- East Goscote
East Goscote is a village and
civil parishin the Charnwood district of Leicestershire, England, just north of Syston. It is a medium sized village with a population of approximately 3,000.
The name is taken from East Goscote, one of the old hundreds (an area of land purported to be able to support 100 families) of Leicester. The Goscote Hundred (or Wapentake) is mentioned in the
Domesday Book, this was later split into the West and East Goscote Hundreds.
It was the first new village to be created in Leicestershire since Domesday and is unique in the County.
The village is built on the site of a former army supply depot. East Goscote is a 1970s housing estate. Commonly known as a sink estate with high crime rates and unsafe streets there is a charity being set up to help the people of East Goscote with
dentists and doctors being sent on to the village to help the citizens.
According to Ministry of Defence files, the site was originally constructed in 1940 (finished September 1942) by Holloway Brothers, and was an Agency factory run by Lever Brothers/
Unilever(No 10 ROF, Royal Ordnance Factory). At that time it was known as the Queniborough depot, since that was the closest village to it. It began production in March/April 1942. According to English Heritage's reference work "Dangerous Energy" it was operating Groups 8-10 of ROF filling types (High Explosives received, mixed, and put into bombs and warheads). By 1944 it was temporarily occupied by the War Office. A report of 1951 has it designated as 78 COSD (Command Ordnance Sub Depot). It was decommissioned in 1959 and subsequently bought for housing development by Jelsons. This development began in 1962. There were two enormous shell storage bunkers that could not be demolished, and these were earthed over and landscaped. They are now part of the playing fields. These were opened to the public as part of the Queen's silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, and there is a plaque near Long Furrow noting this fact.
Long Furrow serves as a perimeter road around the central part of the village, it also serves to mark the boundary of the former ordinance site. What is less well known is the huge network of large reinforced concrete tunnels that lay beneath the whole village where the munitions we fitted with their warheads. There are several entrances to these workshops and tunnels located throughout the village but each have been carefully landscaped to conceal their identity. Council representatives did enter these chambers and found that they were in excellent condition and the electricity still worked. Until the mid 1970s during which the villages was still under construction both entrances to the 'Mound' were open and often visited by local children.
Today very little original information remains and those that know give little away. A map of the actual tunnel layout did exist in the Library of Wreake Valley Community College. The whole structure and stories that lay beneath its present inhabitants is worthy of a serious study, survey, and television documentary. It is without doubt an excellent piece of environmental architecture and resource that could in the right hands be brought back to life. A whole world and unique 1940s time capsule could lay beneath our feet.
The village had its own magazine "East Goscote Community News" which ceased publication in the mid 1980s after many issues. Now they have a magazine called "Long Furrow".
Adjacent to the village is Beedles Lake Golf Club.
* [http://www.beedleslake.co.uk Beedles Lake Golf Club]
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