John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72" tells us:

PICKWELL, a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; adjacent to Rutland, 6 miles W N W of Oakham r. station. It contains the hamlet of Leesthorpe; and its post town is Oakham. Acres, 1,480. Real property, £3,713. Pop., 169. Houses, 33. The manor of P. belongs to the Earl of Gainsborough; and that of Leesthorpe, with L. Hall, to A. Smith, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £527. Patron, the Earl of Gainsborough. The church is a neatbuilding, with a tower. There are a parochial school and charities £6. Dr. Cave, the author of " Lives of the Apostles" and other works, was a native.


  • There is a small public cemetery on the north side of the village off Leesthorpe Road.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of some of the gravestones in All Saints' churchyard, taken in April, 2008.


  • The parish was in the Somerby sub-district of the Melton Mowbray Registration District until 1935.
  • 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.
  • In 1935, the parish was transferred to the Melton and Belvoir Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2299
1871 R.G. 10 / 3292
1891 R.G. 12 / 2543

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to All Saints.
  • There was a priest, and presumably a church, in the 1086 Domesday Book.
  • The church is of Norman origin, built in the 11th century.
  • The church tower was added in the 15th century, built of grey ashlar limestone.
  • The church was extensively restored in 1861. A new altar was provided in 1897.
  • The church tower and church roof were repaired in 1911.
  • The church seats 200.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of All Saints Church on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.
  • Rogere TEMPLEMAN also has a photograph of All Saints Church on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1572
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Goscote (first portion).
  • The vestry minute books for 1717-1795 have survived and are archived.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Pickwell was a village and a parish 5 miles south-south-east of Melton Mowbray and 108 miles north of London. The parish abuts up against Rutland county and covered 2,326 acres before it was abolished, which included the hamlet of Leesthorpe.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A606 trunk road south-east out of Melton Mobray. Turn off (to the right) onto Stygate Lane for Pickwell about 5 miles down the road.
  • Several streams in the parish feed into the River Eye.
  • Mat FASCIONE provides a photograph of the Village sign on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2008.
You can see pictures of Pickwell which are provided by:





Dr. William CAVE, chaplain to Charles II, was born here in December, 1637.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Pickwell 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 sheep and cattle. Most of the parish residents were graziers.
  • Limestone was also quarried in the parish.


  • The Manor House was built of ironstone in the 17th century.
  • The Manor House is on Somerby Road and was the residence of Edward H. BOLDECK in 1881.
  • Leesthorpe Hall was built of Ashlar Limestone circa 1700.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK786114 (Lat/Lon: 52.694587, -0.838435), Pickwell which are provided by:


Military History

  • The War Memorial is a granite cross that was dedicated in 1920.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial in Leesthorpe Road on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2008.
  • The inscription and the list of names is at the Waymarking website.
  • There is one Commonwealth War Grave in the churchyard from World War I (for E. L. MEADOWS).
Surname Given names Unit Died Cemetery Notes
MEADOWS   E L Royal Engineers, 1st. Resrv. 16-Jul-1917 Pickwell Probably "Edward Luke" Meadows.

Names, Geographical

  • Although officially "Pickwell with Leesthorpe", the common tendency was just to call the parish "Pickwell".

Politics & Government

  • The parish was a detached portion of the ancient Gartree Hundred in the eastern division of the county.C
  • In April, 1936, this parish was abolished and the area made part of Somerby Civil Parish.
  • A unified parish council was formed for the people of Burrough On The Hill, Leesthorpe, Pickwell and Somerby.
  • You may contact the local Somerby Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT funded to help you with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Melton Borough Council.

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
1086 57
1801 121
1871 195
1881 249
1891 262
1901 237
1911 217
1921 170
1931 182


  • A Parochial School (later termed a "Public Elementary School") was built in 1835. This was enlarged in 1883 to hold 70 children.
  • In 1929, the school above reserved for juniors and the seniors were sent to school in Melton Mobray.
  • In 1933, the school was closed and the the juniors attended school in Somerby.
  • Through local efforts the school building was converted into a village hall.