Market Harborough in 1839
Market Harborough appears by the remains of an encampment and by various antiquities that have been dug up to have been occupied by the Romans. It is in Gartree hundred, on the Carlisle mail-road, 83 miles from London, and 14 from Leicester. The town is in the parish of Bowden Magna, which has an area of 3,120 acres, with a population in 1831 of 3,346, of which the chapelry of Market Harborough contained 2,272. The town however extends beyond the chapelry into the parishes of Bowden Magna and Bowden Parva (the latter in Northamptonshire). It stands on the north bank of the Welland, and consists of one principal street and several smaller ones. In the principal street is a town-hall, built by a former earl of Harborough ; the under part is occupied as shops, the upper is used by the county magistrates for their official business. The chapel is large and one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in the county. It consists of a nave, two aisles, and chancel, with a fine tower and a lofty octangular spire, crocketted. There are two or three dissenting meeting-houses. The only manufacture carried on is that of carpets. There is a weekly market on Tuesday. The chapelry is of the clear yearly value of £144, with a glebe-house. There were in the chapelry in 1833 eleven dame-schools with 201 children ; a day-school, partly supported by endowment, with 50 children ; six other day-schools with 148 children, and four Sunday-schools with 388 children. There is a branch from the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal from Foxton to Harborough. Harborow h is one of the polling-places for the southern division of the county.