Taylor's Bell Foundry in Loughborough

Charnwood's rich heritage stretches back nearly 600 million years when the distinctive rocky formations, which can be seen around the borough, were formed.

The area is the resting place of the oldest fossils in England and the intricate Charnia fossil, discovered in Charnwood Forest in 1957, proved to the world that animals had existed on Earth far earlier than previously thought. Charnwood Forest is so significant it is bidding to become a UNESCO Global Geopark.

At the heart of this dramatic landscape is the dynamic university and market town of Loughborough.

Loughborough's history goes back to the Bronze Age, with a potential Bronze Age Hill Fort on the university campus. Some archaeological evidence of the period of Roman occupation has been unearthed, the Anglo-Saxon street layouts and names were adopted in the early Medieval period. The late Mediaeval period brought in a rich period of woollen production whilst the eighteenth century saw advances in agriculture and animal husbandry and an involvement in hosiery making.

Loughborough's built environment is varied and reflects Loughborough's prosperity down the years. A small selection of buildings carry listed building status, some have been designed by nationally-known architects, others by local ones, and some buildings are nationally significant, either for their design and construction, or for their purpose.