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Main Street, Markfield, Leicestershire, England
Markfield shown within Leicestershire
|OS grid reference|
|District||Hinckley and Bosworth|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Markfield is a commuter village sitting within both the National Forest and Charnwood Forest and in the Hinckley and Bosworth district of Leicestershire, England. The settlement dates back to at least the time of the Norman conquest and is mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name Merchenefeld. A variant of this is still used as the name for the village primary school, Mercenfeld. It is to the south-east of Junction 22 of the M1, and to the south of the A50. The highest point in Markfield is shown on OS sheet 129 at 222 metres above sea level. Nearby places are Newtown Linford, Groby, Field Head, and Stanton under Bardon. In the 1831 census its population was recorded at 1,088. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 5681. Markfield is within the LE67 postcode district. In 2012 Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council published an overview of Markfield conservation area.
Markfield is shown in the Doomsday book published in 1070 as having 2 small households. Ulf is shown as the lord of Markfield, Groby Blaby and Ratby in the hundred of Guthlaxton in Leicestershire in 1066. By 1086, the value had increased five fold to £0.50 and the lord was Hugh of Grandmesnil who was also associated with the hundreds of Goscote, Guthlaxton and Gartree in Leicestershire.
Markfield has close links with the Methodist movement and according to a blue plaque on the church, its founder John Wesley paid 13 visits. He was allowed to preach in the parish church but as his visits became popular he would preach on the village green. The parish church of St Michaels and all Angels is a grade II listed building. There are two other churches, Holy Trinity Methodist chapel and the Congregational church but the original Methodist chapel (temperance hall) is no longer used.
The village benefits greatly from being surrounded by easily accessible countryside. There are a variety of public footpaths radiating out from the village - including the "Leicestershire Round", which passes along Main Street. To the north-western side of the village lies the Hill Hole Nature Reserve. Hill Hole is the highest point within the village and from the top of this quarried granite outcrop there are extensive views across the Midland Plain (43 miles to the Clent Hills), southwards to the Cotswolds and westwards towards the Leicestershire/Lincolnshire boundary. Almost adjoining Hill Hole are the Altar Stones playing fields and the Blacksmiths Fields nature reserve.
Markfield has two public houses, the Queens Head and the Bulls Head plus a Travelodge hotel located on the A50; The Coach and Horses, whilst within Markfield parish, is in the village of Fieldhead. Markfield has Chinese and Indian takeaways, a fish and chip shop, a newsagent, an independent shop selling organic produce, a Co-Operative Supermarket, a hardware shop, a financial advisory office, a GP surgery, a chemist, a Londis supermarket, a Post Office, a new library and a cafe. There are also several hair-dressing salons and an industrial estate. The former public house known as the Red Lion has reopened as an Indian restaurant. The village has a well-funded and run Community Centre built in 1985 which has replaced the old Markfield Memorial Miners Institute as the main community building in the village.
Markfield is also the setting of the renowned Dawah Centre otherwise known as the Islamic Foundation and institute of higher education. The centre is linked with Loughborough University and runs degree courses in Islamic finance and banking. The Library is thought to be the finest Islamic library in Western Europe. The most recent wing of institute was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2004.
Markfield has a long association with the quarrying industry and has a particular type of granite, microdiorite named after it. The granite stone (microdiorite) 'Markfieldite' is a very hard granite found in the local area and used in roadstone and railway construction. The former headquarters of Aggregate Industries (now under the Holcim company) was in Markfield and currently proposals are being discussed to expand the Bardon Hill Quarry into the parish of Markfield to create a large extension which would expand the life of Bardon for another 40 years.
In 2009, a private contractor filed for permission to build a brand new housing estate by London Road. A petition to prevent such housing being built took place, arguing that the local primary school, public transport and other services could not cope with the large influx of new residents. The petition to prevent the housing development failed, and the contractors have moved into the next stage of planning the estate.
- "Census 2011 Markfield, Stanton and Fieldhead". UK Census Data. 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- http://users.ox.ac.uk/~peter/workhouse/MarketBosworth/MarketBosworth.shtml. Retrieved 16 July 2014. Missing or empty
- "Markfield Conservation Area:overview". Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. 2012-10-22. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Open doomsday:Markfield". dmesdaymap.co.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Church of St Michael, Markfield". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
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