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Oadby is a town in the borough of Oadby and Wigston in the county of Leicestershire, England. Oadby is a district centre 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south east of Leicester city centre on the A6 trunk road. Leicester Racecourse is situated on the border between Oadby and Stoneygate. The University of Leicester Botanical Garden is in Oadby. Oadby had a population of 23,849 in 2011 and like its neighbour Wigston, Oadby is made up of five wards. The Borough of Oadby and Wigston is twinned with Maromme in France, and Norderstedt in Germany.
Angles, Danes and Normans
There has been a habitation in Oadby since an Anglian settlement in the early Anglo-Saxon period. Though the name Oadby is Danish (meaning "Outi's dwelling") it must have existed long before the Danish invasions as is shown by the existence of a pagan Anglian cemetery. The original Anglian name has been lost. In 1760, on Brocks Hill, evidence of an Anglian burial ground was discovered. The Middle Angles came under the rule of the kings of Mercia and were later conquered by the Danish invaders. Oadby is one of seventy Danish settlements in Leicestershire ending with "-by", which means village or settlement. Its name probably came from Old Norse Auðarbýr = "Auði's settlement". Danish rule continued until 920, when King Alfred the Great won his battles against the Danes: the Oadby area is supposed to be the site of at least one of these battles.
In the Domesday Book, 1086, Oadby's name was recorded as Oldebi. Other early forms are Oladebi, Outheby (Feet of Fines, 1199), Onderby and, finally, Oadby. When King Harold had been defeated, William the Conqueror gave Oadby to Hugh de Grandmesnil, Governor of Leicestershire, who founded the parish church of Oadby on the site of the present St Peter's Church. The tenants of the manor of Oadby were Roger who held one and half carucates, and Countess Judith who held 9 carucates and 2 bovates, and 30 acres of meadow. On the Countess's land were 46 socmen, 11 bordars and 3 serfs; 2 carucates were let to Robert de Buci. The manor was held in 1444 by William Ferrers; in 1457 it was held by William Grey, Lord Ferrers of Groby. In 1541 the manor was held by John Waldron; his successor John Waldron sold it in 1629 to Sir John Lombe. In 1831 the main landed proprietors were the trustees of the late George Wyndham (patrons of the vicarage), George Legh Keck (lord of the manor) and Thomas Pares.
Oadby remained a small settlement until the late 19th century when it became a fashionable suburb for the businessmen of Leicester, such as the factory-owners of Leicester's shoe and stocking manufacturers. Many substantial houses were built in Oadby, some of which are now used by the University of Leicester.
Stoughton Road in Oadby contains 2 sets of houses of historical interest. Some of the Framework Knitters Homes date back to 1909, while the North Memorial Homes, financed by Sir Jonathan North (former Mayor of Leicester) were built in 1927 and opened in the same year by the Prince of Wales. As well as a series of houses, the North Memorial Homes site also houses the North Memorial Hall, built in a neo-Georgian style, which has been leased to Oadby Evangelical Free Church since 1974.
Expansion of Oadby took place rapidly in the 20th century and was still continuing in 2017. Many residential developments have been constructed meaning the population in 2011 reached 23,849.
Oadby is a large district centre with a good range of shops, services and facilities which are mostly located along The Parade. It is predominantly a residential area for families. Oadby has a diverse population, by age, country of origin and religion. In the region of 20% of the population is under 17 years, 21% over 65 years, 17% were born outside the British Isles and 22%-29% (depending on source) come from ethnically diverse communities.
The town has a mixture of properties, including Edwardian houses, new purpose-built accommodation blocks, three major supermarkets and restaurants across all price points. Oadby Student Village is situated in the north-east of the town, including residences for the local university students.
Oadby Industrial Estate, situated to the south-west of the town, contains a large number of small and medium-sized businesses.
Notable local parks include Coombe Park, Rosemead Park, Uplands Park and Brockshill Country Park.
Sport and culture
Oadby's other local football club is Oadby Owls F.C., who cater for many ages up to under-18s. They play at the municipal Coombe Park and are a very popular football club in Leicester. The club is known to be very successful around the Leicestershire area.
The local tennis club (Oadby Granville Tennis Club) is situated on London Road and caters for all standards of tennis and ages and has produced county players and county champions amongst past members.
Oadby is the home of Beauchamp College (formerly Kibworth Beauchamp Grammar School) and Gartree High School, both of which were attended by John Deacon of Queen. The University of Leicester has its halls of residence in the northern part of the town.
The main A6 dual carriageway passes through the town, bypassing the commercial centre. The A563 Leicester Ring Road intersects with the A6 close to Leicester Race Course to the north of Oadby town centre.
Oadby and the surrounding areas are served by Arriva Midlands route 31/31E which operate a loop around the housing estates, Arriva X3 and Stagecoach X7 both serving nearby villages including Kibworth and Market Harborough.
- Hoskins, W. G. (1957) Leicestershire. (The Making of the English Landscape.) London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 3, 8
- https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/files/documents/cottage_farm_archaeological_assessment_part_1/Cottage%20Farm%20Arch%201.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- Ekwall, E. (1940) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names; 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; p. 330
- Nichols J 1811 The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester John Nichols London, summarised in https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/files/documents/cottage_farm_archaeological_assessment_part_1/Cottage%20Farm%20Arch%201.pdf
- Curtis, J. (1831) A Topographical History of the County of Leicester. Ashby-de-la-Zouch; p. 136
- Curtis (1831), p. 136
- "Oadby and Wigston Council forward plans" (PDF). Oadby-wigston.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- 2011 UK Census
- https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/files/documents/borough_of_oadby_and_wigston_local_plan/New%20Local%20Plan%20Adopted%20Version%2005-04-19.pdf page 11 The Borough of Oadby and Wigson Local Plan 201-2031
- https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/files/documents/equality_profile_of_the_community_of_oadby_and_wigston/Draft%20Demographic%20Profile%20of%20OWBCfebn2012.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "Oadby and Wigston (District, Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location".
- https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/files/documents/borough_of_oadby_and_wigston_local_plan/New%20Local%20Plan%20Adopted%20Version%2005-04-19.pdf page 10 The Borough of Oadby and Wigson Local Plan 201-2031
- https://www.ukmi.nhs.uk/filestore/ukmiamt/How%20to%20find%20us%20-%20Oadby%20_%20Full.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "Parks & Green spaces - Oadby and Wigston Borough Council".