Lower Harlestone

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This widely scattered village is surely one of the counties loveliest comprising of Lower Harlestone on the main A428 Road, and Upper Harlestone set in the secluded folds of the countryside.  The warm sandstone and thatch cottages are a testament to the centuries of quarrying that has taken place in this vicinity, as is still evidenced by the many hills and hollows to be seen in nearby fields.

It is believed to have been settled in Saxon times, and by the reign of William the First was known as Herolvestune.  In the 17th century, horse racing was taking place on the adjacent heath, for a gilt silver cup donated by the then Lord Spencer of Althorpe.  This was discontinued by 1740.  By the time of the first census in 1801 the population was 437, mostly employed in agriculture, with a smattering of sundry tradesmen, and 2 pubs, The Hare and Hounds and the Fox and Hounds.  Only the latter remains, now renamed and refurbished and known as The Dusty Fox. 

The picturesque site of the old Harlestone Park now houses a golf course of International Standard, and surrounds the prominent 14th Century church of St Andrews.  Also dating back to the 14th Century is a fine round stone dovecote built with walls three feet thick, to house 400 pairs of birds, and can be seen, now in a private garden in the village.

 

Fox and Hounds, telephone 01604 821122