"WILLESLEY is about 2 miles and a half from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in the same hundred as Measham, part of the parish being cut off by the boundary line of Leicestershire. The Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal passes here; and a rail-road from Willesley basin to Ticknall, passing Ashby-de-la-Zouch, is a conveyance for coals and lime-stone, worked in this neighbourhood, as well as for the carriage of the Moira spa-water, obtained about two miles from Measham; this water is in considerable repute, its properties being as valuable as the springs at Harrogate. 'Willesley Park', the fine seat of Sir Charles Abney Hastings, is a great ornament to this parish. The population is very inconsiderable, - thirty years ago it contained only 62 inhabitants, in 1821 exactly the same number was returned for the parish, and at the last census, 1831, the increase only amounted to one person."
[Description from Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835]
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- Colin HINSON provides the transcription of the section for Willesley from the National Gazetteer (1868).
- John BARTHOLOMEW, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887):
Willesley, par., Derbyshire, 1½ mile SW. of Ashby de la Zouch, 910 ac., pop. 57; contains Willesley Park, seat of the Earl of Loudoun.
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