Description in 1871:
"SWITHLAND, a parish, with a village, in Barrow-upon-Soar district, Leicester; 2½ miles SW of Mount-sorrel, and 4 WSW of Sileby r. station. It has a post-office under Loughborough. Acres, 2,180. Real property, £2,018; of which £37 are in blue-slate quarries. Pop., 255. Houses, 53. The manor, with S. Hall, belongs to the Earl of Lanesborough. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £300. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is early English. There is a Wesleyan chapel."

[John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72"].





  • Swithland was in the Quordon subdistrict of the Barrow-on-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.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2280
1871 R.G. 10 / 3263
1891 R.G. 12 / 2520

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church for Swithland is dedicated to Saint Leonard.
  • The church was constructed during the 13th century.
  • The church tower was added in the 18th century.
  • The church seats 250.
  • Ashley DACE has a photograph of St. Leonard's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1676.
  • The church was in the East Akeley rural deanery.
  • The Weslyean Methodists had a chapel here built in 1828.

Civil Registration

  • Swithland was in the Quordon subdistrict of the Barrow-on-Soar registration district.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Swithland is a village and a parish 6 miles south of Loughborough, just 3 miles west of Mountsorrel and 8 miles north-west of Leicester city. The parish covers 1,140 acres.

The village stands across a small stream at the east end. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A6 trunk road north out of Leicester city for about 7 miles. Turn west at Rothley and follow the county roads out to Swithland.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Main Street on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
  • There was never any railway passenger service to Swithland. The nearest passenger terminal was at Rothely.
  • The local pub, Griffin Inn, has a long history and a website.
You can see pictures of Swithland which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Slate quarrying in the area dates back to Roman times.
  • A great deal of blue slate was quarried here, but the quarries were abandoned by 1912.
  • Reservoirs were created here to serve the population of Leicester city.
  • Robin WEBSTER has a photograph of Swithland Reservoir on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2016.
  • Swithland was designated a conservation area in 1993.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of The Griffin Inn on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007. This place had been built in 1700 and was the Griffin Hotel for many decades.


  • Swithland Hall was the seat of the Earl of Lanesborough. It stands on a hill and affords many nice views of the surrounding territory. The initial building was consumed by fire in 1822. A new Hall was partially completed in 1834 and finished in 1852.
  • Near the Hall stands an ancient cross which had stood in the market place at Montsorrel.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK549131 (Lat/Lon: 52.712784, -1.188782), Swithland which are provided by:


Military History

  • The War Memorial cross was dedicated in December 1921, opposite the Leicester Lane junction. The plaque bears 5 names from World War One and one name from World War II.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient West Goscote Hundred in the Northern (or Mid) division of the county.
  • In Oct., 1912, this Civil Parish was reduced by 5 acres to enlarge Rothley Civil Parish.
  • In April, 1968, this civil parish gained 12 acres from Newton Linford Civil Parish.
  • The residents of this parish have decided to forgo a formal Parish Council and, instead, hold periodic Parish Meetings to discuss civic and political issues.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Barrow-upon-Soar Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases were heard at the Loughborough petty sessional hearings.


 Year Inhabitants
1841 306
1871 255
1881 246
1891 213
1901 195
1911 182
1921 190
1931 168


  • A Free School was erected here in 1843 for 58 children and supported by the Earl of Lanesborough.