Description in 1871:
"BELGRAVE, a township and a parish in Barrow-upon-Soar district, Leicester. The township lies on the river Soar, the Fosse way, and the Midland railway, 1½ mile NNE of Leicester; and has a post office under Leicester. It gives the title of Viscount to the Marquis of Westminster. Real property, £9,333. Pop., 1,510. Houses, 341. The parish includes also the township of South Thurmaston and the chapelry of Birstall. Acres, 3,450. Real property, with North Thurmaston, £18,943. Pop., 2,808. Houses, 625. Belgrave House and a half-share of the manor belong to Isaac Harrison, Esq. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Birstall, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £146. Patron, the Bishop of Lichfield. The church is later English, but has a Norman door; and contains monuments and a curious font. There are chapels for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, a national school, town-lands worth £90 a year, and other charities £36."
[John Marius Wilson's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]



  • A cemetery of 4.5 acres was formed on Loughborough Road in 1881. It was quickly extended to 6 acres, but it did not originally have a mortuary chapel until about 1912.
  • The mortuary chapel was taken down in the 1960s.
  • The Leicestershire county council maintains a website for the Cemetery.
  • Many of the gravestones can be seen on FLICKR.
  • And the Friends of Belgrave Cemetery are willing to assist you with finding a relatives burial plot.


  • The parish was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow upon Soar Registration District until 1892.
  • In 1892 the parish was assigned to the East Leicester sub-district of the Leicester 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.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2281 & 2282
1871 R.G. 10 / 3266
1891 R.G. 12 / 2521 & 2522

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Peter and stands on Church Lane off Thurcaston Road.
  • The church was built in the 13th century on the site of an older Saxon church or temple.
  • The ancient ecclesiastical parish included the chapelries of Birstall and South Thurmaston, both of which later became separate Civil Parishes.
  • The church was restored in 1857.
  • The vestry was enlarged in 1908.
  • The church seats 550.
  • The church has its own web site.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.
  • Tim HEATON also has a photograph of Church of St. Peter on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2012.
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of Church tower on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2011.
  • At last report (in 2015) the church was closed in 2009 and the property was for sale.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1647.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Goscote (first portion).
  • There was a Catholic chapel in Belgrave Hall which was still in existence in 1800.
  • The Catholic chapel of Our Lady was completed between Moira and Canon Streets in 1922.
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel was built in Claremont Street in 1838 and rebuilt in 1880. It was converted to a private residence in 1995.
  • A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in Bath Street in 1834, but seems to have fallen into disuse by 1880.
  • The Baptist chapel was built on Loughborough Road in 1842.
  • A Nonconformist Union Church was built here just prior to 1881.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow upon Soar Registration District until 1892.
  • In 1892 the parish was assigned to the East Leicester sub-district of the Leicester Registration District.

Description & Travel

Belgrave sits on the east side of the River Soar and is now the north-east part of Leicester city. The parish used to be about 1.5 miles north-east of Leicester city and covered 2,230 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A6 north out of Leicester. At the junction with the A563 you are entering Belgrave.
  • There is no passenger rail service to this part of Leicester city.
You can see pictures of Belgrave which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • In the 1800s most of the parishioners were frame-work knitters of stockings or they were shoemakers or graziers.
  • Most of the land in the parish was used for pasturage prior to 1900.
  • "The Bitterman" has a photograph of the Bull's Head pub. on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2009.


  • Belgrave House was the property of Isaac HARRISON esq. in 1881, but was unoccupied that year.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of Belgrave House on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2010.
  • Belgrave Hall, built in the 18th century, is now a conservation area.
  • Belgrave Hall has its own web site.
  • Roger HUTCHINSON has a photograph of Belgrave Hall from the front on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2005.
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of Belgrave Hall Museum on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2005.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK592069 (Lat/Lon: 52.656603, -1.126252), Belgrave which are provided by:


Military History

There is a Roll of Honour for World War One on the wall in St. Peter's Church. It consists of four metal panels in a glass-covered case. It stands beneath one of the stained glass windows.

There are 48 Commonwealth war graves of men from both world wars whose remains are interred in Belgave Cemetery.

In 2008 a new War Memorial was placed in Belgave Cemetery to commemorate 149 Belgrave men who gave their lives in both world wars.


Military Records

In St. Peter's churchyard is a Commonwealth War Grave for WWI honoring Alfred H. WILLETT, a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps who died 17 May 1918.


Names, Geographical

  • Prior to the Norman Conquest, this place was called "Merdegrave" from the Old English "marten+graf" or Marten Grove. However, the Normans thought the first part of the name sounded too much like the Old French word for "dung", so the inhabitants changed the name to "lovely grove" or "Belgrave".
  • The village is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. It was amongst the lands given to Hugh de Grandmesnil by the King.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish and township in Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient East Goscote Hundred.
  • The parish was in the northern division of the county.
  • In March, 1892, this parish was reduced in size to augment Beaumont Leys Civil Parish under the Leicester Extension Act.
  • In March, 1896, this Civil Parish was abolished and the land used to reconstitute a new Leicester Civil Parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1654.
  • There is mention of a parish workhouse here in 1776. That workhouse was converted into private residences in 1880.
  • William VANN left a charity that produced about £5 per year which was spent on bread for the poor.
  • As a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became part of the Barrow-upon-Soar Poorlaw Union.
  • In 1892, the parish became part of the Leicester Poorlaw Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 1,481
1831 2,329
1851 2,870
1871 2,049
1881 7,260
1891 11,405


  • Belgrave Saint Peter's School was founded in 1835.
  • A National School was built here in 1836 with an Infant School added in 1848. The two schools educated about 500 children daily.
  • A School Board was formed and buildings erected in 1877 to replace the school above and was taken over by the Leicester School Board in 1891.