St Lawrence Church, Measham
Measham shown within Leicestershire
Population 4,849  OS grid reference - London 177 km Parish Measham District North West Leicestershire Shire county Leicestershire Region East Midlands Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town SWADLINCOTE Postcode district DE12 Dialling code 01530 Police Leicestershire Fire Leicestershire Ambulance East Midlands EU Parliament East Midlands UK Parliament North West Leicestershire List of places: UK • England • Leicestershire
Measham is a village in Leicestershire, near the Staffordshire and Derbyshire border, located just off the A42 just south of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and within the National Forest. Its name means the homestead on the River Mease.
Originally a small market town, it was dismissed by William Wyrley in 1596 as "a village belonging to Lord Shefield, in which are many coal mines, [but] little else worthy of remembrance." It was omitted altogether from Richard Blome's gazetteer of market towns in 1673. Pevsner noted St Laurence parish church with a handsome 1730s West tower and 14th century windows elsewhere. Also Measham Hall, a mid-Georgian seven-bay house 1.25 miles east.
Nearby is the hamlet of Willesley where there was once a stately home, the grounds of which are now a fishing lake, golf course and Scout campsite. Other local villages include Oakthorpe, Donisthorpe and Packington.
The woman of letters Maria Jane Jewsbury was born here in 1800, as were her sister the novelist Geraldine Jewsbury in 1812 and the Astronomer Royal Sir Frank Watson Dyson in 1868. Dyson noted for his work on solar eclipses and for inventing the six radio time pips.
A figure prominent in the history of Measham was Joseph Wilkes. Wilkes, an entrepreneur during the early part of the Industrial revolution, bought Measham manor from William Wollaston in 1777 and undertook the extensive industrial and agricultural development of the village, many signs of which are still visible today. An example of his work is evident in certain buildings within Measham. He used larger bricks (enlarged as twice the standard size) in much of his architecture in order to reduce the tax of manufacturing such bricks (tax was proportional to the number of bricks used in building).
The railway came to Measham 1873 in the guise of the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway: see Battlefield Line Railway (the last existing section of the ANJR) for more details. Currently (November 2007) Leicestershire County Council is renovating the old station building as part of the Ashby Canal restoration.
UK Coal have proposed development of an opencast coal mining pit on the outskirts of Measham. Measuring 1 mile (1.6 km) by .5 miles (0.80 km), the proposal would extract 1,250,000 tonnes (1,380,000 tons) of coal, and 250,000 tonnes (280,000 tons) of clay. The proposed development is welcomed by local residents but opposed by some resident village folk, and shopkeepers, who remember that Measham is historically a mining village.
Measham's local football team is called Measham Imperial, nicknamed "The Imps". They currently play in the North Leicestershire Windmills League Division Three. Measham Welfare Junior Football Club fields a variety of teams also and offers football to local children from 6-16 years of age.
- William Wyrley cited in T. Bulmer’s History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire (London, 1895 ed.)
- Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland , 1960 (first) edition.
- ^ http://measham.leicestershireparishcouncils.org/census-2001.html
- ^ Watts, Victor et. al., (2004) The Cambridge Dictionary of Place Names, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0 521 36209 1
- ^ Joseph Wilkes online biography
- ^ http://www.inleicestershire.com/news/096394/Measham%20Station%20handover
- ^ "Minorca Opencast Protest Group". Minorca Opencast Protest Group. http://mopg.co.uk/. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
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