Braunstone is referred to in the Doomsday Book, and at that time
the village consisted of eight households and was worth about 60
shillings. Braunstone Lane was once known as Coalpit Lane due to
the packhorses bringing coal to Leicester from the Swannington coalfields.
The village sat on the edge of the ancient Leicester Forest of which
Bendbow Spinney, by Hand Avenue, is a remnant.
Braunstone has always been a farming community and is mainly located
along Braunstone Lane. The 13th century St Peters Church contains
monuments to members of the Winstanley family, and nearby Cressida
Place has a row of estate workers' cottages which were commissioned
by the Winstanleys and designed by the well-known architect William
Butterfield in 1859. The remnants of wide ditches and deer leaps,
designed to control stags for hunting can be seen near here. The
schoolhouse (1867), now a private residence, was also paid for by
the Winstanleys. The local pub, the Shakespeare, is quite recent
and is named after a firm of auctioneers who had owned the building.
However, it was previously a farmhouse and contains a brick dated
In 1924 a guide to the county described Braunstone as a 'curiously
remote and isolated little village, with stately hall of brick,
in a pretty park with water'. It was also described as having a
'quaint, old-world character'.
Hear a description of the area before
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