Frisby on the Wreak


Description in 1871:
"FRISBY-ON-THE-WREAK, a village and a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester. The village stands on the river Wreak, adjacent to the Midland railway, 4 miles W by S of Melton-Mowbray; and has a station on the railway, and a post office under Leicester, both of the name of Frisby. The parish comprises 1,080 acres. Real property, £3,102. Pop., 424. Houses, 104. A curious old cross is in the village; and part of another, called Stump Cross, is at Frisby-Haggs. Some of the inhabitants are stocking-makers. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £180. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is Norman; has a tower and spire; and was repaired in 1854. There are a Wesleyan chapel, and charities £72."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72,



  • The parish was in the Melton Mowbray sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District.
  • In 1891, the parish was re-assigned to the Somerby sub-district of the Melton Mowbray 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 Loughborough Library holds the complete census returns for 1841, 1881 and 1901 for this parish.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2299
1871 R.G. 10 / 3292
1891 R.G. 12 / 2543

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Thomas a Becket (also called Saint Thomas of Canterbury).
  • The date of construction is not reported, but was some time before 1600.
  • The church was repaired and repewed in 1848.
  • The church was thoroughly restored in 1854.
  • The church seats 300.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2007.
  • Tim GLOVER has a photograph of the church tower on Geo-graph, taken in May, 1995.
  • The village earned the nickname of the Gretna Green of the Midlands in the 18th century because the local clergy would marry couples from some distance away without too many questions. There was a time when wedding ceremonies were closely controlled by the church and state. It is suspect that many of these couples went against the feelings of close relatives.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the church interior on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.  

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from March, 1659.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Goscote (second portion).
  • The Methodist chapel is on Main Street and was established before 1849.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Methodist chapel on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Melton Mowbray sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District.
  • In 1891, the parish was re-assigned to the Somerby sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District.

Description & Travel

Frisby on the Wreak is a village, a township and a parish 4 miles west of Melton Mowbray, 11 miles north-east of Leicester city and 109 miles north of London. The parish is on the upper River Weake.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the B607 arterial road west out of Melton Mobray.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of the Frisby Lakes just north of the village on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2016.
You can see pictures of Frisby on the Wreak which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The Danes are given credit for naming the village (for the Frisians who settled there).
  • There was a mill on the river here at the Domesday Survey in 1086.
  • The village has a periodical called "Village Connect," copies of which are in the local library.
  • Much of the parish land was used for grazing.
  • In 2005 the village was judged Village of the Year in Leicestershire.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Bell Inn on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the medieval cross on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK696177 (Lat/Lon: 52.752711, -0.970831), Frisby on the Wreak which are provided by:


Military History

There are two metal plaques in St. Thomas of Canterbury Church. The top one is for World War One and the bottom one for World War Two. A total of eight names are listed.

There are 3 Commonwealth War Gravea in Frisby-on-the-Wreake Cemetery: all from World War Two.


Military Records

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

Name Rank Unit Died Family
Albert Alfred GOODWIN sergeant 4th Res. anti-tank regt., Royal Artillery 11 Oct. 1942 Age 43, son of Albert and Jane GOODWIN
Norman Bakewell GRAY gunner Royal Artillery 2 Dec. 1945 Age 35, son of Henry Ernest and Ann GRAY
Edmund STUBBS sapper 103 Army Troops Coy., Royal Engineers 4 Dec. 1941 Age 24, son of Tom and Elizabeth Mary STUBBS

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient East Goscote Hundred in the northern division of the county.
  • In 1831, the parish covered 1,080 acres. This was enlarged by 1891 to 1,508 acres.
  • In April, 1936, the Civil Parish of Frisby-on-the-Wreak was abolished and a new Civil Parish of Frisby was created which included Kirby Bellars.
  • The Village Hall is the centre of village social events. The hall, on Water Lane, was extended in 1999 and has been extensively refurbished to provide very good facilities for social activities.
  • In May, 2005, the parish formed its own Parish Council. Prior to that it had been combined with Kirby Bellars. You can contact the local Parish Council regarding political and social matters, but they are NOT staffed to provide help with family history research.
  • District political issues are handled by the Melton District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Melton Mowbray petty session hearings.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1760.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Melton Mowbray Poorlaw Union.
  • In 1849 Brigg's Hospital supported eight old maids or widows. No records are known to exist from this home.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 386
1811 344
1841 429
1851 455
1871 366
1881 396
1891 381
1901 341
1911 385
1921 370
1931 360


  • The Frisby Church of England Primary School is on Hall Orchard Lane.
  • The above Public Elementary School was built here in 1854 to hold 68 children.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Old School on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.