Willoughby Waterless


Description in 1871:
"WILLOUGHBY-WATERLESS, a parish, with a village, in Lutterworth district, Leicester; 1¾ mile ESE of Broughton-Astley r. station, and 6 NNE of Lutterworth. Post town, Lutterworth. Acres, 1,151. Real property, £2,408. Pop., 372. Houses, 78. The living is a rectory, united with Peatling-Magna, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £347. Patron, the Rev. W. Strong. The church is chiefly decorated English. There is a national school."
John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72



  • The parish purchased a 1/2 acre lot for use as a cemetery in 1904 and placed it under the Parish Council's control.


  • The parish was in the Lutterworth sub-district of the Lutterworth 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 / 599
1861 R.G. 9 / 2248
1871 R.G. 10 / 3223
1891 R.G. 12 / 2490

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary.
  • St. Mary's church was built in the Norman period.
  • The church was thoroughly restored in 1875.
  • The church seats 300.
  • Ian ROB has a photograph of the Church of St. Mary on Geograph, taken in April, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1559.
  • The church was in the rural Guthlaxton deanery (third portion).
  • The Primitive Methodists built a chapel here in 1877.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the former Methodist Chapel on Geograph, taken in July, 2011.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Willoughby Waterleys is a parish and a village 8.5 miles south of Leicester city, 6 miles north-east of Lutterworth and about 2.5 miles south of Countesthorpe. Ashby Magna parish lies to the south-west. The parish covers just 1,166 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A426 arterial road south out of Leicester city and through Blaby. After you cross the M1 motorway, the village will be off to the left (east) about 1 mile.
  • Mat FASCIONE provides a photograph of the village sign on Geograph, taken in April, 2013.
You can see pictures of Willoughby Waterless which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The land around the village has been mostly pasture for centuries.
  • In the 1800s and early 1900s many of the workers in the parish were graziers and/or farmers.
  • The General Elliott Pub. on Main Street ws the lace to go for local gossip and news.
  • Ian ROB has a photograph of the General Elliott on Geograph, taken in March, 2011.
  • These are the names associated with the place in various directories:
Year  Person
1849 Thomas NEWTON, junr.
1861 Thomas NEWTON, junr., vict.
1881 Thomas PAGE
1912 Albert HEATH
1916 Albert HEATH


  • The web page author has been unable to find any discription of a manor house or hall at Willoughby Waterleys.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Old Hall on Geograph, taken in November, 2007.


  • You can view an online map at the Axcis site.
  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP575924 (Lat/Lon: 52.526448, -1.153894), Willoughby Waterless which are provided by:


Military History

The parish has a World War I memorial described as "Six carved oak figures in reredos with associated plaque." The memorial was dedicated in September, 1919.


Names, Geographical

  • The name "Willoughby" is common throughout England and normally derives from "hamlet or village where willows grow".
  • The origin of the name "Waterleys" or "Waterless" is unknown.
  • "Willoughby Waterless" is the official name of the parish, but "Willoughby Waterleys" is the preferred usage.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Leicestershire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish lies in the Guthlaxton Hundred in the southern division of the county.
  • This place is an ancient parish of Leicestershire.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT funded to help you with family history research.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


 Year Inhabitants
1801 272
1841 348
1871 377
1881 316
1891 279
1901 244
1911 207
1921 210
1961 191


  • A National School was built here in 1846 to hold 51 children.