Parishes added since 1892: Aylestone

Pages 415-420

A History of the County of Leicester: Volume 4, the City of Leicester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1958.

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Aylestone lies 2½ miles to the south-west of Leicester, on the road from Leicester to Lutterworth, and on the River Soar and the Leicestershire and Northampton Union Canal. The ancient parish lay in Guthlaxton hundred and contained the chapelries of Lubbesthorpe and Glen Parva as well as Aylestone township. Lubbesthorpe and Glen Parva were still in the administrative county in 1955 and consequently are not dealt with here. (fn. 1) Aylestone township covered 1,723 acres in 1891. Most of it is now in the county borough and civil parish of Leicester, and since 1891 has been divided ecclesiastically into the two parishes of St. Andrew, Aylestone, and St. James, Aylestone Park. (fn. 2) These had populations of 4,798 and 14,540 respectively in 1931. The older part of the village is situated on a stretch of river gravel by the Soar. The surface soil of the parish is largely Boulder Clay, with alluvium in the Soar valley.

Aylestone is now an almost completely built up area, but some remains of the old village still survive. Aylestone Hall is a plain, grey-plastered stone building, probably of the Tudor period, standing in its own small grounds, at the corner of Aylestone Road and Hall Lane. It is doubtful if the lords of the manor, either Vernons or Mannerses, ever resided there for any length of time. Dorothy Vernon's son, George Manners, almost certainly lived there for some years, as the baptisms of several of his children are recorded in the parish registers, although it was probably not his principal place of residence and he seems only to have used it until he inherited the Derbyshire property at Haddon on the death of his father. In 1846 part of Aylestone Hall was being used as a ladies' boarding school. (fn. 3) In 1854 it was occupied by a Joseph Knight. (fn. 4) When the Duke of Rutland sold the manor in 1869 the hall was in the possession of Nathaniel Stone. (fn. 5) In 1896 it was the residence of Simeon Stretton and was still owned by the Strettons in 1938. (fn. 6) It is now (1955) the property of Leicester Corporation. (fn. 7) The grounds have been made into a small public park, and the house is used as a restaurant.

The stone pack-horse bridge over the Soar is of uncertain date. Judging from architectural evidence it probably dates from the 15th or 16th century. There is one timbered house in the village dating from the 16th century, but most of the cottages are of the early 19th century.


Robert, Count of Meulan and probably Earl of Leicester (d. 1118), held 11/6 hide in AYLESTONE in 1086, the village thus forming part of his extensive possessions in Leicestershire. (fn. 8) Aylestone remained in the hands of his successors, the earls of Leicester, until it passed to Margaret, wife of Saer de Quency (later Earl of Winchester) at the division of the estates after the death of Earl Robert FitzParnell in 1204. (fn. 9) Before his death in 1219, Saer had settled the manor of Aylestone on his daughter Arabella and her husband, Richard Harecurt. (fn. 10) When Richard died in 1258, he held the manor of Aylestone, for the service of one knight's fee, from the Earl of Winchester. (fn. 11) He was succeeded by his son, William, who forfeited his estates as punishment for his support of Simon de Montfort. (fn. 12) At the instance of his brother-in-law, Alan la Zouche of Ashby, the manors of Aylestone and Tonge (Salop) were redeemed in 1267 for the benefit of William's two daughters, Arabella and Margaret, upon their marriages. (fn. 13) Aylestone passed to Margaret, but she died without issue and the manor was inherited by Arabella's son and heir, Fulk de Pembrugge, in 1280, when it was still held for the service of a knight's fee from the heirs of the Earl of Winchester. (fn. 14) The manor was held by Fulk from Richard Harecurt, son of William and half-brother of Arabella and Margaret. Fulk's successors continued to hold from the Harecurt family. (fn. 15) Fulk de Pembrugge died in 1296 and was succeeded by his son, Fulk (II), then a minor. (fn. 16) He died before 1326, when there was an inquisition post mortem upon his Shropshire estates, although none exists for Aylestone. (fn. 17) Probably he, like his father, held the manor free of service, as it was held to have been settled in free marriage upon his grandmother Alice, wife of William Harecurt. (fn. 18) He was succeeded by his son Fulk (III), whose widow Alice demanded certain lands in Aylestone as dower in 1345, when she was already married for the second time, to Richard de Noweres. (fn. 19) The defendant in this action was Robert de Pembrugge, brother and heir to Fulk (III), who was assessed at the aid for knighting the Black Prince in 1346 at 20s. for ½ knight's fee in Aylestone. (fn. 20) Robert's son Fulk (IV), who died in 1409, was the last Pembrugge of the male line, (fn. 21) and the manor was held in dower by his widow Isabel until her death in 1447. Her husband's heir was his sister Juliana, wife of Richard Vernon. (fn. 22) Juliana died before her sister-in-law, and on Isabel's death the next heir was Juliana's grandson, Sir Richard de Vernon. At his death in 1451 the manor was still said to be held of the Harecurts for the service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 23) The manor continued in the possession of the Vernon family, (fn. 24) whose principal seat was at Haddon Hall (Derb.). In 1565, on the death of Sir George Vernon, (fn. 25) Aylestone passed with Haddon and other Derbyshire manors to Dorothy, his younger daughter and coheir, and her husband John Manners. (fn. 26) Dorothy died in 1584 and John in 1611, when their eldest son George Manners succeeded to their estates. (fn. 27) In 1641 George's son John became Earl of Rutland on the death of his cousin. The manor of Aylestone remained in the possession of the earls and dukes of Rutland until it was sold in 1869, (fn. 28) after which the manorial rights seem to have been extinguished.

Economic History.

In 1086 the holding of the Count of Meulan consisted of 11/6 hide. The count had 2 ploughs on his demesne, and a further 5 were used by his tenants, who numbered 24 villeins and 5 bordars. A bondwoman also worked on the demesne. The count also owned 4 mills, valued at 48s., and 55 acres of meadow, and his whole holding was valued at £4, as against £3 before the Conquest. Before the Conquest 6 ploughlands had been held by Saxi, from whom they were held by Lewin. (fn. 29) Alveva, widow of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, had held 5 carucates in Aylestone with 12 ploughs before the Conquest. (fn. 30) She was dead by 1086, and the lands were in the possession of the king, who had 2 ploughs and 1 serf in demesne; there were also 18 villeins, a socman and 8 bordars, who had 6 ploughs, and the whole holding formerly possessed by Alveva was worth 110s. in 1086. Two further tenants of the Count of Meulan, Turald and Ulnod, held separately described lands, the former the land of 4 villeins and worth 20s., and the latter 4 carucates worth the same. Ulnod's land had been held before the Conquest by the Saxon Lewin, and these two holdings may perhaps be equated with that of Lewin and Saxi, mentioned above, although they are said to belong to Aylestone and might not have been in the village at all. (fn. 31)

The population of Aylestone as enumerated in 1086 was not inconsiderable, and indicates a place of some size. By the 14th century, so far as the information from the tax returns may be taken as reliable, the number of inhabitants, or at least of those wealthy enough to be taxed, seems to have fallen. In 1327 the eight taxpayers in the village paid a total of 325. to the subsidy. By 1332 this was reduced to 24s. 6d. The most heavily taxed was Henry juxta aquam, who paid 55. in 1327 and 6s. in 1332. (fn. 32)

At an inquisition taken in 1272, the condition of tenure of Henry le Forcer was described. His 4½ carucates were held 'by homage and the service of going into Wales, and staying there at his own proper costs, and of being the pantler and butler of his said lord there'. (fn. 33) This land was ordered to be delivered in wardship to Margaret Harecurt in 1273. (fn. 34) Robert de Aylestone, who was in 1339 plaintiff in a suit against Richard de Aylestone for land in the parish, is probably to be identified with the Robert de Aylestone to whom in 1325 a parliamentary petition was referred and who afterwards appears as a baron of the Exchequer. (fn. 35)

Only five taxpayers contributed to the subsidy of 1571, a total of 42s. 8d., (fn. 36) although in 1563 40 families were living in the parish. (fn. 37) In 1603 there were 250 communicants in the village, and this presumably included most of the adult population. (fn. 38) Among the families in Aylestone were some members of the notable Wigston family of Leicester. (fn. 39) In 1645, before the seige of Leicester, Charles I and Prince Rupert took up their quarters in Aylestone, either at the rectory or the hall. The siege began on Friday, 30 May, and the king is said to have watched the storming of the town from the Raw Dykes on the Aylestone road. (fn. 40)

The history of the parish is closely bound up with the Manners family from the middle of the 17th century. The earls and dukes of Rutland owned the greater part of the land in Aylestone. Nichols stated that there were in 1630 only two freeholders, John Coles and William Palmer, (fn. 41) although the tenants and copyholders were in some cases quite substantial farmers. The inventory of William Coleman of Aylestone, taken in 1633, shows that he had a personal estate of £285, including 120 sheep valued at £60. (fn. 42) Richard Neale of Aylestone, baker, had an estate of £157, (fn. 43) but Thomas Vincent, blacksmith, had only £19. (fn. 44) The inventory of Henry Beale, taken in 1685, gives a little more information, and shows that he had 16 acres of wheat and barley in the wheat field, 16 acres of peas and oats in the pease field, and 45 sheep in the fallow field. With a total personal estate of £166, he may be taken as a typical tenant-farmer. (fn. 45) For the 17th century, the Hearth Tax returns give some guide to the population. In 1663 tax was paid on 83 hearths by 44 occupiers, who included the Earl of Rutland with 9 hearths and the rector with 10. (fn. 46) In 1670 84 hearths were paid for and five persons were exempted from paying on account of their poverty. (fn. 47) This seems to indicate a population of about 50 families.

Agriculture on the three-field system was practised in Aylestone. The only medieval field name to survive seems to be North Field, which lay towards the mill, (fn. 48) and is now probably represented by the Aylestone Park neighbourhood. There seems to have been a certain amount of ancient inclosure before the passing of the Aylestone Inclosure Act in 1767. In 1607 it was stated that since 1581 Sir John Manners had converted 50 acres of arable at Aylestone into pasture, and it seems probable that this land was also inclosed. (fn. 49) Certainly some inclosures had taken place by 1638, for closes are mentioned in the glebe terrier for that year, although not many are named. (fn. 50) The terrier for 1700 refers to eight named closes, although some at least of these, like Hall Close, were probably in the immediate neighbourhood of the village. (fn. 51) The inclosed area must have been small, for in 1767 1,163 acres remained open out of a total of 1,723. (fn. 52) The three open fields were then called South Field, Mill (or North) Field, and Holowell (or Middle) Field and there were several meadows, including the Rye Meadow, Upper Meadow, and the Great North Meadow. The inclosure took place in 1767 after a petition presented by the Marquess of Granby. (fn. 53) There was no opposition at any stage, probably because the only landholders other than the lord of the manor and his son were his kinsman, the rector, and four freeholders, all of whom received very small allotments. The rector received 72 acres in the Middle and Mill Fields in lieu of glebe, and 88 acres of pasture and meadow and 188 of arable in the Middle and Mill Fields in lieu of great and small tithes. Apart from the four other holdings, and just over 1 acre of land allotted for the repair of the church, the whole of the land went to the Manners family. John, Marquess of Granby, received 735 acres and his father, the duke, 62 acres.

In 1764 the inhabitants of Leicester and Lutterworth petitioned Parliament for the repair of the road between the two places, which passed through Aylestone and which was stated to be impassable for carriages in the winter. (fn. 54) In 1785 the trustees of the turnpike asked for their term to be prolonged and their powers increased. (fn. 55) In spite of the passing of an Act for this purpose, the turnpike seems to have been in poor repair, for in 1786 William Bickerstaffe, the curate of Aylestone, declared that 'in winter it is with difficulty that I can find the way home' to Leicester. (fn. 56) The Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal was cut as a result of petitions to Parliament in 1793 and 1805. (fn. 57) The canal proceeds in the bed of the Soar to the bridge at Aylestone, where the cut begins.

In 1793 there was a population of 378 in the village, (fn. 58) and by 1801 this figure had increased to 440, of whom 78 were employed in agriculture and 87 in trades and manufactures. (fn. 59) The Land Tax assessments show that most people still continued to be tenants of the Duke of Rutland, although the few small freeholders of Aylestone remained in existence long after the passing of the Inclosure Act. (fn. 60) One of the long-lived families was that of the Brays, many of whose members have been churchwardens and sextons since the first recorded one in 1726. One of the most recent members of the family to hold office died in 1921. (fn. 61)

In 1869 the Duke of Rutland sold the manor of Aylestone by auction. (fn. 62) The hall was bought by the occupant, Nathaniel Stone, a land agent, and the sale of the manor effectively broke the Rutland monopoly of ownership in the village. This can be seen from a comparison of the church-rate books for 1869, one of which was compiled before the sale and the other after. Clearly, many of the duke's former tenants had been able to buy their cottages and farms. The most important new owners were D. Adderby and the executors of a Mr. Eyre. (fn. 63) The sale of the manor and this division of the land among various small owners created the opportunity for the great growth of Aylestone after 1870, which resulted in the complete submergence of the old village. The population figures are striking, when compared with those of the first 70 years of the 19th century. By the time of the census of 1841, the population had risen to 526; in 1871, a slight drop was recorded, for there were only 450 inhabitants, perhaps the result of the sale of the Rutland estate. The census of 1881, however, presents a very different picture, for the population had multiplied five times in ten years, and was then 2,546. This remarkable growth is evident in the number of houses which were built in the period, especially in the northern part of the parish in the district known as Aylestone Park, and along the road between the borough and the village. (fn. 64) An event of some importance was the purchase of 16 acres of land in Aylestone by the Leicestershire Cricket Ground Company. Twelve acres of this land were prepared as a running and cycling ground, with a cricket ground in the centre. This ground, now known as Grace Road Ground, was opened in 1878. (fn. 65) The tram route from Leicester was inaugurated in the same year. (fn. 66) By 1891, Aylestone was no longer a village but a suburb of Leicester, and as such it was taken into the borough under the Leicester Extension Act of that year. (fn. 67) By 1901 the population of St. Andrew's ecclesiastical parish was 1,009 and that of St. James, which lay between the village and the borough, was 6,366, a total of 7,426. (fn. 68) During the post-war years 1921–31, the population rose sharply, doubling itself in both parishes. (fn. 69) In 1935 the boundaries of the borough were again extended and that part of the old civil parish of Aylestone which had been put into Lubbesthorpe was made part of the borough. (fn. 70) This included the housing estate known as Southfields estate, whose name preserves at least a recollection of the old village community of Aylestone.


There were four mills in Aylestone in 1086, (fn. 71) but three of these seem to have disappeared before the late 13th century, when 'the north field of Aylestone towards the mill' is mentioned in a deed. (fn. 72) This mill probably stood on the site of the present mill building, on the river almost opposite the end of Grace Road. There was a corn miller in Aylestone in 1846, (fn. 73) but there seems to be no mention of the mill before that date. The present building is a ruin, now part of a builder's yard. The wheel, which was driven by water, has disappeared, but the trough in which it turned still remains. The buildings are of brick, with heavy wooden beams and probably date from the late 18th or early 19th century. The property was purchased in 1936 by Leicester Corporation. (fn. 74)

Parish Administration.

The administration of Aylestone civil parish does not seem to have presented any unusual features. The town constable's book for 1671–1710, the accounts of the overseers of the poor for 1668–1715, the churchwardens' accounts for 1700–70, and the highway overseer's accounts for 1826–48 are all extant. (fn. 75) The parish possessed its own workhouse by 1803. (fn. 76) Under the New Poor Law Aylestone was placed in Blaby union, and the parish workhouse ceased to be used. (fn. 77) Aylestone civil parish ceased to exist in 1896, when it became part of Leicester civil parish. (fn. 78)


There is no record of a church at Aylestone until the beginning of the 13th century, but nothing suggests that it was a recent foundation in 1219, when William Harecurt presented Philip de Cuneston to the living. (fn. 79) William was the father of the Richard Harecurt, owner of the manor, who had that year inherited Aylestone on the death of Saer de Quency. In the matriculus of Hugh of Welles it was stated that Richard Harecurt held the advowson, and that the church had two chapelries, Lubbesthorpe and Glen Parva. (fn. 80) The former had a resident chaplain, but the latter was served by the mother church three days in the week. The advowson was held by the Harecurts until the manor passed to Fulk de Pembrugge (I), although when the Pembrugge family was first called upon to exercise its patronage in 1293, the rector was presented by the Crown as Fulk was still a minor. (fn. 81) The Crown presented again in 1307, (fn. 82) 1312, (fn. 83) and 1320, but in the last year, Fulk (II) announced that he was of age and won an admission from the king that not only was his presentation in 1320 illegal, but that those in 1307 and 1312 were also wrongful, since Stephen de Segrave had been rector throughout the period from 1293. (fn. 84) The advowson remained with the Pembrugges until the manor descended to the Vernons in 1447. In 1401–2 the rector had been presented by William Mosse, Robert Saye, and John Walton, clerks acting probably as attorneys for Fulk (IV). (fn. 85) In 1537 William Coffyn presented in right of his wife Margaret, widow of Sir Richard Vernon (d. 1517). (fn. 86) Henry, Earl of Rutland presented in 1554 (fn. 87) and Sir George Vernon in 1560. (fn. 88) Thereafter the advowson was in the hands of the Manners family until it passed to the Bishop of Peterborough, who first presented in 1891, (fn. 89) and from whom it passed to the Bishop of Leicester. (fn. 90)

The rectory was valued at £33 6s. 8d. in 1291, at £31 8s. 11d. in 1535, and at £100 in 1650, and has always been one of the wealthiest livings in the county. (fn. 91) It was worth £875 in 1831. (fn. 92) There was extensive glebe land, and of this 30 acres remained in 1846. (fn. 93) The Rectory was built at a cost of £3,000 in 1839 in the Elizabethan style, on the site of an earlier parsonage in which Charles I is said to have stayed before the siege of Leicester. (fn. 94) Little is known of the earlier rectories, but in 1325 and 1336 John de Pyrie was granted two roods of land for the enlargement of his dwelling. (fn. 95) In 1663 there were at least ten rooms with hearths, one more than at the hall. (fn. 96)

In 1545 the rent of 1d. from a rood of land at Aylestone was returned as being for the maintenance of an obit in the church. (fn. 97) Nothing is known of the donor of this gift. In 1549 the land formed part of a large grant of chantry property made to Edward Pease and James Wylson. (fn. 98)

In 1891 the ecclesiastical parish of Aylestone was divided, and that of St. James, Aylestone Park, created from the area between the old village and the borough. (fn. 99) The church was built in the same year; the architects were R. J. and J. Goodacre. (fn. 100) The church of St. Christopher was built in 1929 to serve the new Southfields housing estate. (fn. 101) The livings are both in the gift of the Bishop of Leicester. (fn. 102)

The church of ST. ANDREW stands at the junc tion of Middleton Street and Old Church Street, a few hundred yards from the river. The tower is all that survives of the 13th-century church, which consisted of nave, chancel, and west tower. In the 14th century the aisles were added, with the south porch, and the tower arch was replaced by one more suited to the style of the new work. The original arch was inserted in the north wall of the tower and a small room built with a lean-to roof, to which this arch gave access and which was probably used as the vestry. Later in the century the chancel was rebuilt with a new vestry on the north side, and on its completion the building on the north side of the tower was demolished. The opening was built up with rubble and provided with a small crude single-light window with a straight-sided pointed arch. (fn. 103) In the 15th century a clerestory was added to the nave. The church was restored in 1894–1901 (fn. 104) and the roof repaired in 1924. (fn. 105) The south porch was replaced in 1926, (fn. 106) although the zigzag floor of 17th-century brickwork was retained. In 1935 as a jubilee commemoration a new choir vestry was built on the old site to the north of the tower and a new doorway pierced through the blocked arch. (fn. 107) Most of the window tracery is modern.

When Archdeacon Willcock visited the church in 1517, he found that the chancel was in a ruinous condition and also ordered that the churchyard should be properly enclosed. (fn. 108) In 1633 the church was in a deplorable state. The chancel windows wanted mending and 'the wall of the Great Window in the forefront of the chancel' was 'cracked and cloven'. The church wanted whitening and plastering, and the belfry, which was full of rubbish, needed retiling. Of the vestry it was said that the window must be glazed 'as the pigeons come in and defile the room'. (fn. 109) In 1779, beside the regular complaint about the need for whitewashing and replastering, the archdeacon ordered that the chancel roof should be repaired together with its seats and floor, that the rubbish should be removed from the belfry, and that the elder and ivy growing in the walls and foundations of the church should be destroyed. (fn. 110) By 1785 the steeple had been restored and the chancel was repaired three years later, (fn. 111) but like so many repairs carried out at this time they seem to have been poorly done and by 1797 Archdeacon Burnaby had to order that much the same things should be done again. (fn. 112) Repairs to the Rectory and to the church were carried out in the first 40 years of the 19th century. (fn. 113)

The church now consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, west tower with a broach spire, two vestries, and a south porch. It is built of small random rubble in a mixture of local stones with subsequent ashlar patching. All the roofs are slated. The chancel, of four long bays, is lighted by an east window of five trefoil lights and a window in each bay. In the second bay from the east on the south side the window-sill is raised to accommodate a small doorway, and in the same bay on the north side is the entrance to the vestry, a small building with a lean-to roof. The organ stands in the western bay on the north side in which the window has been blocked to accommodate it. At the east end of the south wall are an ogee-headed piscina with a damaged trefoil basin and a triple sedilia, in which the eastern seat is raised a little above the other two. The nave, of three bays, retains its 15th-century roof. The pillars of the north arcade are circular; those on the south, octagonal. Both have moulded capitals and bases. The pews are modern, but into them six carved bench ends of the early 16th century have been incorporated, three of them bearing the Vernon arms. The tower arch is pointed, of three orders, with moulded capitals on the innermost. The font stands in the south aisle; it dates from the 13th century, and has a plain circular bowl, supported on a circular stem, with four semi-detached shafts, all with moulded capitals. The south aisle is known as the Vernon or Manners aisle (fn. 114) and was at one time detached from the rest of the church. Just east of the south door, from the wall to the western pillar of the arcade, there is a stone screen covered in plaster and with a battlemented top, and the two eastern bays of the arcade bear evidence of the existence of wooden screens. By the south door is an oak alms box, dated 1613. In the north wall of the chancel is a very fine late brass of 1594 to William Heathcote, Rector of Aylestone, erected by his nephew and successor. He is depicted in knee breeches and a long gown with puffed sleeves, worn over his surplice. The Latin inscription is in Gothic characters. In one of the south aisle windows there is a small square of coloured glass said to have come from the church of St. Ouen at Rouen after its destruction in 1789. There are in the church a piscina in the south aisle, whose basin has been cut away, a 13th-century sepulchral slab fixed to the west wall and a 17th-century oak chest in the chancel. The organ was erected by public subscription in c. 1875. (fn. 115)

There are 8 bells, 3 by Newcombe of Leicester cast in 1580 (recast 1887), 1602 and 1609. Another is inscribed Wilielmus filius Johannis Reseyuour fecit me in honore beate Marie, and probably dates from the 15th century. In 1412 a William Rekevour was granted land in Aylestone and he may have been the donor of the bell. (fn. 116) The bells were restored and a new tenor by Taylor of Loughborough was added in 1887 to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria. (fn. 117) In 1948 the bells were rehung with new fittings and framework and two new bells by Gillet and Johnstone were added. (fn. 118)

The earliest pieces of plate are a silver cup and paten dated 1662, and a silver dish and flagon of 1717. (fn. 119) The registers date from 1561.

In the churchyard there is a curious carved stone probably of Norman origin, but now surmounted by a modern cross.

Roman Catholicism.

The church of St. Edward the Confessor, Aylestone Road, was built in 1921–2 as a chapel of ease to be served by Holy Cross Priory. The chapelry has now become a parish and in 1937 the chapel of St. John Bosco was built in Stonesby Avenue to serve the Saffron Lane area. (fn. 120)

Protestant Nonconformity.

At the beginning of the 18th century there were in Aylestone five Presbyterians, one Quaker, and three Independants. (fn. 121) Nothing further is known of the nonconformists in the parish until the building of the Baptist chapel in Sanvey Lane in 1872. (fn. 122) The Primitive Methodist chapel in Cavendish Road was built in 1883. (fn. 123) A second Baptist chapel was built in 1954 in Lutterworth Road, (fn. 124) and there are Methodist chapels in Vernon Road (1897) (fn. 125) and in Southfields Drive (1928). (fn. 126)


In 1786 William Bickerstaffe, the curate of Aylestone, petitioned the Duke of Rutland as lord of the manor that 'a charity school at Aylestone . . . is an establishment highly necessary to prevent barbarism' and solicited the duke's bounty for this purpose, stating that 'there are at this time 30 children here whose parents are unable to give them the least education'. This petition was signed by 58 householders in the parish, but Bickerstaffe only succeeded in establishing a Sunday school. (fn. 127) The National school was built about 1846, on a site given by the then Duke of Rutland, who also made a substantial contribution to the building of the schools. About 40 boys and 50 girls attended in 1846. (fn. 128) The school was later enlarged, but only about 100 children attended in 1877. (fn. 129) In 1879 the Aylestone School Board was established, and two schools were built, one for the Aylestone Park area in Lansdowne Road in 1881, and one in Granby Road in 1889. (fn. 130) The Aylestone School Board came under the control of the Leicester education authority after Aylestone was brought into the borough in 1891. The National school was enlarged in 1881, and seven years later had an average attendance of 170 boys, the same number of girls and about 300 infants. (fn. 131) The school was closed soon after Aylestone became part of the borough. (fn. 132)


There are no endowed charities in Aylestone.


  • 1. See V.C.H. Leics. iii. 181.
  • 2. See below, p. 418.
  • 3. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 375.
  • 4. F. R. Melville, Dir. Leics. (1854), 103.
  • 5. P. Dare, Aylestone Manor and Ch. 30.
  • 6. C. N. Wright, Dir Leics. and Rut. (1896), 497; Kelly's Dir. Leic. (1938), p. xix.
  • 7. Leic. Council Minutes, 1949–50, 203–4.
  • 8. V.C.H. Leics. i. 312.
  • 9. Nichols, Leics. iv. 25.
  • 10. G. K. Thompson, 'Aylestone', T.L.A.S. xvii. 207. Richard and his descendants also held the manor of Braunstone. See below, p. 429.
  • 11. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 111.
  • 12. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 43; Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxxv. 314.
  • 13. Farnham, op. cit. vi. 160.
  • 14. Ibid. 44.
  • 15. Ibid. 47; Nichols, Leics. i, p. cx.
  • 16. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 47.
  • 17. T.L.A.S. xvii. 209.
  • 18. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 47.
  • 19. Farnham, Leics. Notes, 48–49; T.L.A.S. xviii. 102–3.
  • 20. Nichols, Leics. iv. 26.
  • 21. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 50.
  • 22. Ibid. 50–51.
  • 23. Ibid. 51.
  • 24. T.L.A.S. xvii. 210–11.
  • 25. Dare, Aylestone, 25.
  • 26. The legend of Dorothy Vernon's elopement is considered ibid. chap. iv.
  • 27. T.L.A.S. xvii. 211; Complete Peerage, xi. 263.
  • 28. Dare, Aylestone, 30.
  • 29. V.C.H. Leics. i. 312.
  • 30. Ibid. 313.
  • 31. Ibid. 337.
  • 32. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 47; 16 persons had been assessed in 1271: Dare, Aylestone, 68.
  • 33. Nichols, Leics. iv. 25.
  • 34. Farnham, op. cit. vi. 44.
  • 35. Ibid. 48; Nichols, Leics. iv. 26.
  • 36. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 52.
  • 37. B.M., Harl. MS. 618.
  • 38. State of the Ch. ed. C. W. Foster, i. 293.
  • 39. Dare, Aylestone, 59.
  • 40. V.C.H. Leics. ii. 115; A. Fielding Johnson, Glimpses of Anc. Leic. (2nd ed. 1906), 216.
  • 41. Nichols, Leics. iv. 27.
  • 42. L.R.O., Probate Rec. Wills, 1663.
  • 43. Ibid. Wills, 1637.
  • 44. Ibid. 1635.
  • 45. Ibid. 1686.
  • 46. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 52.
  • 47. E 179/240/279, f. 14.
  • 48. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 45–46.
  • 49. T.L.A.S. xxiii. 285.
  • 50. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D41/3/36.
  • 51. Ibid. 1D41/2/37.
  • 52. L.R.O., Aylestone Incl. Award, from which all details are taken.
  • 53. C.J. xxxi. 89.
  • 54. Ibid. xxix. 756, 1057.
  • 55. Ibid. xl. 480.
  • 56. Nichols, Leics. iv. 29 n.
  • 57. C.J. xlviii. 97.
  • 58. Nichols, Leics. iv. 27.
  • 59. Census, 1801.
  • 60. L.R.O., Land Tax Assessments, Aylestone.
  • 61. Dare, Aylestone, 75.
  • 62. Ibid. 30.
  • 63. Aylestone par. rec., Ch. Rate Bks. 1869.
  • 64. Many of these houses are dated.
  • 65. E. E. Snow, Hist. of Leics. Cricket, 92; V.C.H. Leics. iii. 283.
  • 66. R. G. Waddington, Leic., The Making of a Modern City, 36.
  • 67. 54 & 55 Vic. c. 100.
  • 68. Wright, Dir. Leic. (1906), p. xxviii.
  • 69. Kelly's Dir. Leic. (1947), p. xxi.
  • 70. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 179; County of Leic. Review Order, 1935.
  • 71. V.C.H. Leics. i. 312.
  • 72. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 45–46.
  • 73. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 376.
  • 74. Leic. Council Minutes, 1935–6, 261–2.
  • 75. These records are all in the custody of the incumbent.
  • 76. Abstract of Returns relative to Expense and Maintenance of Poor, H.C. 175, pp. 260–1 (1803–4), xiii.
  • 77. 2nd Annual Rep. Poor Law Com. App. D, H.C. 595, p. 530 (1836), xxix.
  • 78. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 179, 181.
  • 79. Rot. Hugonis de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore, i. 41.
  • 80. Ibid. 240.
  • 81. Cal. Pat. 1292–1301, 491.
  • 82. Ibid. 1301–7, 491.
  • 83. Ibid. 1307–13, 464
  • 84. Ibid. 1317–24, 425, 509. The royal candidate was presented twice, but the king recognized Pembrugge's claim in 1321: ibid. 555.
  • 85. Linc. Rec. Off., Reg. Beaufort, f. 76; Dare, Aylestone, 55.
  • 86. Linc. Rec. Off., Reg. Longland, f. 164.
  • 87. Ibid. Reg. xxviii, f. 110; Lincs. N. & Q. v. 175.
  • 88. Linc. Rec. Off., Reg. xix, f. 110.
  • 89. Dare, Aylestone, 65.
  • 90. Leic. Dioc. Cal. (1954), 89.
  • 91. Nichols, Leics. iv. 30; Tax Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 63; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv. 186; W. G. Hoskins, Essays in Leics. Hist. 2.
  • 92. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 375.
  • 93. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D41/2/36–37; White, op. cit. 375.
  • 94. White, Dir. Leics. (1877), 140; Nichols, Leics. iv. 29.
  • 95. Dare, Aylestone, 52.
  • 96. Farnham, Leics. Notes, vi. 52.
  • 97. Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxx. 569.
  • 98. Cal. Pat. 1549–51, 47.
  • 99. Kelly's Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1936), 135.
  • 100. Leic. City Mun. Room, Minute Bk. Leic. Ch. Extension Soc. 17 Dec. 1890; T.L.A.S. vii. 319.
  • 101. Leic. Dioc. Cal. (1954), 90.
  • 102. Ibid. 89, 90.
  • 103. Cf. Dare, Aylestone, 39–40. The complicated explanation offered here seems hardly credible.
  • 104. Kelly's Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1936), 134; the Duke of Rut. had restored the west door earlier, and he is probably responsible for the heads of Queen Victoria and her husband, which support the arch: White, Dir. Leics. (1877), 140.
  • 105. Dare, Aylestone, 75 and facing plate.
  • 106. Inscrip. in porch.
  • 107. Kelly's Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1936), 134.
  • 108. Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxiii. 138.
  • 109. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D41/18/8, f. 10 v.
  • 110. Ibid. 1D41/18/21.
  • 111. Ibid. note added later.
  • 112. Ibid. 1D41/18/22.
  • 113. Ibid. 245'50/6, 8.
  • 114. An oil-painting of the Manners crest, the peacock, hangs in the aisle, probably dating from the late 18th or early 19th cent.
  • 115. White, Dir. Leics. (1877), 140.
  • 116. Nichols, Leics. iv. 27.
  • 117. Inscrip. on west wall of south aisle.
  • 118. Dare, Aylestone, 72–74.
  • 119. A. Trollope, Ch. Plate of Leics. i. 310.
  • 120. A. H. Kimberlin, Return of Catholicism to Leic. 1746–1946, 33–34, 49–50.
  • 121. Assoc. Archit. Soc. Rep. & Papers, xxix. 234.
  • 122. Wright, Dir. Leic. (1882), 284.
  • 123. Spencer, New Guide to Leic. (1888), 106.
  • 124. See Leic. Mercury, 8 Nov. 1954.
  • 125. Wright, Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1896), 96; Wright, Dir. Leic. (1898), 101.
  • 126. Illus. Leic. Chron. 15 Sept. 1928.
  • 127. Nichols, Leics. iv. 29 n.
  • 128. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 375.
  • 129. Ibid. (1877), 140.
  • 130. Wright, Dir. Leic. (1882), 284; see above, pp. 336–7.
  • 131. Kelly's Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1888), 480.
  • 132. Cf. ibid. and Wright, Dir. Leic. (1894), 362–3.