Garendon Abbey was founded by the Cistercians in 1133, and they had a lasting effect on the area. Thorpe Acre, now a suburb of Loughborough, was a village housing the local people who worked for the Abbey. Dishley housed the grange farm. And the little known but important bridge known as the Stonebow carried the monks' route between Garendon and Dishley.
The Abbey ended its days at Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.
A Palladian mansion was built on the site in the 17th century, and this was replaced by a newer building in the 19th century. This was demolished in 1964, and the stone used as hardcore for the M1.
The Bavarian Arch is a gateway built by William Railton, and there are a number of follies still standing, notably the Temple of Venus, Triumphal Arch and an obelisk.
In 1645, during the Civil War, the water of Garendon Pool turned blood red. This was taken as a terrible portent, and was never explained, other than as the wrath of God.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Garendon for groups.