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.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Billesdon, in Harborough and Leicestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th March 2017
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