Description in 1871:
"COSBY, a village and a parish in Blaby district, Leicestershire. The village stands on an affluent of the river Soar, near the Midland railway and the Fosse way, 1¾ mile NNE of Broughton-Astley r. station, and 7 SSW of Leicester; and has a post office under Lutterworth. The parish includes also the hamlet of Little Thorpe. Acres, 2,550. Real property, £4,653. Pop., 974. Houses, 228. The property is much subdivided. A number of the inhabitants are stocking-makers. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £138. Patron, Thomas Pares, Esq. The church is old but good. There are a Baptist chapel and charities £6."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]


Archives & Libraries

The Cosby Community Library in Park Road is a branch of the Leicester County Council Library System. It is open 5 days each week (verify by phone if you are visiting). The Library, re-opened in 2016, has a dedicated staff of local volunteers and has a Local Studies and Family History section to assist you.

J. THOMAS provides a photograph of the village Library on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2012.



  • The parish established a cemetery on the west side of Narborough Road which opened in 1900.
  • The cemetery is managed by the Burial Clerk of the Parish Council.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.


  • The parish was in the Enderby sub-district of the Blaby 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 / 602
1861 R.G. 9 / 2257
1871 R.G. 10 / 3233
1891 R.G. 12 / 2500
1901 R.G. 13 / 2958

Church History


Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1557 and is in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Guthlaxton (first portion).
  • The Particular Baptists had a chapel built here in 1830. This chapel could seat 200.
  • The Primitie Methodists had a chapel here by 1912.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Cosby is a large village and a civil parish 96 miles north of London, 2 miles south of Narborough, 7 miles south of Leicester city and 7 miles north of Lutterworth. The parish covers 2,146 acres and includes the village of Littlethorpe, where there is a bridge over the River Soar.

A stream, Cosby Brook, runs through Cosby village on its way to feed the River Soar. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A426 arterial road south out of Leicester and through Blaby about 5 miles. Just past Whetstone, a road to the right leads to Cosby. A short distance to the south, the A426 and the M1 motorway cross.
  • There was never a railway station here, although the rail line ran through the parish.
  • The Narborough Golf Course is nearby.
  • Stop by the Village Hall on Park Road to see what's on the forth-coming schedule.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2017.
  • Mat FASCIONE also has a photograph of the Warboys-style Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
You can see pictures of Cosby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • In the 1800s and early 1900s, many of the workers in the parish were framework knitters. Farming and boot making were other common occupations.
  • The ARMSTON family resided in this parish for over 500 years.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of Bull's Head Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2012.


  • The Manor House was occupied as a farm-house in 1912.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP547949 (Lat/Lon: 52.549208, -1.19475), Cosby which are provided by:


Military History

  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial in Littlethorpe on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.

Military Records

There are three Commonwealth War Graves in the Narborough Road Cemetery from World War I:

  1. Frederick LANGLEY, pioneer, Royal Engineers, age 26, died 25 Oct. 1918. Husband of M. A. LANGLEY of The Square, Littlethorpe.
  2. J. POUGHER, priv., 52nd Bn. Leics. Regt., age 18, died 20 July 1918. Son of John William and Ellen Jane POUGHER.
  3. Samuel Leslie STARMER, priv., 9th Bn. Leics. Regt., age 23, died 25 July 1918. Son of William and Clara STARMER.

There are two Commonwealth War Graves in the Narborough Road Cemetery from World War II:

  1. Lilian GIBSON, aircraftwoman 2nd class, WAAF, age 19, died 11 Nov. 1947. Daughter of Frederick Percy and Doris Wynn GIBSON.
  2. Harry SHENTON, able seaman, Royal Navy (H.M.S. Warspite), age 28, died 6 Jan. 1947. Husband of Edith SHENTON, of Leicester.

Names, Geographical

  • In the 1086 Domesday Book, the village is given as Cossebi.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991].

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish of Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish those were established.
  • The parish is in the ancient Guthlaxton Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • In March, 1885, this parish was enlarged by gaining a part of Narborough Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1935, this parish was enlarged by gaining 2 acres from Broughton Ashley Civil Parish, but gave up 174 acres to Narborough Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history research.
  • District governance is provided by the Blaby District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Blaby Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Leicester petty session hearings.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 555
1811 826
1841 1,013
1871 944
1881 1,004
1891 1,161
1901 1,351
1911 1,560
1921 1,577
1931 1,701
1951 1,533
1961 1,776


  • A Public Elementary School (National School) was built here in 1872 to accommodate 185 infants.
  • A second Public Elementary School was built here in 1912 for 170 boys and girls.


Cosby has an active Heritage Society which meets in the former Baptist Schoolroom, which is now a community centre.