Great Dalby


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

"DALBY (Great), or Dalby Magna, a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; 3 miles S by W of Melton-Mowbray r. station. Post town, Melton-Mowbray. Acres, 2,328. Real property, £3,252. Pop., 484. Houses, 97. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £209. Patron, Sir R. Burdett, Bart. The church is old and bad. There are a Wesleyan chapel and a free school."


  • The parish was in the Melton Mowbray sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District.
  • 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 Leicestershire Libraries hold copies of the census for 1841 through 1901. See Liec. Libraries to see which Library holds which copies.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 592
1861 R.G. 9 / 2299
1871 R.G. 10 / 3293
1891 R.G. 12 / 2543

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Swithin.
  • The church is built of stone in the early Norman style, but no specific date of construction has been found.
  • The church steeple fell in 1658 and had not been replaced by 1925.
  • The church was partially restored in 1888.
  • The church seats 240.
  • Roger TEMPLEMAN has a photograph of St. Swithun's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1591.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Goscote (second portion) (or first portion, depending on the source you consult).
  • The Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1846.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Great Dalby is a village and a parish which lie about 116 miles north of London, 15 miles northwest of Leicester city and 3 miles south of Melton Mobray. The parish covers 2,300 acres, most of which was pasture for sheep and cattle.

If you are planning a visit:

  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2009.
  • By automobile, take the B6047 secondary road south out of Melton Mowbray. This road cuts thru the heart of Great Dalby village.
You can see pictures of Great Dalby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Stilton cheese was made here.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Royal Oak Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2016.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK742144 (Lat/Lon: 52.722171, -0.90285), Great Dalby which are provided by:


Military History

  • In 1941 an airfield opened just north of the village. Called RAF Melton Mowbray. Originally a Class A airfield intended for aircraft maintenance, it was taken over by the RAF Transport Command in 1944.
  • From 1946 thru 1958 the airfield was a Polish Resettlement Corps camp. It became a Thor strategic missile site in 1959 until the military decided to quit the facility in 1963.
  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of the Melton Mowbray Airfield on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2005.
  • In July 1920, a Red Mountsorrel granite cross was dedicated just off the main street.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the War Memorial on the green at Upper End on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2011.
  • There is a World War II Roll of Honour inside the parish church. You will need to ask the vicar or a churchwarden for access.

Politics & Government

  • This place was a Chapelry in Twyford parish for centuries.
  • In December, 1866, this place was encorporated as a separate, modern Civil Parish in Leicestershire.
  • The parish is in the ancient East Goscote Hundred in the northern division of the county.
  • In April, 1936, the parish of Great Dalby was abolished to create Twyford and Thorpe Civil Parishes with 1,330 acres.
  • You may contact the current Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they can NOT do family history work for you.

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.


 Year Inhabitants
1821 402
1841 479
1851 512
1881 455
1901 356
1911 256
1921 317


  • A School Board was formed here in 1846 and a school built for parish children.
  • The Public Elementary School was enlarged in 1896.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Primary School on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2012.