Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Aylestone Village and Earl Russell

Yesterday I defeated the weather and explored Aylestone village.

The first time I tried was the day I found C.P. Snow's birthplace, which is some way from the village proper. It was in the middle of the heatwave and for reason I decided to head for Clarendon Park - perhaps because from a distance it always looks like a shining city on a hill.

After that walk I had a pint (well, 2/3 of a pint - it was that kind of bar) of a cold, keg, craft beer with American hops. It tasted so wonderful that I may spend the rest of my life trying to experience it again.

The second time I got as far as Anthony Burgess's local, the Black Horse, and had to admit defeat from the rain - it was the day the heatwave broke.

This time I made it. Until well into the 19th century, Aylestone was a farming village owned by the Dukes of Rutland.

Aylestone Hall and its stables are still there, now converted into flats, and there are a few cottages and the former village school.

There is also the serpentine and largely terraced Earl Russell Street, which links the village to the main Aylestone Road.

As it was built the year after his death, I assume this was a tribute to the first Earl, better know as Lord John Russell and twice a Liberal prime minister.

I also went on to Aylestone Meadows for another look at its medieval packhorse bridge.


Phil Beesley said...

On different houses, there are signs for Russell Terrace, Russell Street (original name) and Earl Russell Street. Aylestone was incorporated into the Borough of Leicester in 1891, so perhaps the name change coincided with the event. Church Street changed into Old Church Street.

The Rutland Arms (demolished c. 2011) was almost across the main road from Earl Russell Street and dated to a similar time. It stood at the end of the Aylestone Road tramway route after it was extended in 1884.

Jonathan Calder said...

Thanks, Phil. We must have a drink in the Black Horse.