Description in 1871:
"THORNTON, a parish, with three townships, in Market-Bosworth district, Leicester; on the Swannington railway, around Bagworth r. station and 5½ miles NE by E of Market-Bosworth. It has a post-office under Leicester. Acres, 3,930. Real property, £7,503; of which £587 are in mines. Pop., 1,292. Houses, 256. Most of the land belongs to Viscount Maynard and the Duke of Rutland. The living is a vicarage, with Bagworth and Stanton chapelries, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £202. Patron, Viscount Maynard.
The church is old. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, a national school, and charities £89."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72



Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of St. Peter's Churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2018.

John SALMON has a photograph of the Lych Gate at St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.



  • The parish was in the Ibstock sub-district of the Market Bosworth 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.
1841 H.O. 107 / 603
1861 R.G. 9 / 2265 & 2266
1871 R.G. 10 / 3242
1881 R.G. 11 / 3136
1891 R.G. 12 / 2507

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Peter.
  • The original church was built in in the 13th century.
  • The church chancel was built in 1864.
  • The church seats 450.
  • John SALMON has a photograph of St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1559.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Akeley (southern division).
  • The General Baptists built a chapel here before 1925.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here before 1881.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Thornton is a village, a township and a parish which lies 113 miles north of London, about 10 miles south-east of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, 7 miles north-east of Market Bosworth and 9 miles north-west of Leicester city. The parish covered about 2,092 acres.

The village lies mostly along one long street. If you are planning a visit:

  • There are a photos of the parish at the Parish Council site.
  • By automobile, take the M1 toward Coalville. The parish is just off to the west as you near intersection #22.
  • By bus, check the Arriva Bus schedule.
You can see pictures of Thornton which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • A reservoir was created here (date not reported) of 92 acres for the towns of Nuneaton and Leicester. The reservoir still exists.
  • Trevor RICKARD has a photograph of a portion of the Reservoir on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2010.
  • Much of the land was used for pasture and small farms. There was some coal mining here.
  • Ian S. has a photograph of the Bricklayers Arms on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013.


  • There is no mention of a Thornton Hall or manor house in early Directories, only a manor farm.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK466076 (Lat/Lon: 52.664121, -1.312408), Thornton which are provided by:


Military History

On the front of the old Primary School, there is a gray marble tablet mounted with a metal wreath draped over its head. Nine names are listed in the center panel as having died in the Great War, but many more names are listed on the two side panels as having survived.


Military Records

John SALMON has a photograph of the War Memorial plaque inside the Lych gate on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2012.

The names listed on the School Memorial for World War I are for:

Name Rank Unit Died Other info.
A. D. ATTFIELD        
J. BAILEY        
Walter BAILEY private King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1 Oct. 1918 Age 25
B. BANCROFT        
C. H. BANCROFT        
R. BENNETT        
A. B. BROWN        
T. H. BROWN        
J. CLARKE        
G. E. COOPER        
R. B. COOPER        
H. B. COOPER        
G. CORBETT        
W. H. COWLISHAW        
A. H. DE VILLE        
F. DILKS        
O. E. DILKS        
W. DILKS        
F. W. DOWELL        
H. DOWELL        
T. DOWELL        
W. DOWELL        
A. S. FARMER        
J. W. FARMER     30 July 1915 Believed to be John W. FARMER, son of William.
J. A. GARFIELD        
B. GARFIELD        
G. GREEN        
A. J. HALL        
W. HARES        
S. HARGRAVE        
T. A. HARRIS        
A. V. HEWES        
H. V. HEWES        
T. L. HEWES        
J. HILL        
S. E. HILL        
A. HOLT        
G. W. JORDAN        
J. LOAKES        
S. LOAKES        
E. B. MARVIN        
A. C. MASSEY        
R. O. MASSEY        
B. MAYFIELD        
F. MEE       Believed to be Frederick MEE, private
C. PETERS        
A. POOLE        
J. B. POOLE        
W. A. POOLE        
G. D. RAWORTH        
T. H. SHARP        
G. A. SMART        
G. SMART        
S. SMITH        
W. H. SMITH        
T. SPERRY        
W. STORER        
Albert Arthur UNWIN private 2nd Btn., Leicestershire Regt. 06 May 1916  
C. E. WARD        
S. E. WESTON        
W. T. WILSON        

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicester county.
  • The parish is in the ancient Sparkenhoe Hundred in the western division of the county.
  • In April, 1935, the parish was abolished and amalgamated with Bagworth Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic and political matters, but they will NOT assist you with family history searches.
  • The Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council provides district governance.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Market Bosworth petty session hearings.
  • In 1774 Luke JACKSON left a charity of £40 (in 1925) divided between Thornton, Bagworth and Stanton-under-Bardon.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Market Bosworth Poorlaw Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1841 491
1871 436
1881 426
1891 500
1901 510
1911 673
1921 666
1931 711


  • A Public Elementary School (National School) was built here in 1880 and enlarged in 1902 to hold 220 students.