Loughborough is a large town in Leicestershire and is perhaps best known for its internationally respected university. Loughborough University, since its inception over a century ago (1909) as the town's Technical Institute, has grown to be one the the UK's most respected universities, and is widely recognised as the UK's leading university for sport.
But since its beginnings Loughborough University has maintained strong links with industry and the professions and is valued as an important research centre nowadays. As a result of this, the town has attracted a number of major engineering firms as well as several large pharmaceutical companies.
In contrast to the cutting edge academic reputation afforded to Loughborough from its university, the town is in fact an ancient one and its cultural heritage is apparent in the its striking architecture. Loughborough is repleat with many examples of building styles spanning the centuries from the middle ages onwards. The nineteenth century Italian-style Town Hall is a notable example and in a former incarnation was in fact the town's Corn Exchange. All Saints Church in the Medieval heart of the old town is another notable example. It was constructed in the fourteenth century and is one of the largest parish churches in Britain. The Old Rectory, next door to the church, is older still and stands today as a rare example of a 13th century stone manor house. The rectory is now home to a fascinating museum dedicated to local history.