History of the Parish
Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without Parish Council was formed in October 1930 as a result of the 1929 Local Government Act. At that time part of Harrowby was incorporated into the Borough. The remaining areas and that part of New Somerby that is West of Ermine Street and not taken into the Borough were joined with Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without to form the new Parish.
The first Councillors were elected on the 3rd March 1931 and meetings were held in the schoolroom at Londonthorpe. The first Chairman was E. Cecil Newton previously the chair of Londonthorpe Parish Council. William Benson was the original clerk. Only four clerks have been in office since the inception of the Parish, William Benson 28 years, Derek McLeavey 20 years, Tom Childs 29 years and the present post-holder Peter Armstrong.
The Church in Londonthorpe is dedicated to St. John the Baptist The first Church register has records from 1539. A Wesleyan Chapel was also active in the village this is now a dwelling. Earl Brownlow was Lord of the Manor and much of his land of Belton Park lies within the Parish.
Harrowby village is a lot different today due to large amount of the village being taken into the Borough in 1929. Population in 1851 was 67: in 1879 it had risen to 272: by 1930 this had gone beyond the 1000 mark. Today 75 people are on the electoral role within the actual village, but over two thousand in the larger area including the Harrowby Lane Estates. The village is centred on the Hall, which has excellent views over the Witham Valley.
Harrowby Hall was home to Sir Dudley Ryder (Lord Chief Justice) in 1774, his son Nathaniel became Earl of Harrowby in 1776 and is commemorated in St. Wulfram's Church. His son Dudley became Earl of Harrowby in 1809 he later took the title of Viscount Sandon (a village in Shropshire) to which he moved. The village also includes the Land Settlements, which were created in 1935 with 59 smallholdings for redundant miners. The miners came mainly from the Durham coalfields. Later, during World War II agricultural workers were admitted. The estate was dispersed by private treaty in 1971. Early in the 20th century a golf course was opened on the Hills and Hollows but did not last very long.
Alma Park has a lot of military history having been used as an army camp during both World Wars. People were still living in the prefab buildings until the late 1960s when the area was designated as an area for light industry. In 1970 Barrats/Janes started building the Polygon Estate followed by Jelsons building on the Kenilworth Road side of Harrowby Lane in 1973.
The Clerk is trying to establish the history of Alma Park including the usage during the wars, any information would be gratefully received.
The population of the Parish grew tremendously during that period of the 1970s. In 1975 Belmont Community School was built to serve the Alma Park area.
Spittlegate was an RAF camp during the Second World War and is now known as Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, the home of the Royal Logistics Corps Headquarters and an important employer within the Parish.
In 1983 a planning application was forwarded to SKDC for the Spinney Estate outline planning was agreed for 900 houses. This is now nearing completion. The name of the estate at times has become quite confusing as different builders have given their section a different name. Names such as The Greens and now St Mellion Heights are the latest, although most people know it as either The Spinney or Sunningdale.
The parish council would be very pleased to receive copies of any information or photographs regarding the history of the parish.
Photo by P Armstrong