|Humberstone & Hamilton|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Leicester East|
Humberstone & Hamilton is an electoral ward and administrative division of the city of Leicester, England. It comprises the north-eastern Leicester suburbs of Humberstone, Humberstone Garden, Hamilton and Netherhall.
Humberstone & Hamilton is bordered by the wards of Rushey Mead to the north, Charnwood to the east and Coleman and Thurncourt to the south. West and north are the boroughs of Charnwood and Melton in the county of Leicestershire.
The ward takes its name from the historical village of Humberstone and the modern housing estate of Hamilton. The place-name 'Humberstone' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as 'Humerstane'. The name means 'Hunbeorht's stone'. The "Humber stone" is a granite monolith of unknown (perhaps glacial) origin that lies in a field in Hamilton. Until 1750 it had been fully exposed, but was then truncated and the remainder buried by a farmer. In the 1980s it was partially uncovered and made accessible to the public. It was then fenced in when the Leicester north ring road was built and had a sign erected at the site, describing the stone's history.
Hamilton was named after a deserted medieval village in the civil parish of Barkby Thorpe, just outside the Leicester city boundary. The name is being revived for new developments on the A563 road, east of Rushey Mead.
The village of Humberstone has been inhabited for many centuries. Part of the wall around the local St Mary's church is an original cob wall. There is also a thatched cottage dating from a similar time. Most of the houses in Humberstone were built in the 1920s on land that previously was part of the estate of Humberstone Manor. Some of the gardens in the area bear testament to this as they still have parts of the century-old orchard trees in them.
Humberstone was formally annexed to the city in 1935. In the late 1980s and early 1990s several private gardens were sold to property developers, but a combination of local hostility and a crash in the property market resulted in the land becoming disused. It has since been taken over by the council and converted into a public garden.
The development of Humberstone Garden was based on the principles of the Garden city movement. Garden suburbs modified the principles of garden cities to allow for residential "garden suburbs" without the commercial and industrial components of the garden city. They were built on the outskirts of cities, in rural settings such as Humberstone.
The Humberstone Garden Suburb is notable because it is the only time that a UK workers cooperative created a housing cooperative and built a housing estate for its members. The Anchor Tenants housing Association was formed in 1887 by the workers cooperative of the Anchor Boot and Shoe Co-operative Society which was a co-operatively run boot and shoe works in Asforby Street Leicestershire. The members of the cooperative contributed a percentage of their wages and bought a block of land just outside Leicester by the village of Humberstone, and they built 97 houses. The first houses were in use by 1908 and the Anchor employees were let houses by the association at a rent that was collected to cover the upkeep of the properties.
Humberstone & Hamilton had a population of 11,893 at the 2001 census. The ward has a relatively older population, with the greatest share of the area's residents being between the ages of 30 and 59.
Compared to the Leicester average, Humberstone & Hamilton's Asian population is a minority at 19%, with a 73% native English population.
Until the mid-1980s Humberstone village had two pubs, The Humberstone (which still exists) and The Windmill (which lay derelict until the late 1990s when it was demolished). The village is also home to two members' clubs, the Humberstone Royal British Legion and the Old Humberstone Constitutional clubs.
Humberstone has a bowls club and a youth football club, Humberstone Rangers. There was a tennis club in the village until the mid-noughties when it was demolished and houses built there. The local golf club, Humberstone Heights, is one of the few council-run clubs in the city.
Humberstone Garden originally contained a bowling green, a cricket pitch, skittle alley, football ground, tennis courts and golf links. These facilities and the shoe factory no longer exist but the housing estate still remains intact.
Humberstone has a primary school, comprising two separate schools (Humberstone Infants and Humberstone Juniors) which are adjacent. There was a public library situated next to the school, but it was relocated to the car park of the nearby Hamilton Tesco Extra store in the mid-2000s. There are two primary schools in Hamilton; Kestrel's Field Primary School, which opened in the early 1990s, and Hope Hamilton, which is Church of England aided.
Hamilton Community College is attended by students between the ages of 11 to 16. Nearby Keyham Lodge School is an all-boys school for 11- to 16-year-old children with learning disabilities and behavioural problems. Gateway Sixth Form College have recently opened a building opposite the Tesco store, with a pedestrian footbridge across the outer ring road between the college and Tesco.
Humberstone formerly had a station on the Leicester spur of the Great Northern Railway, named Humberstone railway station. Further to the west, Humberstone Road railway station was on the Midland Main Line.
Humberstone & Hamilton is part of the Leicester East constituency, a traditionally safe Labour seat.
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