Description in 1849:
"OWSTON, or Ouston, is a village and parish 6 miles west of Oakham, and 8 south of Melton Mowbray, in the Hundred of Framland, Union of Billesdon. The living is a rectory, value £200, held by the Rev. Charles Haycock, and in the gift of the Rev. Henry Palmer.

The church is a very old building of stone, of the 11th century, with a tower, steeple, and 2 bells; acreage 3,000, and population 213. The lord of the manor is Sir Frederick Fowke, Bart. Here was a small abbey, of which there are no remains."
"Post Office Directory, Leicestershire & Rutlandshire" 1849



  • The parish was in the Billesdon subdistrict of the Billesdon 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 / 2253
1871 R.G. 10 / 3228
1891 R.G. 12 / 2494

Church History

  • There was a priory of Austin canons here, founded before 1166 by Robert GRIMBALD and dedicated to St. Mary, St. Andrew and All Saints. There are now no remains of the priory.
  • There is speculation that the pond and earthworks just south-west of the village are the remnants of the fishponds of Owston Abbey.
  • There is an in-depth History of the Abbey, Priory and the church.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Andrew.
  • The church was built in the 11th century and stands on the south-west side of the main street.
  • The church is a small building made of ironstone with limestone facings and an embattled tower. The tower appears to be a 15th century addition. The tower buttresses are a much later addition.
  • The church was partially rebuilt and extensively repaired in 1791-1793.
  • The church seats about 150.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of St Andrew's Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1701.
  • The church is in the rural Goscote deanery (first portion).
  • Churchwardens' accounts survive for 1796, 1803, 1804-09, and 1812-1902, and overseers' accounts for 1800-31.
  • Methodists met in the house of Anne COLLETT in 1817, but no chapel was ever built for them here.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Billesdon subdistrict of the Billesdon Registration District.

Description & Travel

Owston is a hamlet, a township and a parish in the uplands of east Leicestershire. It is about 102 miles north of London, 6 miles west of Oakham in Rutland, 8 miles south of Melton Mowbray and 2 miles west from Knossington village. The river Gwash rises in the eastern poart of the parish. To the west rises a tributary to the River Wreak. The parish, at its largest, covered 3,095 acres.

Most of the village lies along one street. Newbold Saucey is an abandoned hamlet or district north-west of the village. The hamlet of North Marefield has been almost completely abandoned. If you are planning a visit:

  • There are numerous footpaths, bridle-roads and tracks in the parish.
  • By automobile, take the A6 trunk road south-east out of Leicester city. After Wigston you will see Owston village on your right.
You can see pictures of Owston which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • There was a recorded population of 22 in Owston and Newbold in 1086.
  • The former chapelry of Newbold was apparently once a substantial hamlet.
  • The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries.
  • The village hall opened in 1950,


  • The Manor of Owston was at one time held by David, King of Scotland. The manorial rights lapsed in 1926.
  • The Manor House faces the village street to the south-east of the church. It is a two-story ironstone house with limestone dressings and dates from the early 18th century.
  • The Manor House was the residence of John George GILFORD, a farmer, in 1912.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK776079 (Lat/Lon: 52.663274, -0.854052), Owston which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

  • Owston was anciently called "Olveston, Osulveston, Wolneston and Ouston".

Politics & Government

  • Owston was an ancient parish in Leicestershire and became a Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the Framland Hundred (or Wapentake) in the 1849 "Post Office Directory, Leicester and Rutlandshire".
  • The parish lies in the Gartree Hundred (or Wapentake) in the southern (or Eastern) division of the county.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The parish apparently had its own poorhouse in 1803 and was paying for a poorhouse master to run the place.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Billesdon Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Melton Mowbray petty session hearings.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 176
1811 216
1841 213
1871 181
1881 189
1891 136
1901 127
1911 121
1921 142
1931 125
1951 110


  • A National School was built here in 1856 by Frederick PALMER of Withcote, but closed in 1906. This old school stood on the north-east side of the main street.
  • The Public Elementary School (formerly National School) was re-opened in 1913 for 40 children.
  • Prior to 1913 the children of this place attended the school first at Somerby then in 1908 at Knossington.
  • The Public Elementary School was converted to a junior school in 1920. This school was amalgamated with Knossington's in 1947. By 1961 the old ironstone building had been partly converted to a garage