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.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Mountsorrel has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Charnwood. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Mountsorrel and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Mountsorrel, in Charnwood and Leicestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd November 2014
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