Old Dalby


Description in 1871:
"DALBY-ON-THE-WOLDS, or Old Dalby, a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; adjacent to the Fosse way and to the boundary with Notts, 4½ miles NNW of Asfordby r. station, and 6½ NW of Melton-Mowbray. Post town, Nether-Broughton, under Melton-Mowbray. Acres, 3,430. Real property, £3,536. Pop., 359. Houses, 75. A preceptory of Knights Hospitallers was founded here in the time of Henry II., by Robert de Bossu, Earl of Leicester. There is a chalybeate spring. The living is a donative in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £40. Patron, the Rev. W. G. Sawyer. The church was built in 1836, at a cost of £5,000; and has a square tower. There is also, at Sixhills, a modern chapel of ease. Charities, £9."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]



  • The parish was in the Melton Mowbray sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District until 1935.
  • 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 table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2301
1871 R.G. 10 / 3295
1891 R.G. 12 / 2544

Church History

  • The Knights Hospitallers owned a preceptory in the village in 1206. The lands of the preceptory passed to the Crown in 1540 with the suppression of the Hospitallers in England.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The date of original construction is uncertain, but believed to in the Norman period.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1835 and has a square embattled tower with 4 bells.
  • The church was restored in 1894 and the bells rehung (after the tenor bell was recast).
  • The church seats 200.
  • A small Chapel of Ease was built in 1837 in Six Hills hamlet in this parish, near the Foss Way.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1725. The early years are on parchment and are in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Goscote (second portion).
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here in 1902.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Old Dalby is a village and was a parish situated in a pleasant dale in the Wold Hills. It is 6 miles north-west of Melton Mowbray, 11 miles north-east of Leicester city and 111 miles north of London. The parish covered about 3,181 acres. Nottinghamshire forms the northern and part of the western border. Near the Foss Way was the hamlet of Six Hills, named for the many barrows and high hills in the area.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A46 trunk road (The Foss Way) north out of Leicester city just past the intersection with the A6006 arterial road. Turn right at the first roundabout and take the first lane to the right. Follow that road about 3/4 mile to Old Dalby.
  • Upper Broughton parish sits just across the border in Nottinghamshire.
  • You are invited to visit the Village Website.
  • Local news and events may be found at the Leicester Mercury website. Enter "Old Dalby" as a search option.
  • The Village Hall is located at #4, Main Road.
  • Visitors may wish to relax at a pub called 'The Crown' which is set within the village.
You can see pictures of Old Dalby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Most of the parish land was used for grazing.
  • Stilton cheese was made here.
  • The parish contains a chalybeate spring.
  • Once a year, on the August bank holiday Monday, the village holds a fete known as "Old Dalby Day" to raise money for charities connected with the village.


  • Near the church stands Dalby Hall. This was the seat of the Rev. William George SAWYER in 1849.
  • Dalby Hall is a handsome stone building.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK674237 (Lat/Lon: 52.806912, -1.001987), Old Dalby which are provided by:


Military History

  • During World War II, Old Dalby served as an ordnance and army vehicle Depot. In 1996, this military base was closed.

Names, Geographical

  • "Old Dalby" will also appears in many records as "Dalby on the Wolds" or "Wold Dalby".

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish of the county and a modern Civil Parish until 1936.
  • The parish was in the ancient East Goscote Hundred in the northern (or eastern) division of the county.
  • Kelly's 1912 Directory places the parish, perhaps erroneously, in the ancient Ramland III Hundred.
  • In April, 1936, this parish was abolished and all 3,181 acres were amalgamated into the new Broughton and Old Dalby Civil Parish.
  • You can contact the local Parish Council for political information. They will NOT do family history lookups 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
1801 254
1841 410
1871 320
1881 335
1891 345
1901 353
1911 368
1921 330
1931 315


  • A Free School for boys and girls can be found here in 1881. Date of construction as yet unknown. This later became a Public Elementary School.