Description in 1871:
"WISTOW, a parish, with two townships, in Billesdon district, Leicestershire; on the Union canal, near Glen r. station, and 7 SE of Leicester. Post town, Leicester. Acres, 2,100. Real property, £3,488. Pop., 247. Houses, 56. The manor, with W. Hall, belongs to Sir H. Halford, Bart. The Hall received Charles I., after his escape from the battle of Naseby; and contains his saddle and stirrups, and some interesting portraits. The living is a vicarage, with Newton-Harcourt chapelry, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £92. Patron, Sir H. Halford, Bart. The church is early English."
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.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2254
1871 R.G. 10 / 3229
1891 R.G. 12 / 2495

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Winstan. The name is often rendered as "Wistan".
  • The church is in the park near the Hall.
  • The church was built before 1575.
  • Andrew TATLOW has a photograph of St. Wistan's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2006.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1575.
  • The church was in the rural Gartree deanery (second portion).

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Billesdon subdistrict of the Billesdon Registration District.

Description & Travel

Wistow is a village and an ancient parish sitting 7 miles south-east of Leicester and 9 miles north of Market Haborough. The parish covered just over 892 acres (in 1881), 905 acres in 1912 and was much larger in 1936.

The village has always been a rather small affair. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A6 motorway south-east out of Leicester city into Newton Harcourt. Turn right toward Kilby. The village is on Kibworth Road.
  • On the web-page author's small scale map (large area) the village of Wistow is not noted.
  • The Union Canal passes through the parish.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2014.
You can see pictures of Wistow which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • Wistow Hall was the seat of Sir Henry St. John HALFORD, baronet and loard of the manor, in 1881.
  • In the Hall is a glass case containing the saddle and stirrups of King Charles I after his escape from the battle of Naseby.
  • By 1912, Wistow Hall had passed to Thomas Francis FREMANTLE.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of Wistow Hall on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2014.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP638959 (Lat/Lon: 52.557208, -1.060375), Wistow which are provided by:


Politics & Government

  • The parish lies in the Gartree Wapentake (or Hundred) in the southern division of the county.
  • In April, 1936, the parish was enlarged when Newton Harcourt parish was abolished and 1,132 acres added to this parish.
  • The citizens of this parish have decided to forgo a formal parish council and, instead, have periodic joint Parish Meetings with the citizens of Newton Harcourt.
  • District governance is provided by the Harborough District Council, but they are NOT funded to assist you with family history searches.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


 Year Inhabitants
1801 201
1811 225
1821 307
1831 298
1841 296
1851 261
1871 46
1881 49
1901 61
1911 53
1971 263


  • No school is noted in the sources used for this web page.