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Foxton is a village in Leicestershire, England, to the north-west of Market Harborough. The village is on the Grand Union Canal and is the site of the Foxton Locks and Foxton Inclined Plane.HistoryThe village has previously been known as Foxestone and Foxtone. It is believed to have developed these names from the large number of foxes which inhabit the area. Foxton was originally a hill-top settlement, thought to have been founded in Saxon times with a landscape fashioned in the ice-age. The village gradually moved down the valley side as a farming community, working on the open three field system until it was enclosed in 1770. Foxton remained virtually unchanged between Norman times until the end of the 18th century when the canal arrived from Leicester, cutting through the village. Agriculture began to diminish as improved communication and alternative job opportunities meant that people left their village to work and in the bringing of trade and industry via the canal. In 1935 a small area in the south-east of Foxton was transferred to Harborough, and a small part of Harborough was transferred to Foxton.GeographyThe parish’s approximately square ground area of 1,902 acres is hilly and well wooded. The soil is of a "rich loam; subsoil, clay". The Welland Valley was formed on the southern side of the village from a brook that cuts through Foxton from west to east; its highest point, just south of Foxton village, being 438 ft. above sea level. Features of the local countryside include spinneys and coverts which provide habitat for a large variety of wildlife.Foxton is a nucleated village, it mainly consists of three parallel streets: Main Street, Middle Street and Swingbridge Street, which run down the hill in a south-westerly direction. The highest part of the village is home to the church and the manor house, which are cornered off from the rest of the village by the Grand Union Canal.
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