Road, Rail and Waterway: A History of Transport in Leicestershire

Ref: C2341485

An efficiently functioning transport infrastructure is essential to an area's growth and development. We will explore the development of Leicestershire's road system from early tracks and pathways through to the application of the turnpike system to the county's main routes. This will be followed by an investigation of the way in which the River Soar contributed to Danish settlement, and subsequent economic growth, to become a navigable waterway at the heart of an important transport system bringing coal and other commodities to the growing industrialisation of the county. Finally the development of railways in the county will be explored, identifying how this contributed to the early development of railways in the country as a whole. The social and economic impact of each of these systems will be key themes cutting across all six sessions of the course. Maps, pictures and documents will be used to illustrate these themes.

Course aim

This course will introduce students to the early development [up to 1900] of Leicestershire's transport infrastructure, exploring the development of roads, waterways and railways, and their contribution to social and economic growth.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • appreciate the significance of Leicestershire's road netwok to the movement of goods, people and economic growth.
  • explain how and why Leicestershire's waterway network developed
  • describe the reasons for rapid development of railways in the county
  • explain the signifcance of transport systems to growth and development of Leicestershire's economy.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring reading glasses if you regularly use these for reading purposes

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Road, Rail and Waterway: A History of Transport in Leicestershire

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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