Description in 1871:
"HEATHER, a parish in Ashby-de-la-Zouch district, Leicester; on the river Sence, 3 miles SSW of Swannington r. station, and 5 SE by S of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Post town, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Acres, 1,015. Real property, £2,620. Pop., 371. Houses, 86. The manor belongs to the Rev. G. P. Belcher; and the manor house contains some relics of a commandery of the Knights of St. John, which dated prior to the time of King John, and was given, at the dissolution, to Oliver St. John and Robert Thornton. Heather Hall is the seat of the Goode family. Stocking making is carried on. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £377. Patron, the Rev. G. P. Belcher. The church is early English, with a tower; and was repaired in 1853. There are a Wesleyan chapel and a national school."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales", 1870-72]



  • The parish was in the Measham subdistrict of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch 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 7 covers the Measham subdistrict.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 601
1851 H.O. 107 / 2084
1861 R.G. 9 / 2267
1871 R.G. 10 / 3243
1891 R.G. 12 / 2508

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church for Heather is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church is considered "very old" and has a large tower with 3 bells.  The church was built before 1615.
  • The church was repaired in 1846.
  • The churchyard was enlarged in 1886.
  • The church seats 200.
  • Tim GLOVER has a photograph of St. John the Baptist Church on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2016.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1619.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of South Akeley.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here prior to 1849.
  • The Primitive Methodists had a chapel here prior to 1881.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Measham subdistrict of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Heather is a small village and a parish about 112 miles north of London, 14 miles northwest of Leicester city, just 1 mile west of Ibstock and 5 miles southeast of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The parish covers about 1,031 acres.

The River Sence runs along the east side of the village. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A447 to Ibstock and turn west onto the B586. Follow that for about a half mile to Heather.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign for you on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013.
You can see pictures of Heather which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • By the mid-1850s, the local coal mines had been worked out. Most of the inhabitants of this parish were framework knitters or farmers in the latter half of the 1800s.
  • By 1900 the village had a brickworks and tile company.
  • The village had a station on the Midland railway in 1881.
  • The railway station manager in 1912 was Alfred H. TAYLOR.
  • Visitors to the parish might enjoy the Heather Scarecrow Festival..


  • There is a Manor House in Heather, but the web page author could find no description of it.
  • The Manor House incorporates some remains of the Commandery of the Knights' Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem which formerly existed here.
  • Heather Hall is a handsome structure about 3/4 of a mile outside the village. It was the seat of the GOODE family.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK390108 (Lat/Lon: 52.693656, -1.425133), Heather which are provided by:


Military History

There is one Commonwealth War Grave in the parish churchyard from World War Two.

In St. John's Church, there are three metal plaques attached to the organ. The organ itself was dedicated to the men in the parish lost in World War One. The organ was restored in 1969 and rededicated to include the men from World War Two.


Military Records

The Commonwealth War Grave (data from www.CWGC.org) is:

Name Rank Unit Died Family
Ernest George CHANDLER private 9th Bn, Gloucestershire Regt. 27 Sept. 1940 Age 21, son of Reginald Ernest and Elizabeth CHANDLER.

Names, Geographical

The village name is pronounced "Heether"


Politics & Government

  • On 1 April, 1936, the parish was reduced by 11 acres which were ceeded to Ibstock Civil Parish.
  • The parish was in the ancient Sparkenhoe Hundred in the western division of the county.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they will NOT perform family history work for you.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, Heather became part of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Ashby-de-la-Zouch petty session hearings.


 Year Inhabitants
1831 449
1841 368
1871 429
1881 447
1891 538
1901 624
1911 702
1921 687
1931 678


  • The parish built a Public Elementary School (National School) in 1845. It was enlarged in 1884 and again in 1890 to hold up to 140 children.
  • Jonathan BILLINGER has a photograph of the Primary School in Heather on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2009.