Description in 1877:
"Rothley Village, in Barrow-on-Soar Union, Leicester County Court District, and West Goscote Hundred, is situated on the banks of a rivulet about half a mile west of the river Soar, 1 1/2 mile south of Mountsorrell, and 5 miles N. of Leicester; its township comprises about 1,172 acres, and in 1871 contained 1,040 persons, living in 232 houses. Barrow-on-Soar Workhouse is situated here. The Peculiar or Soke of Rothley, which has jurisdiction over this and other parishes...and belongs to H Parker Esq., son of the late Vice Chancellor Sir James Parker, as lord of the manor, in which he claims 1s in the pound on the value of all the copyhold lands, when they pass from one owner to another. The Court House is an ancient building with a pyramid roof, near the centre of the village, In it the Commissionary Court of the Peculiar is opened every half year, and afterwards alternately adjourned to the Red Lion and Crown Inns. The lord of the manor and the executors of W. Perry Herrick. Esq., are the principal owners of the soil, but the Fowke family has an estate in the parish. Many of the inhabitants are quarrymen and framework knitters; and the soil is various, some clay, some marl and some good barley land. About 12 acres of land are let in small allottments to the industrious poor, at low rents. The manor and rectory were anciently held by the Knights Templars (see Rothley Temple) and in 1283 they had a grant for a market and a fair, which were removed from Rothley to Gaddesby in 1305. At the Dissolution, the manor, the impropriate rectory, and the advowson of the vicarage were granted to Edward Cartwright, and were sold, in 1567, to Humphrey Babington, Esq., of whom the present owner, H. Parker, Esq, is a descendant on the mother ’s side. The advowson was purchased by the present vicar in 1872. The CHURCH (St. John the Baptist) is a large and handsome fabric, with an embattled tower and five bells, and contains several monuments of the Babington family. It was partly restored in 1861 by the late vicar, at a cost of £1,000, and its complete restoration is now being carried out at a cost of £3,000. The architect is R. Reynolds Rowe Esq., of Cambridge. The living is a vicarage, valued in K.B. at £11 0s. 5d., and now at £600, and has 240 acres of glebe; the tithes were commuted at the enclosure in 1781. The Rev. Richard Burton, M.A, who succeeded the Rev. H. J. Shackleton in 1869, is patron and incumbent, and has a good vicarage near the church, which was enlarged in 1870, and is now a handsome residence. The WESLEYANS and PRIMITIVE METHODISTS and the GENERAL BAPTISTS have chapels here. The FREE SCHOOL was founded by Bartholomew Hickling, who in 1683 left a cottage and several pieces of land here, in trust for the education of 14 or 15 poor boys of Rothley. Besides the schoolroom, and a good house and garden, occupied by the master, the endowment now consists of about 3 1/2 acres of land, worth £25 per annum. The NATIONAL SCHOOL was rebuilt in 1872, at a cost of £500. In I736 Mrs. Elizabeth Daniel gave £30 in trust to pay the interest to a school-mistress for instructing several poor girls to read. A yearly rent-charge of 5s., paid out of the late Sir James Parker ’s estate, was left by John Willows, to buy a Bible for any boy who can read the first chapter of St. John ’s Gospel the most distinctly. For distribution in bread and money, the poor have the interest of £30, given by several donors, and a yearly rent-charge of 20s., left by the Rev. William Stavely, out of land at Cossington. In the village is a small MECHANICS ’ INSTITUTION, which was founded about 30 years ago by the late Thomas Babington, Esq., of Rothley Temple; it has now about 50 members, a library of 300 volumes, and the institution is well supplied with newspapers."

"ROTHLEY TEMPLE formerly an extra-parochial estate, has been constituted a civil parish, comprising about 630 acres of land and in 1871 containing 85 persons, living in 18 houses. It is in Barrow-on-Soar Union and County Gourt District, and West Goscote Hundred; it adjoins Rothley on the west, and is distant 5 miles N. of Leicester. It is in the peculiar jurisdiction of Rothley. The manor and soke of Rothley is extensive, and has very curious rights in its jurisdiction. The extra-parochial liberty has been in the hands of the Babington family from about A.D. 1500 to the death of Thomas Babington, in 1838, after which his daughter having married Sir James Parker, Kt., it came into the hands of that eminent lawyer and vice-chancellor. It is now owned by his eldest son, Harry Rainy Parker, Esq., who occupies the mansion, which has tasteful pleasure-grounds, and stands on the site of a Preceptory, or Commandery of Knights Templars to whom the manor was given by Henry III. After the suppression of the Templars, it was given to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. On the dissolution of the latter, the site and manor were given to Edward Cartwright, as noticed with Rothley."
[WHITE's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland. 3rd Edition," 1877]


Archives & Libraries

The Rothley Community Library in Mountsorrel Lane is a branch of the Leicester County Council Library System. It is open 4 days each week (verify by phone if you are visiting). It s run by local volunteers who are familiar with the village.

A local lad burned down the original library in 1996. There is a history of the library (in PDF format) at RobLibHistory.



  • Rothley Cemetery opened in 1904 after the churchyard was closed to further burials. It covered 2 acres and 1 rood and has one mortuary chapel. The cemetery is on Mountsorrel Lane opposite the Roman Catholic Church. Mountsorrel parish is only about 3/4 of a mile beyond the cemetery.
  • The Cemetery is under the control of the burial committee of the local Parish Council.
  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of the Cemetery Gates on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Cemetery Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.


  • The parish was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow upon Soar 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. Volume 21 covers the Rothley sub-district.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1851 H.O. 107 / 595
1861 R.G. 9 / 2253, 2280 & 2281
1871 R.G. 10 / 3265 & 3266
1891 R.G. 12 / 2521 & 2522

Church History

  • In the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar had a temple here. Portions of it are incorporated into the modern Rothley Court Hotel.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist.
  • The webpage author has a source giving the Anglican parish church as dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and as built in 1425. This entry appears to be incorrect.
  • The church was built in the 14th century.
  • The organ was installed in the church in 1920.
  • The church was restored and the chancel rebuilt in 1878.
  • The church has its own web site where one can plainly see the dedication to Saints Mary and John.
  • The church seats 345.
  • Terry SHEPPARD has a photograph of the church tower on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2006.
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of the Saxon cross next to the church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2011. The cross is thought to date from 750 AD.

Church Records

Registers held at The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland include:-(DE829/DE4411/DE5016/DE5119)

  1. Baptisms 1563 - 1941
  2. Banns 1871 - 1977
  3. Marriages 1563 - 1912
  4. Burials 1563 - 1995
  • The Society of Genealogists holds copies of records from Rothley Parish Church including marriages from 1562 - 1837.
  • The Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society have published details of Rothley burials from 1813 - 1865 on microfiche. (842F).
  • The IGI includes Rothley records. See Batches C096281 and M096281.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of East Goscote (second division).
  • The Wesleyan Methodists and the Primitive Methodists had chapels here built around 1823.
  • The Primitive Methodist chapel was converted to a private residence in 1995.
  • The Baptist chapel was built here in 1800 and could seat up to 300 persons.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013. This RC Church was built in 1927 across the street from the village cemetery.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Rothley sub-district of the Barrow upon Soar Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Rothley is a village, a township and a parish about 5 miles north of the city of Leicester, 110 miles north of London and 5 miles south of Loughborough. The village sits just west of the River Soar. The parish covers 2,011 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A6 north out of Leicester. At the junction with the B5330 you are in Rothley (to the west).
  • The village is still served by a train station on the Great Central Steam Railway. The station has appeared in film and television shows.
  • You may admire the expensive homes along The Ridgeway, but please do not disturb the residents.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the more modern Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2013.
You can see pictures of Rothley which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The village has existed since Saxon times and a Saxon cross stands in the churchyard.
  • An 18-hole golf course was opened in 1911.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK584128 (Lat/Lon: 52.709722, -1.137032), Rothley which are provided by:


Military History

  • Kate JEWELL has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2006. The memorial is at Cross Green.
  • There are 9 Commonwealth War Graves in Rothley Cemetery.

Names, Geographical

  • Rothley is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Ropleah" which means "meadow in a clearing".
  • In the 1086 Domesday Book, the name is given as "Rodolei" and belonged to the King.
  • The name Rothley is pronounced "Row-thley" by the locals.


Many of the inhabitants of the parish were employed in boot and shoe making in the decades around 1900,


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish and township in Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient East Goscote Hundred until 1866, when it was reassigned to the West Goscote Hundred.
  • The parish was in the northern division of the county.
  • The parish is also part of the Mountsorrel Borough.
  • In March, 1884, the parish was enlarged by Rothley Plain which was transferred from Newtown Linford Civil Parish.
  • In October, 1912, the parish was enlarged by 5 acres taken from Swithland Civil Parish and 27 acres taken from Thurcaston Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1935, the parish was reduced by 150 acres which were transferred to Mountsorrel Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the local Rothley Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to help with family history lookups.
  • District governance is provided by the Charnwood Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1781.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Loughborough petty session hearings.
  • As a result of the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became part of the Barrow-upon-Soar Poorlaw Union.
  • The workhouse for the Barrow-upon-Soar Poorlaw Union was in this parish.
  • A row of four terraced almshouses with plaque on exterior of first floor wall between nos 8 and 10 North Street were built and dedicated to the men of the parish who perished in World War I.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 775
1821 948
1841 1,770
1871 1,040
1881 1,146
1891 1,199
1901 1,463
1911 2,006
1921 2,264
1931 2,734
2001 3,612


  • Rothley's (Church of England) Primary School provides education for the boys and girls of the parish. The school was built as a National School for infants in 1871.
  • A Public Elementary School (mixed) was built in 1902 and enlarged in 1913.
  • Terry SHEPPARD has a photograph of the Old School Building on geo-graph, taken in October, 2009.