"Leicestershire, inland, bounded N. by Notts, E. by Lincolnshire and Rutland, SE. by Northamptonshire, SW by Warwickshire, and NW. by Derbyshire; greatest length, about 44 miles; greatest breadth, about 40 miles; area, 511,907 acres, population, 321,258. Low undulating hills cover the surface of the county, the highest elevation being Fardon Hill (902 ft.), in the Charnwood range. Charnwood Forest, in the NW., is now nearly destitute of trees. The principal rivers are tributaries of the Trent, which flows in the NW. of the county; these are the Soar, Wreak, Anker, Devon, and Mease. The Avon and Welland flow in the S. Two canals, the Union and the Grand Union, are connected with the Grand Junction Canal. Much of the soil is loamy, and the richest districts are kept in pasture, upon which are reared the varieties of sheep and cattle for which the county is famous. Dairy farms are numerous, especially in the vicinity of Melton Mowbray, where the well-known Stilton cheese is largely produced. Leicestershire consists mostly of the new red sandstone formation. The coal measures have a total area of ahout 15 square miles, the most productive mines being in the neighbourhood of Ashby de la Zouch. Hosiery is the leading manufacture, the wool employed being that of Leicestershire sheep."
[Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]