A Disastrous Wager

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Medbourne is an ancient village in Leicestershire with a medieval stone bridge over a brook, a beautiful church and a traditional public house.

The Nevill Arms Inn has that comfortable look of having been settled in place for ever, and there has indeed been an inn of that name here since medieval times.

But this particular one was built in 1863 after its predecessor was burnt to the ground in somewhat unusual circumstances.

Towards the end of a boisterous evening’s drinking, a traveler staying at the inn was boasting that he could support the smithy’s anvil on his chest while a horseshoe was being forged on it.

The wagers were placed and four men lugged the anvil into place on the stranger’s stomach and the village blacksmith, who was in attendance began forging.

Within minutes, stray sparks had set the Inn on fire, and within a couple of hours the Inn was completely gutted.


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Book Recommendations.

If you are interested in Leicester’s history then we recommend the following book (Click on the images or links below)

Leicester: A Modern History

“This lavishly produced book brings together an impressive amount of new historical research which seeks to answer this question, providing fresh interpretations of Leicester’s history since 1800. The chapters analyse the events, changes and characteristics that have shaped the city and given it its distinctive identity. The sights, sounds and smells of the city in the twenty-first century are products of cumulative layers of history, layers which are peeled back by a specially assembled team of historians, all of whom have lived and worked in Leicester for many years. The result is an important book which helps us to understand the city’s past, so that we may better understand the present and know how to approach the future. Above all, this fascinating volume demonstrates that Leicester is a quietly confident city built on firm historical foundations of which Leicester citizens of today can feel very proud.”


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Thomas Kirkup is an engineer in the Royal Navy. Born and raised in Leicester he is fascinated by the city's long and varied history. He also hates to discus himself in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.
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