In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Billesdon like this:
BILLESDON, a township, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district in Leicestershire. The township lies 3½ miles NE of the Via Devana, 6 NE of Glen r. station, and 8½ E by S of Leicester. It has a post office‡ under Leicester; and fairs on 23 April, 5 July, and the first Monday of Oct. An old market-cross stands in it; and the making of earthenware and hosiery is carried on. Real property, £4,699. Pop., 909. Houses, 195.The parish includes also the townships of Goadby and Rolleston. ...
Acres, 4,430. Real property, £8,526. Pop., 1,085. Houses, 233. The property is much subdivided. A camp of 18 acres, with ditch and rampart, occurs at Billesdon-Coplow; was the site of a Roman temple; and commands a fine view. The living is a vicarage, including the p. curacies of Goadby and Rolleston, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £279.* Patron, H. Greene, Esq. The church has a steeple, which was rebuilt in 1862. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, a free school, alms-houses, other charities £89, and a workhouse. Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, is said to have received his early education here.
The subdistrict and the district are co-extensive; and contain the parishes of Billesdon, Skeffington, Tugby, Alexton, Loddington, Withcote, Ouston, Tilton, Lowesby, Hungerton, Scraptoft, Humberstone, Evington, Thurnby, Houghton-on-the-Hill, Galby, Kings-Norton, Carlton-Curliew, Burton-Overy, Glenn-Magna, and Wistow, the parochial chapelry of East Norton, the extra-parochial tracts of Noseley and Launde, and part of the parish of Rothley. Acres, 50,721. Poor-rates in 1866, £7,068. Pop. in 1861, 7,272. Houses, 1,571. Marriages in 1866, 47; births, 201,-of which 7 were illegitimate; deaths, 82,-of which 18 were at ages under 5 years, and 4 at ages above 85 year's. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,431; births, 2,035; deaths, 1,136. The places of worship in 1851 were 32 of the Church of England, with 5,090 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 160 s.; 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, with 170 s.; 3 of Baptists, with 600 s.; 9 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,040 s.; and 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 30 s. The schools were 15 public day schools, with 519 scholars; 20 private day schools, with 237 s.; 25 Sunday schools, with 901 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 14 s.
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 Billesdon has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Harborough. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Billesdon and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Billesdon, in Harborough and Leicestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th April 2015
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