Melton Mowbray Town Heritage Trail
You can start the Melton Heritage Trail from any of the sites listed. The Trail is circular so using the map you will be able to find your way around from any position.
Egerton Lodge (1)
Egerton Lodge was used as a base for hunting and there were many more lodges in Melton Mowbray. Hugo Meynall of nearby Quorndon Hall popularised hunting in Leicestershire during the eighteenth century and Melton Mowbray became central as it allowed visitors to take part in three hunts: the Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn.
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Walk from Egerton Lodge towards the town centre along High Street for approx 40m and read the heritage board for information about the buildings on High Street. Continue for approx 80m to the Corn Cross.
Corn Cross (2)
The current Corn Cross was built in 1996, replacing the earlier medieval cross. This area was known as Cornhill as traders would have bought and sold corn here. Other market crosses included the Butter Cross, Sheep Cross and Sage Cross.
On the cross there are a number of plaques dedicated to events and organisations that are important to Melton Mowbray. One is dedicated to the Royal Veterinary Army Corps that is located just outside the town - read about its work during the war here.
Click on the image to read more information
From the Corn Cross walk for just 30m to the black and white building of Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe. Next door you will find the Corn Exchange.
Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe (3) & The Corn Exchange (4)
These two buildings are located next door to each other on Nottingham Street.
The Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe was built in the early seventeenth centruy and ran as a bakehouse until John Dickinson took it over in 1851. The Corn Exchange opened in August 1855 after the building started only the year before.
Read more about Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe
Read about The Corn Exchange
From the Corn Exchange continue for approx 150m along Nottingham Street and turn right across a public car park until you come to St Mary's Close.
4. St Mary's Close
Here you will find a pleasant grassy area with benches for you to take a rest on your trail.
You will find a number of tomb stones surrounding the grass. One, roughly in the middle of this area next to the footpath, is the family grave of Sir Francis Grant, a famous painter. Born in 1803 in a small village near Perth, Scotland, he then moved to Melton Mowbray and lived at The Lodge on Dalby Road.
He became famous for paintings such as ‘The Melton Hunt Breakfast’ and in 1851 was elected to the Royal Academy, later becoming President which earned him a knighthood. Francis Grant was married to Isabella, the third daughter of Lady Elizabeth Norman who will be mentioned later. When he died in 1878, Francis Grant was entitled to be buried at Westminster Abbey due to being President of the Royal Academy but chose to be buried in Melton Mowbray.
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Follow the pathway between the buildings and on to King Street - approx 50m.
From King Street walk for approx 100m along the pedestrianised road to the town centre crossing over to the Cross in the Market Place.
The current Butter Cross was reconstructed from parts of the existing cross and was erected in 1986. During the civil war in the sixteenth century, 158 marriages took place at the Butter Cross, as in 1653 Parliament had declared marriage a civil ceremony carried out with a Justice of the Peace present.
Click on the image to find out more information
From the Cross, cross over the road and walk past The Grapes public house and walk down Church Lane towards St Mary's Church - approx 75m.
St Mary's Close (5)
St Mary's Parish Church, in the centre of the market town of Melton Mowbray and is the largest parish church in the Leicester Diocese. It is certainly the finest.
St Mary's is a grand cruciform church (one of only three in England) with transepts and a crossing tower.
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From the church walk for approx 80m to Burton Street and view the heritage sites from the roadside.
Cardigan House (9)
Cardigan House is named after the Earl of Cardigan who lived here during the nineteenth century and he is famous for leading the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. The charge head-on with deadly artillery was due to a miscommunication on the battlefield but Lord Cardigan fortunately managed to reach the Russian guns.
Read more about Cardigan House by clicking on the image
From Cardigan House walk past the entrance to the train station, the Council Offices and into Playclose to the canal lock gates - approx 280m.
Playclose, was owned by Lord Melbourne in the nineteenth century and used for recreation by the people of Melton Mowbray. The owner of a bakery in Park Lane which borders the Playclose built pigsties and allotments on the parkland. People felt this was contrary to their enjoyment of the open space and in 1848 the Playclose Riots took place which saw these buildings pulled down.
Read information about the Canal
See more images of Playclose by clicking on the image
From the canal lock gates walk for approx 250m through the park towards the road and Lady Wilton's Bridge.
Lady Wilton's Bridge
This bridge is named after Lady Wilton, otherwise known as Elizabeth Charlotte Louise, Countess of Wilton. From 1856 Lady Wilton lived at Egerton Lodge with her husband and father-in-law, the Earl of Wilton. Once her father-in-law passed away, her husband gained the title Earl of Wilton in 1882 but unfortunately died three years later, leaving Lady Wilton without children.
Lady Wilton stayed at Egerton Lodge and was hostess to many famous and important people who visited to go hunting. This included the Empress of Austria and her son; the Shah of Persia; Edward, Prince of Wales and eldest son to Queen Victoria and notable politicians including Benjamin Disraeli.
Learn more by clicking on the image
Walk back towards the town centre and continue along Sherrard Street until you find the museum on your right - approx 500m.
St John's Church (11) & Carnegie Museum (12)
The Melton Carnegie Museum was built in 1904 but has not always been a museum. From 1847, the Bede House on Burton Street previously held the museum and ‘…contains a fine collection of shells, and various objects of interest.’
The Melton Carnegie Museum was originally opened as a public library, partly funded by Andrew Carnegie who donated £2000.
Opposite the museum is St John's RC Church - read about its history here
Read more about the Carnegie Museum.
From the museum walk for approx 350m back towards the town centre and walk to King Street to the Regal Cinema.
From King Street walk into the town centre and explore the town's shops and take time for refreshments in one of the many tearooms. Walk back towards the Corn Cross and you will find yourself back on High Street where the trail started.