Description in 1877:
"Anstey, a village and township in Thurcaston parish, picturesquely situated in the vale of a rivulet, 4 miles N. W. of Leicester, contained in 1861, 734 inhabitants, but in 1871, owing to the development of the shoe trade and stocking-frame knitting and to the demand for labour at the granite quarries, they had increased to 1012 persons, living on 711 acres of land. many of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and many persons from Leicester and other places reside here during the summer months. A brown paper mill was established here in 1873."
[White's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland." 3rd Edition 1877]


Archives & Libraries

The Anstey Community Library in Paper Mill Close is a branch of the Leicester County Council Library System. It is open 5 days each week (verify by phone if you are visiting). The Library has a dedicated Local History section to assist your search.



  • The Anstey Cemetery, formed in 1886, is on Groby Road south of the village and covers about 1 acre.
  • The cemetery is under the control of the Parish Council's Burial Board.
  • Tim GROVER has a photograph of St. Mary's churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2015.


  • Anstey was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow-on-Soar 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 also published it in print and Volume 13 covers the Barrow on Soar District of which Anstey was a part.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2281
1871 R.G. 10 / 3265
1891 R.G. 12 / 2521

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • St. Mary's was demolished with the exception of the tower in 1845 and rebuilt. The new church was completed in 1846.
  • The new church could seat 300.
  • David KELLY has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2011.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1556.
  • The Anglican parish church was in the rural deanery of Guthlaxton (first division).
  • There was a Wesleyan Methodist chapel built here in 1797.
  • The Primitive Methodists built their chapel here in 1840 and rebuilt it in 1871.
  • The Methodist church was located on the opposite side of the road to the current church, until it was demolished in the 1980s.
  • There was a Congregational chapel built here in 1858.
  • There was an Independent chapel here in 1871. They purchased an old warehouse for £130 and converted into a place of worship.
  • The United Reformed Church is up Bradgate Road.
  • The Society of Genealogists holds microfiche copies of records of baptisms from 1571 - 1892, marriages from 1556 - 1837, and burials from 1557 - 1812 which can be studied at their library in London.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.
  • Anstey was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow-on-Soar registration district.
  • The Registrar's Office in Barrow-upon-Soar closed in 1945. Certificates of birth, death and marriage can now be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar at Leicestershire Central or Loughborough

Description & Travel

Anstey is a village, a township and a parish in Leicestershire. The parish is now a suburb on the northwest side of Leicester city. The parish is only 4 miles from Leicester city centre and covers 795 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • The village can be approached by several main roads on the northwest side of Leicester city.
  • The Anstey brook flows through the parish to eventually join the River Soar.
You can see pictures of Anstey which are provided by:



According to legend, the last wolf to be killed in England was shot in a forest "near Anstige in Wolfdale".  Wolfdale was a nearby district towards Newtown Linford, and the name has survived in a slightly altered form with Wooldale Close, one of the streets in the village.





The most notable family of Anstey was the MARTIN family, who lived in the village from the 13th century until 1892. Two members of the family held the position of Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, and the local high school is named after them. They lived at Anstey Pastures (now demolished), before moving to The Brand in 1892.


Historical Geography

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



  • Parish workmen were mostly employed making boots and shoes.
  • Ned LUDD who gave his name to the Luddite movement was born in Anstey. A short Wikipedia article about him tells his story.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Packhorse Bridge on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2007.
  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of The Crown P. H. on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.
  • Richard VINCE has a photograph of The Coach and Horses P. H. on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2012.


  • There is no mention of a Manor House in the Directories of 1881 and 1912.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK549086 (Lat/Lon: 52.672335, -1.189531), Anstey which are provided by:


Military History

  • In 1431 William PORTER provided 19 men and 9 archers to the crown.
  • In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army moved south during the rebellion, although the main body of troops were turned back at Derby, a foraging party reached the commons of Anstey.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War memorial on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2014.
  • There are four Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard from World War I and five from World War II.

Military Records

The nine Commonwealth War Graves are for:

  1. John Thomas BOTTRILL, lance cpl., Plymouth Div. Royal Marine Light Inf., age 26, died 17 July 1917. Son of John Thomas and Sarah Jane BOTTRILL, Anstey.
  2. John WIlliam BRAMLEY, telegraphist, H.M.S. Coltsfoot, Royal Navy, age 20, died 31 Dec. 1945. Son of Mr. and Mrs. R.H. BRAMLEY, of Groby.
  3. Henry FOX, priv., 649th Agricultural Coy. Labour Corps, age 21, died 17 Feb. 1919. Son of Joseph Henry and Clara FOX, Anstey.
  4. Frederick William HUNT, srgt., RAF Vol. Rsrv., died 6 Nov. 1943. Son of William and Eugenie HUNT, of Leicester.
  5. William Edward LEE, crpl., 3rd Btn. South Wales Borderers, age 24, died 30 July 1941. Husband of Hilda Joan LEE, of Anstey.
  6. W. SMART, priv., 11th Btn. Durham Light Inf., died 16 Jan. 1917.
  7. W. SMITH, priv., Royal Army Medical Corps, died 5 Nov. 1915.
  8. Thomas TAYLOR, gunner, 23 Field Regt. Royal Artillery, age 40, died 17 Oct. 1947 Husband of Doris Gertrude TAYLOR, of Kirby Muxloe.
  9. Stanley WOODLEY, lieut., Royal Armoured Corp, age 23, died 6 Sept. 1945. Husband of Margaret Eileen WOODLEY.

Politics & Government

  • Anstey was an ancient Chapelry in Thurcaston parish in county Leicester.
  • Anstey became a separate modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.
  • In 1884 a part of Bradgate Park was transferred to this parish.
  • The parish was in the ancient West Goscote Hundred in the mid division of the county.

In April, 1935, a number of "adjustments" were made throughout Leicestershire to various Civil Parish boundaries in order to ensure a more equal voting status and to recognise population growth and decline. This resulted in the following:

  • In April, 1935, Anstey Pastures Civil Parish was abolished and 75 acres were amalgamated with this Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1935, Beaumont Leys Civil Parish was abolished and 6 acres were amalgamated with this Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1935, Glenfields Civil Parish was created and 12 acres of this Civil Parish were transferred to the new one.
  • In April, 1935, 127 acres of this Civil Parish were transferred to Leicester Civil Parish.

And 18 years later:

  • In April, 1953, 112 acres were transferred to Newtown Linford Civil Parish in return for 142 acres gained from that parish.

You may contact the local Anstey Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.

The parish is part of the Charnwood Borough Council for district governance.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Leicester petty session hearings.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, Anstey became part of the Barrow-upon-Soar Poor Law Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1861 734
1871 1,012
1881 1,279
1891 1,759
1901 2,544
1921 3,010


  • The Latimer Primary School, Latimer Street. Original building built in 1896.
  • Woolden Hill Primary School, Netherfield Road which opened in 1977.
  • The Martin High School, Anstey, Link Road which opened in 1957, now a secondary academy for 11- to 16-year-olds