Swithland Wood

A large flood former quarry surrounded by woodland.

Swithland Wood (situated directly across the road on the northern side of Bradgate Park)  was one of the first disposals of the Bradgate Estate by the Grey family in 1921.  It was purchased by a local timber merchant who felled much of the timber.  To prevent the removal of further timber, and to conserve the Wood as one of the most wildlife rich and attractive woodlands in Leicestershire, The Rotary Club of Leicester launched an appeal for its purchase to ensure public access into the future.

This appeal was a success and the Club purchased Swithland Wood in 1925 and managed it themselves for a few years.

Following the success of the Trust’s work to promote public access at Bradgate Park, the Rotary Club of Leicester offered the Wood to the Trust, provided it remained available for public use for ever. The transfer of ownership was completed in 1931. This generous gift is commemorated in an inscription on the rock face of the former slate quarry in the centre of the Wood and on a plaque on the nearby surfaced track through the Wood.

The famous Swithland Slate – characteristic of many buildings in the area – was quarried from the two quarries in the Wood, which have since flooded. Access to the quarries is prohibited.