Description in 1871:
"SHEEPSHED, a village and a parish in Loughborough district, Leicester. The village stands on an affluent of the river Soar, within the N E side of Charnwood forest, 4½ miles W of Loughborough r. station; and has a post-office under Loughborough, and an old cross. The parish comprises 5,280 acres. Real property, £10, 556. Pop. in 1851, 3,759; in 1861, 3,626. Houses, 788. The manor belonged formerly to the Gordons, and belongs now to A. L. M. De Lisle, Esq. The surface is partly hilly, rising toward the mountainous ground of High Peak; and includes Beacon hill and Bardon hill, which commandvery extensive views. Framework-knitting, glove-making, needle-making, and granite-working are carried on. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £391. Patron, A. L. M. De Lisle, Esq. The church is old, and has a tower and spire. There are chapels for Particular Baptists, General Baptists, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics, a national school, and some charities."
[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-1872]


Archives & Libraries

  • The Shepshed Library in Hall Croft is open 5 days a week with Internet access. They have staff trained in Family History research.


  • The cemetery was formed in 1876 and covered 2.5 acres. It had two mortuary chapels. It was under the control of the Parish Council's Burial Committee.
  • The cemetery was enlarged in 1899.
  • Cemetery records are kept in the Council Offices at 47a Charnwood Road, Shepshed (01509 508872) and can be viewed in person with an appointment.
  • Les CARRUTHERS has a photograph of Shepshed Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2006.


  • The parish was in the Loughborough sub-district of the Loughborough 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 / 2276
1871 R.G. 10 / 3257 & 3258
1891 R.G. 12 / 2516 & 2517

Church History

  • A Cistercian House or Abbey was built here in 1133 and survived past 1536. The abbey included the parish church.
  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Botolph.
  • The church was thoroughly restored in 1844.
  • The church seats 800.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of St. Botolph's Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • Near the church, in the centre of the street, stands an ancient cross on a graduated base of five steps.
  • St. James the Greater Church was opened on 18 June 1815, Waterloo Day.
  • St. James the Greater Church was completely rebuilt in 1883.
  • St. James the Greater Church has a lychgate at the entrance to the churchyard.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish parish register dates from 1538 and is in good condition.
  • The Anglican parish parish register for St. James the Greater dates from 1853 and is in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of East Akeley (after 1910, South Akeley).
  • The Roman Catholic chapel was consecrated to Saint Winefride in 1842.
  • The General Baptist chapel in Charnwood road was built in 1689 and rebuilt in 1833.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Baptist chapel on Belton Street on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2012.
  • The Particular Baptist chapel was built before 1848.
  • The Wesleyan Methodist chapel in Field street was built in 1878.
  • The Primitive Methodists chapel was built before 1881.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Loughborough sub-district of the Loughborough Registration District.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Sheepshed is a village and a parish about 119 miles north of London. The Blackbrook Reservoir is just to the south-west. The parish lies 4 miles north-west of Loughborough.

Charley and Sherman's Grounds are both extra-parochial districts in or adjacent to the parish. If you are planning a visit:

  • All passenger railway service to the town ceased in 1931. Goods service ceased in 1963.
  • By automobile, Shepshed is on the M1 road between Loughborough and Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
You can see pictures of Shepshed which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • This place was once mostly pasture and small farms.
  • There is evidence that a weekly wool market was held at least until the 14th century.
  • In 1753, much of the town was destroyed when 85 bays of buildings were consumed by fire, including the school building.
  • The Charnwood Navigation Canal was opened to this place in 1798 but proved a poor economic venture and closed in 1804.
  • In the 1800s and early 1900s, most inhabitants of the parish were frame-work knitters.
  • In 1858 the streets were lighted by gas from a local company.
  • In 1868 on Election day Shepshed had a riot, two hundred policemen were brought into the village the next day and 33 arrests were made (13 of the rioters being sentenced to 3 months imprisonment). Upon release they were met at the boundary by the local brass band and feted as heroes.
  • The Charnwood Forest Railway opened here in 1881 but ceased passenger service in 1931 and freight service in 1963.
  • In 1904 the Nottingham and Notts Bank building went up in this parish. It is currently a dental office, but is also a Grade II building with English Heritage. It was designed by A E King of Loughborough.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Charnwood Dental Centre on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2016.
  • J. THOMAS has a photograph of the Britannia Inn on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.
  • T. GLOVER has a photograph of the Jolly Farmers Inn on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2007.


  • Garendon Hall was built on the site of the old Cistercian Abbey, but has since been demolished.


  • The national grid reference is SK 4719.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK476188 (Lat/Lon: 52.764711, -1.296005), Shepshed which are provided by:


Military History

  • On 31 December 1915 a German Zeppelin was seen over Shepshed, but no bombing occured.
  • The War Memorial was originally located in the Market Place. It was subsequently moved to Glenmore Park.
  • There is a photograph of the War Memorial at War Memorials Online.
  • John M. has a photograph of the Drill hall doorway on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2014.

Military Records

There are seventeen Commonwealth War Graves in Shepshed Cemetery.

WW i:

  1. William Alfred BERRIDGE, 2nd lieut., 5th Btn. Leics. Regt., age 33, died 15 Feb 1919. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. BERRIDGE, of Shepshed.
  2. George Frederick BOTT. air mech. 3rd class, RFC, died 4 June 1917. Husband of Annie BOTT, Shepshed.
  3. Edwin Arnold BRIERS, priv. 2nd class, RAF, died 21 Oct. 1918. Born 1901 in Shepshed, LEI.
  4. E. FOSTER, sapper, Royal Engineers, age 29, died 12 Feb. 1919. Husband of M. E. FOSTER, of Shepshed.
  5. Edmund Charles FREEMAN, priv., Army Veterinary Corps, age 39, died 25 Feb. 1917. Husband of Mary Jane FREEMAN, Shepshed.
  6. H. HALL, priv., 3rd Btn. Sherwood Foresters, died 1 Sept. 1914.
  7. C. V. MANDERFIELD, priv., King's Own RLR, age 19, died 12 Sept. 1918. Son of Douglas and Mary Ann MANDERFIELD, of Shepshed.
  8. Hugh MILLS, gunner, 65th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery, age 22, died 4 Nov. 1918. Son of Herbert and Ellen MILLS.

WW Ii:

  1. Thomas Herbert BENNETT, W. O. 2nd class, 158 Sqrn. RCAF, age 21, died 26 Feb 1942. Son of Thomas and Kate Florence BENNETT, Brit. Columbia, Canada.
  2. Leonard William BIRKENSHAW, priv., South Staffs Regt., age 22, died 24 July 1942. Son of Joseph and Ivy May BIRKENSHAW, of Shepshed.
  3. Albert Edgar HUTCHINSON, driver, RASC, died 9 Aug. 1941.
  4. Albert Ernest NEWTON, gunner, 144 Bty., Royal Artillery, age 40, died 23 Dec 1942. Husband of Mabel Annie NEWTON, of Shepshed.
  5. Thomas Henry OLIVER, srgt., 154 Regt. The Leicestershire Yeomanry, age 23, died 29 Apr. 1942. Husband of Iris Margaret OLIVER.
  6. Kenneth Thomas ROBSON, ldg. aircraftman, RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 21, died 12 Mar. 1943. Husband of Ethel Eliza ROBSON, of Shepshed.
  7. Owen Bernard SPENCE, gunner, 146 (The Pembroke Yeomanry) Field Regt., age 26, died 27 June 1942. Husband of Doreen SPENCE, of Selston, Nottinghamshire.
  8. Charles Robert WHITWORTH, srgt., RAF Vol. Rsrv., age 28, died 25 May 1942. Husband of Beatrice WHITWORTH, of Loughborough.
  9. Douglas WILSON, sapper, 272 Field Regt. Royal Engineers, age 22, died 13 Mar. 1941. Husband of L. WILSON, of Shepshed.

Names, Geographical

  • In the Domesday Book of 1066, the name is rendered as "Scepeshelde Regis" which means "place where sheeps graze."
  • The name Shepshed is the preferred rendering adopted in 1888, although the "Sheepshed" form is also accepted and used on many maps and other documents.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county. It became a Civil Parish when these were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient West Goscote Hundred in the northern division of the county.
  • In 1808, Charnwood Forest, mostly to the south of this parish, was enclosed by Act of Parliament.
  • In 1888, the present form of the name as "Shepshed" was adopted.
  • On 25 March, 1891, the parish was enlarged by gaining a detached part of Garendon Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1895, the parish formed an Urban District Council to manage governmental affairs.
  • In October, 1896, the Civil Parish of Shepshed Parva was merged into this Civil Parish and the Shepshed Urban District Council.
  • On 1 April, 1935, the parish was reduced by 600 acres which went to Loughborough Civil Parish.
  • On 1 April, 1936, the parish was enlarged by 419 acres when the Garendon Extra-parochial area was abolished. 8 acres were also granted from the abolishment of Hathern Civil Parish, but 773 acres went to Long Whatton Civil Parish. This brought the parish to 4,479 acres.
  • Local politics and neighborhood issues are now handled by the Shepshed Town Council. To see more visit the Parish Council website. Remember, though, that they do not have the resources to help with family history research.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in four phases from the 1400s through the 1800s.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Loughborough Poor Law Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Loughborough petty session hearings each Wednesday.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 2,627
1841 3,872
1851 3,759
1861 3,626
1871 3,784
1881 4,437
1891 4,416
1901 5,293
1911 5,542
1921 5,533
1931 5,758


  • A Council School at Hall Croft (mixed and infants) was built here in 1876 and enlarged in 1884.
  • The Loughborough Road School (mixed and infants) was built here in 1838 and enlarged in 1896.
  • A Catholic School (mixed) in Britannia Street was built here before 1912.
  • The Catholic School (infants) in Field Street was built here in 1896.
  • A Public Elementary School (mixed) for Oaks-in-Charnwood was built here in 1851 to hold 38 children.


  • The Local History Society meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Glenmore Community Centre on Thorpe Road at 7pm.