Castle Donington

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Castle Donington
St Edward King & Martyr, Castle Donington.JPG
Parish church of St Edward, King and Martyr
Castle Donington is located in Leicestershire
Castle Donington
Castle Donington
 Castle Donington shown within Leicestershire
Population 6,416 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference SK446272
District North West Leicestershire
Shire county Leicestershire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Derby
Postcode district DE74
Dialling code 01332
Police Leicestershire
Fire Leicestershire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament North West Leicestershire (UK Parliament constituency)
List of places

Coordinates: 52°50′40″N 1°20′16″W / 52.8444°N 1.3377°W / 52.8444; -1.3377

Castle Donington is a large village and civil parish in Leicestershire, England. It is situated on the edge of the National Forest close to East Midlands Airport.

Transport and housing[edit]

Castle Donington stands on the former Nottingham to Birmingham trunk road. The town is a mix of the old and new, with modern shops mixed with dignified Georgian and Regency houses. Several timber framed houses dating from the 17th century and earlier survive along the main road.

The town has no rail station, but East Midlands Parkway opened early in 2008 at Ratcliffe-on-Soar providing links on the Midland Main Line.

In 1868 the Midland Railway opened the Castle Donington Line, which included Castle Donington and Shardlow railway station, on the northern edge of the town. The station was closed to regular passenger traffic in 1930, and closed completely and demolished in 1968. The access driveway still exists but for pedestrians only, and is the start of a footpath to Hemington, running past the site of the old goods yard, now a scrap yard. The railway remains open for substantial flows of freight traffic as an alternative to the route via Derby.


King's Mill, the nearby crossing on the River Trent, is mentioned in a charter issued by Æthelred the Unready in 1009 regarding the boundaries of Weston-on-Trent.[2] Dunintune or Dunitone is mentioned twice in the Domesday Book of 1086 as having land belonging to Countess Ælfgifu and land assigned to Earl Hugh.[3] It is called Castoldonyngtoin in a duchy of Lancaster warrant of 1484.

In 1278, King Edward I granted a charter for a weekly market and an annual Wakes Fair. The Fair continues in Borough Street for three days each October.

Lace-making was an important industry up until the 1850, when a sharp decline in the population is recorded. The population did not recover to the same level until a century later, when in 1950 over 3,000 people are recorded as living in the village.

Bondgate, Borough Street and Clapgun Street formed the nucleus of the historic village, with the Castle formerly standing at the eastern end of Borough Street on Castle Hill. It was abandoned and its stone used to build Donington Hall within Donington Park.

In the early 1950s local councils from Derby, Nottingham and Leicester were seeking a suitable site to build an airport for the region. The former RAF Castle Donington, to the south of the village, was chosen and land purchased in the parishes of Kegworth, Hemington and Lockington to form an enclosed site now forming East Midlands Airport. The airport opened in 1955 and is now the tenth largest airport in the UK, the second largest in terms of freight and cargo. The airport site is now an important economic center, and a major employer in the area.

Power station, demolished in 1996

Castle Donington Power Station was built in 1958 as one of the largest coal-fired power stations in Europe, and was officially opened by Nikita Khrushchev, then-leader of the Soviet Union. It was closed in September 1994 and demolished in 1996.


Castle Donington has two primary schools, St Edwards and Orchard Primary School, each serving roughly one half of the town. Castle Donington College, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on 10 September 2007, takes students from ages 10–14 who then move on to either Hind Leys Community College in Shepshed or Ashby Grammar School in Ashby-de-la-Zouch as there is no Upper School in Castle Donington.[citation needed]


The Lamb Inn

East Midlands Airport is served by several airlines including flyBE, bmi regional, Ryanair, Jet2.Com, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines. The express parcels company DHL has a base at the airport.

Donington Park motor racing circuit is located to the south east of the village.

The site of the former power station has been redeveloped in to a major retail distribution hub and warehousing area. The principal tenant is Marks and Spencer.


The annual May Bank Holiday Medieval Market takes place in Borough Street and includes local stalls selling various kinds of produce and goods accompanied by dancing and music.

On the second Saturday of every month a farmers market is held on the playground of St Edward's C of E primary school.

Donington Sunday Market takes place virtually every Sunday at Donington Park. This is a very large market attracting hundreds of shoppers.

Donington Park was the original venue for the Monsters of Rock festivals through the 1980s and 1990s, and is now the home of the annual Download Festival. It also hosted a Formula One Grand Prix – The European Grand Prix – in April 1993, which was won by Ayrton Senna. It was also set to be the home of the British Grand Prix from 2010 for at least 10 years,[4] but the agreement was cancelled due to financial problems.[5] The circuit also hosts the Donington Grand Prix Collection, the world's largest collection of Formula One and Grand Prix vehicles. Brian Henton, an F1 driver, was born in Castle Donington.

Sport Clubs[edit]

Castle Donington Town Football Club, who won the Leicestershire County Cup in the 2005–06 season.

Castle Donington Cobras Football Club, winners of the Derbyshire FA Sunday Junior Cup in the 2014-15 season.

Castle Donington Football Club (Charter Standard) Runners up in the North Leicestershire League, Division 1 2014-15 season, currently playing in the Premier League.

Castle Donington Town Cricket Club

Castle Donington Rugby Union Football Club

Donington Park[edit]

Donington Hall, headquarters of BMI
Main article: Donington Park

Donington Park is a site near Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire, England. Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, it is leased by Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd from owner Tom Wheatcroft. Used as a motor racing track, it is also the venue for the Download Festival. Donington Park had a contract to stage the Formula One British Grand Prix for a period of 10 years from 2010 but this was later cancelled due to Donington Park's failing to secure the finances required to upgrade the track.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Area: Castle Donington (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Weston - Charter of Æthelred, The Great Council, 1009, accessible at Derby records
  3. ^ Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Books. 2003. pp. 632, 648. ISBN 0-14-143994-7. 
  4. ^ Gorman, Edward (20 June 2008). "Donington on track to take race from Silverstone in a 10 year deal". The Times (London). Retrieved 23 June 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "No Donington GP, says Ecclestone". BBC News. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.