The story of farming in Leicestershire can be considered in three broad periods. For the medieval period, the poor survival of records can often make it difficult to discover very much at all. Even where records do survive, their form and language (usually abbreviated Latin),...Read More
Local history is very popular, and learning more about places and communities in Leicestershire can become a fascinating hobby. Some people enjoy doing their own research in their own way, while others find it helpful to meet like-minded people, at least on an occasional basis,...Read More
Leicestershire has over 100 medieval churches. As the oldest building for several miles around, if walls could talk, they could certainly tell a few tales. And to some extent they can – once you have learned to interpret what they are saying. Over the centuries, a medieval...Read More
Many people are interested in the history of their village school, and the experiences of its pupils and teachers. This research guide, arranged into three chronological sections, will help you to find and understand the original sources that can tell you more about the history...Read More
Historic Ordnance Survey (OS) maps are an essential source for local history, and a study of each published edition at both the one inch to the mile and six inches to the mile scales will reveal changes to the settlement pattern, communications, industry, religious life and...Read More
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Who we are
Welcome to Leicestershire History, the site that will help you to explore the rich history and heritage of one of England’s lesser-known counties. We are a broad mix of historians, archaeologists, business people and others who are passionate about Leicestershire’s history. We formed Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust in 2008 to establish a community history project that would research and publish a history of each of Leicestershire’s towns and villages across seven key themes, ranging chronologically from the arrival of the first settlers to the present day:
The development of the landscape
Landowners and estates
Farming and industry
These will be published online initially and, as groups of parishes are completed, as part of the internationally renowned Victoria County History (VCH) series of volumes that can be consulted in many libraries worldwide. The last Leicestershire volumes in this series, covering the city parishes and Market Harborough and its surrounding villages, were published in 1958 and 1964 respectively, when work ceased. Research has now recommenced on some of the remaining towns and villages, and we are both proud and delighted that HM Queen Elizabeth II accepted the rededication of this national series to her to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Discover Leicestershire’s Heritage
This website is designed to complement our project, by providing details of some of our findings as our research progresses. In addition, a number of free research guides are available for those who would like to do their own local history research.
Web publication can be more flexible than the printed page, and we shall be developing interactive resources on this site for a number of broad historical themes, which will link photographs and text to a map of the county so you will be only a couple of clicks away from information about any Leicestershire town or village that interests you.
We believe that this county’s distinctive and important heritage deserves to be better known. By providing Leicestershire residents and organisations with access to an accurate account of the history of the place where they live, we hope that we will be playing a part in safeguarding that heritage for future generations, and perhaps also boosting the local economy through tourism.
We can also provide speakers for local history meetings and conferences, and can provide training sessions to local history groups on a range of topics, which can be tailored towards the records of your parish. If that would be of interest to your group, please contact us through this site.
How you can help
Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust provides regular free training and support to volunteers who are helping us by researching full parish histories for publication. We are very grateful for the many hours of research they have provided.
We would like to hear from people who would be willing to help us by collecting information from trade directories about religious nonconformity in the county. Our project pages provide more information; no previous research experience is required. We would also like to hear from anyone who would be willing to help with fundraising, publicity, transcribing old documents or producing parish maps, and please contact us if you think this might interest you.
Because of the broad chronological and subject range of each parish history, we need to provide high-quality training for our volunteers, together with one-to-one support to help them to decipher and interpret documents from all periods. We also have a waiting list of potential new volunteers, who would like to help us to research full parish histories. Their help would enable our work to progress faster, but the Trust does not at present have the financial resources necessary to provide the training and support they would require. If you agree that this is a worthwhile project, you can donate to Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust (registered charity no. 1128575) through this website, or contact us if you would like to receive information about our work, our Friends scheme or our 200 Club.