Loughborough in 1839
Loughborough, the second town in the county in population and importance, is 11 miles from Leicester and 109 from London on the Carlisle and Halifax mail-road. It is in West Goscote hundred. The parish comprehends an area of 5,460 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 10,969 : of these 4,370 acres and a population of 10,800 were in the township of Loughborough. This town was of importance in the time of Leland, who says, The town of Lughborow is yn largeness and good building next to Leyrcester, of all the markette tounes yn the shire, and hath in it 4 faire strates, or mo, well paved. The prosperity of the town has much increased of late years : in 1801 the population of the parish was 4,603 ; in 1811, 5,556 ; and in 1821, 7,494. The houses are generally built of brick. The market-place is now open, the old market-house having been lately removed. The church is a handsome building in the Perpendicular style ; it has a fine tower which was built about the end of the sixteenth century. There are several dissenting meeting-houses. The chief manufactures of the town are hosiery (especially what is termed fleecy-hosiery), which employs about 900 to 1,000 persons in the town and neighbourhood ; bobbin-net lace, cotton goods, and shoes. The Leicester Navigation and the Loughborough Canal, communicating with the Soar, tend much to the prosperity of the town. The market is on Thursday. The living is a rectory of the clear yearly value of £1,848 with a glebe-house. There were in 1833 in the township of Loughborough one dame-school with 25 children ; four endowed day-schools, viz. three for boys, containing respectively 250, 80, and 8 scholars, and one for girls with 108 scholars; six other day-schools with 163 children ; and seven Sunday-schools with 2,096 children. The endowed schools have ample funds and the course of education might be much extended. Loughborough is the principal place of election for the northern division county, and a polling-station.