Waltham in 1877

An OS map of Waltham in 1877

An OS map of Waltham in 1877

This extract from White’s Leicester and Rutland Directory 1877 describing Waltham is copied from this website, with kind permission.

WALTHAM-ON-THE-WOLDS parish, in Melton Mowbray Union and County Court District, and Framland Hundred, comprises 2870 acres, and in 1871 contained 628 inhabitants. Its considerable and well-built village occupies a bold eminence on the Grantham and Melton Mowbray road, 5 miles N.E. of the latter, and eleven miles S.W., of the former town.

It has many neat houses, and is noted for its great annual fair, for horses and cattle, on the 18th and 19th of September, and also formerly for the shows of its Agricultural Society. The first is the great show day for horses, and the fair is attended by many from a great distance. There was formerly a market here.

The soil is partly clay and partly a red marl, with an under-stratum of limestone, which is got and burnt here. The Duke of Rutland owns nearly all the soil except the glebe, and is lord of the manor, which was held at the Conquest by Hugh de Grentemaisnell, and then comprised 16 carucates with 11 ploughs, 2 in the demesne; 24 socmen, 1 villan, and 1 bordar, with 6 ploughs; 1 knight, with 7 bordars, 8 bondmen, 1 bondwoman, and l1/2 ploughs; and 100 acres of meadow. Afterwards a great part of it belonged to Croxton Abbey, and was granted at the Dissolution to the Earl of Rutland.

The CHURCH (St. Mary Magdalene) stands on a bold acclivity above the road, and is approached by a flight of steps. It is a fine ancient structure in the Early English style, consisting of a nave and aisles, a chancel, transepts, and a tower rising from the centre containing five bells, and surmounted by a lofty spire, 127 feet high. It was enlarged and renovated in the time of the late rector, the Rev. G. E. Gillett, M.A., at the cost of more than £2000, and in 1873 the south aisle was re-seated and several windows restored, at a cost of p146, chiefly defrayed by the present rector.

On panels round the vestry are painted the names and crests of many of the rectors since 1200. The chandelier in the middle aisle formerly belonged to Grantham Church, and was given by Mrs. Morgan, who also gave a new face for the clock in 1838. The pulpit is of carved stone, and the reading-desk and lectern are of carved oak. The chancel is laid with encaustic tiles, and over the communion table is a reredos representing the ‘Last Supper.’

The organ was given in 1869 for the use of the church by the late rector’s family, at an expense of £150. Many of the windows are filled with stained glass, including some in memory of members of the Bright, Shaw, and the Gillett families. There is a mural tablet in memory of Mrs. Jane Greenfield (ob. 1808).

The churchwardens’ accounts from 1608 are preserved, and amongst them are several entries relating to the civil wars, when levies were made here both for the Royalist and Parliamentarian troops. The register dates from 1582. The living is a rectory, valued in K.B. at £19 4s. 11d., and now at £560, and has a handsome residence standing in about 30 acres of grounds, in the Tudor style, which was built in 1833, and commands extensive prospects. The Duke of Rutland is patron, and the Rev. Henry Twells, M.A., is the incumbent and one of the rural deans of Framland. The glebe is about 420 acres, mostly allotted at the enclosure of the parish in 1766 in lieu of tithes.

Here is a WESLEYAN CHAPEL, built in 1843, at a cost of £270. A NATIONAL SCHOOL for the accommodation of about 135 children, with class-room and masters house, was built here in 1844-5 in lieu of a smaller one erected in 1838.

In 1771 George Noble, partly in satisfaction of £20 left by Joseph Noble, gave 5A. 1R. 32P. of land, at Wymondham, for the schoolmaster of Waltham, and it is now let for £6 l0s. per annum. Thomas Baker left £15 to the school, but it is lost. Derived from various benefactions for the poor and school there is now standing in the names of the rector and other trustees £816 three per cent.

Consols, of which £280 was left by Anthony Forman, in 1796, to pay yearly £4 4s. to the schoolmaster, £2 2s. to the singers, and £2 2s. for distributions of bread among the poor. £213 6s. 8d. of the above-named stock was derived from a legacy of £200 four per cent. Stock, left by Jane Greenfield in 1802. The dividends of this portion (£6 8s.) are dispensed as follows :-£3 4s. to the school funds, l0s. 6d. to the Sunday school, and £2 13s. 6d. in distribution of bread to the aged poor attending church on Sundays.

The remaining £322 13s. 4d. of the above-named stock was purchased with the bequests of Edward Bunnis and Dickinson Rastall, £29 16s. 1d. in 1691; Thomas Forman, £31 19s. 8d., in 1818; James Clarke, £23 17s. 7d., in 1820; Thomas Shaw, £55 4s., in 1835; John Lowe, £20, in 1841; and Mrs. Thomas Shaw, £60; except £111 6s. purchased with money derived from the sale of timber on Noble’s Charity Land, and £100 invested by the late rector, in 1845, as a repair fund for the school-house.

The Clock Winder’s and Bell Ringer’s Lands were exchanged at the enclosure in 1767, the former for 3R. 8P., and the latter for 5A. 3R. l6P. in Filling’s Field, now called Bell Close. The two allotments are free from tithes and land tax, and are let for £15 per annum, of which £7 is paid to him that attends to the clock and rings the church bell in the morning and evening; and £8 is applied to church repairs. In 1875 Mrs. Frances Shaw left £20, the interest to he given to the Woman’s Club.

The Duke of Rutland is patron of the Waltham Agricultural Association, which is supported by a numerous list of subscribers, but in 1862 was amalgamated with that at Leicester, under the title of the LEICESTERSHIRE AND WALTHAM AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION (See page 311.) Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, on their return from Belvoir Castle, December 7, 1843, changed horses here at the Royal Horse Shoes.

A mine of iron ore was discovered by Mr. James Alexander Knipe in 1858, a little north of the village, but it has not yet been worked, owing to the great expense of conveying the ore to Melton, which is the nearest railway station, but a branch line from Scalford to near Croxton Park will be constructed for the conveyance of the ore.

The new branch of the Great Northern Railway from Newark to Market Harborough will have a station here. An efficient system of sewerage was completed in 1875, under the superintendence of Mr. M. 0. Tarbottam, C.E., of Nottingham, at a cost of £844, towards which the parish contributed £372, the Duke of Rutland paying the balance. His Grace has recently sunk six new wells, and erected two handsome pumps for the use of the village.

POST, MONEY ORDER, and TELEGRAPH OFFICE at Mr. Thomas Preston’s. Letters are delivered at 7.30 am., and despatched at 6 p.m., via Melton Mowbray.

Allen Richd. farmer and grazier
Ball Edwin, schoolmaster
Bishop John, joiner
Burgin Jno. steam thrashing machine proprietor
Burgin Mr Thomas
Carter John, cottage farmer
Carter Jno. Thos. farmer and grazier
Chamberlin Mrs Elizabeth, farmer and grazier
Chester George, joiner, builder, contractor and grazier
Clarke George, stonemason
Clarke Wm. stonemason & parish clk
Cook Wm. farmer and grazier
Coulson Wm. tailor
Dolby Thomas, corn factor
Dolby Wm. saddler & farmer & grzr
Dolby Mr William, sen
Gibbins Charles, farmer, grazier & vict. Granby Inn
Gilian John, relieving officer, registr. of births, deaths, and marriages, & grazier
Haines Thomas, horse clipper
Harding Isaac, town crier
Harrison Mrs Sarah, grocer & grazier
Haywood Mrs Charlotte, frmr. & grzr.
Heaton Rev. Henry, B.A. curate
Hickman Hy. tailor, draper, grocer, & patent medicine dealer
Hill Rev T. Barton, M.A. vicar of Stonsby
Hornbuckle Mrs Sarah, blacksmith, grocer, and earthenware dealer
Hubbard Arthur, bootmaker
Hubbard Robt. Road contractor
Hubbard Wm. Grazier and victualler, Wheel Inn
Jennings Hy. plumber & glazier
Johnson William, farmer and grazier
Kellam Charles, farmer, grazier, and butcher
Kellam Mrs Jane, grazier
Kellam Mark, joiner and wheelwright
Lock Arthur, farmer and grazier
Lord William, farmer and grazier
Lovett Samuel, cottage farmer and deputy register of births & deaths
Marriott Thomas, grazier
Maryan Mrs Eliza
Maryan Miss Mary, young ladies’ seminary
Matthews Henry, lace agent & market gardener
Matthews William, grocer
Morrison Thomas, grazier
Munton Mrs Mary Ann, farmer, grzr. coal merchant, and lime burner
Musson George, farmer and grazier
North William, blacksmith
Osborne John, farmer and grazier
Preston James Pickering, frmr. & grzr,
Preston Thomas, postmaster, butcher, and grazier
Rippin Mrs Eliza, farmer and grzr.
Robinson John, corn miller, maltster, and grazier
Rose Charles, grazier and victualler Royal Horse Shoes
Shaw Miss Eliza Mary, Old Rectory
Shipman Mrs Emma (Exors. Of) frmr. and grazier, Manor House
Simons Miss Elizabeth Ann, schoolmistress, Stonesby
Simons Wm. Steam thrashing machine proprietor and cottage farmer
Smith Philip, tailor, draper, & hairdrsr
Snell John, bootmaker and grazier
Teat Thos. veterinary surgeon, chemist druggist, grocer and grazier
Tinkler Edward, bricklayer & monumental mason
Toon George, grazier
Twells Rev Hy. M.A. rector and rural dean, The Rectory
Watkin Jno. baker & cottage farmer
Welborn, Thos. grazier, horse breaker, and vict. George & Dragon
Wilford John, bootmaker
Willson John, farmer and grazier
Woolerton John, tailor, drpr. & grcr
Wortley Edward, cartowner

CARRIERS-To Melton Mowbray, Jno. Hubbard (of Eaton), Hy. Brewster (of Stonesby), Thomas Mount (of Saltby), and Henry Ryder (of Branston), Tuesday


  1. It would be great to post photos and information on any of the villagers listed above. Please use the contact page to get in touch if you recognise any names.

  2. We’ve found someone! A relative of Mary Ann Munton, identified above as ‘farmer, grzr. coal merchant, and lime burner’. Link to follow.

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