Parishes added since 1892: Braunstone

Pages 428-433

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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Braunstone, formerly a chapelry of Glenfield, is about 2¼ miles south-west of the centre of Leicester. In 1891 the civil parish and former chapelry of Braunstone, which is the area whose history is described here, consisted of 1,743 acres. (fn. 1) The north boundary ran westwards from the Soar, north of Rowley Fields, to the Narborough road, along Fulhurst Avenue, Gooding Avenue, and the north-east side of Braunstone Park, and then crossed the Hinckley road to take in the area to the south-east of the Braunstone Frith estate. In 1892 254 acres in the north-east part of the chapelry were incorporated in the borough and included in St. Mary's parish. (fn. 2) Leicester Corporation's purchase of land for a housing estate in 1925 made it inevitable that Braunstone should become part of the borough sooner or later. In 1935 the part of the chapelry to the north of Braunstone Lane was incorporated in the borough. The southern part of Braunstone remained a separate civil parish in the rural district of Blaby, and in 1936 this parish was enlarged by the addition of a small part of the parish of Lubbesthorpe. (fn. 3) In 1931 the population of the civil parish as then constituted was 6,997, and in 1951 8,986. (fn. 4) The surface soil of the area is mostly Boulder Clay, with small areas of gravel in the east. Beneath the Boulder Clay is a stratum of triassic marl, which appears on the surface in some places. The valley of the Dove Brook contains some alluvium. The country is undulating, rising westwards from the Soar to a height of about 300 ft. The original village was founded on a patch of glacial sands and gravels rather less than a mile from the Fosse Way, which crosses the eastern side of the area.

The northern part of the old chapelry is now mostly occupied by a large housing estate, built since 1925 by Leicester Corporation. (fn. 5) Braunstone Park has been retained as an open space, and it is now used as a public park. Within it on the crest of a rise stands Braunstone Hall, a plain red-brick house of three stories in the late Georgian style. It was built about 1775 for Clement Winstanley, whose descendants for long possessed it. The architect was probably William Oldham of Leicester. (fn. 6) In 1925 it was sold to Leicester Corporation, and is now (1955) a school. Some houses of the old village still stand along Braunstone Lane. At Hall Farm, at the south-east end of the village, the brick surrounding wall and some of the farm buildings, including a barn with a dovecote in the gable, are survivals from the old manor-house, which was probably built by Henry Hastings in c. 1600. (fn. 7) Farther west, along Braunstone Lane, stands a timber-framed farm-house in dark red brick, with the front of the upper story projecting slightly, which dates from the 17th century. The village also contains two timber-framed cottages, one of them still retaining its thatch, which probably date from the 16th century, and a very small timberframed building, perhaps of the 17th century, now a shop.


In 1086 Hugh de Grentemesnil was the tenant in chief of BRAUNSTONE, which was held from him by the son of Robert Burdet. (fn. 8) In the 12th and 13th centuries Braunstone was probably held from the king first by the earls of Leicester, who acquired Hugh's Leicestershire lands, (fn. 9) and then by the earls of Winchester, who after 1204 inherited half of the lands belonging to the earls of Leicester. There is no evidence about the tenants in chief of the manor until 1264, when Roger de Quency, Earl of Winchester, died in possession of Braunstone. (fn. 10) After Roger's death Braunstone was assigned in dower to his widow, (fn. 11) and eventually it was inherited by his daughter, Margaret de Ferrers, (fn. 12) whose descendants, the family of Ferrers of Groby, long retained it. (fn. 13) After the death of William, Lord Ferrers, in 1445, Braunstone fell to his granddaughter Elizabeth and her husband, Edward Grey. (fn. 14) In 1505 Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset, was holding the manor (fn. 15) and it probably remained in the hands of the Grey family until the attainder in 1554 of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and the forfeiture of his possessions. The history of the sub-tenants at Braunstone during the Middle Ages is less simple than that of the tenants in chief. In 1086 the son of Robert Burdet was apparently the tenant in demesne. (fn. 16) His descendants continued to hold the manor from the tenants in chief until about 1450, (fn. 17) but by the early 13th century, at the latest, they had subinfeudated it. In 1207 William Harecurt was in possession of the manor, (fn. 18) and the Harecurt family retained it as vassals of the Burdets (fn. 19) until the sisters of Sir William Harecurt sold it in 1510. (fn. 20) In 1279 Braunstone was held from Richard Harecurt by Philip le Polers, who was the tenant in demesne. (fn. 21) In 1293 the manor was held from Richard Harecurt by Thomas de Camville, (fn. 22) but Thomas was probably not then the tenant in demesne, since in 1299 the manor was held from him by Hugh of Braunstone. (fn. 23) Members of Hugh's family had been holding land in the parish earlier; Hugh's brother, Master Henry of Braunstone, was holding land at Braunstone in 1297, (fn. 24) and Adam son of Ivo, who was holding land in the township in 1225, (fn. 25) was probably Master Henry's father. (fn. 26) At the end of the 13th century there were thus three lords between the tenant in demesne and the tenant in chief. Hugh of Braunstone was succeeded by his son Henry, who in 1312 granted his lands at Braunstone to William de Herle for life. (fn. 27) William's son, Robert de Herle, held considerable property at Braunstone, which was inherited by his nephew Ralph de Hastings, (fn. 28) who held the manor in 1388–9, (fn. 29) but though his descendants held land in Braunstone they do not appear to have held the manor, (fn. 30) nor do those of Henry of Braunstone. By 1364 the manor was in the hands of Thomas de Erdyngton, (fn. 31) who was probably the tenant in demesne. Erdyngton had married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Corbet, who had inherited the manor from William, son of Thomas de Camvile. (fn. 32) Thomas de Erdyngton's descendants continued to hold the manor from the Harecurts (fn. 33) until the last Thomas de Erdyngton, who died without issue in 1467, (fn. 34) gave up his rights in the manor to William Harecurt. (fn. 35) The Harecurts were then presumably the tenants in demesne.

Before 1483, the overlordship of the manor was acquired by the well-known Yorkist, William Hastings, (fn. 36) who probably received it as a grant from Edward IV, although the means by which he acquired Braunstone cannot be ascertained. (fn. 37) In 1484 Richard III granted the manor to Marmaduke Constable, on the grounds that it had been forfeited by the rebellion of William Norreys. (fn. 38) Braunstone was held in dower by the relict of William Harecurt, Anne, who had married Norreys as her second husband, (fn. 39) so that Norreys in any case can only have had an interest in the manor during his wife's lifetime. Although Constable obtained a commission ordering the bailiffs of the manor to accept him as lord, (fn. 40) the grant to him seems to have had no permanent effect, probably because of the overthrow of Richard III in 1485.

In 1509, Simon Harecurt sold the manor to Edward Bury and others, (fn. 41) who disposed of it in 1511 to Richard Sacheverell and others. (fn. 42) The descendants of William Hastings remained overlords of the manor. (fn. 43) Richard Sacheverell (d. 1534) bequeathed the manor to John Slory, who was the tenant in demesne in 1537. (fn. 44) John Slory seems to have been succeeded by his son Richard, who was disposing of property at Braunstone in 1553, (fn. 45) but by 1589 the manor seems to have been held in demesne by the Earl of Huntingdon, who then transferred it to Walter Hastings. (fn. 46) The manor remained in the hands of the Hastings family until 1650, when it was sold to Benjamin Kinge by the heirs of Sir Henry Hastings. (fn. 47) Not long afterwards it was acquired by James Winstanley, (fn. 48) whose family retained it until the 19th century. James Winstanley (d. 1862) devised Braunstone to his sister, the wife of Ralph Pochin. (fn. 49) The manor continued to be held by the descendants of Ralph Pochin, who assumed the name of Winstanley, until 1925, when most of Braunstone was bought by Leicester Corporation for use as a housing estate. (fn. 50)

Lesser Estate.

In 1279 Master Henry of Braunstone was holding 3 virgates of the Peverel fee at Braunstone from Millicent de Cantilupe, who held them from Roger de Montalt, the tenant in chief. (fn. 51) Millicent had married, as her first husband, John de Montalt, whose relationship to Roger is uncertain. (fn. 52) In 1299 a carucate at Braunstone was being held from Roger la Zouche by Henry's brother, Hugh. (fn. 53) Millicent had married as her second husband Ivo la Zouche. When she died in 1298 her heir was her son William la Zouche, but she had given the manor of Lubbesthorpe to Roger in 1267–68, and had probably given him her lands at Braunstone as well. (fn. 54) In 1346 Roger la Zouche and Robert Herle were assessed jointly for 1/6 fee belonging to the honour of Peverel in Braunstone and Lubbesthorpe, and Roger Curley was assessed for 1/6 fee in Braunstone, belonging to the honours of Peverel and Winchester. (fn. 55) The lands of which Robert Herle died seized in 1364 included £4 rent at Braunstone, held of William la Zouche. (fn. 56) The descent of this holding cannot be traced further, but probably it was absorbed into the lands held by Herle's successors, the Hastings family, at Braunstone.

Economic History.

According to the Domesday survey (fn. 57) there were at Braunstone 5 carucates and 3 bovates of land. In demesne were 4 serfs with 1 plough, and there also 2 sokemen, 4 villeins and a bordar with a further 2 ploughs. There were 5 acres of meadow, and woodland 5 furlongs in length and 3 furlongs in breadth. The estimated value of Braunstone had trebled in the period before the survey, perhaps indicating that the village had been ravaged after the Conquest. (fn. 58) The woodland of Braunstone probably formed part of the great chase known as Leicester Forest, which bordered the village on the west. (fn. 59) Although Leicester Forest was held by a series of great lords, (fn. 60) to whom the timber and hunting rights belonged, the woodland was during the Middle Ages of considerable economic importance to the inhabitants of Braunstone. Both the lord of the manor and his tenants had the right to pasture their livestock in the forest, (fn. 61) from which wood for repair of buildings and hedges could be obtained. (fn. 62) The burgesses of Leicester, at least from the 12th century onwards, had the right to collect wood in the forest. (fn. 63) Until the late 16th century Braunstone was inhabited by free and customary tenants. In 1279 Philip le Polers held at Braunstone 7 virgates in demesne together with 11 virgates held by 11 villeins. A further 5¾ virgates were held by 4 free tenants. (fn. 64) Hugh of Braunstone, lord of the manor, at his death in 1299, held 251 acres of arable land and 22 acres of meadow in demesne, with a separate pasture. His 8 free tenants, none of whom held more than a virgate, rendered money payments only for their holdings and his 6 villeins had evidently commuted most of their labour services for money rents. By 1299 two of them, holding a full virgate each, were performing no works for the lord, but paid in money only, while the remaining four, who each held a messuage and half a virgate, did only one day's work with one man at haytime, and one day's mowing, and each paid an annual rent of 9s. (fn. 65) In 1381 22 inhabitants of Braunstone were described as husbandmen, (fn. 66) and were therefore probably either freeholders or customary tenants.

There seems no reason to doubt that until the late 16th century Braunstone was a village with openfield cultivation of the normal type. Four fields belonging to the village are mentioned in a document of 1477, (fn. 67) which may indicate that a two-yearly system of rotation was then being employed. The manor-house, which is first mentioned in 1299, (fn. 68) is said to have stood between the chapel and Braunstone Lane. (fn. 69) Attached to it were a dovecote and a fruit garden. (fn. 70) This house was leased to a farmer in 1415, (fn. 71) and about 1600 it was replaced by a new house which occupied the site of the present Hall Farm. (fn. 72)

In the late 16th century the old agricultural routine of the village was broken up by the widespread inclosure of arable for conversion to pasture, followed in the early 17th century by the inclosure of Leicester Forest. The inclosure of the village fields was mostly the work of Walter Hastings, the lord of the manor, and his son Henry, though three of their tenants also carried out inclosure on a small scale. At an inquiry held at Leicester in 1607 (fn. 73) it was stated that 468 acres of arable in Braunstone had been converted into pasture. Of this, 150 acres had been so converted since 1579. (fn. 74) Walter and Henry Hastings since 1596 had inclosed and converted to pasture 290 acres of arable, while George Bennett and John Connywaie, who were probably tenants of Walter Hastings, had each converted 14 acres to pasture during the same period. Bennett must have been a fairly wealthy freeholder, for in 1589 he acquired property at Braunstone described as 100 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, and 20 acres of pasture, with two barns and common rights. (fn. 75) The report of the 1607 inquiry does not state how many people were displaced through the conversion of arable to pasture, but it notes that three houses were uninhabited, and in 1608, when Walter and Henry Hastings were charged in the Star Chamber with depopulating Braunstone, it was stated that at least 40 people had left the village. (fn. 76) This must have represented a substantial proportion of the population, for in 1563 there were 28 families in Braunstone. (fn. 77) The parish registers show that the population declined sharply during the period when the village fields were being inclosed; in the five years between 1566 and 1570 the average number of baptisms a year was 8.2, against an average of 4.4 for the years 1630 to 1634. (fn. 78) From the answer made by Walter and Henry Hastings to the charges brought against them in the Star Chamber (fn. 79) it appears that they had absorbed three farms into the manorial demesne, demolishing one of the farm-houses. Henry Hastings had leased a fourth holding from one Hackett for £50, and purchased a fifth from John Iliffe, who had previously converted it into pasture. According to the version of events given by Walter and Henry Hastings, the remaining tenants, who held their lands for terms of ten or twelve years only, then agreed that all their lands should be inclosed, after which some of the land was to be allotted to the tenants, while the remainder reverted to the Hastingses. It seems that Hackett, Bennett, Iliffe, and possibly Connywaie, were freeholders, and were either bought out or had inclosed lands themselves. The freeholders seem to have offered no opposition to the inclosure. The remaining tenants, being mainly leaseholders, were unable to do so. After three of them had been evicted and their holdings taken over by the Hastingses, they consented to the inclosure on conditions which must have been disadvantageous to them. By the early 17th century there were apparently no customary tenants left at Braunstone. No mention was made in 1607 of any inclosure of waste or pasture land. It is possible that some may have been inclosed at an earlier date, (fn. 80) since by 1415 Richard Hastings was leasing his lands at Braunstone, (fn. 81) and a farmer leasing land at a presumably competitive rent might well have been tempted to inclose. For pasture, however, the village probably relied mainly on lands within Leicester Forest, which occupied the western part of the township. (fn. 82) John Wellinger, for example, a substantial farmer of Braunstone who died in 1603 leaving personal estate worth £123, was then pasturing in the forest thirteen cows with four calves. (fn. 83) Not content with having converted much arable land at Braunstone into pasture, Henry Hastings kept large flocks of sheep in the forest, although it was contrary to the rules of Leicester Forest to do so. (fn. 84) In 1605 it was stated that he was pasturing 160 sheep there, and that he had cut down trees covering 500 acres, so that in a short time there was likely to be no cover left for the deer of the forest. (fn. 85) The maintenance of large numbers of sheep in the forest may have caused a shortage of grazing for the tenants' livestock and thus have assisted Hastings in his efforts to inclose the village arable. (fn. 86) The disafforestation of Leicester Forest in 1628 enabled Henry Hastings to inclose the parts of Braunstone township which had lain within the forest boundaries. The Exchequer decree providing for the inclosure of the forest (fn. 87) laid down that the land in Leicester Forest belonging to the manor of Braunstone was to be divided between Sir Henry Hastings, who was to receive two-thirds, and the king, as Duke of Lancaster, who was to obtain onethird in compensation for the loss of his forest rights. Out of his share Sir Henry was to set aside 64 acres to compensate his tenants at Braunstone for the loss of pasture in the forest. The tenants, who despite depopulation still numbered 17, were to receive 6 acres for every yardland they held, and 2 acres for every cottage. Hastings's share was about 270 acres, but he also purchased the 135 acres at Braunstone which had been allotted to the king. (fn. 88) An annual fee farm rent of 1s. an acre was levied from all the lands purchased from the Crown. (fn. 89) An area of about 120 acres, lying between Braunstone Frith and the Hinckley road and known as the King's Wood, (fn. 90) was partly allotted to some freeholders at Glenfield and others, and partly to the corporation of Leicester in compensation for the loss of pasture rights belonging to the Newarke Grange. (fn. 91) All land which had formed part of the forest was ordered to be inclosed with hedges and ditches by May 1628. (fn. 92) The lands of Leicester Forest to the west of Braunstone were thus brought under regular cultivation. After the disafforestation of 1628 there can have been little uninclosed land left at Braunstone. The whole area of the chapelry was 1,489 acres in 1891. (fn. 93) The inclosures reported in 1607, together with those made in 1628, totalled about 990 acres, and allowance has to be made for a number of small closes already existing in the 15th century, (fn. 94) besides land occupied by houses, gardens, and roads. The hearth tax returns furnish some evidence about the size of the village in the 17th century. In 1666 18 houses in the village paid tax, including 2 which were empty. (fn. 95) In 1670, 17 houses paid tax, but a further 11 were listed as exempt. There would appear to have been 28 households at Braunstone in 1670, the same number as in 1563, so that some recovery had taken place since the early 17th century. (fn. 96) The clearing of Leicester Forest, and the inclosure of the village fields, must have caused great changes. Not only the fields but the roads of the township were altered, for a road leading from Braunstone to Leicester was blocked up by Walter and Henry Hastings, and another road to Leicester was closed by Walter Ruding, lord of the adjacent manor of Westcotes. (fn. 97) The old body of small-holders was largely destroyed, and the village lands came increasingly into the ownership of the lord of the manor.

Sir Henry Hastings supported Charles I in the Civil War, and was in consequence ruined. (fn. 98) Under the Winstanley family Braunstone remained a small agricultural village during the 18th and 19th centuries. By 1773 about two-thirds of the land in the township was in the hands of Clement Winstanley, the only other owner of importance being the Duke of Rutland. (fn. 99) There were nine other proprietors. In 1809 by the Glenfield Inclosure Act lands at Glenfield were set apart for the Rector of Glenfield in commutation of tithes due from the lands at Braunstone belonging to Clement Winstanley, (fn. 100) who was by far the most important landowner there. (fn. 101) In 1829, the only landowners at Braunstone were Clement and George Winstanley and the Duke of Rutland. (fn. 102) In 1846 the duke's rental in Braunstone was £472 as against Winstanley's of £2,564 10s. (fn. 103)

Braunstone was for long little affected by the growth of the adjacent industrial centre of Leicester. The village remained almost entirely agricultural, and the size of the population showed little change. Some framework-knitting was done in the late 18th century. (fn. 104) In 1801 the population was 202, of whom 165 were chiefly employed in agriculture, compared with 22 employed in trade and manufactures. (fn. 105) It was not until Leicester Corporation purchased a large part of Braunstone in 1925 that any change took place. In 1921 the population was only 238; in 1931 it was nearly 7,000. (fn. 106) Though Braunstone Hall and its surrounding park were preserved, a large housing estate was built, covering most of the township to the north of Braunstone Lane. During the financial year 1926–7, £87,000 was spent on the building of houses alone, while further large sums were expended on roads and drains. (fn. 107) In the next year the expenditure on houses was £292,000. (fn. 108) Further building took place to the south of Braunstone Lane, and though some agricultural land still remains in the south and the north-west of the township, Braunstone has largely become a suburb of Leicester.

Parish Administration.

Braunstone was governed by the usual parish officers until its amalgamation with the borough of Leicester. It had no separate workhouse although maintaining its poor separately from Glenfield, (fn. 109) and from 1836 was in Blaby union for poor relief purposes.


In the 12th century Braunstone church was a chapel dependent on the parish church of Glenfield. The chapel is first mentioned in a document which is not later than 1168. (fn. 110) About 1220 the chapel was being served by a resident chaplain, (fn. 111) but apart from this there is no evidence of how the chapel was served during the Middle Ages, or of what the relations were between the clergy serving it and the Rector of Glenfield. In 1650 there was a minister serving Braunstone, (fn. 112) but the circumstances at that time may have been exceptional. During the 19th century and until 1937, the chapel was served by the Rector of Glenfield, or his curates, but in 1937 Braunstone became a separate ecclesiastical parish, with the Bishop of Leicester as patron of the living. (fn. 113) In 1948 two Anglican mission rooms, those of St. Boniface and St. Crispin, were opened to serve the new housing estate. (fn. 114)

In 1585 the stipend of the curate who was in charge of Braunstone was £8 a year. (fn. 115) In 1650 the minister at Braunstone had a net income of £30 17s. a year. In December of that year his stipend was raised to £50 by a grant from the rectorial tithes arising from the chapelry, but the increase was withdrawn immediately afterwards. (fn. 116)

The greater part of the church of ST. PETER, as it existed in 1956, was built in the 14th century. The 14th-century church consisted of chancel, nave, and west tower. It is built of random rubble, the roofs are slated, and all the windows except those of the tower are pointed. The chancel has a plinth of one splay, string-course at sill level, diagonal buttresses at the angles and modern central ones on the north and south. It is lighted on the east by one window of three lights, on the north and south by two of two lights. Between the windows on the south there is a narrow pointed door of one splay with a hood without terminals. The south wall of the nave is similar, with buttresses at the angles, and lighted by three two-light windows. The south door has an 18thcentury porch built of red brick with a round-headed arch, moulded brick cornice, and pediment, the cornice being continued as an eaves course to a steeply pitched slate roof. Internally, it has a four-centred vaulted ceiling and is plastered. The door has a moulded pointed head, the mouldings continued down the jambs without capitals. The tower is of two stages; a third stage has been taken down to a little above the sills of the original belfry windows, leaving low rectangular openings on each face below the eaves of a slated roof. It has diagonal buttresses in four weathered stages; one buttress has two inscriptions, one stating that the steeple was repaired in 1704 and another stating that it was restored in 1938. A late 15th-century window with a four-centred head of two hollow splays has been inserted in the west wall of the lower stage. Internally the tower walls are plastered and the floors laid with modern tiles.

The chancel has segmental pointed rear arches to the door and windows. At the eastern end of the south wall is a moulded trefoil-headed piscina with the remains of a pointed hood. The altar rails, dating from the 17th century, are of oak with moulded rails and turned balusters, partly restored. The chancel has a modern steep-pitched open collar-beam roof with curved brackets resting on floriated stone corbels. The space above the collar is fitted with opentracery panels. The nave has a modern tiled and boarded floor and an open trussed-rafter roof of uncertain date. The chancel and tower arches are pointed, of two splayed orders, the responds repeating the inner orders with moulded capitals and bases.

In 1637 the church was found to be in very poor condition, (fn. 117) but in general it seems to have been well maintained. The red brick porch was added in the 18th century. Repairs were carried out in 1838, when the building was said to be very damp, (fn. 118) and again in 1867 and in 1875. (fn. 119) In 1885 the floor was raised and relaid, part of the gallery, which had been inserted at an unknown date, was removed, and heating apparatus was installed. (fn. 120)

Extensive alterations and additions to the fabric were begun in 1937. A large part of the north wall of the 14th-century nave was cut away, and a squareheaded concrete arch was inserted. Running northwards from the opening so created, and at right angles to the original nave, a new nave was constructed. This extension was originally intended to consist of a nave, with east and west aisles, and a vestry, but shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939 building came to an end. In 1956 the new nave remained incomplete. (fn. 121)

The chancel has a late 15th-century carved oak screen with open-traceried panels, a central opening with traceried panels in the head, crocketed finial and moulded pendant, and is finished with a modern cornice; it has been slightly restored. The font, now in the west aisle of the extension, is built up with an inverted basin of a plain circular 13th-century font supporting a basin made from a 14th-century octagonal moulded capital of an arcade pillar. The windows in the extension are copied from the old church and two, taken from the demolished north wall of the nave, have been reused and contain fragments of early stained glass. The pulpit, a modern octagonal one of oak, has also been moved to the extension and is placed on the west side of the new chancel arch. In the old nave is a 17th-century oak chest, with a panelled lid, bound with iron straps. In the floor, near the chancel, is a 15th-century memorial slab, much worn, showing traces of two incised figures and a marginal inscription. (fn. 122) There are two hatchments, one above the tower arch and the other on the north wall.

Beneath the altar of the Lady chapel, formerly the high altar, is a vault belonging to the Winstanley family. A wooden reredos, believed to have been Elizabethan or Jacobean, was removed and broken up in c. 1900; some fragments have been used to make a processional cross, which is now in the church. (fn. 123) The church plate consists of a silver paten with a foot, dated 1721, and a silver gilt cup, paten, and flagon, all dated 1858 and given by the wife of George Winstanley, Rector of Glenfield. There is also a gilt dish of base metal. The church formerly possessed a very beautiful silver gilt standing cup, with a cover, bearing the date 1613. (fn. 124) The parish registers begin in 1561, and are in the vicar's custody. There are three bells, inscribed 'Robert Taylor St. Neots fecit, 1812'. (fn. 125)

Roman Catholicism.

In 1938 the temporary church of the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament was established at Braunstone. (fn. 126) In 1954 work began on the permanent church. (fn. 127)

Protestant Nonconformity.

There is no record of any dissenting chapel in Braunstone until the establishment of the Trinity Methodist Church in 1929, at first in a temporary chapel, and later in a permanent one built in 1934, and of Christ Church (fn. 128) Congregational chapel in Barbara Road in 1930, both to designs by Albert Herbert. (fn. 129) A small Baptist chapel was built in Braunstone Avenue in 1950 after many years of missionary work from Friar Lane chapel. (fn. 130) In 1939 a site was purchased in Braunstone for the building of a Congregational chapel to replace that in Bond Street, whose congregation had largely been moved to the Braunstone estate. This project has not so far been carried out. (fn. 131)


Braunstone possessed a Sunday school before 1846, which was supported by the lord of the manor. (fn. 132) In 1868 a small National school was built by Captain R. G. Pochin. (fn. 133) Many new schools were built to provide for the children on the housing estates, and Braunstone Hall has been in use as an infants' school since 1932. (fn. 134) The National school was closed in 1930. (fn. 135)


  • 1. Census, 1891, which gives the acreage of the parish as changed by the Leicester Extension Act of 1891. It should be noted, however, that before the Act the borough surveyor calculated the area to be about 1,610 a.
  • 2. Leicester Extension Act, 1891, 54 & 55 Vic. c. 100; J. Storey, Hist. Sketch of Boro. of Leic. 166.
  • 3. Census, 1931.
  • 4. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 184.
  • 5. See plate opposite.
  • 6. Nichols, Leics. iv. 620; H. M. Colvin, Biog. Dict. of Eng. Architects, 423. Two views of the house in c. 1810 are given by Nichols, Leics. iv, plate ci.
  • 7. L. Fox and P. Russell, Leic. Forest, 90.
  • 8. V.C.H. Leics. i. 316.
  • 9. E.H.R. liv. 386.
  • 10. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 257.
  • 11. Close R. 1261–4, 407.
  • 12. Nichols, Leics. i, pp. cxv, cxvi; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 323.
  • 13. Cal. Inq. p.m. viii, p. 317; Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.), iii, p. 94; iv, p. 223.
  • 14. Ibid, iv, p. 297; Complete Peerage, vi. 358.
  • 15. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 182.
  • 16. V.C.H. Leics. i. 316.
  • 17. Close R. 1261–4, 407; Cal. Inq. p.m. i, pp. III, 257; viii, p. 317; Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.), iv, pp. 223, 279; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 323; Nichols, Leics. i, p. cxvi.
  • 18. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 716. William's son and heir, Richard, acquired the adjacent manor of Aylestone, before 1219. See above, p. 415.
  • 19. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 111; Nichols, Leics. i, p. cxvi; Cat. Anc. Deeds, i. A. 1407.
  • 20. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 182–3.
  • 21. Nichols, Leics. i, pp. cxv, cxvi.
  • 22. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 76.
  • 23. Ibid. iii, p. 400.
  • 24. Nichols, Leics. i, p. cxvi; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 57–58.
  • 25. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 174.
  • 26. Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 61.
  • 27. Ibid. 65.
  • 28. Cal. Inq. p.m. xi, p. 450; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 21, 22.
  • 29. Cal. Close, 1396–9, 95–96.
  • 30. Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.), iv, p. 179; Cal. Fine R. 1430–7, 311; Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 181.
  • 31. Cal. Inq. p.m. xi, p. 450.
  • 32. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 179, 180. It was later stated (ibid. i. 180; Cal. Close, 1392–6, 433) that Thomas and his wife had been given the manor by Thomas's father Giles, but there seems no other way by which the manor could have passed to the Erdyngton family than through the marriage of Thomas with Margaret Corbet.
  • 33. Cal. Close, 1392–6, 433; Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.) iv, p. 153; Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 180, 181; G. F. Farnham, Leics. Medieval Pedigrees, 11.
  • 34. Farnham, Leics. Medieval Pedigrees, 11.
  • 35. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 182.
  • 36. Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 297.
  • 37. The position of the Hastings family in relation to the Greys is unknown. The terms of a doc. of 1505 suggest that Thomas Grey and Edward Hastings were then joint overlords of the manor: Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 182.
  • 38. Cal. Pat. 1476–85, 471.
  • 39. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 183; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 26, 27.
  • 40. B.M. Harl. MS. 433, f. 169b.
  • 41. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 183.
  • 42. Ibid.
  • 43. Ibid. 184; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 309, 313, 314.
  • 44. Farnham, Leics. Medieval Pedigrees, 66; Hist. MSS. Com. Hastings, i. 26; Nichols, Leics. iii. 508.
  • 45. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 184.
  • 46. Ibid. Walter Hastings's activities in inclosing the manor show that he was the tenant in demesne: T.L.A.S. xxiii. 269–71.
  • 47. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 185.
  • 48. By 1653, according to Nichols, Leics. iv. 619. No authority is quoted for this statement, but it appears to be based on documentary evidence and may well be correct. White, Leics. Dir. (1846), 546, says that Hastings sold the manor to Winstanley for £6,000 in 1650. It is possible that Kinge was simply the agent for Winstanley. The Winstanleys were important Parliamentarians: V.C.H. Leics. ii. 110.
  • 49. W. G. D. Fletcher, Leics. Pedigrees and Royal Descents, 40.
  • 50. City of Leic. Abstract of Accts. 1925–6, 556.
  • 51. Nichols, Leics. i, pp. cxv, cxvi.
  • 52. Complete Peerage, ix. 13; W. Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, ii. 113.
  • 53. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 400.
  • 54. Ibid, iii, p. 411; iv, p. 112.
  • 55. Nichols, Leics. iv. 616.
  • 56. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 178.
  • 57. V.C.H. Leics. i. 316.
  • 58. Ibid. 284.
  • 59. For the approximate boundaries of the forest as they existed at the time when it was deforested, see Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 120; and see V.C.H. Leics. ii. 266–7.
  • 60. On the lords of the forest, see ibid, passim, and below, P. 447.
  • 61. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 175; Nichols, Leics. iv. 789.
  • 62. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 174. The lordship of the manor's woodland, from which timber was obtained, formed part of Leic. Forest: ibid. i. 175.
  • 63. Leic. Boro. Rec. 1103–1327, 6.
  • 64. Nichols, Leics. i, pp. cxv, cxvi.
  • 65. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 175–6. There is some discrepancy between the inf. concerning Braunstone given in 1279 and 1299. This may be partly due to changes having taken place between the two dates, but the inf. for 1299, which is derived from a detailed extent, is probably more accurate than that for 1279, which comes from the general inq. taken at that time.
  • 66. Farnham, op. cit. i. .179, 180.
  • 67. Nichols, Leics. iv. 616.
  • 68. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 175.
  • 69. Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 90.
  • 70. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 175, 178.
  • 71. Ibid. 181.
  • 72. Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 90.
  • 73. T.L.A.S. xxiii. 269–71.
  • 74. The name of the person concerned is illegible: ibid. 270.
  • 75. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 184.
  • 76. L. A. Parker, Enclosure in Leics. 1485–1607 (Lond. Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1948), 123.
  • 77. B.M. Harl. MS. 618.
  • 78. Braunstone par. reg. 1561–1655 (in custody of vicar).
  • 79. Parker, Encl. in Leics. 123–4.
  • 80. A separate pasture is mentioned in 1299: Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 175.
  • 81. Ibid. 180–1.
  • 82. See map in Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 120.
  • 83. L.R.O., Probate Rec. Inv. 1603.
  • 84. Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 94.
  • 85. Ibid. 96.
  • 86. In 1628, Henry Hastings claimed to be entitled to pasture livestock in the forest 'without stint': Nichols, Leics. iv. 787.
  • 87. Printed ibid. iv. 785–9.
  • 88. Fox and Russell, Leic. Forest, 115, 136, 137.
  • 89. Nichols, Leics. iv. 782.
  • 90. Fox and Russell, op. cit. 71, 82.
  • 91. Ibid, 111; Nichols, Leics. iv. 782.
  • 92. Nichols, op. cit. iv. 795.
  • 93. Census, 1891.
  • 94. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 181.
  • 95. Farnham, Leics. Notes, i. 185.
  • 96. E 179/240/279, m. 7.
  • 97. T.L.A.S. xxiii, 270–1.
  • 98. Cal. Cttee. for Money, ii. 832; Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, 1760.
  • 99. L.R.O., Land Tax Assessments, Braunstone, 1773. The duke's land at Braunstone was in the hands of his tenant at Aylestone: Leic. City Mun. Room, 1052/1/19.
  • 100. 49 Geo. III, c. 55.
  • 101. L.R.O., Land Tax Assessments, Braunstone, 1809.
  • 102. Ibid. 1829.
  • 103. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D52/1/19.
  • 104. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 20.
  • 105. Census, 1801.
  • 106. V.C.H. Leics. iii. 184.
  • 107. City of Leic. Abstract of Accts. 1926–7, 304.
  • 108. Ibid. 1927–8, 298.
  • 109. Nichols, Leics. iv. 620. Some par. rec. are in Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D52/1.
  • 110. Dugd. Mon. vi. 1079.
  • 111. Rot. Hugonis de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore, i. 245.
  • 112. Cal. Cttee.for Compounding, 1761.
  • 113. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 546; ibid. (1877), 172: and ex inf. Revd. W. H. Gibb.
  • 114. Leic. Dioc. Cal. (1954), 81.
  • 115. State of the Ch. ed. C. W. Foster, i. 101.
  • 116. Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, 1761.
  • 117. Leic. City Mun. Room, 1D41/18/9.
  • 118. Ibid. 245'50/6.
  • 119. White, Dir. Leics. (1877), 172.
  • 120. C. N. Wright, Dir. Leics. and Rut. (1896), 512.
  • 121. Leic. Mercury, 7 Oct. 1954. For a view of the completed design see ibid. 7 April 1933.
  • 122. Nichols, Leics. iv. 621 stated that this tomb was that of a Hastings and his wife.
  • 123. Inf. from the vicar.
  • 124. Ibid.
  • 125. T. North, Ch. Bells of Leics. 152.
  • 126. A. H. Kimberlin, Return of Catholicism to Leic. 1746– 1946, 50. For recusancy in Braunstone in earlier times see V.C.H. Leics. ii. 58, 69.
  • 127. Leic. Mercury, 8 Nov. 1954.
  • 128. Ibid., 23 Jan. 1934. A temporary chapel had been made in a barn in 1929: Pictorial Leic. 1929.
  • 129. Leic. Mail, 23 Oct. 1929, 20 Mar. 1930.
  • 130. D. Ashby, Friar Lane, 123.
  • 131. E. M. Drew, Those Taking Part, 26–27.
  • 132. White, Dir. Leics. (1846), 546.
  • 133. Wright, Dir. Leic. (1880), 268.
  • 134. See p. 336. The schools include those in Folville Rise, Hallam Crescent, Ellesmere Road and Benbow Rise, and in Ravenhurst Road outside the city boundary.
  • 135. Leics. Council Mins. 12 Nov. 1930.