county acres north leicestershire
RUTLAND, the smallest county in England, is bounded s N. and N.E. by Lincolnshire, S.E. by Northamptonshire, v and W. by Leicestershire. Its shape is extremely irregular. I' The greatest length from north-east to south-west is about The Welland, which is navigable to Stamford, flows north-east, forming the greater part of the boundary of the county with Northamptonshire. The Gwash or Wash, which rises in Leicestershire, flows eastwards through the centre of the county, and just beyond its borders, enters the Welland in Lincolnshire. The Chater, also rising in Leicestershire and flowing eastwards enters the Welland about two miles from Stamford. The Eye flows southeastwards along the borders of Leicestershire. The county belongs almost entirely to the Jurassic formation, consisting of Liassic and Oolitic strata - the harder strata, chiefly limestone containing iron, forming the hills and escarpments, and the clay-beds the slopes of the valleys. The oldest rocks are those belonging to the Lower Lias in the north-west. The bittom of the vale of Catmoss is formed of marlstone rock belonging to the Middle Lias, and its sides are composed of long slopes of Upper Lias clay. The Upper Lias also covers a large area in the west of the county. The lowest series of the Oolitic formation is the Northampton sands bordering Northamptonshire. The Lincolnshire Oolitic limestone prevails in the east of the county north of Stamford. It is largely quarried for building purposes, the quarry at Ketton being famous beyond the boundaries of the county. The Great Oolite prevails towards the south-east. Formerly the iron was largely dug and smelted by means of the wood in the extensive forests, and the industry is again reviving.
Agriculture. - In the eastern and south-eastern districts the soil is light and shallow. In the other districts it consists chiefly of a tenacious but fertile loam, and in the fertile vale of Catmoss the soil is either clay or loam, or a mixture of the two. The prevailing redness, which colours even the streams, is owing to the ferruginous limestone carried down from the slopes of the hills. The name of the county is by some authorities derived from this characteristic of the soil, but the explanation is doubtful. The eastern portions of the county aro chiefly under tillage and the western in grass. Out of 94,889 acres no fewer than 86,477 acres in 1885 were under cultivation, corn crops occupying 22,820 acres, green crops 7520 acres, rotation grasses 6553 acres, and permanent pasture 47,816 acres. Over 3000 acres were under woodland. The principal corn crop is barley, which occupied 9484 acres, but wheat and oats are also largely grown. Turnips and swedes occupy about five-sixths of the area under green crops. The rearing of sheep and cattle occupies the chief attention of the farmer. Large quantities of cheese are manufactured and sold as Stilton. Cattle, principally shorthorns, numbered 19,810, of which 3054 were cows and heifers in milk and in calf. Sheep - Leicesters and South Downs - numbered 80,881, horses 3062, pigs 3054, and poultry 27,376. According to the parliamentary return of 1873 the number of proprietors was 1425, of whom 861 possessed less than one acre. The largest proprietors were the earl of Gainsborough 15,076, Lord Aveland 13,634, marquis of Exeter 10,713, and George H. Finch 9182.
Railways. - Tho main line of the Great Northern intersects the north-eastern corner of the county, and branches of that system, of the London and North-Western, and of the Midland connect it with all parts of the country.
Administration and Population.---Rutland comprises five hundreds and contains fifty-seven civil parishes, and part of the parish of Stoke-Dry, which extends into Leicestershire. Formerly represented by two members of parliament, since 1885'it returns one only. There is no municipal or parliamentary borough. The county has one court of quarter sessions, but is not subdivided for petty sessional purposes. Ecclesiastically it is entirely in the diocese of Peterborough. The population was 21,861 in 1861, 22,073 in 1871, and 21,434 in 1881. The average number of persons to an acre in 1881 was 0'23, and of acres to a person 4'43.
History and Antiquities. - In the time of the Romans the district now included in Rutlandshiro was probably inhabited by the Coritani, and was included in Flavia Ctesariensis. Ermyn Street traversed it in the north-cast, and there was an important station at Great Casterton. As a shire it is later than Domesday, when a portion of it was included in Northamptonshire but the greater part in Nottingham. It is referred to as coin. Roteland in the fifth year of King John, in the document assigning a dowry to Queen Isabella, but for a long time previous to this the name Roteland was applied to Oakham and the country round it. Edward, eldest son of Edmund of Langley, fifth son of Edward III., was created earl of Rutland, but the title became extinct in the royal house when Edward earl of Rutland was stabbed to death at the battle of Clifford. In 1525 the title was revived in the person of Lord Ros, and the tenth earl was created duke in 1703. At the battle of Stamford in 1970 Lancaster was defeated by Edward IV. The only old castle of which there are important remains is Oakham, dating from the time of Henry II., and remarkable for its Norman hall.