Anstey, Leicestershire

Anstey, Leicestershire

infobox UK place
country= England
official_name= Anstey
area= 6.25sq Mi
latitude= 52.67148
longitude= -1.19546
population= 5,821 (2001 Census) []
shire_district= Charnwood (borough)
shire_county= Leicestershire
region= East Midlands
constituency_westminster= Charnwood
post_town= LEICESTER
postcode_area= LE
postcode_district= LE7
dial_code= 0116
os_grid_reference= SK545085

Anstey is a large semi-industrialised village in Leicestershire, England, located north west of Leicester in the borough of Charnwood. Its population was about 6,000 at the 2001 census although this is likely to have increased. The village is separated from Leicester by the Rothley Brook, Castle Hill Park and the A46, and it borders the villages of Glenfield, Groby, Newtown Linford, Cropston and Thurcaston as well as the suburb of Beaumont Leys and Anstey Heights. To the north-west lies Bradgate Park.

Anstey is known as the Gateway to Charnwood Forest. It is a combination of traditional English village (with two village greens - the top green and bottom green) and an industrial town (with several 19th-century hosiery factories, many of which are now being turned into apartments) which is made up mostly of a number of small estates, both council and private which are intertwined , often with no clear border.Anstey has been the site of a number of house-building schemes in recent years, increasing the village's population significantly - this, alongside the rising unemployment caused by the closure of local industry has caused a rise in criminal activity in the area [ [ Connecting Communities ] ] [ [ BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Drug dealers to repay crime cash ] ] [ [ BBC News | Business | Three remanded on City fraud charges ] ] [ [ BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Youngster dies after house fire ] ] [] , which was once renowned for being a safe and relatively wealthy area.

At the most recent parish meeting it was accepted that Jelson Homes would be allowed to build a further 47 homes reaching from Bradgate Road to the top of Link Road [ [ Anstey Community Action: Anstey "NEW" news! ] ] which has caused controversy in the village. Anstey is widely expected to benefit from the regeneration of Leicester Centre, more so than other Leicester suburbs and bordering villages. [ [ 403 Forbidden ] ] Sometimes Anstey is mistakenly referred to as being a town, mainly because of the usage of Anstey Town for one of the football teams,as well as due to its large size and population although it is in fact a village.


Anstey dates back to Angle origins, when it was known as Hanstige (later Anstige), meaning a narrow forest track (specifically the meaning is either 'one-way' or 'steep road' [ 03_7799 _vol77_Courtney ] ] ). Anstey was positioned between Charnwood Forest and Leicester Forest. [ Andover - Anston | British History Online ] ]

Whilst developing the site for the new Co-op store in 2002 archaeologists were called in and found remains dating back to the 12th century. A plaque recording this has been placed on the wall of the new shop.

The place-name of Anstey is first recorded in Domesday Book when it was held by one of the county’s largest landholders, Hugh de Grandmesnil, castellan of Leicester. Anstey became an independent parish in 1866, having previously been a chapelry of Thurcaston.

Anstey appears to have had its origins in two distinct settlement foci, each associated with a separate manor, one associated with Leicester Abbey and one with the Ferrers of Groby.

It is believed that Anstey once had a sizable military force - in 1431 William Porter "furnished XIX hommes and IX archers". [ Leicestershire Villages - Anstey - Anstey History ] ]

When Bonnie Prince Charlie's army moved south during the 1745 rebellion, although the main body of troops were turned back at Derby, a foraging party reached the commons of Anstey.

Local industry included hosiery, boots and shoes, box-making, and wallpaper, although nearly all the local factories have now either been demolished or converted into flats.

The most notable family of Anstey was the Martin family, who lived in the village from the 13th century until 1892. Two members of the family held the position of Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, and the local high school is named after them. They lived at Anstey Pastures (now demolished), before moving to The Brand in 1892.

Famous past Anstey residents include Ned Ludd (Ludlam), the machine-wrecker whose name was appropriated by the Luddites - whose name was adopted in a recent household development in the village: Ned Ludd Close, and snooker player and commentator Willie Thorne, who started playing snooker at the village's Conservative club. [ [ BBC - Leicester Sense of Place - Looking for your landmarks ] ] Footballer Derek Dougan lived in the village during his time at Leicester City.

According to legend, the last wolf to be killed in England was shot in a forest "near Anstige in Wolfdale". [ Anstey lies about four miles to the north-west of Leicester, and has a population of over 6,000. The Saxons, who settled here between the 5th and 8th centuries, knew it as Hanstige, meaning 'the high path'. In 1086 the Domesday Book recorded it as An... ] ] Wolfdale was a nearby district towards Newtown Linford, and the name has survived in a slightly altered form with Wooldale Close, one of the streets in the village.


There are Church of England, United Reformed Church and Methodist churches in the village.

The parish church of St. Mary is on Bradgate Road, just out of The Nook, has the remains of a Saxon preaching cross from the 1200s and was previously part of the Parish of Thurcaston.

The United Reformed Church is further up Bradgate Road, as well as the church rooms which are now only used for storage.

The Methodist Church is situated near The Nook on Cropston Road, and is a medium-sized church serving the community, being part of the Leicester West Circuit of the Oxford and Leicester District of the Methodist Church. An earlier Methodist church was located on the opposite side of the road to the current church, until it was demolished in the 1980s.


There are three schools in Anstey:
* Latimer Primary School, Latimer Street
* Woolden Hill Primary School, Netherfield Road
* The Anstey Martin High School, Link Road

College students go to Longslade Community College at Birstall. They may also go Brookvale in Groby, or Rawlins Community College in Quorn (Out of catchment area).

The Martin High School

In March 2008, The Martin High was placed 10th best school in the country and 3rd best in the county for pupils' progress between the ages of 11 and 14. [cite web |url= |title=Pupils Make Top Progress |accessdaymonth=05 April |accessyear=2008 |date=07 March 2008 |work=Leicester Mercury |publisher= ] It is located at around the middle of Link Road, Anstey, Leicestershire.

The Village

Anstey still retains some of the charm of a traditional village particularly on the area immediately north of the village centre, but due to its industrial background there are many small terraced houses as well as some pre-fabricated post war council houses in the 'Dutch barn' style. The large houses towards the top of Bradgate Road change into terraced houses in the old industrial area, and then modern suburbia out towards Link Road, where the Anstey Martin school can be found. Just off the Nook is Latimer primary school, named after Bishop Latimer.

The Rothley Brook flows through the village on its way to the River Soar, and there are two ancient bridges (the Packhorse Bridge and King William's Bridge) and an old water mill. The packhorse bridge is on the route of the original road from Leicester. King William's Bridge is so named because when King William III planned to visit the Grey family at Bradgate in 1696, the existing crossings of the Rothley Brook were found to be too narrow for the Royal coach, so a new bridge had to be constructed.

Anstey also has a relatively large NHS surgery in the village which used to provide health care to the whole village, but this has for the most part been replaced by the NHS hospital in between Beaumont Leys and Anstey, as well as the hospital in Glenfield. Anstey also has a dentistry and opticians, aside from that Anstey has one of the largest post offices in the outer-city area and several fast food outlets and restaurants.Around The Nook there are a number of different shops as well as pubs - The Coach and Horses, The Plough, The Crown and The Old Hare and Hounds as well as Working Mens and Conservative clubs.

In the past Anstey had two cinemas, the Savoy on Cropston Road which was later used as a petrol station/garage before being converted into a pub/restaurant and eventually a furnishings shop, and another on Ellis Street, which now sells baby clothing.

Local Newspaper

The village newspaper is the Anstey Scene which is a quarterly newspaper with news about local events and council meetings. Other than that there is the Anstey Directory which has advertisements for local businesses, including from the Birstall and Glenfield areas. Recently there has been the introduction of a new local newspaper - The Anstey CLARION which is published monthly and takes reader submitted articles.

Local Area

Nearby Glenfield is the home of Leicestershire County Council, and all the shops and facilities of the city can be found about two miles away in Leicester. Hotel accommodation can also be found in Glenfield, at the Gynsills Hotel and The Brant Inn.

Bradgate Park, childhood home of Lady Jane Grey, stretches above the village, between the two neighbouring villages of Newtown Linford and Cropston. For transport, Anstey is served by regular bus services to Leicester, Loughborough, and the Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre (about a mile away) where there is a Tesco supermarket, as well as Argos, Wilkinsons, Boots and many other well-known stores. By road, Anstey is just off the A46 Leicester Western Bypass, which provides a fast link to the M1 southbound to London, with the A50 providing access to the M1 North.


Anstey is home to Anstey Nomads Football Club who play in the Leicestershire Senior League.Prior to the First World War there were two separate teams - the Nomads and the Parish Church Football Team, however following the War the two were joined under the banner of the Anstey Nomads. There also is the Anstey Town Football Team who are based in nearby Thurcaston.There are also Rugby Union and Cricket teams, which play in local leagues.

In addition to the Anstey Nomads there is the youth football team - the Anstey Swifts.

Anstey has two recreation grounds - the main park near Stadon Road which has lots of facilities including tennis courts, swings, slides, football pitch and a small area for younger children.Other than that there is a less well equipped one near Link Road which is occasionally used by the ARFC.

Castle Hill Park lies to the East of the village, connecting Anstey to Beaumont Leys and with the A46 running through it. Unfortunately this area has become a hotspot for crime in recent years. [ [ Leicestershire Constabulary - Crime statistics ] ]

Mitchells Field

Mitchells Field, a field on the flood plain of Rothley Brook, near Cropston Road, is one of the Parish Council's plans for development of the village in the next few years. The council intends to build a large football training ground to promote sport in the village.Fact|date=June 2008

Ley lines

Anstey and surrounding area have been mentioned in several texts about ley lines. Anstey has a standing stone and a place called "The Leys", which mark a path towards Bradgate Park's "Old John".


Throughout history Anstey has been a hotspot for industry, particularly hosiery and shoes, although in recent years this has subsided with the development of industrial parks in Beaumont Leys. One of the last major manufacturers in Anstey was the Anstey Wallpaper Company who moved to Loughborough.Despite this the [ Ulverscroft Printworks] is still located here.


Anstey has a variety of different shops and services, making it the commercial centre for the majority of local villages. The largest shops include Potters carpets, who decided to remain in the village despite the arson attack on their old building [ [ BBC NEWS | England | Derbyshire | Two arrested after warehouse fire ] ] , which remains to be a major source of income for the village.Aside from this there previously was a number of petrol stations, although these have all been closed down - there is still a car showroom "the anstey motor company" which is on the site of the old petrol station/Saab garage.

ee also

*Glenfield, Leicestershire
*Newtown Linford
*Beaumont Leys

External links

* [ "Between Two Forests: the Social and Topographic Evolution of Medieval Anstey" by Paul Courtney]
* [ Anstey at]
* [ Anstey Parish Council]
* [ Ley lines] - one of several Anstey references.
* [ The Anstey Methodist Church website]


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