Description in 1854:
"Barwell, a large village and parish, in the union of Hinckley, from which it it is two miles north by east and eleven miles S. W. from Leicester; its parish includes the hamlets of Potter's Marston and Stapleton. The church dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure in the gothic style of architecture, having a square tower, containing four bells; the living is a rectory. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have places of worship here."
"There is a Free School for educating and clothing 20 poor boys, which is endowed with £20 10s. per year, from Alderman Newtons charity. The poor have some small sums distributed yearly"
[Melville & Co.'s "Directory & Gazetteer of Leicestershire," 1854]
The parish library closed on Saturday 4 June 2018.
A Mobile Library Service comes every Thursday afternoon.
- Baker, Beryl C. (1973), "The Continuing Witness. Methodism in Barwell from the 18th Century to the Present Day", ASIN: B0007CA61O.
- Johnson, T. "Bygone Barwell: A nostalgic look at the 1920's and 1930's". Earl Shilton and District Local History Group, 1996,.
- Shaw, F.(1987), "Barwell and Earl Shilton in Old Picture Postcards."European Library. Zalthommel, Netherlands.
- The Barwell Cemetery, set aside in 1898, is on Brockley Lane and covers about 2.5 acres. There are two mortuary chapels, both erected in 1902. The cemetery is under the control of a local parish burial board.
- Ian S. has a photograph of the Barwell Cemetery entrance on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013.
- David KELLY has a photograph of St. Mary's Churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2015.
- The parish was in the Earl Shilton 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 also published it in print.
- The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No. 1841 H.O. 107 / 600 1861 R.G. 9 / 2258 & 2262 & 2263 1871 R.G. 10 / 3238 1891 R.G. 12 / 2505
- The Anglican parish church in Barwell is dedicated to Saint Mary.
- The church was built in 1220 with a square tower and 4 bells.
- The church was restored in 1854 and again in 1877.
- The church seats about 400.
- David KELLY has a photograph of Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2015.
- Michael PATTERSON also has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006. This shows the clock on the tower.
- John SALMON has a photograph of the Chancel at St. Mary's on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2016.
- The Anglican parish register dates from 1661, but the early years are damaged or imperfect.
- The church was in the rural deanery of Sparkenhoe (second portion).
- Registers are held at The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland (DE1330 / DE 4487) include:-
- Baptisms 1661 - 1976
- Banns 1779 - 1986
- Marriages 1654 - 1993
- Burials 1653 - 1837
- The LRO also holds a typescript copy of Barwell parish register transcripts from 1563 - 1640 (DE 4487/18).
- The International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) includes details of births and baptisms from 1563 - 1856.
- The Society of Genealogists holds a copy of the parish register from 1563 - 1640 which can be studied at their library in London.
- The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, a large brick building was erected in 1797 in what came to be known as Chapel Street. It was enlarged in 1829 at a cost of £200 and further enlarged in 1867. In 1903 following the purchase of a number of cottages and adjoining parcels of land a new chapel was built.
- The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is a part of the Hinckley (WM) Circuit. Registers of marriages 1913 - 1978 are held at The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland (N/M/142/155-161).
- The first Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1829/33 and redeveloped in 1852/53. In 1895 a plot of land on what is now Shilton Road was purchased and in 1897 a schoolroom was built where the congregation worshiped for a number of years until in 1903 a new church was built on this site. This building continued in use until 1966 when the two churches amalgamated.
- The Primitive Methodist Chapel as a art of the Hinckley (PM) Circuit in 1877. By 1895 Barwell was part of the Nuneaton Circuit. Registers of Marriages 1922 - 1965 are held at The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland (N/M/142/148-154).
- The parish was in the Earl Shilton sub-district of the Hinckley Registration District.
- Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
Barwell is a large village and was a parish 103 miles north of London, just 2 miles northeast of Hinckley, and 11 miles southwest of Leicester city. The parish covered 2,387 acres and includes the township of Potters Marston and the hamlet and chapelry of Stapleton.
The village sits in the hills in southwest Leicestershire. If you are planning a visit:
- By automobile, take the A47 arterial south-west out of Leicester towards Hinckley. Barwell will be on the right after you pass Earl Shilton.
- Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Barwell Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008. The village could use someone with your artistic and marketing skills to offer a more enhanced sign.
- Arriva Midlands operate their Hinckley local bus services from a depot within the village.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Barwell to another place.
William BRADFORD was born here on May 20, 1660. In 1685, Bradford and his wife Elizabeth (SOWLE) emigrated to the British colony of Philadelphia in North America. Bradford set up Pennsylvania's first printing press and, in 1690, helped construct William Rittenhouse's paper mill, the first in the English colonies.
In 1693, Bradford applied for and was appointed to the position of public printer for New York. He lived on Pearl Street in Manhattan, then moved to Stone Street in 1698. Bradford's grandson, William would become a famous printer during the American Revolution. The Bradford Family Papers (1620–1906) are held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Dame Carol Mary BLACK, principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, grew up in the village. From 2006 to 2016, she advised the British Government on the relationship between work and health.
You can see the administrative areas in which Barwell has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Most of the male residents of the parish were either Framework Knitters or farmers.
- In the late 1800s, Barwell became a shoe manufacturing centre.
- On 24 December, 1965, Barwell was hit by a meteor, showering the village with fragments. One meteorite went through the front of a car, destroying the engine. A piece of the meteorite is on display at the Herbert Museum, Coventry.
- The "Bitterman" has a photograph of the Red Lion Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2010.
- The "Bitterman" also has a photograph of the Blacksmiths Arms Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
- Tim GLOVER has a photograph of the Queens' Head Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2017.
- The Queens Head is the oldest public house, and second oldest building in the village. In 1902 the pub was owned by one Sarah Ann POWERS. It was later owned by the HAINES family.
- See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP444968 (Lat/Lon: 52.567223, -1.346382), Barwell which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- The Hinckley Isolation Hospital, situate in this parish, could hold up to 24 patients. It was managed by the Urban District Council, but no records are known to survive.
In St Mary's Church is a long wooden rectangular board with black painted inscription that lists the men of the parish who died in the Great War.
Also in St. Mary's church is a wooden rectangular board with black painted lettering noting the men who fell in World War II.
There is a brass plaque in the Primitive Methodist Church that commemorates World War One. I do not yet know if any names appear on the plaque.
On Church Street is an ornate War Memorial, dedicated in December, 1922. It was moved to this location in 1970.
There are nine Commonwealth War Graves in Barwell Cemetery.
The names listed on the World War I Memorial board (some may need correction) are:
|W. H. ALLEN||A. ASTLEY||J. ASTLEY||T. BELTON||F. BENNETT||W. BONSER||John BONSER||H. BROWN||F. BRAY|
|W. H. BURROWS||T. CHAPLIN||J. CHAPLIN||C. CHURCHILL||E. CLARKE||J. W. CLOW||A. COLEY||S. F. DICKEN||K. E. DUNMOORE|
|L. C. DUNCOMBE||T. ENGLAND||A. GEARY||L. GEARY||J. GREEN||G. GREEN||J. GREWCOCK||Robert James GREWCOCK||J. GREWCOCK|
|Leonard GREWCOCK||W. GREWCOCK||G. HALLSMITH||W. HALLSMITH||S. HARVEY||E. HAYWOOD||G. HAYWOOD||G. C. HOLLHOUSE||T. HERBERT|
|Lewis. John HERBERT||E. C. HERBERT||Ernest HIBBINS||W. ILLSTONE||J. HIBBLE||C. LOCKLEY||G. LORD||F. LORD||T. LORD|
|S. LORD||G. LUCAS||F. MARTIN||J. MERRY||R. L. MILLS||S. MORRIS||A. MOORE||H. MOORE||B. MOORE|
|A. MOORE||J. MOORE||L. MOORE||S. MOORE||A. MOORE||O. MUSTIN||G. NEEDHAM||J. OSBORNE||E. OSBORNE|
|Alfred G. OSBORNE||E. PARKER||J. PEACE||John Thomas PEACE||A. PEARS||S. PICKERING||J. W. SHAW||William STANIFORTH||Alfred Wesley TIMSON|
|H. WALKER||L. G. WARD||J. WEST||Herbert WHETTON||Richard WHITE||A. WILBUR||S. A. WILEMAN||A. WOOD||G. YORK|
Only ten names have been verified against the Commonwealth War Grave Commission database. There appear to be no CWGC entries for the surname HALLSMITH.
The Commonwealth War Graves iare for (data from the CWGC site):
|Edmund Roy BAGGOTT||sergeant, pilot||RAF Volunt. Resv.||26 Mar. 1942||Age 20, son of Bertram Ross and Dora BAGGOTT, Leicester|
|Arthur O. BENNETT||flight sergeant, engineer||196 Sqdn, RAF Volunt. Resv.||2 Apr. 1945|
|William Smith HALL||driver||Royal Field Artillery||16 Jan. 1917|
|Albert Charles HAYWOOD||volunteer||Home Guard||3 Oct. 1941||Age 55, husband of Minnie HAYWOOD|
|Frederick Roy JERVIS||sergeant, wireless op.||115 Sqdn, RAF Volunt. Resrv.||17 Nov. 1940||Age 20, son of John William and Mary Ann JERVIS|
|Thomas Arthur LORD||private||10th Btln, Royal Yorks. Regt.||21 Jan. 1915||Age 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. LORD|
|William Stanley MARVIN||private||Home Guard||14 June 1942||Age 43, husband of Ivy ALice MARVIN|
|Walter John PARKES||aircraftman 1st class||RAF Volunt. Resrv.||16 Oct. 1942||Age 38, husband of Lillian PARKES|
|Richard WHITE||private 2nd class||RAF Balloon Training Base||23 Nov. 1918|
- The village is listed in the Domesday Survey as 'Berryall' later becoming Bearwell. The word 'Bear' may have meant boar and 'well' = stream. Consequently the name meant 'the town by the boar stream.'
- It was originally known as Borewell, but later became "Barwell", the name in use today.
- The American printer William BRADFORD was born here on 20 May, 1663. In 1682 his family migrated to the American colony of Pennsylvania.
- Names, occupations and some addresses of residents of the village in 1877 have been transcribed from WHITE's History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland. 3rd Edition.
- This place was an ancient parish of Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
- The parish was in the ancient Sparkenhoe Hundred (Wapentake) in the southern (or Western) division of the county.
- In October, 1920, this parish gave up 42 acres to Hinckley Civil Parish in exchange for 67 acres gained from Hinckly CP.
- In April, 1935, all 2,412 acres were assigned to Hinckley Civil Parish.
- You may contact the Barwell Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT staffed nor funded to help you with family history searches.
- The Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council provide district governance.
- As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, Barwell became part of the Hinckley Poorlaw Union.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Market Bosworth petty sessional hearings.
According to a church census, there were 48 families living in Barwell in 1564.
Year Inhabitants 1801 787 1811 928 1841 1,351 1871 1,303 1881 1,506 1891 2,022 1901 2,721 1911 2,998 1921 3,098 1931 3,869
- A Free School was founded by Alderman Gabriel NEWTON many years prior to 1849.
- A National School was built in High Street in 1871-72 and eventually merged with the Free School. The facility was enlarged in 1885 and 1895 to eventually hold 350 boys and girls and 100 infants.
- A Council School was built in Brockley Lane and opened in 1911 to hold 230 children.