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Lilbourne - Northamptonshire
Lilbourne is one of Northamptonshire's most historic villages with evidence that it has survived from a pattern of settlements originating at least in the Iron Age. Built by the River Avon, it stood in an important and strategic position at the cross-roads of the ancient 'Oxford Way', running north up to Newcastle and the route from Coventry through Rugby to Hunsbury. The remains of a typical motte-and-bailey castle built following the Norman conquest to defend these important routes can still be seen opposite the church of All Saints.
The church is the oldest in the district dating back to at least the 12th century. Much restoration was carried out in the early 1900s and it is considered by English Heritage to be of significant interest.
The village developed through the centuries as a busy market trading centre and the Horsepool was the original field where the horses coming to market would be rested. The industrial revolution finally brought the railways to Lilbourne and the nature of the village population's working existence began to change with employment moving to the local towns of Rugby and Market Harborough. The line was closed by Beecham in 1966. Today the village offers an attractive retreat to those who enjoy the Northamptonshire countryside but require access to the major road networks of the A14, M1, M6 and A5. Railway links to London are from Rugby and will take under an hour.
The local town of Rugby has excellent schools, the renowned Rugby School being the home to the game of Rugby Football and Bilton High and the Lawrence Sherriff offering grammar school education for girls and boys respectively. A vibrant shopping centre provides a selection of supermarkets and individual stores and the town is well served by a good range of English and ethnic restaurants and public houses. For those who enjoy sport, the town has Football, Rugby, Athletics and Volleyball clubs with the Ken Marriot Sports Centre providing a gymnasium, tennis courts and swimming pool. Sailing and Fishing are available at nearby Draycote Water, canal boats for hire at Crick and a wealth of historic villages and beautiful countryside surround Lilbourne for those wishing to explore.