Welcome to Melton Mowbray | GoLeicestershire
Welcome to Melton Mowbray

Did you hear the one about ...

We are proud of our rich heritage, our inseparable links with Stilton Cheese and the famous Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and excited and confident about our future. History has been made here and there’s lots more to come.

Like a good story? Well, did you hear the one about …

Melton’s ‘brush’ with a pot of red paint?

In the early hours of Thursday, 6 April 1837, Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford and his fox-hunting friends arrived at the Thorpe End tollgate.

Having been challenged to pay their toll, they seized some paint and proceeded to paint the toll keeper, a local constable and a good deal of the town red! At the Old Swan Inn in the Marketplace, next to what is now the Grapes, the Marquess painted the carved Swan Inn sign red. (In 1988 traces of red paint were found on the back of the carved swan when it was removed for restoration). Hence the meaning of the phrase ‘painting the town red’ when used in relation to having a riotous time!

Time for tea!

The first ever afternoon tea was held inside the rooms of the grand Regency residence, Belvoir (pronounced beaver) Castle.

In the 1840s, Anna Maria Stanhope 7th Duchess of Bedford, was staying at the castle. Traditionally only two meals were taken: breakfast and dinner around 8 p.m. Inevitably hunger would set in around mid-afternoon. The Duchess began sipping tea and eating dainty snacks in the afternoon as she chatted with her hosts and the Afternoon Tea was born!

Who MADE all the pies?

We are big on food in Melton.

Our links to Stilton Cheese and the famous Melton Mowbray Pork Pies are legendary. Dickinson & Morris has been baking Melton Mowbray Pork Pies in the town since 1851 and a visit to their shop is a must. There are over 100 establishments in the town involved with food - you won’t go hungry. But Melton is also a nationally important base for food research and manufacturing. Did you know that the town is also one of the leading producers of Paneer cheese for the Indian restaurant market and one of the leading producers of Tofu for the Japanese restaurant market?

The Cardigan and the Balaclava?

The 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell 1797-1868, led the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. Cardigan House at 55 Burton Street (now T Denman and Sons) was his home – pop along and take a look!

The Wolf Hall of Melton

Or, the Anne of Cleves pub as we prefer to call it. From 1538 until his execution in 1540, the property belonged to the protagonist of the famous book and tv series.

The doyenne of cheese

Mrs Frances Pawlett of Wymondham in Leicestershire, produced a cream cheese which she sold to Cooper Thornhill, the landlord of the Bell Inn in Stilton on the stagecoach route to London, where it acquired its name. Through Frances’ efforts this cream cheese became the Stilton Cheese which we know today.

The Kings of King Street

For three hundred years from the late 1100’s onwards, the Great North Road from London to York and Edinburgh was diverted through Melton Mowbray and so contributed significantly to Melton’s early prosperity.

During that period, eleven Kings of England visited Melton Mowbray, most choosing to stay during their visit with the Lord of the Manor of Melton. The first King was Richard I, the Lionheart, in 1194 followed by Kings John, Henry III, Edwards I, II and III, Henry IV and VI, Richard III and finally Henry VI in 1487. The Great North Road crossed the river to the South of the Town, ran in front of the Church through the Market Place and then north exiting Melton along King Street.