The story of a Leicestershire village 'Swithland: Church and Estate'

A fascinating illustrated book that gives an insight into over a thousand years of history in one Leicestershire village was launched on Friday 2nd September. Much of the research and illustrations for the book came from the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland based in Wigston.

The book entitled, ‘Swithland: Church and Estate, The story of a Leicestershire Village’ takes the reader on a journey from the years after the Norman Conquest into the 21st Century.

The story of a Leicestershire village
Swithland began as a clearing in Charnwood Forest in the lordship of Groby Manor and developed into a separate lordship with its own church and manor house.

The book traces many stories: the story of the land, the manor, its lords, his tenants and other village families; the church, the rectors, other church groups; the impact of the Civil War; the story of the school, the rise and fall of the slate works, the story of the wood-lands, of the reservoir, the railway and, from 1910, the new ‘garden suburb’ development along the Ridgeway and Swithland Lane. Ghosts and legends are not forgotten, nor are some of Swithland’s famous family connections.

The book was written by former Leicestershire County Councillor, Bob Osborne who sadly passed away in 1999 and Anne Horton, Rector of Woodhouse, Woodhouse Eaves and Swithland.

The Record Office preserves and provides access to a wide range of Resources which can be used to research the history and culture of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. The extensive collections, dating from the Domesday Book to yesterday, include archives, books, newspapers, maps, photographs, videos and sound recordings.

Anyone interested in finding out more can go along to the Record Office and access all these resources. The Record Office can help you to discover your family tree or provide information about the history of your house. It can also help you study the history of your local area or help with a particular school, college or university project.

Access to the collections is freely available to everyone and staff are on hand to help you find the information you need. For more information please contact the Record Office on: 0116 257 1080 or visit:

Rev Anne Horton said:
“The book will be of interest to all who have lived in the village over the years as well as to local historians. It includes family trees, stories of village families and homes and, details from the church and school admissions registers.”

David Sprason, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities said: “This is a marvellous book with some lovely illustrations and pictures of a beautiful Leicestershire village and I am extremely pleased that the Record Office was able to play a part in its development.

“The Record Office holds a wealth of information on almost every aspect of life within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and is a great place to start for anyone wanting to find out more about their local history and indeed about their own personal family tree and ancestral past.”

For more information about the book please contact Swithland Parish Press, Benefice Office, The Rectory, 157 Main Street, Swithland, Loughborough LE12 8TQ Email: or call: 01509 891163