Description in 1887:
"Knaptoft, par. and township, Leicestershire, 7 miles NE. of Lutterworth--par., 4,940 ac., pop. 697; township, pop. 54; has a mineral spring."
John BARTHOLOMEW, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887)



  • The parish was in the Lutterworth sub-district of the Lutterworth 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 / 598
1861 R.G. 9 / 2246 & 2248 & 2250
1871 R.G. 10 / 3223
1891 R.G. 12 / 2490

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to St. Nicholas.
  • The Anglican parish church was decayed by 1842.
  • Ian ROB has a photograph of the ruins of The Church of Saint Nicholas on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2012.
  • The local parishioners went to church in Shearsby and Mowsley.
  • The Anglican church at Shearsby was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen.
  • St. Mary Magdalen church at Shearsby was built in early English times and has a tower built in 1789.
  • The church seats 300.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1711 for baptisms, 1713 for marriages and 1710 for burials.
  • The church was in the rural Guthlaxton deanery (third portion).

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Knaptoft is a parish and two townships 9 miles south of Leicester and 4 miles northwest of Theddingworth. The parish covers just over 1,420 acres and includes the townships of Shearsby and Walton.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A50 south out of Leicester city past Arnesby. The village is tiny, just off the road between Leicester and Welford.
  • The Bath Inn in Knaptoft (actually closer to Shearsby) held a mineral spring called "The Spa", which was reputed to have medicinal benefits.
  • Three streams rise in the parish. One flows into the Welland River and thence to The Wash. A second flows into the Soar River and onto the Humber. A third flows into the Avon River.
You can see pictures of Knaptoft which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries.
  • In the 1800s many of the workers in the parish were either graziers or framework knitters.


  • Knaptoft Hall was the residence of Wilfred GLOVER in 1912.
  • The web page author has been unable to find any discription of Knaptoft Hall.


  • The national grid reference is SP 6289.
  • You can view an online map at the Axcis site.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP630885 (Lat/Lon: 52.490777, -1.073399), Knaptoft which are provided by:


Military History

The churchyard Lych Gate is a World War II War Memorial. It contains plaque with white lettering bearing the dedication. It was dedicated in September, 1950.


Names, Geographical

  • The name Knaptoft is from the Old Norse knapi, or "servant".
  • The name is given in many old records as "Knapton".

Politics & Government

  • The parish lies in the Guthlaxton Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • Check the Parish Council site to see what is happening locally. The citizens have decided to forgo a formal parish council and instead they have regular Parish Meetings to discuss civic and political issues.
  • In 1898, a portion of the parish (Walton hamlet) was added to the parish of Walton with Kimcote.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law



Year Inhabitants
1801 249
1811 312
1821 601
1831 641
1841 669
1851 650
1881 315
1901 46
1971 45


  • There was a Ladys' Boarding School in Knaptoft, operated by a Miss Ann WESTON in 1849.
  • A Public Elementary School was built in Shearsby in 1869 to 52 children.
  • A Free School was built in Walton township some time before 1881. It appears to have disappeared by 1911.