia Centre on Castle Street, has more than 12 stores and stalls. Hansom Court on Stockwell Head (named after the inventor of the Hansom Cab)has a number of stores. The Edwards Centre located on Regent Street is a small row of about six stores.
Hinckley is a traditional centre of the hosiery industry. The first framework knitting machine was brought here by Joseph Iliffe in the 17th century and by the 19th century Hinckley was responsible for a large proportion of Britain's hosiery production. Since the Second World War the hosiery industry has steadily shrunk in size although several textile firms remain in the area. Hinckley & District Museum, which is housed in a range of former framework knitters' cottages, tells the story of the hosiery industry and contains some examples of framework knitting machines. Hinckley also has a history of engineering and is home to the Triumph Motorcycle company.
Ultima Sports Ltd, a manufacturer of sports cars is based in Hinckley as is Paynes Garages Ltd, one of the oldest family-owned Ford Motor Dealerships in the UK. Established by JA Payne in 1907, the firm became Ford Dealers in 1922. The business remains family owned with Nigel Payne, grandson of the founder, one of the current Directors.
The town's central location and good links to the UK motorway network have made it a popular location for distribution warehouses. Hammonds Furniture, a family owned nationwide fitted furniture company, was established in the town in 1926 by Thomas Hammonds, and currently employs over 850 people in its two Hinckley factories.
Hinckley is home to upcoming the creative & technology community with web and graphic designers, IT specialists artists and photographers. Taking up residence in both the Atkins Building, Hinckley and also Graphic House on Druid Street companies such as MOAB Sauce Video Production & Web Designers and Erud IT Ltd Ethical IT Support.
The A47 was by-passed around the town during the early 1990s when the Northern Perimeter Road (Normandy Way) was completed. As well as relieving congestion in the town centre, new commercial developments have been built along the route.
Hinckley Bus are the main operator of bus services within the town centre operating services to Leicester, Burbage, Earl Shilton, Nuneaton and Barwell from their depot. Arriva originally operated a number of services to villages around the town until 2008 when they were sold to Centrebus Holdings, a joint venture between Arriva and Centrebus. During September 2013, Arriva purchased Centrebus' stake in Centrebus Holdings and regained control of the Hinckley depot. 
Hinckley railway station is on the Nuneaton–Leicester section of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line and has regular services between Birmingham and Leicester via Narborough and Nuneaton. Journeys to London can be made via the West Coast Main Line through Nuneaton or the Midland Main Line via Leicester. The terminus of the Midland route is London St Pancras which has become the home of Eurostar international services since November 2007.
Media and culture
The local radio station, OakFM, 107.9 fm serves the town and the surrounding area. The main local newspaper is the weekly Hinckley Times, which has its own website. The daily Leicester Mercury no longer publishes a Hinckley edition. The free (advertising-funded) Hinckley Herald & Journal is distributed to most houses. Hinckley has its own community website and online news resource. take5 community news is a full colour gloss community magazine distributed free to homes and businesses. Hinckley also has its own hospital radio station Castle Mead Radio, which serves the patients and staff of Hinckley's two main hospitals.
There is a 400 seat theatre located near the centre of the town in Stockwell Head (Concordia Theatre), which holds regular productions. Further, the local council holds an annual 'Proms in The Park' event.
[As of 7/10/13 hinckley united fc has been put into liquidation] Hinckley has one football team, Hinckley United, who compete in the Calor Southern League. Hinckley United was formed in 1997 from the amalgamation of Hinckley Town and Hinckley Athletic, and is known as the Knitters — a nickname that comes from the town's history as a textile-producing centre. In 2006, a Hinckley United player, Matt Gadsby, died during a match against Harrogate Town.
The only rugby club, Hinckley Rugby Club  was formed in 1893 and has been based at the Leicester Road Sports ground since 1968. Hinckley RFC  have been involved in league rugby since 1987, during which time the first team has been as high as National League 3 North (level 4). They currently reside in National 3 Midlands (level 5).
The town's largest school, John Cleveland College, is noted for its many achievements on the rugby field and has produced many professional players, many of whom have gone on to play for England. These include England and Leicester Tigers legends Graham Rowntree and Dean Richards, as well as current pros Ollie Smith, Sam Vesty and Manu Tuilagi. Vesty is the most recent ex-JCC man to make his international bow, coming on as sub against Argentina at Old Trafford in June 2009.
There is also one basketball team—the Hinckley 69ers; a name derived from the town's proximity to the M69 motorway. It was founded in 1974 and has involved some staff, ex-students and current students of John Cleveland College, as well as other interested, local players, throughout most of its history. The team play in Division 2 of the Leicestershire men's amateur league, having been promoted in the 2007/08 season. The 2007/08 season was one of the team's best performances, with a cup win too. The team are based at John Cleveland College and have home games and training there every Friday at 7:00 pm.
Hollycroft Park, in the centre of Hinckley is recognised as a great area for sports — the park contains two tennis courts, a golf pitch'n'putt and a lawn bowls green with pavilion.
Hinckley has one high performance Gymnastics Club based at Clarendon Park. In its 30 years of existence, it has never failed to have a number of its members competing for their home nations or for Great Britain.
Hinckley's longest established private fitness club is Empire Fitness (formally John's Gym), www.EmpireFitness.net
Hinckley Ladies Netball Club is based at Redmoor High School and has four senior teams in the Coventry and Warwickshire Netball League.
Club Republic is a short drive. Greentowers is a youth club at Richmond Park; it has a climbing wall, skate park, astro turf, bmx track, it is a self funded charity and is not owned by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.
The main primary schools in the area are Battling Brook CP, Holliers Walk, Richmond, St. Peter's Catholic, St. Mary's Church of England, Westfield Infant/Junior and Sketchley Hill Primary School (in Burbage ). The high (secondary) schools include Mount Grace, Redmoor, St. Martin's (in Stoke Golding) and Hastings (in Burbage)— all feeder schools for John Cleveland College or Midland Studio College, the two schools in the town for Years 10 and 11. Both schools also operate a sixth form. North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, a Further Education college, is also in the town. The only other major college in the area is William Bradford (Earl Shilton). On 3 September 2012 a Studio College opened in Hinckley, taking in 75 pupils and some sixth formers. Within Hinckley there is also Dorothy Goodman Special School that caters for both juniors and seniors with disabilities, with units integrated within other local schools.
- Famed French organist and composer Louis Vierne stayed briefly in Hinckley while on a tour of England, and later wrote a carillon piece for organ called "The Bells of Hinckley", inspired by a carillon of bells he heard there. It is the last movement of his fourth suite of Vingt-quatre pièces de fantaisie.
- The town is mentioned in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (Act 5, Scene 1):
- Davy: Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must need be had: and, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages, about the sack he lost the other day at Hinckley fair?
- Hinckley resident Tony Alleyne has transformed his one bedroomed flat into a precise replica of a Star Trek ship. Although this was reported to have been sold in 2007 to a Star Trek fan from Birmingham for £425,000, the deal fell through and as of 2011 the flat is still in Alleyne's possession and is reported to not be for sale.
- Hinckley is mentioned by Monty Python in the "world hide and seek championships"
- Supercar manufacturer Ultima Sports Ltd are based in Hinckley. They claim to have set the fastest roadcar lap around the famous Top Gear test track with their GTR720 model, although it has never appeared on the programme
- The actress Lauren Samuels trained at Hinckley's Speech and Drama Studio, and recently appeared in the BBC show Over the Rainbow.
- Davey Graham, influential guitarist and folk singer, was born in Hinckley
- Graeme Hawley, actor who plays John Stape in Coronation Street, lived in Hinckley
- Paul Hines, BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars driver, former British and European Champion
- Phil Oakey, singer with The Human League, born in Hinckley
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2013)|
Hinckley was known to its residents for many years as "Tin 'At" (tin hat). It is reputed that, many years ago, one of the itinerant sheep drovers bragged that he could drink a hat full of ale. The local landlord put this man to the test by getting the local blacksmith to make a tin hat, which he then filled with ale. Thereafter, the town became known as "Tin 'At". Another explanation is that the people of Hinckley used to place buckets on water pumps to keep them clean and prevent the spread of illness, the bucket obviously being the "Tin 'At". A tin hat can be seen on top of the flag pole which sits on the roof of the Coral branch at the corner of Castle Street and Market Place. There is also a pub called The Tin Hat.
- "Map indicating the extend of Leicestershire". Leics.gov.uk. 2005-08-19. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Hinckley History". Leics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "A History of Hinckley". Localhistories.org. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Scandalous[dead link]
- Hinckley in the Civil War Alan Roberts, localhistories.org, April 2004
- Curtis, John (1831) A Topographical History of the County of Leicester Ashby-de-la-Zouch: W. Hextall; pp. 74-78
- The English Historical Review, Vol. 63, No. 247, Oxford University Press 1948
- Harris, Penelope, The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882), Designer of the Hansom Cab, Birmingham Town Hall, and Churches of the Catholic Revival, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010
- Looking into the history of the museum cottages Hinckley Online
- "stmaryshinckley.co.uk". stmaryshinckley.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Hinckley's Bleeding Tombstone[dead link]
- "Development of Brodick Park cancelled following a campaign by local people". Bosworthlibdems.org.uk. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Little Pit Planning Constraints
- Hinckley Angling Club (2013-05-01). "Hinckley Angling Club". Hinckley Angling Club. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Big Pit plan fails to win backing from residents". Thisisleicestershire.co.uk. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Manchester Hosiery :: Producers of Fine Quality Knitted Garments". Palmunderwear.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Paynes Garages". Paynes Garages. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Eurostar arrives in Paris on time BBC News, 14 November 2007
- "Hinckley-info.co.uk". Hinckley-info.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Take 5 Community News
- Proms in the Park[dead link]
- "Hinkley United Football Club". Hinckleyunitedfc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Campbell, Chris. "Hinckley Rugby Club". Hinckleyrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Campbell, Chris. "Hinckley RFC". Pitchero.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Gymnastics Club".
- "Star Trek flat sold on eBay". Metro. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- Dan Martin (6 January 2011). "To mouldily go: Star Trek home invaded by fungus". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "Lauren's Dorothy rollercoaster continues". Hinckleytimes.net. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Hinckley, UK - Grand-Quevilly, France twinning". Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- "Twinning with Le Grand Quevilly (fr)". Ville-grand-quevilly.fr. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Hinckley, UK - Herford, Germany twinning". Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hinckley, Leicestershire.|
- A listing of local events to Hinckley
- The official website for Hinckleys premier Hollycroft park
- The Buildings of Hinckley (the late Tim Parry's 2003 website)
- Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers
- Collection of videos showing local bands of the area
- Descriptions of Hinckley
- Hinckley in the Civil War
- Official MET office weather forecast for Hinckley
- Some info on Burbage Common from the borough council website
- The Annual local Charity Carnival - supports local Hinckley area charities every year
- The Hinckley Times
- Hinckley Photographed