Many street names in East Leake follow a theme such as trees, birds or flowers. Other roads, particularly in the older parts of the village, have names rooted in local history.
Here are some examples.
Bateman Road: Rev. John Bateman was Rector of Leake 1836-1882. The adjacent road names are ecclesiastical, being cathedral cities, with Southwell Close named after the diocese.
Bley Avenue: Named after the village benefactor John Bley (1674-1731). An illegitimate child whose father was rumoured to be a member of the local clergy, at the age of 15 he went to London as an apprentice, and subsequently made his fortune as a gin distiller. He had a large house built on Main Street for his mother, which was known as Joyce’s Manor and is easily identified by the date 1728 built into the side wall. Later it became the village post office. In 1724 he founded the John Bley Free School which was built on the site where Brookside School now stands, and paid the teacher’s salary. In his Will he left a bequest of £10 to every poor family in East Leake and the surrounding villages. John Bley’s tomb sits in front of St. Mary’s church.
Burton Walk: Five members of the Burton family held the office of Parish Clerk for a total of 146 years from 1750 to 1896.
Carlton Crescent: Harry Carlton was noted for his public work for the Parish, District and County Councils. In 1934 he was Captain of The Rushcliffe Golf Club. When built in 1957 the Harry Carlton Comprehensive School was named after him (it became the East Leake Academy in 2012).
Cromwell Drive: It was thought that the two stone slabs by the church door mark the graves of Civil War soldiers who were killed nearby in a skirmish. However a renowned church archaeologist claimed that this was highly unlikely and that they are staddle stones. The burial of four Civil War combatants is recorded in the church register, which was common practice, but the archaeologist thinks they would not have warranted grave markers. However the theory of a local conflict is upheld as it is said that in1890 a cannon ball was found embedded some nine inches into the limestone foundation of the old bakehouse near the bottom of Castle Hill.
De Ferrers Close: Named after the Norman, Henry de Ferrers, who received the main manor of Leake from William the Conqueror (1066).
Firth Close: Charlie Firth (1916-1988) was quite a character who had many tales to tell about the village. He was a porter at East Leake station before it closed, then caretaker of Brookside School, and a parish councillor. In the late1960s he once featured in the radio programme “Down Your Way” when he was interviewed in his “chicken shed museum”.
Fisher Close: Was built on what was once the Hill open field, and named after a shepherd who owned a plot of land on which he grazed his flock. He died in 1648.
Hawley Close: Richard Hawley, a geologist, was schoolmaster of The Bley School for 48 years. His grave in St. Mary’s churchyard is next to that of John Bley, founder of the school.
Oldershaw Road: Named after the Oldershaw family who farmed this land for about 150 years, initially as tenants and later as owners.