John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72" tells us:

"BITTESWELL, a parish in Lutterworth district, Leicester; near Watling-street, 1 mile NNW of Lutterworth, and 2 ESE of Ullesthorpe r. station. It has a post office under Lutterworth. Acres, 2,630. Real property, £4,384. Pop., 438. Houses, 105. The property is subdivided. There is a mineral spring. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £428. Patrons, the Haberdashers' Company and Christ's Hospital, London. The church is good; and there are an endowed school, six alms-houses, and other charities £69."


  • The parish was in the Lutterworth sub-district of the Lutterworth 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 / 2244
1871 R.G. 10 / 3220
1891 R.G. 12 / 2489

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • The church was first built around 1350.
  • The church's western tower was restored in 1842.
  • The church was restored in 1881-82.
  • A new churchyard was consecrated in 1902, adding an acre to the church property.
  • The church seats 230.
  • Dave THOMPSON has a photograph of Bitteswell Church and the lych gate at Geo-graph, taken in October, 2015.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1558.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Guthlaxton (second portion).

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Bitteswell is a parish and a village located 92 miles north of London, 2 miles southeast from Ullesthorpe and 1 mile north of Lutterworth. The parish covers 1,820 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the B577 northwest out of Lutterworth for about one mile.
  • Mat FASCIONE provides a welcome village sign on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013.
  • Mat FASCIONE also has the real Village sign on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2007.
You can see pictures of Bitteswell which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • For centuries much of the parish was good grazing land. There were several small farms worked as well.
  • In 1907, a reading room was established in the parish by purchasing an old building and converting it.


  • Bitteswell Hall was built in 1838 on an estate of 600 acres about one mile from the village.
  • Bitteswell Hall was the property and residence of Major R. H. H. Jary in 1912.
  • The Atherstone foxhounds met next to Bitteswell Hall.
  • Bitteswell also had a Manor House which was the property and residence of Robert W. Young in 1912.


  • You can view an online map at the Axcis site.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP536858 (Lat/Lon: 52.467516, -1.212433), Bitteswell which are provided by:


Military History

Inside the parish church, in a gold coloured frame, is a faded Roll of Honour from World War One. There are 17 names listed.

In the wall surrounding the churchyard, there is a stone War Memorial plaque set in place facing the road.


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county and it became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish lies in the Guthlaxton Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • You may contact the Bitteswell Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they CANNOT do Family History searches for you.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Lutterworth petty session hearings every other Thursday.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Lutterworth Poorlaw Union.
  • In 1847 the parish opened six almshouses for 12 aged poor of Bitteswell. These were endowed by a bequest from W. and Elizabeth WELCH.


 Year Inhabitants
1841 495
1871 400
1881 364
1891 330
1901 324
1911 308
1921 351
1931 293
1951 346
1961 320


  • A Boys' School was established here in 1844. Shortly after that a Girls' School was opened. Both were replaced by the school below.
  • A Public Elementary School was built here in 1871. This school was replaced in 1888 by a new building on a new site and this could accomodate up to 90 children.