Description in 1871:
"BELTON, a parish in Loughborough district, Leicester; 4½ miles NNE of Swannington r. station, and 6 WNW of Loughborough. Its statistics include the extra-parochial tract of Grace-Dieu; and its Post Town is Sheepshead, under Loughborough. Acres, 1,900. Real property, £5,259. Pop., 781. Houses, 161. The property is divided among a few. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £179. Patron, the Marquis of Hastings. The church is a fine old edifice, with tower and spire; and contains a monument of Roesia de Verdun, the founder of Grace-Dieu nunnery. There are two dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a national school, and a great annual horse fair."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-1872]



  • The parish was in the Loughborough sub-district of the Loughborough 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.
1861R.G. 9 / 2276
1871R.G. 10 / 3258
1891R.G. 12 / 2517

Church History

  • Grace Dieu Priory was founded here in 1240 by Roesia de VERDUN for 14 nuns and a prioress of the Saint Augustine order. It was dissolved in 1539.
  • "Grace Dieu" is also the name of a brook that runs through the north end of the village.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church was built in the Early English style some time before 1538.
  • The church was restored in 1850 and again in 1877.
  • The church seats 400.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the St John's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.
  • Tim GLOVER has a photograph of the Church tower and steeple on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2009.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1538 and is in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of West Akeley (later South Akeley).
  • The General Baptists had a chapel founded here in 1849.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of the Baptist Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2006. The chapel is loosing a few of its letters.
  • Tim HEATON also has a photograph of the General Baptist Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here before 1849.
  • The Grace Dieu Catholic chapel was dedicated to Saint Mary.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Belton, Leicestershire, is a small village and a parish in the North West Leicestershire area. It lies 123 miles north of London, very close to the town of Shepshed. To the south lies the main town of Charnwood borough, Loughborough. The parish lies 5 miles south-west of Kegworth and it covered about 1,900 acres in 1871, but grew to 2,345 by 1891 and to 2,413 acres by 1951.

The village is home to a pub, a restaurant, a village shop, a hairdresser, a doctor's surgery, a woodyard and a riding school. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, Belton is off Junction 23 of the M1 motorway. It lies on the B5324 between the M1 and the A447, northwest of Shepshed.
  • Belton village is home to one of the few remaining free-standing maypoles in the country. The local residents are very proud of this fact.
  • In the neighborhood, to the south, is Charnwood Forest.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of Ashby Road into Belton (along with the Village Sign) on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010. You can offer to use your artistic talent to create the greatest Village Sign ever. I'm sure that they'd entertain the idea.
You can see pictures of Belton which are provided by:





  • The well-known Belton Horse Fair was held on the Monday after Trinity Sunday (circa June 11th).
  • The "Bitterman" has a photograph of the Queens Head Pub & Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
  • Carolyn MANSFIELD has a photograph of the George Hotel and Maypole on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2008.


  • Grace Dieu Manor was the seat of Ambrose Charles PHILLIPPS de LISLE in 1849.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK447208 (Lat/Lon: 52.782936, -1.338708), Belton which are provided by:


Military History

Inset into the churchyard wall is a stone tablet with gold inscription. This World War One Memorial lists ten men of the parish who fell in that conflict.

There is a photograph of the War Memorial at the Leicestershire War Memorials website.


Military Records

The names listed on the War Memorial for World War I are:

NameRankUnitDiedOther info.
Harry BARNESprivate6th Btln., Leics. Regt.17 July 1916Age 29
Samuel BECCLESprivate4th Btln., Worcs. Regt.30 Nov. 1917Age 19
Frederick BURTONcorporalLeics. Yeomanry13 May 1915Age 37
Joseph HICKLINGsapper178 Co., Royal Engineers05 Nov. 1915 
William KNIGHTcorporalLeics. Yeomanry21 June 1917 
John A. ROSEprivate7th Btln., South Lancs. Regt.1 Nov. 1916Age 46
Thomas THACKERprivate7th Btln., Cambridgeshire Regt.20 Oct. 1918Age 21
Alec James TURNERwireless operatorRoyal Navy Volunt. Resrv. HMS Paxton20 May 1917Age 25
John F. O. WAKEFIELDprivate1/24 London Regt.18 Sept. 1916Age 24
Leonard B. WOULIDGEgun sergeant41 Machine Gun Corps.13 Oct. 1918Age 22

NOTE: There is NO entry in the Commonwealth War Grave database for any Samuel BECCLES, Thomas THACKER or J. F. O. WAKEFIELD. Also, there is an entry for a "J. HICKLING", but almost all the details do not match. The same is true for Harry BARNES. There is no matching entry for Frederick BURTON, William KNIGHT or Leonard WOULIDGE. And the details for John A. ROSE do not match, either.

There is a Samuel BECCLES who died in combat on the date shown and who is buried in Calais, France. There is a Leonard WOULIDGE, age 14, shown in the 1911 census of Belton, born Diseworth, Leics.



Jon CANTRILL contributes this from the Derby Mercury of 7th January 1829: DEATHES: "At Belton, Leicestershire, on Sunday se'nnight, aged 70, Mrs. FOWLER, wife of Richard FOWLER, gent."


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in the county of Leicester. It became a Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This place contained the extra-parochial liberty of Grace Dieu.
  • The parish was in the western division of the ancient West Goscote Hundred in the Mid division of the county.
  • The parish was in the Loughborough local government district up to 1936. Since then it has been in the Castle Donington local government district.
  • On 1 April, 1936, the Civil Parish was enlarged by 68 acres gained when the Civil Parish of Thringstone was abolished.
  • You may contact the Belton Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to do family history searches for you.
  • District governance is provided by the North West Leicestershire County Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Loughborough petty session hearings each Wednesday.
  • William SHAW's annual charity provided £8 for clothing for the poor in 1849. The charity started in 1704 at SHAW's death.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Loughborough Poor Law Union.




  • The village had a National School by 1849.
  • The village has a primary school, but children travel by bus to Shepshed High School once they pass into secondary school.