Whitwick


Whitwick

Whitwick (pronounced "Wittick") is a village in Leicestershire, England.

The population of Whitwick, according to the 2001 census is 10,815 persons. 8,092 of these fall into the 16-74 working age range, although only 4,689 are employed.

For a village, Whitwick has a surprising number of public houses, mainly from its heritage as a mining community (see the website link below).

One of the earliest mentions of this place is in the Domesday book where it is listed amongst the lands given to Hugh de Grandmesnil "Domesday Book: A Complete Transliteration". London: Penguin, 2003. p. 656 ISBN 0-14-143994-7] by the King. There was said to be land for half a plough and woodland which was a furlong by half a furlong. Its value was two shillings.

Inside the church pictured, St. John the Baptist C of E, there lies the sarcophagus of John Talbot, who stood at around 6'5" judging by the length of the tomb. He would have been exceptionally tall for the time he was living. The churchgoers nicknamed him "Giant John".

Whitwick had a 12th century castle, although no remains are left. The village also contains three 'cities' - The City of Three Waters, The City of Dan, and the City of Hockley, all streets within the village. There is also a road called 'The Dumps' at a staggered crossroads in Whitwick, off North Street/Talbot Street, which apparently attracts tourists to have their photographs taken, thus proving that they have 'been in the dumps'. The true road name is 'Dumps Road', and is actually only known to locals as 'The Dumps'. One local legend tells that it is named "Dumps Road" in lieu of a visit from 'The Spanish Dumps' - whether these were a travelling theatre outfit, persons of genuine Spanish Pedigree or another reason is unclear. It was also home to local 'pub celebrity', Jim Hough. Who, for many years until his untimely end in 2003, would give lectures and talks in many of the local public houses.

Whitwick first gained pumped water in 1910. There was a mining disaster in 1898 in Whitwick Number 5 Pit which resulted in the deaths of 35 men. Patrick O'Mara, one of those killed, was found on his knees with his rosary beads still in his hands. The Pit was closed in the 1980s and the site is now a Morrisons outlet.

Whitwick was a station on the Charnwood Forest Railway line which ran between Coalville East and Loughborough Derby Road Station. The line was closed to passengers in 1931 and closed to freight and ripped up in 1963 under the Beeching axe. Whitwick railway station still has some surviving structures, the platform and the old station building, now the home of the Whitwick Historical Group.

Whilst not strictly within Whitwick's borders, it is worthwhile to note that the nearby Mount St. Bernard Abbey, a Cistercian Monastery, was designed and built by the great architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, a man most famous for his work on the Houses of Parliament.

Local Public Houses

There was at one time around 32 working Public Houses in Whitwick. However, many of these are now converted or demolished. Here follows a list of those still active;

The Man Within Compass ("The Rag And Mop") on Loughborough Road,
The Hare and Hounds (Mary`s House) in The City of Three Waters,
The Oak (Formerly The Prince Of Wales) on Talbot Street,
The Black Horse on Church Lane,
The White Horse on North Street/Market Place,
The Three Crowns in the Market Place,
The Kings Arms on Silver Street,
The Foresters Arms on Leicester Road and
The Three Horseshoes ("Polly's") on Vicarage Street/City of Dan. The Three Horseshoes is the only pub in the village still selling Bass Bitter from the Bass Brewery in Burton Upon Trent. It has several awards for serving consistently good beer and has an award from Camra for this effect. The Interior also won an award for being little changed since construction over 100 years ago.

Other working licensed buildings in the village include;

The Constitutional Club on Silver Street,
The Sports and Social Club (Formerly the "Beaumont Arms" c.1830-1913) in the Market Place and
The North Street Working Mens Club, on North Street, which closed in early 2008. One local source suggests that the owner of the Sports and Social is moving to the former Working Mens Club and that the site of the S&S is to be demolished for housing.

A full list of buildings otherwise demolished or converted are as follows;

The Abbey Inn, Cademan Street. Closed in 1911 and now demolished,
The Blacksmiths Arms, on the end of Hall Lane, closed in 1908 and later demolished. (now the site of the local Methodist Church),
The Boot Inn, on Silver Street, closed as a public house in 1913, premises has been some form of take away for more than 60 years, currently "Whitwick Spice",
The Castle Inn, on Castle Street, closed in 1970, now a house,
The Cricketers Arms, on Leicester Road, closed in 1908 and now demolished,
The Crown and Cushion on Silver Street, closed in 2003 and became a house,
The Crown and Cushion on South Street (South Street was latterly made into an extension of North Street) closed in 1923 and survived as a house until being demolished in the 1970s. The two pubs, curiously, at one point operated at the same time, with the same name and quite close to one another.
The Duke of Newcastle, formerly on North Street, demolished in recent years, now the site of housing development.
The Duke of York, on Leicester Road, closed in 1929 and now demolished.
The Hastings Arms, in the Market Place, closed in 1961 and demolished, Now site of a car showroom.
The Hermitage Inn, on Hermtage Road. This was in two locations. The first Hermitage Inn still exists as a house, however the replacement "Hermitage Hotel" which the license transferred too was demolished in 1967 due to mining subsidence.
The Marquis of Granby, near King Richard's Hill. Demolished,
The New Inn, Brooks Lane/Corner of Talbot Street, closed and demolished in 1934,
The Railway Hotel, South Street (now North Street) closed in 1965 to become a Hardware Store, now a B-Warm Windows sales outlet. Built on top of another pub, "The Joiners Arms", whose ground floor rooms are now the basement rooms of the B-Warm Windows outlet. (The road level was raised when the railway was built).
The Royal George, North Street, closed in 1913,
The Talbot Arms, Talbot Street, closed in 1931 and finally
The Waggon and Horses, on Church Lane. This ajoined the Black Horse, but was purchased and demolished by Leicestershire County Council in 1985 to improve the road junction.

Gracedieu Vineyard

South facing, the Gracedieu vineyard was established in 1995 in Charnwood Forest. Its 'Green Man' wine based on the Madeleine Angevine grape is known for its floral bouquet.

References

External links

* [http://www.whitwick.org.uk Whitwick website]
* [http://www.geocities.com/oliveshark53/whitpubs.htm Public Houses in Whitwick]
* [http://www.geocities.com/whitwickmusicfestival/ Whitwick Music Festival]
* [http://www.whitwickparishchurch.org.uk Whitwick Parish Church]


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