Bradgate Park,(nr. Leicester)

Bradgate Park is a public park in Charnwood Forest, in Leicestershire, England, just northwest of Leicester. It covers 850 acres (3 km²). The park lies between the villages of Newtown Linford, Anstey, Cropston, Woodhouse Eaves and Swithland. The River Lin runs through the park, flowing into Cropston Reservoir which was constructed on part of the park. To the north-east lies Swithland Wood. The park's two well known landmarks, Old John and the war memorial, both lie close to the 200m contour.[1]

 

Bradgate park is the site of a medieval deer park that has been preserved as public parkland since 1928. The house was begun c. 1490 for Thomas Grey, the first Marquis of Dorset, and completed in the early 16th century. It was the seat of the Grey family, however, from the 1720s onwards it was left vacant as the family resided at Enville in Staffordshire and from 1740 onwards it was left to decay. It was at one time even leased to a local builder as quarry for raw materials, which accounts for its especially ruinous state. The park lies on undulating ground rising from East to West. Cropston Reservoir forms part of the Eastern boundary and is fed by a stream crossing the park from West to East along a wooded valley, and passing c100m south of the ruins of Bradgate Park. The park was enclosed around 1241 by the Earl of Winchester. Its surviving areas of woodland, such as Elder Plantation, Bowling Green Spinney, Dale Spinney and Deer Park Spinney, are set in open parkland and appear not to have been affected either by 17th century formal park developments or 18th century "naturalising". This is probably a result of its being vacant from the early 18th century onwards. In 1786 a windmill on the highest point of the estate was converted into a castellated folly tower, the Old John Tower. Together with the Leicester Yeomanry War Memorial, an obelisk from c. 1920, it forms a notable landmark.

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