Description in 1871:
"THURNBY, a parish, with two townships and a hamlet, in Billesdon district, Leicestershire; 3¾ miles E of Leicester r. station. It has a post-office under Leicester. Acres, 2,740. Real property, £5,703. Pop., 375. Houses, 89. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £258. Patron, H. L. Powys-Keck, Esq. The church is good; and a chapel of ease is in Stoughton. Charities, £36."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72"



  • The parish was in the Billesdon subdistrict of the Billesdon 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.

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Luke.
  • The church was originally built some time prior to 1143.
  • The church was built of ironstone, limestone, and Mountsorrel granite.
  • The upper part of the tower was added in the mid-14th century.
  • The church was entirely rebuilt in 1873.
  • The church seats 221.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Luke's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2011.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1538.
  • The church was in the rural Gartree deanery (second portion).
  • The United Methodist chapel was built in 1908.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837, but Thurnby did not exist as a Civil Parish until late 1866.
  • The parish was in the Billesdon subdistrict of the Billesdon Registration District.

Description & Travel

Thurnby is a parish that includes two townships, a village and a hamlet. It borders Leicester parish to the east (in fact, the border is hard to discern as Leicester has grown to envelope Thurnby). Bushby township lies to the east and was once a Civil Parish in its own right. Scraptoft lies just to the north. The parish covers just over 1,000 acres.

The two townships are Bushby and Thurnby and the hamlet is Bushby. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A47 trunk road east out of Leicester city and turn left (north) into Thurnby.
  • There are two public houses for you to take refreshment; The Rose and Crown and The Swallow.
You can see pictures of Thurnby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The 1086 Domesday Book does not mention Thurnby. The first recorded use of the name is in the 13th century.
  • A great deal of new housing was built in western Thurnby around 1930 and this area became a suburb for Leicester city and was annexed by Leicester in 1935.


  • There is a "manor house" in Thurnby.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK647039 (Lat/Lon: 52.62901, -1.045541), Thurnby which are provided by:


Military Records

H. L. POWYS-KECK, Lord of the Manor, was a Lieutenant in A Troop of the Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1869.


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicestershire and it became a Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish lies in the Gartree Wapentake (or Hundred) in the eastern division of the county.
  • Stoughton township and chapelry are associated with this parish but became its own separate Civil Parish.
  • On 1 April, 1935, the parish was enlarged by the abolition of Bushby Civil Parish and its merger with Thurnby. On that same date, the parish gave up 212 acres ceded to Leicester Civil Parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Billesdon Poorlaw Union.
  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Leicester petty sessional hearings.


Year Inhabitants
1801 115
1851 373
1861 375
1871 185
1881 432
1891 223
1901 234
1911 468
1921 241
1931 348
1951 843


  • A Public Elementary School for the parishes of Thurnby, Bushby, Scraptoft and Stoughton was built in 1865 and rebuilt in 1894 for 115 children.
  • Saint Luke's C of E Primary School has strong links with Saint Luke's Church.
  • Two new primary achools were built in the 1950s in the area transferred to Leicester.