A potted history, by Caroline Smedley.
The history of Newton Regis begins in the reign of Henry II (1154-89).
Before that it was a part of the now smaller village or hamlet of Seckington.
Newton Regis is not specifically mentioned in the Domesday book, but it has
been suggested that two and a half hides held in 1086 in Seckington correspond
to present Newton Regis. At any rate, the church was a chapel to the earlier
church at Seckington, which does occur in Domesday.
In 1159 Newton appears in records for the first time, when land is recorded
as granted to Geoffrey Savage. There have been many landowners down the ages,
and the manor was held by several people at times. In the 18th and 19th centuries two
landowning families, the Burdetts and the Inges owned most of Newton Regis.
Their seats of power were respectively Bramcote Hall, now a ruin near Warton,
and Thorpe Hall, the seat of the present Inge-Innes-Lillingstons in Thorpe Constantine.
Newton Regis has also been known as Kings Newton, and in the 18th century picturesquely
as Newton-in-the-Thistles. The thistles might have been in fact teasels, used in the
processing of flax for linen production.
St Mary’s church in Newton Regis dates from the 13th and 14th centuries with a 15th century porch. It has many interesting features including a squint or “leper window”, a 15th century gravestone of a priest and some fine stained glass windows. The lychgate is also the village war memorial dating from 1928.
Seckington was a settlement in Saxon times. The Norman Earl of Mellant, or his son Robert Earl of Leicester, built the motte and bailey there, which is well-preserved and a scheduled ancient monument.
In 755 or 757, different sources give different dates, King Aethelbald of Mercia was murdered in Seckington, probably at the hands of his own henchmen.
Seckington was in the ownership of the Burdett family from c1300 to the late 19th century, and the church contains a very fine Elizabethan monument to Robert Burdett, who died in 1603. The church is partly 13th and partly 14th century.
No Man’s Heath is a 19th century settlement. Before 1800 it was heathland belonging to neither of the adjoining parishes, and as such was a refuge for fugitives from the law and the site of prize fights.
The settlement grew from squatters building small cottages on the unclaimed land. The church was built in 1863, but is no longer used for worship, and by 1871 the population was 122.
The Four Counties Spice, formerly the The Four Counties public house, is named from the spot where four county boundaries used to meet.