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Kibworth /ˈkɪbwərθ/ is an area of the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England, that contains two civil parishes—the villages of Kibworth Beauchamp /ˈbəm/ and Kibworth Harcourt /ˈhɑrkɔərt/. According to the 2001(2011) census, Kibworth Beauchamp has a population of 3,798(5433), and Kibworth Harcourt has a population of 990. The two villages are split by the A6. Kibworth is close to Foxton Locks, Market Harborough, and Leicester.

Kibworth has many shops, an award winning community newspaper (The Kibworth & District Chronicle),[1] and since 2002 many new shops have appeared, including a new branch of Co-op UK. There were also many new houses built on the edge of the village, with plans for 610 more to be built by 2012. The local Cricket club won the ECB National Club Cricket Championship in 2004. There are clubs for golf, bowls and football, as well as dance schools in the village. The Bookshop opened on the High Street in 2009 won the regional award of Independent Bookseller of The Year in 2012.

In 1270, Walter de Merton, the founder of Merton College, Oxford, bought a large part of the parish of Kibworth Harcourt from Saer de Harcourt, who had been forced to sell the estate following his support for the unsuccessful "barons' rebellion" led by Simon de Montfort. A large part of the parish has remained property of Merton College, Oxford to the present day. There is a stained glass window depicting Walter de Merton in the bell tower of the parish church, St Wilfrid's, and the warden and scholars of the college are joint patrons with the Bishop of Leicester.

Kibworth Harcourt was the birthplace of the writer/reformer Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743–1825) and John Aikin (1747–1822), who were siblings. Their father, John Aikin (1713–1780), kept a dissenting academy there and served as minister of a nearby Presbyterian chapel. The family moved in 1757 to Warrington.

On 23 July 1825 the ancient tower and spire of St Wilfrids collapsed.[2]

The Midland Main Line runs through the area. Kibworth railway station, which served both villages, closed in 1968.

Michael Wood's Story of England[edit]

In September 2010, Kibworth was the central feature of Michael Wood's Story of England, a documentary aired on both BBC Four and BBC Two, presented by Michael Wood about the history of England framed through Kibworth. [3][4]

A book of the same name was published by Viking (Penguin Books).[5] The series was likened to Who Do You Think You Are? for a whole community. Villagers (Kibworth Improvement Team - KiT) have created a new website[6] and successfully requested a grant of £48,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue the legacy of the TV series by creating a Kibworth Guide Booklet (heritage trails for Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp and Smeeton Westerby), several interpretation panels around the three villages, ongoing study materials for the three tiers of local schools and an online Archive (Virtual Museum) to be produced during 2011 and 2012.


External links[edit]