In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Mountsorrel like this:
MOUNTSORREL, a small town and two township-chapelries, in Barrow-upon-Soar district, Leicester. The town stands on rising-ground, on the W side of the river Soar, 1½ mile W of Sileby r. station, 1½ S by W of Barrow r. station, and 4 S E of Loughborough; is nearly overhung by a boldly precipitous height, called Castle-hill, about 100 feet in altitude; takes its name thence, by corruption, of " Mount-Soar-Hill; " had anciently, on the hill, a strong castle of Robert le Bossu, which was occupied by the rebel barons against Henry III., and razed to the ground by that king s command; had formerly also, near its own centre, an old market-cross, which was removed by Sir John Danvers, at the end of last century, to his grounds at Swithland; is built and paved with a remarkably hard and durable syenite, found in the neighbourhood; is a seat of petty-sessions, and of a court-leet and court-baron; and has a post-office‡under Loughborough, two chief inns, an old four-arched-bridge, a market house, two churches, four dissenting chapels, a free school for 12 poor boys, a national school, and charities £146. ...
The market house was built by Sir John Danvers, on the site of the old cross; and is a small round structure, with an octostyle portico, and a cupola. St Peter's church, or the church of M.-North-End, is an old building, with a tower. Christ church, or the church of M.-South-End, was erected in 1844, at the expense of Miss Brinton; is a small building, in the pointed style; and has a tower and spire. One of the dissenting chapels is for General Baptists; was formerly occupied by Presbyterians; and is noted for occasional.ministrations in it of the famous Dr. Watts. A weekly market is held on Monday; a fair of 9 days duration begins on 10 July; stocking weaving is carried on; and considerable trade is done in connexion with the Mount-sorrel quarries and granite works. The quarries are in the near neighbourhood; give employment to upwards of600 men and boys; produce millstones, building-stones, paving-stones, and road-metal; were connected by railway, in 1861, with the Midland railway at the Barrow station; and send off vast quantities of material daily to many parts of the kingdom. The two township-chapelries are M.-North-End and M.-South-End; and the former is in Barrow-upon-Soar parish.the latter in Rothley parish. Acres of the two, 680. Real property in 1860, prior to the extension of the quarries, £3, 626; of which £102 were in the quarries. Pop. of M.-North-End, in 1851, 802; in 1861, 857. Houses, 197. Pop. of M.-South-End, in 1851, 795; in 1861, 897. Houses, 200. The manor belongs to the Earl of Lanesborough. The livings are p. curacies in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, of M.-North-End, £260; of M.-South-End, £130.* Patron, of the former, the Vicar of Barrow; of the latter, the Rev.Kemble.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Mountsorrel, in Charnwood and Leicestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th April 2017
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