. . . . . . . Our permissive paths are open 6am to midnight - enjoy a walk around our sites . . . . . . . Gift your family and friends a year's membership of Swannington Heritage Trust for Christmas . . . . . . . .

Would you like us to come to your group?  Request a talk from one of our volunteer speakers.

We are able to provide speakers on a wide range of subjects to groups and organisations.  Our very knowledgeable volunteers have a number of talks ready to share.  For all talks apart from Vanishing Windmills of Leicestershire please email the Trust using the History and Archives option on the contact form.   A selection of our talks include:

The Amazing Transformation Of Hough Mill

A 25 year journey from Swannington Heritage Trust’s purchase of the mill in 1994 to the fitting of framework sails in 2019.  Thousands of hours of volunteer time have been supplemented by £200,000 in external financing to deliver this exciting project.

Derelict 1930s Thringstone Smock Mill and 2019 Hough Mill with new framework sails
In 2014 the horizontal wallower was added to the near vertical brakewheel of 2012
Fitting the sails in 2019 needed an expensive crane and cherry picker

A coal mining dynasty

In the 1850’s Benjamin Walker owned coal mines in Newbold, Coleorton and Swannington.  His 150 year dynasty covered seven counties from Staffordshire down to Middlesex and included 300 people, 16 mining engineers and 12 coal merchants.

Vanishing Windmills of Leicestershire (About 1 hour)

Looking at the history of milling, with slides, showing several Windmills around the county.  How a mill works and what led to their demise.

For this talk only contact 01509 890830 or mark.temple@rural-web.me.uk

Leicestershire industrialists, their non industrial legacy

Whose offer of paintings led to the creation of a famous art gallery?
Who was not a very good businessman, yet his legacies are still used by people throughout the country every day?
The scope of his business ideas were matched by the size of his bricks?
Which businessman gave the council a gift fit for a queen?

Leicestershire industrialists were involved in coal mines, quarries, iron works, brick making, railways, canals, hosiery and much more.  Yet their legacy is far wider than industrial remnants and history.  Their legacy includes parks, walks through beautiful woodlands, art galleries, churches, charitable giving and people reaching the highest positions in the land.

Trouble and strife, the challenges in getting a wife

Centuries of wedding traditions, changes in the law and other factors have complicated the lifetime union of a woman with a man. They also changed the course of history as well as impacting upon the lives of many individuals.

The expense of marrying by licence instead of by banns was a status symbol
Would couples kiss under the mistletoe if they knew the meaning of the name?
The world's first proxy marriage in space involved a Russian and Texas law

The industrial development of Swannington

A very informative talk illustrating the industrial developments of this little village.  You will be amazed at the variety and wealth of history to be discovered amongst the buildings, cottages and landscape.

To include details of,

One of the world’s first railways!

A tanner’s wealth.

Coal mining before Magna Carta.

The tramway to a canal that failed.

The windmill that moved between villages.

Building Coalville’s memorial clocktower

“The memorial clock tower is an imposing, proud and architecturally distinctive tribute to The Fallen of the First and Second World Wars” from historicengland.org.uk

Interested if finding out the details behind this local Landmark? Our volunteer speaker will have all the answers to,

Who decided to build a clocktower?
Where did the money come from?
Who built it?
Why did they do it?

Walter Moss and Co built Coalville Clock Tower
The clock tower and roundabout in the 1960's
The bell was rehoused during the 2018 clock tower restoration

Cardiff and Leicester – so similar yet so different

They were both celtic settlements on the banks of a river, have Roman, Viking and Norman legacies, plus many other similarities. In many ways they are very similar as cities, yet they developed at very different rates, each city making some advances centuries before the other.

Two fabulous cities with lots of similarities and differences
The river Soar and the canal extended Leicester's trade
Cardiff became the biggest exporter of coal in the world