Smeeton Westerby


Description in 1871:
"SMEETON-WESTERBY, a township-chapelry in Kibworth-Beauchamp parish, Leicester; ½ a mile S of Kibworth r. station, 1 NE of the Grand Union canal, and 5¼ NW of Market-Harborough. Post town, Kibworth-Harcourt, under Leicester. Real property, £3,293. Pop., 533. Houses, 114. The property is much subdivided. The canal here burst its banks in Sept. 1865, and was emptied for a distance of 10 miles. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £200. Patron, the Rector of Kibworth. The church was built in 1849."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72



  • The parish was in the Market Harborough sub-district of the Market Harborough 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 / 2250
1871 R.G. 10 / 3226
1891 R.G. 12 / 2492

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Christ.
  • Christ Church was built in 1849 on Saddington Road.
  • The site the church occupies is right between the original settlements of Smeeton and Westerby, making the present village feel more like one place today.
  • The church seats 380.
  • There is a nice winter photograph of Christ Church on Flickr.
  • And Bobsky has a photograph of Christ Church on Panoramio, taken in March, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1852. For records before that, see Kibworth Beauchamp.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Gartree (second portion).
  • The General Baptists, Calvanists and Primitive Methodists all had places of worship here bu 1849.
  • The Primitive Methodists discontinued their worship here by 1862 when the parish took over the building for a school.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Smeeton Westerby is a parish, a township and a village in Leicestershire, on the north side of the Union Canal. It is about 92 miles north of London, 9 miles southeast of Leicester city and 6 miles northwest of Market Harborough. The parish covers just over 1,300 acres.

The village sits in the hills just north of the Grand Union Canal (here called the "Smeeton Aqueduct"). If you are planning a visit:

  • Review the information at the Village website.
  • By automobile, it is probably easiest to take the A6 trunk road southeast out of Leicester city. At Kibworth Harcourt, turn south and continue to Smeeton Westerby.
  • Stop by the Village Hall and get a schedule of forth-coming events.
  • Stephen McKAY has a photograph of the Village Hall on Geo-graph, taken in August, 20157.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Smeeton Aqueduct on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2007.
You can see pictures of Smeeton Westerby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • There is an ancient burial site of the Beaker people just outside the village, which had been forgotten until its discovery in 1975.
  • In the 1800s and early 1900s, the people in this parish were employed mostly as frame-work knitters weaving worsted stockings.
  • The parish was largely used for grazing land.
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of Bridge 71 over the Grand Union Canal on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2011.
  • The King's Head Pub was the centre of local news in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Main Street with The Kings Head public house on Geo-graph, taken in October, 20077.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP677926 (Lat/Lon: 52.527076, -1.003531), Smeeton Westerby which are provided by:


Military History

  • A tablet was erected in the church in memory of the men of the village who fell in the Great War of 1914-1918.
  • You may view the Memorial Tablet at the Kibworth village website.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient township in Kibworth Beauchamp parish of Leicester county and became a modern Civil Parish in December, 1866.
  • The parish is in the ancient Gartree Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • You may contact the Parish Council regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Market Harborough Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Market Harborough petty session hearings held every other Tuesday.


 Year Inhabitants
1841 567
1871 486
1881 390
1891 342
1901 344
1911 336
1921 302
1931 343
1951 321


  • The parish had an infant school here in 1849.
  • A National School (Public Elementary School) was built here in 1862 on the site of the Primitive Methodist chapel.  The school closed in 1968.