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Melton Mowbray >  Google™ Map Sep 2022  Leicestershire Coat of Arms

middel middle + tūn Old English farmstead, settlement + moubray unknown family name. Population - 27,158.

England-Leicestershire Flag UK > England > Leicestershire

Sep 2022

Leicestershire Coat of Arms

Right then, let's nip this elephant in the bud. Look closely and there are two of them next to each other there, one of them of Ye Olde Shoppe variety.

Melton Mowbray - Dickinson & Morris, Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe

The pork pie, of course, Mowbray's famous export but, get this, not a single slice was sampled on SlyBob's visit.

There's no particular aversion and Melton is rightly proud of their provenance. The hot water crust pastry recipe is medieval, they say, and the dense piggy interior and layer of salty gel beats  sitting in a sleazy snack bar sucking sickly sausage rolls although, they too, can be quite moreish.

No, this visit was a simple and straightforward overnighter and even Bob draws the line at pork pies for breakfast on a Sunday even if Nigel's Coffee Shop tried to unsuccessfully upsell some of Saturday's slightly stale ones.

  Regal Cinema (King Street)

You'll find Nigel opposite the Art Deco Regal Cinema where regular, retro screenings of the '80s teen raunchfest  Porky's aren't thought to be a thing, eh?

Melton Mowbray - Regal Cinema

The town's theatre is just a five-minute trot away and with a trendy, Italian restaurant housed in the cinema, this trio of venues serve many of Melton's sophisticates.

From the din blasting out of the Half Moon Inn at 9.30 PM, however, it would appear that the town caters to all tastes.

There's a thriving, nighttime economy but not solely of the sort seen through the Half Moon's sweaty windows. Workshopping gamers, a busy nail bar and ditto mini-mart are all open later than you might expect although the bustle has subsided come sunrise.

The pedestrianised high street has been busier, probably, just not so on a Sunday morning and there's a false memory of having driven through here not so long ago.

Melton Mowbray - Market Place

Not the through bit, though, that much is true and definitely happened, just not along here although enough was seen to file Melton in the could-be-worth-a-night-on-the-way-back-up-north category.

Hey, who doesn't enjoy affecting an area of effect having rolled a 20-sided die and Bob's nails often need a right good buffing after a busy day bashing away at a keyboard, eh?

  The Kettleby Cross (Wilton Road) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Kettleby Cross, a reference to a reference point on a 16th-century town map.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale but the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming gets an impressive (4/5). That's despite the original boundary marker being a few hundred yards away, that and the fact that SlyBob also like old maps.

  Spice Club (Nottingham Street)

It's as busy as a nightclub in here and SlyBob think they can snuck in 15 minutes early by pretending to forget the exact time of the reservation. No such luck, that table will have to wait, although they're efficiently quick to quench before it's up another level to an area that's just as lively.

Bob's Chef's-Specials radar needs a bit of tweaking, one that was equally and ever-so-slightly too sweet was taken a couple of weeks ago on the way down on the outskirts of Nottingham. That's a lesson that's already been learned in Scotland so, when next in the Midlands, it's the safe bet and a Balti.

That, however, is no longer an option following a change of owners, the former having done some fine work on the local feeding front during you-know-what, reportedly. The Gurkha Express will now lead you down the Nepalese route although the Bhuteko Masu in North Norfolk, of all places, will take some topping.

There's more business as usual along Sherrard Street but what's this? It's only an enticing lane of the kind typically found in, well, a medieval market town and it looks like it needs a right good looking down.

Melton Mowbray - Church Street
Melton Mowbray - St Mary's Church

It leads to the back of St Mary's Church where there's honestly not much interest in what goes on inside, honestly, but they can't half catch the eye from the outside. This is the largest one in Leicestershire, no less, and could qualify as a cathedral, which it isn't, but suffered from a cowboy restoration in Victorian times.

Empty pews entering the millenium weren't down to an increasingly secular society rather the danger of a falling roof, divine interception excepted, and not until 2017 was a more reliable restoration able to guarantee some safety at the sermon.

  Melton Carnegie Museum (Thorpe End)

Past the routine retail on Sherrard Street, you'll find the Melton Carnegie Museum and yes, that one! Some of the U.S. industrialist's benevolence made its way to the Midlands and highlights inside include a two-headed calf, deceased, and a claim to the phrase 'Painting the town red".

A bunch of inebriated noblemen, quite literally, literally did just that back in 1837, Queen Victoria's inaugural year, and the townsfolk were not amused. Daubing doors and statues with proto-tins of Raspberry Macaroon, this wanton act of vandalism went unpunished until the toffs were tracked down although it's not known if the tradition continues at spilling out time at the Half Moon.

Some curious doings back in the churchyard of St Mary's. You'll have to head inside, however, to say hello to Roger Mowbray, a descendent of de Norman interlopers who helped to name that toon.

No, alongside the traditional graves there are a couple of intriguing, interconnected blocks that look to have a bit of age to them.

Melton Mowbray - St Mary's Church

Are these indeed from the time of Willie Conker or could these even be Roman or even older and Pagan, possibly?

Nah! Looks like they're just part of the elaborate guttering that was replaced in 2017, the holes are a clue. That, though, might still make them centuries old and, get this, nobody else out there in internetland seems to know, neither!

This block can lay claim to being one of the earlier almshouses in England although they're no longer home to those with not much in the way of life savings.

Melton Mowbray - Burton Street

There were no such financial concerns over the road at the Anne of Cleves pub, not shown, originally home to the clergy of St Mary's but confiscated by Henry VIII while he was inventing the word dissolution.

When Anne joined the formerly exclusive divorced club, the house was part of the settlement although it's not thought she ever stayed there, never mind just paying the town a visit for a pork pie.

Thomas Cromwell should have swiped left on Tudor Tinder™, the house an initial reward for his matchmaking but he'd soon go on to lose it, along with his head, when Henry's interest in the proposition dwindled.

The name may have a whiff of the Wetherspoon™s but, par for the norm, the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming won't be getting a visit today but will be receiving a generous (4/5) for the obscure geographical reference to the Kettleby Cross, whatever and wherever that was.

No, this one is part of the regional Everard's brewery empire with a big old area out back and it's nowhere near as noisy as the Half Moon.

It's only now known that Melton is being sold as the UK's 'Rural Capital of Food'. Their pork pies and Stilton™ are famous worldwide, for sure, but the, quite frankly, Red Leicester™ is overrated despite it being a good 'griller'.

There's still some work to be done, then, because, thinking about it, the campaign hasn't even got half of a Ploughman's Lunch at the Anne of Cleves covered, eh?

  The Harboro Hotel (Burton Street)

Good-value lodgings where warnings of muddy boots in the corridors shouldn't worry. Jobbing builders have to stay somewhere but they've all cleared off come the weekend. A couple of private parties and a sizeable bar needn't concern, neither, they're far enough away not to trouble and if that's not enough, they've got a curry house in it!

Operating out of a kitchen conversion in the car park, there are quite a number of customers but, apologies to the Harboro, this wasn't known at the time. Besides, that would have rendered a reconnaissance redundant and none of you would now be reading this nonsense, eh?

What's What
 The Anne of Cleves
 Dickinson & Morris, Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe
 Melton Carnegie Museum