Defending Leicestershire and Rutland

Author(s): Mike Osborne 

ISBN: 9781781555781
£11.89 £16.99
The first comprehensive account of Leicestershire and Rutland’s defensible structures within their historical, social, political and military contexts.
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  • A survey of the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland based on fieldwork and documentary evidence

  • The text provides the social, political, historical and military contexts for the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland

  • Illustrations demonstrate the wide range of structures, which make up the military landscape of Leicestershire and Rutland

  • Appendices supplementing the text with comprehensive detail on specific classes of monument such as airfields

Leicestershire and Rutland have seen the movement of armies from Roman times to the Civil War with the decisive battles of Bosworth and Naseby and many others. The Victorians saw the development of both the regular and volunteer forces, which would later fight in two world wars. The development of military flight was a twentieth-century theme, witnessing defence against Zeppelins in the First World War; jet engines and US airborne forces in the Second World War; and elements of Britain’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War.

During the Second World War, the eavesdroppers of the ‘Y’ Service at Beaumanor Hall provided much of the raw material for Bletchley Park’s codebreakers. Evidence of this activity is visible in the landscape: castles of earthwork, stone or brick; barracks and volunteer drill halls; airfields, missile sites and munitions factories; pillboxes, observer corps posts and bunkers.

Defending Leicestershire and Rutland places sites and figures such as William the Conqueror, Richard III and Cromwell into their social, political, historical and military contexts.

BOOK ISBN 9781781555781
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 208 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 119 black-and-white illustrations and photographs



Mike Osborne’s interest in fortification began with childhood visits to castles. It has developed over the years to include all aspects of the topic from iron-age forts to Cold War bunkers. He was a volunteer-co-ordinator for the Defence of Britain Project recording the military structures of the twentieth century. After a thirty-year career in education, he took early retirement and since then has produced nearly twenty books. Topics include Civil War sieges and fortifications, drill halls, twentieth-century military structures and the best-selling Defending Britain.