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Coleorton in the Domesday Book [1]

There are 2 sections listing Coleorton in the Domesday book. They are reproduced below:

Section 223c
Roger ten de H. in STRETONE 1 car trae uasta. 7 alia in DURANDESTORP similit uasta. 7 tcia in OVRETONE similit uasta. Valent tam 11 fol.

Roger [] holds 1c of land in STRETTON from Henry [de Ferrers]; waste
Another in DONISTHORPE; likewise waste,
A third in COLEORTON; likewise waste.
Value however, 2s.

Section 234c
Warin ten de R. IIII car trae in OVRETONE. XII den T.R.E. errant ibi VI car. In dinio e una 7 II uitta cu I bord hnt I car Silua II qrent lg 7 una q lat. Valuit XII den, Modo IIII folid,

Warin holds 4 c of land in COLEORTON from Robert [of Bucy].
Before 1066, 6 ploughs. In lordship 1,
2 villagers with 1 smallholder have 1 plough.
Woodland 2 furlongs long and 1 furlong wide.
The value was 12d; now 4s.

Some History of the The Beaumonts [2]

The heraldic device of the Beaumonts forms the first quarter of the Leicestershire coat of arms; the others being the De Montforts, the Hastings and John of Gaunt. Coleorton was where the earliest mining in Leicestershire began in the 16th century.

A descendant of the Beaumont Earls of Leicester who came to England with William the Conqueror was made a viscount by Henry VI in 1439. A later Beaumont (John) acquired Grace Dieu priory after its dissolution by Henry VIII, who did this on the trumped up charge that 2 nuns had given birth there. Grace Dieu had been founded as an Augustinian nunnery by Roesia de Verdun in the 13th century. Beaumont built a house out of the priory and went on to become Recorder of Leicester and Master of the Rolls. He lost these offices when he admitted to appropriating official funds for his own use. Grace Dieu passed to Hastings  but after John Beaumont’s death it was returned by the Earl of Huntington to his widow [who was a Hastings].

In 1584 Francis Beaumont (John’s grandson) was born. He went on to become a literary great, but was eclipsed by the competition at th etime {Shakespeare, Marlow, Jonson}. His finest work was ‘On the tombs oin Westminster Abbey’. The Beaumonts left Grace Dieu for Coleorton when their mining interests made them a fortune and the converted priory passed out of the family. At Coleorton another cultural great was born: Sir George Beaumont. He rebuilt Coleorton Hall in 1808 and as a connoisseur of the arts was a generous friend and patron to Wordsworth, Byron, Wilkie, Scott, Southey and others. He collected a large number of fine paintings including some byt Rembrandt.

Wordsworth and his wife, sister and sister-in-law spent some winter months at Coleorton Hall farm at Sir George’s invitation during which time the hall was being rebuilt. Sir George erected the memorial to Joshua Reynolds in the grounds of the hall. The words on it were penned by Wordsworth and Constable’s painting of the memorial is in the National Gallery.

Mining & Transport in the Area

There is some reason to belive the Beaumonts had some importance in the development of the rail industry. Huntingdon Beaumont (younger brother of Sir Henry) used a primitive wooden railway at his mines in Nottinghamshire & Northumberland to move coal from pit to river.There were 15 pits near Coleorton by 1779. Sir George Beaumont built himself a private extension to the Leicester & Swannington Railway to Coleorton but Lord Moira (Hastings) relied on water (The Ashby canal).



1) Domesday Book: 22: Leicestershire. EDS> Morris J, Morgan P. Phillimore, Chester. 1979.
2) Bailey Brian J. Portrait of Leicestershire. Robert Hale, London. 1977

Interesting Documents

    1) Acanthus Clews Architect - design for Hall restoration        <Download>

    2) Tudor Miners of Coleorton                                                 <Download>

     3) Coleorton & the Beaumonts                                               <Download>

    4) Coleorton Chronology                                                        <Download>

    5) Coleorton Hall Conservation Area Appraisal                       <Download>

    6) Coleorton Hall History                                                        <Download>

    7) Leicestershire Woodlands strategy                                      <Download>

    8) Thermal Imaging of mines in Coleorton                               <Download>


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