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Earl Shilton

Description in 1877:
"EARL (or EARL'S) SHILTON, one of the largest villages in the county, consists chiefly of one long street, on the high road from Leicester to Hinckley, 9 miles S.W. by W of the former and 4 N.E. by N of the latter. Earl Shilton township, which is in Kirby Mallory Civil Parish, Sparkenhoe Hundred, but Hinckley Union and County Court District, was constituted an ecclesiastical district in 1854, and in 1871 contained 2053 persons, living in 477 houses on 920 acres of land. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in framework knitting and shoe manufacturing. The soil is chiefly clay and a gravelly loam, and the open fields, &c, were enclosed in 1778, when the great tithes were commuted. The Queen, as Duchess of Lancaster, is the lady of the manor, but the rights thereof are reserved to the copyholders themselves. The chief rents were sold by Charles I to the Earl of Ilchester, whose descendant still receives them, but pays them over to Guy's Hospital, London."
[White's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester & Rutland", 1877]



  • The parish was in the Hinckley sub-district of the Hinckley Registration District.
  • The 1851 Census for Leicestershire has been indexed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. The whole index is available on microfiche. The society has alsopublished it in print and Volume 6 covers the Burbage and Earl Shilton sub-district which includes Earl Shilton.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2262
1871 R.G. 10 / 3238
1891 R.G. 12 / 2505
1901 R.G. 13 / 2964


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Earl Shilton area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Simon and Saint Jude.
  • The ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1853 from the Civil Parish of Kirkby Mallory.
  • The present church was built in 1856 using the plan of the old building that proceeded it.
  • The church tower was restored in 1874.
  • The church seats 800.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of St. Simon and St. Jude Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1552.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Sparkenhoe (second portion).
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here prior to 1849. The Wesleyans rebuilt their chapel in 1909 of red brick.
  • The Primitive Methodists had a chapel built here in 1884.
  • The Baptists had a chapel here built in 1758 and enlarged in 1844.
  • The Congregationalists had a chapel here in 1810.
  • The Catholic church of St. Peter was erected in 1908. It was a wood frame with corrugated iron coverings.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Hinckley sub-district of the Hinckley Registration District.

Description and Travel

Earl Shilton is a village, a township, a chapelry and a parish 103 miles north of London, 9 miles southwest of Leicester city, 6 miles southeast of Market Bosworth and 4 miles northeast of Hinckley. The parish covers just over 2,000 acres.

The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the village is on the road between Leicester city and Hinckley, possibly better known to you as the A47.
You can see pictures of Earl Shilton which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Earl Shilton has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Earl Shilton to another place.


  • The Earls of Leicester had a castle here, but only the earthen mound remains.
  • The village was lighted with gas in 1866.
  • In the 1800s, most of the residents were either framework knitters or shoe makers. There were also a few farmers, shopkeepers, butchers, etc.
  • There were two working granite quarries here in 1912.


  • The web page author found a single reference to "The Mansion", but no description or other details.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP465977 (Lat/Lon: 52.575109, -1.315274), Earl Shilton which are provided by:

Military History

  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial in Wood Street on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.

Politics and Government

  • The parish lies partly in the Sparkenhoe Hundred in the western division of the county.
  • This place had previously been a township and chapelry in the parish of Kirkby Mallory.
  • This place was incorporated as a Civil Parish in 1866.
  • In 1885 a detached part of Stoney Stanton parish known as Spinners Meadow was transferred to this parish.
  • In April, 1935, this parish was abolished and the entire 2,077 acres amalgamated into Hinckley Civil Parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Hinckley Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in this parish's petty sessional hearings.
  • Thomas FREWEN had five almshouses built in 1847.


Year Inhabitants
1841 2,220
1871 2,053
1881 2,252
1891 2,594
1901 3,595
1911 4,190
1921 4,434
1931 4,838


  • A "Free School" was founded here in 1762 by Alderman Gabriel NEWTON of Leicester. This was later incorporated with the National School built in 1859. The National School was enlarged in 1897 to accomodate 415 children.
  • An Infants' School was built in 1870 and enlarged in 1902 to hold 251 children.
  • A Catholic School was built in 1910 for up to 80 children.


  • The Earl Shilton & District Local History Group is active here. Contact: Tracy O'Grady, 10 Bank Terrace, Barwell, Leics LE9 8GG.