Groby (pronounced "groo-bee") is a large English village in the county of Leicestershire, to the north west of the city of Leicester. The population at the time of the 2001 census was 7,301.
The village has expanded vastly since the 1970s. The southern side is dominated by new housing estates, built upon what was formerly farming land between the historic part of Groby and the neighbouring village of Glenfield. The old village centre still retains some character, with some cobbled lanes and thatched cottages. The main church dates from 1840 and stands on the site of Groby Castle. No remains are left of the castle, other than a slight rise in ground to the east of the main church building.
Historically, the village is noted for its connection with two Queens of England.
Groby Old Hall was owned by the Grey family whose estate included Bradgate Park. Sir John Grey of Groby married Elizabeth Woodville. After his death, in battle, she married Edward IV of England.
Bradgate Park was the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey, who became Queen of England for nine days in 1553.
There is no definitive explanation of the roots of the village's name, but its '-by' ending implies a link to Viking rule during the period of the Danelaw. Also, groo is a Viking word for pit, which may well refer to the quarry situated next to the village. The Domesday entry lists the village as 'Grobi' with "land for 4 ploughs, 10 villagers with 1 Freeman and 5 smallholders have 3 ploughs...the value was 20s; now 60s" (Morris 1979, 232a)
The ancient main street through the centre of the village running south to Leicester and north towards Coalville was classified as the A50 under the British road numbering scheme, but this road has now bypassed much of the village due to two road schemes in the 1980s and 90s. The village also has easy access to the A46 Leicester Western Bypass and the M1 (J22 North and J21a South).
The village centre has a few shops, including a new Co-op supermarket
, Pricegate, Chaplins (traditional family butcher), a bakery, greengrocers, Cathy Stevens Jewellery, Gordon Davis Chemists, Mark Jarvis, Wilson & Sons Newsagent, Barclays Bank, Alliance and Leicester. There is also a fish and chip
shop as well as other takeaways, a pub
Arms) and various other shops. The Lawnwood shopping parade has Henson's hardware shop, a Movie Zone and a hairdresser. The village also contains a Budgens supermarket
a few minutes away from the village centre.
The old quarry in the village centre is now an industrial estate - mostly owned by the company GE Druck Ltd, which makes pressure transducers.
There are five schools
, Lady Jane Grey Primary, Elizabeth Woodville Primary and Martinshaw County Primary, whilst Brookvale High School and Groby Community College are located on a campus
to the west of the village, and attract students from Groby and the surrounding villages including : Ratby, Kirby Muxloe and Glenfield. There is also a very successful Scout troop
based on the edge of Martinshaw Woods
, named Chomolugma Explorer Scout Group.
is located on the narrow lane which leads through to Newtown Linford, and is still used to quarry granite
. Lawn Wood Quarry, on the A50, is now largely disused and is being filled in with landfill.
Groby Pool, an SSSI
is located opposite Groby Quarry on Newtown Linford Lane. It is privately owned, by the owners of Pool House. However, there is a public car park (often closed due to threat of itinerants) and it is possible to walk along the side nearest the road, which has been opened. Feeding the ducks
at Groby Pool has long been a tradition for local people. The pool has a strict NO FISHING rule.
Local villages and towns
- Leicester - the nearest city, 5 miles along the A50.
- Glenfield - 1 mile along the A50 towards Leicester, a village/suburb bordering the city.
- Newtown Linford (and Bradgate Park - small tourist "honeypot" in Charnwood); 2 miles away.
- Field Head - on A50 towards Markfield, part of Groby Parish.
- Markfield - 3 miles along A50 towards Coalville. M1 Junction 22.
- Ratby - 1/2 a mile away along Ratby Lane / Sacheverell Way, the other side of the M1.
- Anstey - Large village along Anstey Lane or A46 LWB.
- Kirby Muxloe -Village with unfinished castle of Lord Hastings, 3 miles South of Groby
Groby Parish also includes the settlement of Field Head, an area of housing joined to the village of Markfield
on the A50, near the Field Head hotel (actually in the parish of Newtown Linford
), built from local stone, that dates back to 1672.