Burrough on the Hill


Description in 1871:
"BURROUGH, or Burrow-on-the-Hill, a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; 5½ miles S of Melton-Mowbray r. station. It has a post office, of the name of Borrow-on-the-Hill, under Melton-Mowbray. Acres, 1,565. Real property, £2,754. Pop., 138. Houses, 28. The property is subdivided. Burrough Hill, called also Cæsar's camp, commands a fine view. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £433. Patron, the Rev. G. Burnaby. The church has a figured circular font, a piscina, and the tomb of a Stockden, and is good."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]



  • The parish was in the Somerby sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District until 1935.
  • In 1935, the parish was transfered to the Melton and Belvoir 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 / 589
1861 R.G. 9 / 2299
1871 R.G. 10 / 3293

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin.
  • The original church here was built shortly before 1166.
  • The church is a very old building of stone haing a tower and a steeple with 4 bells.
  • The church construction date is thought to be pre-1470, but most sources cite the 13th century, leaving the precise date unknown.
  • The church was restored in 1860 and the chancel rebuilt in 1867.
  • The church tower was taken down and rebuilt in 1878.
  • The church seats 150.
  • Roger TEMPLEMAN has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1624.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Goscote (first portion).
  • There is no report of any dissenter chapel being built in the parish.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Somerby sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District until 1935.
  • In 1935, the parish was transferred to the Melton and Belvoir Registration District.

Description & Travel

Burrough on the Hill is a small village and a parish 6 miles south of Melton Mowbray on the western edge of the uplands of east Leicestershire, 11 miles north-east of Leicester city and 97 miles north of London. The parish is bordered by Somerby parish to the east and Twyford parish to the west. At the southern edge of the old parish boundary is a small stream which joins the River Wreak near Syston. The parish covered 1,580 acres at one time.

The size and layout of the village has changed little since 1607. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the B6047 arterial road south out of Melton Mowbray. Turn left at Twyford and follow the country road east about 1 mile to find Burrough on the Hill.
  • For a place of refreshment, see the Stag and Hounds Pub listed at the Wikipedia website.
You can see pictures of Burrough on the Hill which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The parish is famous for its Hillfort which was used by the Romans, but apparently predates even them. The site is considered an Iron-age site by archeaologists. The people of the parish used to meet here on Whit-Monday for shooting, wrestling, running and other sports. The Somerby and Burrough Hill races were run around the hill. Some of the ancient earth walls still remain.
  • Burrough Hill is one of the highest points in Leicestershire at 690 feet. A toposcope on the hill points out landmarks that can be seen in good weather. See the Country Parks website for more information.
  • The famous surgeon William CHISELDEN was born here in the reign of Queen Anne. He is considered one of the founders of modern surgical practice.
  • Most of the parish land was pasturage.
  • The kennels of the Thorpe Satchville Beagles were at the Manor in 1930.
  • If you need a meeting hall to celebrate a family reunion, try Burrough Court.


  • In 1607 the Manor House of the Burrough family stood on the north side of the road at the southwest end of the village. By 1839 the house had been demolished.
  • There are references to a more modern Manor House in the parish, apparently built in 1781, but no description is provided.
  • Stephen RICHARDS has a photograph of the Manor House on Geo-graph, taken in .


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK757107 (Lat/Lon: 52.688708, -0.881497), Burrough on the Hill which are provided by:


Military History

In the church chancel is a brass, erected in 1864 by Alexander R. Brown, his nephew, to William BROWN, rear-admiral and conimander-in-chief at Jamaica, who died there 20 September, 1814, and to Martha his second wife, d. 13 Dec. 1851.

The parish War Memorial for World War I is situated within St. Mary's porch. It is a seat with wooden panels, inscribed with the Roll of Honour for those who served.


Names, Geographical

  • The ancient name of this place is Erde Burrowe, or earth fort.
  • Burrough is the official name of the parish and village.
  • Burrow on the Hill is the name of the ancient Hillfort site just north-east outside the village.
  • The parish and village are also found under the name Old Castle Burough, with one "R".

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish of the county and it became a Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Gartree Hundred in the northern (or eastern) division of the county.
  • In March, 1887, this parish was enlarged by gaining Ward's Farm from Somerby Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1936, this place was abolished as a Civil Parish and all 1,580 acres merged with Somerby Civil Parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Melton Mowbray petty session hearings.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Melton Mowbray Poorlaw Union.
  • In 1839-43, the village maintained 5 cottages for the poor.


 Year Inhabitants
1086 17
1841 149
1861 138
1871 200
1881 149
1891 139
1901 149
1911 200
1921 206
1931 214


  • In 1833 there were 3 private schools in Burrough: an infants' school with 17 children, a day school (begun in 1833) with 5 girls, and a boarding school with 7 boys.
  • A Public Elementary School (National School) was built of brick here in 1873 for 80 children.
  • In 1929 the school board opted to continue using the school for juniors, but started sending seniors to Melton Mowbray.