Sharnford is a village and civil parish in Blaby of Leicestershire. The parish has a population of about 1,000. The village is about four miles east of Hinckley, and is near to Aston Flamville, Wigston Parva and Sapcote.
The Domesday hamlet or farmstead of Scerneford is mentioned in the tenth-century will of Wulfric Spot, earl of Mercia, and probably named after a "scearn" or muddy ford over the River Soar. It lies immediately north of High Cross, near the Roman station at Venonis (mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary) at the intersection of Roman Watling Street and the Fosse Way*. Sharnford was originally a single vill, divided into two manors.
During the English Civil War soldiers from the local garrisons visited Sharnford in search of fresh horses and "provinder". In June, 1646 the Sharnford constables claimed for provinder taken by Captain Flower of the Coventry garrison, Robert Day claiming £5 for a horse taken by Captain Merrer's men.
John Nichols the county antiquary, provides a fine illustration of the old Sharnford parsonage house that once stood alongside Sharnford church, home to Nichols Horton, the rector of Sharnford and Little Peating who lived here from 1738-1793. By the turn of the century Sharnford had grown into a sizeable settlement, the national census recording a population of 373. Nichols describes the inhabitants as being mostly yeomen and tradesmen. There were no "titled great" and no acknowledged lord of the manor.
The modern village has two public houses, the Sharnford Arms, now serving Chinese food, and the Countryman. The one garage that is in the village no longer serves fuel.
Sharnford has two bus services. One operated by Centrebus (148) running hourly to Leicester via Grove Park and the other operated by Wide Horizon (H1) running hourly to Hinckley.
Sources: John Nichols, Antiquities of Leicestershire Vol. IV, pp 920 et seq.
Media related to Sharnford at Wikimedia Commons
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