Birstall, Leicestershire

Birstall, Leicestershire

infobox UK place

static_image_caption = The village sign depicts a Cedar tree
country = England
latitude = 52.67364
longitude = -1.12000
map_type= Leicestershire
official_name = Birstall
population = 11,480 (2004)
shire_district = Charnwood
shire_county = Leicestershire
region = East Midlands
constituency_westminster = Charnwood
post_town = LEICESTER
postcode_district = LE4
postcode_area = LE
dial_code =
os_grid_reference = SK596088

Birstall is a large village north of Leicester in Leicestershire, England.

The Village

Birstall lies on the A6 and is the last major settlement before Leicester when arriving from the north. The village centre lies just off the A6, along Sibson Road. There is a supermarket (Somerfield), a garden centre and various other shops. There are various schools, including Highcliffe Primary School, Riverside Primary School, Stonehill High School, Longslade Community College and the church of St. James the Great. [ [St James' Church] , accessed 25 July 2008]

There is a large housing estate to the north-west of the village, towards Beaumont Leys known unofficially as the Gates estate because many of the road names end in the word 'gate' eg Ambergate Drive,Moorgate Avenue,Harrowgate Drive and Saltergate Drive.

The Grand Union Canal runs through the bottom end of the village, separating it from Watermead Country Park, a series of lakes in the bottom of the Soar Valley, which have been set aside as a recreational area and country park.The Great Central Railway steam railway has its southern terminus near the village, where the A6 meets the Leicester outer ringroad at Red Hill Circle. The railway also forms the boundary of the southern end of Birstall Golf Club.

To the north of the village, the A6 meets the A46 Leicester Western Bypass and then continues on towards Loughborough along the Soar Valley, and so on to the North of England.

A new housing development called 'Hallam Fields' commenced construction in 2006 and was well advanced as of 2008, occupying land to the west of the A6, between the 'Gates' estate and the A46. The development will take ten years to complete, consisting of up to 900 properties including schools, shops, offices, industrial units and a fire station. It has been described as a mini Poundbury.As of September 2008 it has 8 streets.These are Archdale Close,Bridge Green,Dale Close,Far Pastures Road,Halfpenny Close,Hallam Fields Road,Little Connery Lees and Pinfold Close.North of this on a roundabout connecting the A46 and A6 is a new service area with a Starbucks Coffee outlet,a McDonalds,a Shell petrol station and a hotel.

The symbol of Birstall is a Cedar tree. [ Birstall Parish Council] , accessed 26 July 2008] The original tree stands in Roman Road.

Birstall is twinned with Rixensart, Belgium.

The local Air Training Corps unit is 1947(Birstall) Squadron.


The name Birstall comes from the Old English for "old disused fort" - Burhsteall.
Saxon remnants have been found in the village and surrounding area. The village was called Burstalle in the Domesday Book when it belonged to Hugh de Grandmesnil"Domesday Book: A Complete Translation". London: Penguin, 2003. p. 655 ISBN 0-14-143994-7] . Willard held these lands for Hugh and the 16 acres of meadow and a mill were said to be worth three ounces of gold. The village was a small one until the arrival of the Great Central Railway in 1899. From then onwards development has continued and still continues to-day. Between 1901 and the 2001 the population grew from 611 to over 11,000.

Area of Parish: convert|791|acre|km2

Places/buildings within the village

*Highcliffe primary school
*Riverside primary school
*Stonehill high school
*Longslade Community College

*Two main supermarkets -Somerfield on Wanlip Road,Tesco Express on Sibson Road.
*One garden centre
*Various shops along Sibson road
*Library on Wanlip Road

*Watermead Country Park
*School Lane recreational park
*Harrogate park

Golf club:
*Birstall Golf Club - founded in 1901 - one of the first golf clubs in Leicestershire [ [ Birstall Golf Club] , accessed 25 July 2008]

Neighbouring villages

The closest village to Birstall is Wanlip, a smaller village, with the village of Rothley being the next closest. The villages of Thurmaston and Syston are also nearby. Leicester, the nearest city, is to the south.


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