Fascinating look at Lutterworth’s history

The talk takes place at Lutterworth town hall
The talk takes place at Lutterworth town hall

A fascinating exhibition on the history of Lutterworth will be held at Lutterworth Town Hall next month.

The exhibition, masterminded by Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust with the help of local volunteers and students from the University of Leicester, will look at the town’s history from early times to the present day.

Topics to be covered include the work of the local police in Victorian times and the amazing range of items stocked by Lutterworth’s shops in the 1600s.

Also featured are Lutterworth’s mills, bequests local people made to St Mary’s church on the eve of the Reformation, how the town’s schools were reorganised in the 1870s and the early history of the town’s Feilding Palmer Hospital.

Dr Pamela Fisher of the Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust said the exhibition represented just some of the findings made by researchers since the history project started in 2010.

She explained that the work was part of a wider project to write a book about the town as part of a series of books about the history of Leicestershire.

The series was started more than half a century ago, but stopped in 1964 with only Leicester and south-east Leicestershire covered.

The History Trust set out to revive and complete the county’s history five years ago.

“We’ve found out all sorts of fascinating things about the town” explained Dr Fisher.

“For instance, we’ve got some wonderful information on what was actually in Lutterworth’s shops in the 17th century.

“As well as specialist stores where you could buy saddles or clocks, there were general stores in the town that stocked everything from cloth and groceries to arsenic for killing rats.”

She said one episode of the town’s history that stands out for her, is a religious spat when an early 17th century rector of St Mary’s church, one Henry Meriton, caused controversy by refusing to bury the town’s non-conformists, who did not have their own graveyard.

She said Lutterworth was once on an important coaching route and a fashionable centre.

But it fell behind when it failed to get a railway station until 1899, losing out on 50 years of new businesses.

The exhibition is at Lutterworth Town Hall on the High Street on Saturday, July 25, from 1pm to 4.30pm. Admission free.