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Newbold is a small village, at the north-western edge of Leicestershire, and the eastern part of the Leicestershire and South Derbyshire coalfields. It now has about 250 houses. The chimney pictured, is of the once-working brickworks and is now a significant landmark. There are some small businesses and a few working farms. The local Pub and the C of E Primary School are the major features of the main street.
Newbold is a rather lovely, quiet and pleasant place to live.
A short history of the village and some of the characters that helped to form it.
A brief background to the beautiful Staunton Harold Estate
Putting the area in to the context of early British history
About the family that became the Earls of Leicester
The story behind the Earldom of Derby
How the history of Transport shaped Newbold and the surrounding area
A look at coal mining through the life of Newbold
Whilst oblique references to Newbold exist in other historical texts relating to this area, there are no specific places where the details of this village are gathered together. We have begun to change this. In 2010, a group of local people started a project to document the history of the village of Newbold Coleorton.
Newbold is often referred to as Newbold Coleorton to differentiate it from the other lesser Newbold villages in England.
Newbold lies between the original Estates of Staunton Harold and of Viscount Beaumont, and was not always a village. 'Kelly's Directory of the Homestead', published in the early 1900's, describes Newbold as a Liberty. A liberty was a manor, or group of manors, or other area, outside the jurisdiction of the sheriff.
For a period of nearly a thousand years, the mining industry was of huge importance to the area. Newbold and nearby Coleorton and Swannington were significant centres of early coal-mining activity. The coal reserves appear at the surface in some areas and are deeply buried in others.
The effect of the mining in NW Leicestershire -
In addition, the Beaumont family fortunes in the 15th and 16th Centuries (which enabled them to build Coleorton Hall), and the later fortunes of businessmen like George Stephenson and his son Robert, came from these coal deposits.
At the peak of Newbold's expansion in the 19th century, over 2000 people were employed in village industries. Many did not live here. They walked, or rode on carts and wagons, up to 10 miles, from their homes in the surrounding region.
Newbold was one of the first villages with electric street lighting, and also one of the first with household electricity, all produced at the New Lount Colliery.
In the 19th Century, the Donington Hall Estate was the home of the 4th Earl of Hastings. So great was his passion for horse-racing and gambling, that he built a racecourse on his lawn, right in front of his Manor House! Later, his gambling debts became so large that he lost everything, and the house and estate fell into disrepair.
In the 1970's, the racecourse was remodelled into the Donington Motor Racing circuit. The main House was the HQ of Bmi, the airline company, for a time.
During World War II, from 1st January 1943 to 31st May 1946, East Midlands Airport was an RAF Station for transport planes. It was associated with RAF Wymeswold. Because the Station was a Luftwaffe target, the cars from nearby Donington Race Track were stored in Newbold, to keep them away from German bombs. In the years after 1964 the RAF site was redesigned as East Midlands Airport.
British Airways acquired Donington Hall and its surrounding 25 acre grounds as part of its deal to takeover Bmi in April 2012.
In early 2013, Norton Motorcycles purchased the Donington Hall estate from British Airways including the Hall and its surrounding 25 acre grounds as well as the modern 45,000 sq ft Hastings House, which will contain the new Norton Motorcycles production facility and design offices.
Further reading: Click on a picture to take you to a subject page