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Ratby

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Description in 1881:
"Ratby is a parish, township, and large, irregularly built village and station on tbe Leicester and Swannington railway, in the Southern division of the county, Sparkenhoe hundred, union of Market Bosworth, county court district of Leicester, rural deanery of Guthlaxton first portion, archdeaconry of Leicester and diocese of Peterborough, 5 miles west-by-north from Leicester and about 8 north-east from Market Bosworth. The church of SS. Philip and James is a large and handsome Early Decorated building, consisting of chancel, nave, and south aisle, with a massive square tower containing 4 bells, and is now (1881) undergoing restoration. The register dates from the year 1745, The living is .a vicarage, with the chapelry of Groby annexed, joint yearly value £420, in the gift of the Earl of Stamford and Warrijngton and held by the Rev. Robert Trousdale B.A. of St.John's College, Cambridge; the Rev. Adrian Gustavus Devereux-Quicke B.A. of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, is curate in charge. Here is a chapel for Primitive Methodists. The poor are benefited by charities of about £30 annual value, left by Manfrid Sacheverell in 1615. The chief occupation is frame-work knitting. About a mile west of the village, on a farm called Old Hays, is a Roman encampment, and near it a spring, called Holywell. The principal landowners are the Earl of Stamford and Warrington, who is lord of the manor, and Admiral Hallows.
The soil is strong marl; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 4,205 acres; rateabIe value, £8,264; the population in 1881 was 1,615.

Botcheston, a hamlet in the parish of Ratby, and couuty court district of Market Bosworth, lies about 7 miles west from Leicester, on the north aide of the Leicester and Swannington railway.

Newtown Unthank is a hamlet, in the county court district of Leicester, situated on the north side of the Leicester and Swannington railway, about 6 ½ miles west from Leicester, George Fowler Brown esq. is principal landowner.

Groby hamlet will be found under a separate heading."
["Post Office Directory, Leicestershire and Rutland," 1881]

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Archives & Libraries

The Ratby Community Library in 62 Main Street is a branch of the Leicester County Council Library System. It is open six days each week (verify by phone if you are visiting). It first opened in 2016. Internet access is available, but they do not have a dedicated Family History section.

Richard LAW has a photograph of the Public Library on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2015.

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Cemeteries

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Census

  • The parish was in the Market Bosworth sub-district of the Market Bosworth Registration District.
     
  • The 1851 Census for Leicestershire has been indexed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. Volume 2 includes Ratby which has been published on microfiche only.
     
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
     
Census
Year
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 602
1861 R.G. 9 / 2266
1871 R.G. 10 / 3242
1891 R.G. 12 / 2507
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Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Philip and Saint James.
     
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Church of St. Philip and St. James showing the graveyard on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2019.
     
  • The church was thoroughly restored in 1879-81.
     
  • Further restoration occurred in 1888.
     
  • The clock was added to the tower in 1914.
     
  • The church seats 500.
     
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of Ratby Church on Geo-graph, taken on a sunny day in September 2011.
     
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Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1745 (although some sources cite 1624).
     
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Guthlaxton (first portion).
     
  • The Primitive Methodists had a chapel here on Chapel Lane by 1881.
     
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.
     
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Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Market Bosworth sub-district of the Market Bosworth Registration District.
     
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
     
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Description & Travel

Ratby is a village, a township and a parish standing on a rise 8 miles west of Leicester, 5 miles east of Market Bosworth, 5 miles west-by-north of Leicester and 8 miles north-east of Market Bosworth. The parish covers 3,065 acres and includes the hamlets of Botcheston, Newton Unthank, and Groby. Newton Unthank was also known as Newtown Unthank.

The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the A1 runs through the north-east portion or Ratby just west of Leicester city.
     
  • Arriva bus service #27 provides daily service to the Bull's Head public house.
     
  • James BARTON has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2019.
     
You can see pictures of Ratby which are provided by:

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Gazetteers

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Historical Geography

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

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History

  • This parish features two Roman sites. One is a small encampment or burial place and the other appears to be a Roman station. The burial field is thought to pre-date the Romans by about 900 years.
     
  • This parish is presumed to be the site of the Roman station called "Ratae".
     
  • In the 1800s and early 1900s, many of the villagers worked the coal seams in Groby or at Desford colliery or worked at the hosiery factories in Leicester.
     
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Bulls Head Inn on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
     
  • Time GLOVER has a photograph of the Railway Inn on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2011.
     
  • James BARTON also has a photograph of The Railway Inn on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2019.
     
  • These are the names associated with the Railway Inn in various directories:
     
Year  Person
1849 -- not listed --
1875 -- not listed --
1881 -- not listed --
1887 -- not listed --
1899 -- not listed --
1908 George MARVIN
1912 George MARVIN
1925 Charles TOON
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Manors

  • The webpage author could find no mention of a Manor house or Hall.
     
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Maps

  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
     

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK511059 (Lat/Lon: 52.648436, -1.24614), Ratby which are provided by:

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Military History

  • The War Memorial was dedicated in November, 1920.
     
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial across from the library on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
     
  • Mat FASCIONE also has a photograph of the War Memorial at Christmas time on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2019.
     
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Military Records

  • Ian S. has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013. Some of the names are visible.
     
  • Ian S. also has a second photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013. Some of the names are visible.
     
  • Ian S. has a photograph of the War Memorial inside its fence on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013. Some of the names are visible.
     

These are the Commonwealth War Graves in the RATBY parish Churchyard:

  1. Pte. W. HARRATT, MGC, died 10 Jun 1920
  2. Gnr. George William WORTH, 7th Bn. The Sherwood Foresters, died 4 Aug 1941
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Politics & Government

  • Ratby was an ancient parish in Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
     
  • The parish lies in the Sparkenhoe Hundred (Wapentake) in the Mid division of the county.
     
  • On 1 April, 1896, Groby was created as a separate Civil Parish.
     
  • On 1 October, 1904, a portion of Kirby Muxloe was added to this Civil Parish.
     
  • On 1 April, 1935, this parish was enlarged by 15 acres gained from Markfield Civil Parish.
     
  • On 1 April, 1936, this parish gave up 917 acres to Desford Civil Parish.
     
  • You may contact the Ratby Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they will NOT do family history work for you.
     
  • The Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council provide district governance.
     
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Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • In 1615 Manfride SACHEVERELL left land and money for the poor.
     
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Market Bosworth Poorlaw Union.
     
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Leicester petty session hearings.
     
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Population

 Year Inhabitants
1801 873
1821 1,025
1841 1,274
1871 1,289
1881 1,615
1891 2,201
1901 1,803
1911 2,112
1921 2,205
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Schools

  • The Desford Industrial School was located in Botcheston hamlet, built some time before 1881. The school was under the control of the Leicester Borough Council.
     
  • A Public Elementary School was built in 1873 and enlarged in 1906 to hold 285 mixed students and 194 infants.
     
  • A Public Elementary School was built in 1906 in Botcheston. It could hold 80 students.