WHATEVER your views on hunting it has helped shape the Melton we know today so this week Times Past features an important new book, The Belvoir by Michael Clayton.
The Belvoir hounds, owned by successive Dukes of Rutland from no later than 1762, is now one of only three packs in the UK bred entirely on Old English Foxhound lines, and the kennels are still at Belvoir Castle.
The Belvoir hunt, meanwhile, has always had a reputation for providing particularly exciting foxhunting sport over superb terrain.
But Michael Clayton’s book is not just about its history, despite the famous characters, celebrities and royals who have rode with The Belvoir.
It also gets to the heart of what made the hunt one of the most famous in the world, celebrating both the countryside and its unique sporting heritage, as well as telling how it survived two wars, its own dramas and the hunting ban.
The author, who lives in Morcott, Rutland, is a highly-respected journalist and writer of more than 20 books on hunting and equestrianism who has ridden with The Belvoir many times.
The book, which is lavishly illustrated, is published by Merlin Unwin Books and priced at £25.