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The Crown Inn, in the centre of Heather
|Heather shown within Leicestershire|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Heather (//) is a village west of Ibstock in North West Leicestershire, England. The population of the civil parish was 949 at the 2001 census reducing to 920 at the 2011 census. In the Domesday Book of 1086, its name is recorded as Hadre, meaning "the heathland".
There was an Iron Age settlement immediately North West of the village. As part of an open cast coal mining application, this was excavated in 1990. It identified a settlement from the late 2nd century BC through to early second century A.D.
The parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was established in the 12th century as a chapel for the Knights Hospitallers of the adjacent Heather Preceptory which was founded before 1199. The current church dates from the early 14th-century, and is a Grade II* Listed Building.
Coal mining and brickmaking
The coal mine at Heather opened in 1874 though some coal had been worked there even earlier. Brick making followed during the 20th century. In the 1970s and 1980s two huge open cast coal mines were opened up. The Coalville Farm opencast coal mine, between 1982 and 1996, extracted around eight million tons of coal. This area was subsequently restored to become the Sence Valley Country Park.
Following the refusal of a 1990 British Coal application for massive further open cast works, its successor, UK Coal applied for consent for a much smaller scheme. To the north of the village, it was the called the Long Moor open cast coal mine. Over a three-year period from 2007 to 2010 they extracted 725,000 tons of coal. Following restoration, the 188 acres (76 ha) mine site has been acquired by the Woodland Trust. With adjoining agricultural land this will become the Flagship Diamond Wood, a 186 hectares (460 acres) new woodland to celebrate the 2012 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Heather Parish Church is dedicated to St John Baptist. The Anglican parishes of Heather and Ibstock are now the responsibility of the same clergyman (Rector of Ibstock). The village is famous for its Scarecrow and Music Festivals, usually held around July/August.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics: 2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Heather CP". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- Watts, Victor et. al., (2004) The Cambridge Dictionary of Place Names, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- The Iron Age settlement at Heather Thorpe, R, Sharman, J & Clay, P (1994). Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, LXVIII, p.30
- HEATHER HOSPITALLERS PRECEPTORY, English Heritage: PastScape
- Parliamentary committee debate, 12 July 2006
- UK Coal case study by Hepworth Acoustics accessed 12 April 2012
- Woodland Trust: Our Flagship Wood accessed 12 April 2012
- The Guardian, David Taylor Personfile accessed 14 April 2012
- Walker, Roy S. (1983) Heather Over the Years: based on the reminiscences of Ethel Gilliat, 1892-1983. Leicester: Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service
Media related to Heather, Leicestershire at Wikimedia Commons
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