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Blaby // is a village in central Leicestershire, England, some five miles south of Leicester city centre. It has population of around 6,240 (2001 figures), and its proximity to the city causes it to form part of the Leicester Urban Area.
Its name probably came Old Norse Blábýr = "farmstead or village belonging to a man named Blár" (where the -r is a case ending). There seems to have been a dense patch of Viking settlement in Leicestershire, although some records in the Blaby Library indicate the origin of the village's name was from the first vicar. Twinned with the village of Villers-sous-Saint-Leu in France.
While there are few buildings of outstanding historical or architectural interest, old Blaby is a conservation area. It contains some ancient and picturesque dwellings and has a charming 'olde worlde' feel. Old Blaby also contains The Baker's Arms, a thatched public house that dates back to 1485. The other public houses to be found in Blaby are The Fox & Tiger, The Bulls Head, The Black Horse and The Tom Thumb. The Egyptian Queen has now been demolished. One of the two old schools in Blaby is Park (Parkwood) House; the other is in the surrounding area near the parish church.
To the south of the Bakers Arms stands Bouskell Park, with a 19th-century ice house and car parking. There are also Northfield Park, used for football, cricket, fetes and fairs, and Oakfield Park, located off Hospital Lane.
Most shops and amenities stand on the old A426 road between Leicester to the north and Lutterworth to the south. Fosse Park shopping centre and the M1 motorway and M69 motorway are just a few miles away.
Blaby gives its name to the Blaby district and also to the Parliamentary constituency that was held by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson between 1974 and 1992. Since 1992 its Member of Parliament has been Andrew Robathan.
The "Blaby Special" heirloom tomato variety originates from the Shoults' Tomato Farm, which was located in Blaby from circa 1908 until 1948: the variety was thought to be extinct but was revived from a seed bank in 2005.
People associated with Blaby
- G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (Oxford UP, 1971), p. 15.
- Leicester Mercury 16 August 2010, Scientist puts Blaby Special tomatoes back on the menu.
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