This map shows the boundaries of the Belvoir country at a hedgerow level of detail. The Belvoir's eastern boundary is unclear. Notionally, its country extends to the east coast around The Wash, but the Belvoir/Cottesmore boundary beyond Pinchbeck is ill-defined. The River Glen and, from where it joins the River Welland, eastwards along the Welland is the most likely boundary. The eastern Belvoir boundary is thus shown on the map as a straight line connecting the eastmost 'definitive' boundary points.
How to use this map
The boundary of the Belvoir Hunt country is drawn in cream/orange and markers highlight points of interest. The boundary is based on the traditional one from AH Swiss's 1890s map which is annexed to copies of, among others, T.F. Dale's The History of the Belvoir Hunt (1899). The country currently hunted has changed in places due mainly to road-building. These changes are summarised below.
The map can be zoomed in and out by clicking on the '+' (zoom in) and '—' (zoom out) buttons or using the scroll-wheel on a mouse. The map can be panned up, down, left and right by dragging the map.
Clicking your mouse on one of the markers will cause a 'balloon' to open with more details. Some markers just display a name, and for these markers moving your mouse off the marker will close the balloon window. Other markers display a photo and an extended text description; these balloon windows remain displayed even when your mouse moves off the marker (this is to allow you to use the mini scroll bar which appears in some balloon windows), and for these markers you should click the 'X' in the top right-hand corner of the balloon window to close it.
To avoid clutter on the map where, in places, markers would otherwise jostle to be visible, some markers are not displayed until the map has been zoomed in sufficiently.
The meaning of each marker symbol is:
|Kennels, Belvoir Castle
|Coverts the hunt is responsible for
|Neutral (shared) coverts
|Below is a list of coverts and other points of interest (the ones you might have trouble finding!)...
just click on a venue in the list below: the venue's marker will appear in the centre of the map and a balloon will open which points to the marker
Lastly, please be patient as the map loads — there is a great deal going on behind the scenes to provide you with a unique way to explore the Belvoir country
Changes to the hunted countryFirstly, Swiss's map has the boundary circling the north side of Aslockton station. This appears to be a drafting error as the River Smite (the boundary in that area) sweeps between the south side of Aslockton station and Whatton (the Smite is known to have been rechanneled to prevent flooding in Aslockton, but is unlikely to have been moved that extensively).
Secondly, the roads near the boundary have in places moved. The A17 — which forms most of the northern boundary — is a good example. The current A17 has been used as the boundary in most places even where is has been straightened. In Sleaford, however, the traditional boundary goes via the town centre which puts Sleaford Wood (which is south of the current A17) in Blankney country. By contrast, the area north of the A17 around Cranwell between Leadenham and Sleaford is within the traditional boundary but is largely unhunted.
East of Melton Mowbray, the boundary between the Belvoir and Cottesmore countries follows the River Eye. But in Melton itself, things get more complex as the boundaries of the Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn notionally meet in the Market Place. Coming from the Stapleford direction, the River Eye enters the town alongside the railway, meets the Scalford Brook as it passes the Mars (formerly Pedigree Petfoods) plant, and follows the railway under the bridge that carries the A606 Melton-to-Oakham road. For the three 'countries' to meet in the Market Place, the Belvoir / Cottesmore boundary would have to follow Sherrard Street as far as Thorpe End (under which Scalford Brook is now culverted), and then Scalford Brook until it meets the River Eye. But no documentary evidence for this has been found. An alternative and commonly depicted boundary (and the one shown on this map) follows the River Eye westward under the railway bridge, then under the railway and northwards through Play Close, past the front of Egerton Lodge to join Asfordby Road just west of the present Leisure Centre and then back towards Melton to join Nottingham Road. A variant of this route not shown on this map but typically shown on maps dating from the 1940s and 1950s shows the section from Leicester Road bridge as following Wilton Road towards Nottingham Road (instead of passing in front of Egerton Lodge), but this is clearly a boundary of convenience rather than the traditional one since Wilton Road was only constructed in 1928. But to make things even more complex, the now-vanished Melton-to-Oakham canal (1795 — 1847) also closely followed the course of the River Eye to a now-filled-in canal basin sited where the Melton - Oakham railway bridge was later built, and the Leicester-to-Melton canal also ran through Play Close; so it is difficult to have the last word on exactly where the boundary originally lay. These boundaries are of academic interest within the centre of Melton as the hunts meet on neutral ground (formerly the Market Place and now Play Close) at the invitation of the Town Estate (which, in passing, pre-dates all three hunts...).
Several purportedly definitive boundary maps have been produced over the past hundred years or so which, more often than not, differ in the boundary depicted for (clockwise from Melton Mowbray) Melton itself, Holwell Mouth, Newark to Beckingham, Brant Broughton eastwards, Colsterworth to Buckminster Lodge, and Stapleford Park. What is certain, however, is that the boundaries and the list of neutral coverts have changed significantly over the last two hundred years. For example, in 1822, it was agreed between the Cottesmore and Belvoir that Stoke Park Wood, Kirkby Wood and Aslackby Wood would be Belvoir coverts. However, when in 1842 William 1st Earl of Lonsdale (MFH Cottesmore 1788-1802 and 1806-1842) finally retired from the mastership, the boundaries were restated as follows (inter alia): "The road that runs between Easton and Witham Woods to Irnham Village divides the country", and that the following were neutral: "Burton Woods, Easton Wood and Pasture, Bitchfield, Osgaby Coppice, Irnham Old Park Wood (perhaps Irnham 'Far' Old Park Wood did not exist then as a separate wood), Stoke Park Wood, Butley (?? - Bulby?) Hall, Kaisby, Kirkby, Aslackby and Dunsby Wood". But by the 1890s, most of these neutral coverts were, with the exception of Irnham Old Park Wood and Dunsby Wood, solidly within Belvoir country.