Description in 1871:
"MOWSLEY, a chapelry in Knaptoft parish, Leicester; near the Grand Union canal, 2¼ miles N N W of Theddingworth r. station, and 6 W N W of Market-Harborough. It bas a post-office under Rugby. Acres, 1,710. Real property, £2,514. Pop., 241. Houses, 63. The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to the rectory of Knaptoft, in the diocese of Peterborough. The church is ancient but good, is small and cruciform, and has an open turret. There are chapels for Independents and Baptists."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales,' 1870-72



Ian ROB provides a photograph of Mowsley Church graveyard on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014. You can just see the tops of the gravestones over the wall.




  • The parish was in the Market Harborough sub-district of the Market Harborough 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.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2250
1871 R.G. 10 / 3225
1891 R.G. 12 / 2492

Church History

  • The original chapel was built here circa 1250.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
  • The church was partially restored in 1882.
  • The church seats 130.
  • Richard WILLIAMS has a photograph of The Church at Mowsley on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2007.
  • Ian ROB also has a photograph of St. Nicholas Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1660 for baptisms and burials; marriages from 1704.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Guthlaxton (third portion).
  • The Congregationalists built a chapel here in 1830.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here prior to 1871.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of the former Wesleyan Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2006.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Mowsley is a parish, a township and a village in Leicestershire. It is about 90 miles north of London and 6 miles west of Market Harborough. The parish covers 1,710 acres.

The village sits atop a plateau that is just about the highest point for miles around. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and quiet lanes it is an ideal place from which to take a quiet stroll or ride. If you are planning a visit:

  • The Grand Union Canal runs through the south portion of the parish.
  • John LACEY has authored or co-authored books on the history of Mowsley Village and Mowsley Church. Copies were provided to all households in Mowsley Parish. Check the local library for a copy.
  • By automobile, take the A50 trunk road south out of Leicester city for about 12 miles. The village will be just off to the left.
You can see pictures of Mowsley which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Richard WILLIAMS provides a photograph of the Staff of Life Inn on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2007.



  • Mowsley had two manors in 1086.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP647891 (Lat/Lon: 52.495979, -1.048424), Mowsley which are provided by:



  • Most of the parish was grazing land.

Politics & Government

  • Mowsley was for centuries only a chapelry in Knaptoft parish. In 1866, it was formed as a separate Civil Parish.
  • The parish is in the ancient Gartree Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • The citizens of Mowsley have elected to forgo a formal parish council and, instead, hold periodic Parish Meetings to discuss civic and political issues.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Market Harborough petty session hearings held every other Tuesday.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Market Harborough Poorlaw Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 248
1811 229
1821 263
1831 283
1841 267
1851 263
1861 241
1871 239
1881 208
1901 168
1971 162
2001 212


  • The Public Elementary School was built before 1911 for 40 children.
  • There is a photo of the village school at the Parish Meeting web page.
  • The school has no website at present. For inquiries, tele: 0116 2402464.