Earl Shilton


Description in 1877:
"EARL (or EARL'S) SHILTON, one of the largest villages in the county, consists chiefly of one long street, on the high road from Leicester to Hinckley, 9 miles S.W. by W of the former and 4 N.E. by N of the latter. Earl Shilton township, which is in Kirby Mallory Civil Parish, Sparkenhoe Hundred, but Hinckley Union and County Court District, was constituted an ecclesiastical district in 1854, and in 1871 contained 2053 persons, living in 477 houses on 920 acres of land. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in framework knitting and shoe manufacturing. The soil is chiefly clay and a gravelly loam, and the open fields, &c, were enclosed in 1778, when the great tithes were commuted. The Queen, as Duchess of Lancaster, is the lady of the manor, but the rights thereof are reserved to the copyholders themselves. The chief rents were sold by Charles I to the Earl of Ilchester, whose descendant still receives them, but pays them over to Guy's Hospital, London."
[White's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester & Rutland", 1877]


Archives & Libraries

The Earl Shilton Library on Wood Street is a branch of the Leicester County Council Library System. It is open 4 days each week (verify by phone if you are visiting) and has staff trained in Family History research.



The cemetery is on the south side of Mill Lane on the east end of the village.

Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of the Cemetery Entrance on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.

John SALMON has a photograph of some of the gravestones in St. Simon's churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2016.



  • The parish was in the Hinckley sub-district of the Hinckley 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 and Volume 6 covers the Burbage and Earl Shilton sub-district which includes Earl Shilton.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 601
1861 R.G. 9 / 2262
1871 R.G. 10 / 3238
1891 R.G. 12 / 2505
1901 R.G. 13 / 2964

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Simon and Saint Jude.
  • The ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1853 from the Civil Parish of Kirkby Mallory.
  • The present church was built in 1856 using the plan of the old building that proceeded it.
  • The church tower was restored in 1874.
  • The church seats 800.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of St. Simon and St. Jude Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.
  • John SALMON also has a photograph of St. Simon and St. Jude Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2016.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1552.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Sparkenhoe (second portion).
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here prior to 1849. The Wesleyans rebuilt their chapel in 1909 of red brick.
  • Tim GLOVER has a photograph of the Earl Shilton Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2018.
  • The Primitive Methodists had a chapel built here in 1884.
  • Baptists are recorded at Earl Shilton in 1651.
  • The Baptists had a chapel here built in 1758 and enlarged in 1844.
  • The Congregationalists had a chapel here in 1810.
  • The Catholic church of St. Peter was erected in 1908. It was a wood frame with corrugated iron coverings.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Earl Shilton is a village, a township, a chapelry and a parish 103 miles north of London, 9 miles southwest of Leicester city, 6 miles southeast of Market Bosworth and 4 miles northeast of Hinckley. The parish covers just over 2,000 acres.

The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the village is on the road between Leicester city and Hinckley, possibly better known to you as the A47.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.
You can see pictures of Earl Shilton which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Along the foot of Shilton Hill ran the Salt Road. The Corieltauvi constructed this ancient road, With the Roman invasion came the first pottery factory in the parish. The Normans seized this area in 1068.
  • >li>The village/parish of Earl Stilton first appears in written history in the 1086 Domesday Book as Scheltone.
  • The Earls of Leicester had a castle here, but only the earthen mound remains.
  • The Black Death came to the village in 1349.
  • The village was lighted with gas in 1866.
  • In the 1800s, most of the residents were either framework knitters or shoe makers. There were also a few farmers, shopkeepers, butchers, etc.
  • There were two working granite quarries here in 1912.
  • Jonathan BILLINGER has a photograph of the Plough Inn on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2008.
  • "The Bitterman" has a photograph of the Dog & Gun Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2010.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of The Lord Nelson public house on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2017.
  • The ‘Wake’, or local fair, was a holiday in Earl Shilton and held, traditionally, on the Saint's day of the parish church. The "Wake," was always held on the last Sunday in October. People had a full week’s holiday from work,


  • The web page author found a single reference to "The Mansion", but no description or other details.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of "The Mansion" on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP465977 (Lat/Lon: 52.575138, -1.315276), Earl Shilton which are provided by:


Military History

  • Wikipedia tells us that "Many Shilton men joined the old ‘Volunteers’, belonging to the Hinckley Company; these were later incorporated in the ‘Militia’."
  • Wikipedia tells us that 1,000 men from Earl Shilton served in British forces in World War One. Over 100 of these men were lost in combat.
  • A stained glass window was installed in the church in 1920 as a War Memorial to the men of the parish who perished in World War One.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial in Wood Street on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008. This stone Cenotaph was erected around 1920.
  • J. THOMAS also has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2017.
  • There are three Commonwealth War Graves in the parish churchyard: Two from World War One and one from World War Two.
  • During World War II a munitions factory opened in the village.
  • During World War II the village took child refugees from Coventry, Birmingham and London.

Military Records

The Commonwealth War Graves (data from www.CWGC.org) are for:

Name Rank Unit Died Family
Ernest HOLT ordinary seaman Royal Navy, HMS Mohawk 16 Oct. 1939 Son of William and Elsie E. HOLT
William Henry STARBUCK lance corporal 8 Btln., Leics Regt. 29 Oct. 1916 Age 22, son of Emma CHESTERTON (formerly STARBUCK)
Robert TOWNSEND private Royal Army Labour Corps 2 Nov. 1917 Age 39, son of Arthur and Sarah TOWNSEND

HMS Mohawk (above) was a Tribal class destroyer, eventually lost off Tunisia in 1941. Seaman HOLT was probably killed in the German airraid on the British Fleet at the Firth of Forth.


Politics & Government

  • The parish lies partly in the Sparkenhoe Hundred in the western division of the county.
  • This place had previously been a township and chapelry in the parish of Kirkby Mallory.
  • This place was incorporated as a Civil Parish in 1866.
  • In 1885 a detached part of Stoney Stanton parish known as Spinners Meadow was transferred to this parish.
  • In April, 1935, this parish was abolished and the entire 2,077 acres amalgamated into Hinckley Civil Parish.
  • The Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council provides district governance.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1778.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Hinckley Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in this parish's petty sessional hearings.
  • Thomas FREWEN had five almshouses built in 1847.


 Year Inhabitants
1841 2,220
1871 2,053
1881 2,252
1891 2,594
1901 3,595
1911 4,190
1921 4,434
1931 4,838


  • A "Free School" was founded here in 1762 by Alderman Gabriel NEWTON of Leicester. This was later incorporated with the National School built in 1859. The National School was enlarged in 1897 to accommodate 415 children.
  • An Infants' School was built in 1870 and enlarged in 1902 to hold 251 children.
  • A Catholic School was built in 1910 for up to 80 children.


  • The Earl Shilton & District Local History Group is active here. Contact: Tracy O'Grady, 10 Bank Terrace, Barwell, Leics LE9 8GG.