Description in 1871:
"HARBY, a village and a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester. The village stands on the Grantham canal, in the vale of Belvoir, near the boundary with Notts, 8½ miles N of Melton-Mowbray r. station; and has a post office under Melton-Mowbray. The parish comprises 2,800 acres. Real property, £3,869. Pop., 655. Houses, 136. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £469. Patron, the Duke of Rutland. The church is a neat edifice with a tower; but is not in good repair. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a national school, and charities £10."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-1872]


CAUTION: There is a Harby village in Nottinghamshire and another one in Sweden. Make sure that you are researching in the correct place.



  • The parish was in the Waltham sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District.
  • In 1935, the parish was transferred to the new 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 / 587
1861 R.G. 9 / 2303
1871 R.G. 10 / 3296
1881 R.G. 11 / 3184
1891 R.G. 12 / 2545

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin.
  • The church construction date is late 13th century. The font bears the date of 1606.
  • The church was restored in 1874 - 1876.
  • The church is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.
  • The church seats 220.
  • There is a photograph of the church at Wikipedia.
  • Ruth RAVEN has another photograph of the church at Geo-graph, taken in December, 2004.
  • Richard DROFT has a photograph of St.Mary's chancel on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1700.
  • The Bishop's Transcripts date from 1581.
  • The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has Harby Monument Inscriptions from the churchyard on microfilm which can be rented.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Framland (third portion).
  • The Wesleyan Methodists met in in an old coach house converted to a chapel in April 1828.  They had a chapel built here in 1847 and in 1874 it was refurbished.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST provides a photograph of the Harby Methodist Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016. The building is rated Grade II by English Heritage.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Harby was a small parish and is still a large village in the far northeast of the county in the Vale of Belvior. The parish lay about 125 miles north of London and about 9 miles north of Melton Mobray, 12 miles southeast from Nottingham and it encloses a portion of the Grantham Canal. The parish covered 2,062 acres and bordered Nottinghamshire on the north. Stathern parish was to the northeast.

The Grantham Canal passes just north of the village. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, from the A606 trunk road, turn northeast at Nether Broughton and pass thru Long CLawson and Hose to arrive at Harby.
  • The parish railway station opened in 1879 and was closed to passengers in 1953. Is closed for goods transfers in 1962.
  • Bus servide runs through the village connecting it to Melton and to Bottesford.
  • Check out the Harby Journal for current activities.
  • One may wish to stop for refreshment at one of the two locals Pubs: the Nags Head and the White Hart. Geograph has a photograph to help you find them.
  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2005. You can see the 1086 Domesday Book rendering of the village name at the bottom.
You can see pictures of Harby which are provided by:





On 29 May 1839 William Aubrey de Vere BEAUCLERK, 9th Duke of St. Albans (1801–1849) married Elizabeth Catherine GUBBINS the daughter of Maj. Gen. Joseph GUBBINS (1785–1817).


Historical Geography

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



  • The parish had 2,800 acres in 1881, but gave up 738 acres by 1891.
  • The parish had a wharf on the Grantham Canal used for shipping grain.
  • A good portion of the parish was set aside for pasture.
  • About 50 persons left the parish for Australia in 1847-1849.
  • In 1999, the Harby Harlequins started doing pantomime performances in the local area.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST provides a photograph of the Nag's Head Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016. The building is a Grade II* structure for English Heritage.
  • These are the names associated with The Nag's Head Inn in various directories:
Year  Person
1849 Mrs. Elizabeth WHITTLE, farmer
1861 John WHITTLE, vict.
1881 John WHITTLE, farmer
1912 Horace BUTCHER
1925 Luke Saml. SWINGLER
  • Al PARTINGTON has a photograph of the White Hart on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2007.
  • These are the names associated with The White Hart in various directories:
Year  Person
1849 John HAYWOOD, farmer & coal dealer
1861 John HAYWOOD, vict.
1881 John HAYWOOD junr., farmer
1912 Bertie COX
1925 Herbert BEECHAM


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK747313 (Lat/Lon: 52.873996, -0.891595), Harby which are provided by:


Military History

  • The War Memorial was erected in May 1920 to honour those who died in World War I. The cross was a medieval churchyard cross that was moved to this location and mounted on a new base. The stone base containes 99 names, 19 on the front face being those who were killed in action or died on service. The remaining 80 are those who enlisted from the village and survived.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016.
  • There is one Commonwealth War Grave from World War I in St. Mary's churchyard.

Military Records

This the Commonwealth War Grave (data from www.CWGC.org):

Name Rank Unit Died Family
Robert Archibald STOKES private Durham Light Infantry 17 Jan. 1919 Age 19, son of the late Robert and Elizabeth STOKES.

Names, Geographical

In the 1086 Domesday Book the name is given as "Herdebi".


Politics & Government

  • This parish was an ancient parish of Leicester county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the Framland Hundred (Wapentake) in the northern (or eastern) division of the county.
  • In April, 1936, the Civil Parish of Harby was abolished and all 2,062 acres were used to create Clawson and Harby Civil Parish.
  • District governance is provided by the Melton Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Belvoir petty session hearings which were held every other Monday.
  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1795.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Melton Mowbray Poorlaw Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 343
1821 457
1841 629
1871 539
1881 591
1891 637
1901 652
1911 603
1921 619


  • The first school built here was a church school built in 1827.
  • A Public Elementary School (National School) was built here in 1860 to replace the earlier school. The school is on School Lane, Harby, LE14 4BZ, tele: 01949 860553.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Harby Primary School on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016.