Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states: Then, at the midwinter, was the king in Gloucester with his council.... After this had the king a large meeting, deep consultation with his council, about this land. Sent he his men over all England into each shire, it was written in Medieval Latin, was abbreviated, included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which allowed William to reassert the rights of the Crown and assess where power lay after a wholesale redistribution of land following the Norman conquest; the assessors' reckoning of a man's holdings and their values, as recorded in Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal. The name "Domesday Book" came into use in the 12th century; as Richard FitzNeal wrote in the Dialogus de Scaccario: for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity.
That is why we have called the book "the Book of Judgement"... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable. The manuscript is held at The National Archives at London. In 2011, the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online; the book is an invaluable primary source for historical economists. No survey approaching the scope and extent of Domesday Book was attempted again in Britain until the 1873 Return of Owners of Land which presented the first complete, post-Domesday picture of the distribution of landed property in the British Isles. Domesday Book encompasses two independent works; these were "Little Domesday", "Great Domesday" No surveys were made of the City of London, Winchester, or some other towns due to their tax-exempt status. Most of Cumberland and Westmorland are missing. County Durham is missing; the omission of the other counties and towns is not explained, although in particular Cumberland and Westmorland had yet to be conquered. "Little Domesday" – so named because its format is physically smaller than its companion's – is the more detailed survey, down to numbers of livestock.
It may have represented the first attempt, resulting in a decision to avoid such level of detail in "Great Domesday". Both volumes are organised into a series of chapters listing the fees, held by a named tenant-in-chief of the king, namely religious institutions, Norman warrior magnates and a few Saxon thegns who had made peace with the Norman regime; some of the largest such magnates held several hundred fees, in a few cases in more than one county. For example, the chapter of the Domesday Book Devonshire section concerning Baldwin the Sheriff lists 176 holdings held in-chief by him. Only a few of the holdings of the large magnates were held in demesne, most having been subinfeudated to knights military followers of the tenant-in-chief which latter thus became their overlord; the fees listed within the chapter concerning a particular tenant-in-chief were ordered, but not in a systematic or rigorous fashion, by the Hundred Court under the jurisdiction of which they were situated, not by geographic location.
As a review of taxes owed, it was unpopular. Each county's list opened with the king's demesne lands, it should be borne in mind that under the feudal system the king was the only true "owner" of land in England, under his allodial title. He was thus the ultimate overlord and the greatest magnate could do no more than "hold" land from him as a tenant under one of the various contracts of feudal land tenure. Holdings of Bishops followed of the abbeys and religious houses of lay tenants-in-chief and lastly the king's serjeants, Saxon thegns who had survived the Conquest, all in hierarchical order. In some counties, one or more principal towns formed the subject of a separate section: in some the clamores were treated separately; this principle applies more to the larger volume: in the smaller one, the system is more confused, the execution less perfect. Domesday names a total of 13,418 places. Apart from the wholly rural portions, which constitute its bulk, Domesday contains entries of interest concerning most of t
Hinckley is a market town in southwest Leicestershire, England. It is administered by Bosworth Borough Council. Hinckley is the second largest town in the administrative county of Leicestershire, after Loughborough. Hinckley is situated at the midpoint between the cities of Leicester and Coventry and is near to the larger town of Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Hinckley has a history going back to Anglo-Saxon times. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Hinckley was quite a large village, grew over the following 200 years into a small market town—a market was first recorded there in 1311. There is evidence of an Anglo Saxon church – the remnants of an Anglo Saxon sun-dial being visible on the diagonal buttress on the south-east corner of the chancel. In 2000, archaeologists from Northampton Archaeology discovered evidence of Iron Age and Romano-British settlement on land near Coventry Road and Watling Street. In the 17th century, the town developed producing stockings and similar items. Hinckley played a prominent part in the English Civil War.
Its proximity to several rival strongholds—the royalist garrisons at Caldicote, Ashby de la Zouch and Leicester, those of the Parliamentarians at Tamworth and Coventry, the presence of parties of troops or brigands occupying several fortified houses in nearby Warwickshire—ensured frequent visits by the warring parties. The local townsfolk were forced to decide whether to declare their allegiances or attempt to remain neutral—with the risk of having to pay levies and fines to both sides. In March 1644, Hinckley was occupied by a group of Royalist troops, though they were soon driven out by a force of Parliamentarians, who took many prisoners; the Civil War years were a unsettled time for the clergy in and around Hinckley. Parsons with parliamentary leanings like Thomas Cleveland, the vicar of Hinckley, suffered sequestration by the Leicester County Committee, like some of his "malignant" neighbours accused of visiting royalist garrisons or preaching against Parliament; the town was visited by both parliamentary and royalists troops from the rival garrisons parliamentary troops from Tamworth and Astley Castle in Warwickshire.
Troops from Coventry garrison were active in the town, taking horses and "free quarter" and availing themselves of'dyett and Beere', taking some of the inhabitants hostage for ransom. Royalist troops raided the town to threaten those with parliamentary sympathies; the notorious Lord Hastings of Ashby de la Zouch is recorded to have "coursed about the country as far as Dunton and Lutterworth and took near upon a hundred of the clergymen and others, carried them prisoners … threatening to hang all them that should take the Parliament's Covenant". Parliamentary newssheets record that on the night of 4 March 1644, Hastings's men brought in "26 honest countrymen from several towns" intending to take them to Ashby de la Zouch, along with a huge herd of cattle and horses from the country people and a minister named Mr Warner; these prisoners were herded into Hinckley church and asked "in a jeering manner,'Where are the Round-heads your brethren at Leicester? Why come they not to redeem you?'" The Parliamentarians responded in a memorable "Skirmish or Great Victory for Parliament".
Colonel Grey with 120 foot-soldiers and 30 troopers from Bagworth House rushed to Hinckley and re-took the town, routed the Royalists, rescued the cattle and released their imprisoned countrymen. No doubt the inhabitants of the town were as relieved as any when Ashby surrendered, as Vicars records, "a great mercy and mighty preservation of the peace and tranquility of all those adjacent parts about it." At the time of the first national census in 1801, Hinckley had a population of 5,158: twenty years it had increased by about a thousand. The largest industry in the early 19th century was the making of hosiery and only Leicester had a larger output of stockings. In the district, it was estimated. Joseph Hansom built the first Hansom cab in Hinckley in 1835. In 1899 A Cottage Hospital was built to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria two years earlier. Money was raised by the local townspeople and factory owners notably John and Thomas Atkins who had a hand in building many of the key buildings of Hinckley.
The corner stone was laid by Sir John Fowke Lancelot Rolleston. This hospital was central to the people of Hinckley and supported by local workers who donated one penny a week for its upkeep until it was adopted by the NHS in 1948. Over the years it expanded to align with the town. Sadly now, this historic beautiful building, appears dilapidated in some areas and is threatened with closure and demolition by West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Properties LTD; the local community is facing a fight to save it for the town and petitions gave been signed both online and on paper. The area was subject to new housing developments in the 1960s and 1990s. Hinckley became an urban district under the Local Government Act 1894, covering the ancient parish of Hinckley. In 1934, under a County Review Order, Hinckley urban district expanded to include the ancient parishes of Barwell and Earl Shilton and most of Stoke Golding. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972 the Hinckley urban district was abolished, becoming an unparished area in the borough of Hinckley and Bosworth.
Since the civil parishes of Barwell, Earl Shilton and Stoke Golding have been re-established. The core urban area remained unparished. Hollycroft and Wykin are suburbs of Hinckley. Burbage is thought to be a suburb o
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, Derbyshire to the north-west; the border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street. Leicestershire takes its name from the city of Leicester located at its centre and administered separately from the rest of the county; the ceremonial county has a total population of just over 1 million, more than half of which lives in'Greater Leicester'. Leicestershire was recorded in the Domesday Book in four wapentakes: Guthlaxton, Framland and Gartree; these became hundreds, with the division of Goscote into West Goscote and East Goscote, the addition of Sparkenhoe hundred. In 1087, the first recorded use of the name was as Laegrecastrescir. Leicestershire's external boundaries have changed little since the Domesday Survey; the Measham-Donisthorpe exclave of Derbyshire has been exchanged for the Netherseal area, the urban expansion of Market Harborough has caused Little Bowden in Northamptonshire to be annexed.
In 1974, the Local Government Act 1972 abolished the county borough status of Leicester city and the county status of neighbouring Rutland, converting both to administrative districts of Leicestershire. These actions were reversed on 1 April 1997, when Rutland and the City of Leicester became unitary authorities. Rutland became a distinct Ceremonial County once again, although it continues to be policed by Leicestershire Constabulary; the symbol of the county council, Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Leicester City FC, is the fox. Leicestershire is considered to be the birthplace of fox hunting. Hugo Meynell, who lived in Quorn, is known as the father of fox hunting. Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough have associations with fox hunting, as has neighbouring Rutland. Leicestershire and Herefordshire are the only three English counties lacking a registered flag. A design was proposed for Leicestershire in 2017 based on symbols associated with the county – a fox and a cinquefoil; the River Soar together with its tributaries and canalisations constitutes the principal river basin of the county, although the River Avon and River Welland through Harborough and along the county's southern boundaries are significant.
The Soar rises between Hinckley and Lutterworth, towards the south of the county near the Warwickshire border, flows northwards, bisecting the county along its north/south axis, through'Greater' Leicester and to the east of Loughborough where its course within the county comes to an end. It continues north marking the boundary with Nottinghamshire for some 10 kilometres before joining the River Trent at the point where Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire meet; the geographical centre of England is in Leicestershire, near Fenny Drayton in the southwest of the county. In 2013, the Ordnance Survey calculated. A large part of the north-west of the county, around Coalville, forms part of the new National Forest area extending into Derbyshire and Staffordshire; the highest point of the county is Bardon Hill at 278 metres, a Marilyn. 150–200 metres and above in nearby Charnwood Forest and to the east of the county around Launde Abbey. The lowest point, at an altitude of about 20 metres, is located at the county's northernmost tip close to Bottesford where the River Devon flowing through the Vale of Belvoir leaves Leicestershire and enters Nottinghamshire.
This results in an altitude differential of around 257.5 metres and a mean altitude of 148.75 metres. The population of Leicestershire is 609,578 people; the county covers an area of 2,084 km2. Its largest population centre is the city of Leicester, followed by the town of Loughborough. Other large towns include Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Hinckley, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Oadby and Lutterworth; some of the larger of villages are:Burbage Birstall, Broughton Astley, Castle Donington, Kibworth Beauchamp, Great Glen, Ibstock and Kegworth. One of the most expanding villages is Anstey, which has seen a large number of development schemes; the United Kingdom Census 2001 showed a total resident population for Leicester of 279,921, a 0.5% decrease from the 1991 census. 62,000 were aged under 16, 199,000 were aged 16–74, 19,000 aged 75 and over. 76.9% of Leicester's population claim they have been born in the UK, according to the 2001 UK Census. Mid-year estimates for 2006 indicate that the population of the City of Leicester stood at 289,700 making Leicester the most populous city in East Midlands.
The population density is 3,814/km2 and for every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Leicester, 38.5% had no academic qualifications higher than 28.9% in all of England. 23.0% of Leicester's residents were born outside of the United Kingdom, more than double than the English average of 9.2%. Engineering has long been an important part of the economy of Leicestershire. John Taylor Bellfounders co
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Hundred (county division)
A hundred is an administrative division, geographically part of a larger region. It was used in England, some parts of the United States, Southern Schleswig, Finland and Norway, it is still used in other places, including South Australia, The Northern Territory. Other terms for the hundred in English and other languages include wapentake, herad, hérað, härad or hundare, Satakunta or kihlakunta and cantref. In Ireland, a similar subdivision of counties is referred to as a barony, a hundred is a subdivision of a large townland; the use of "hundred" for a division of a county has what the OED describes as an "exceedingly obscure" etymology. It may once have referred to an area of 100 hides, though a "hide" is not a specific area: instead it was conceptually the amount of land required to support a family. Alternatively it may have been based on the area liable to provide 100 men under arms, or because it was an area settled by 100 men at arms. There was an equivalent traditional Germanic system, in Old High German a huntari, a division of a gau, but the OED believes that the link between the two is not established.
In England a hundred was the division of a shire for military and judicial purposes under the common law, which could have varying extent of common feudal ownership, from complete suzerainty to minor royal or ecclesiastical prerogatives and rights of ownership. Until the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894, hundreds were the only used assessment unit intermediate in size between the parish, with its various administrative functions, the county, with its formal, ceremonial functions; the term "hundred" is first recorded in the laws of Edmund I as a measure of land and the area served by a hundred court. In the Midlands, they covered an area of about 100 hides, but this did not apply in the south; the Hundred Ordinance, which dates to the middle of the century, provided that the court was to meet monthly, thieves were to be pursued by all the leading men of the district. The name of the hundred was that of its meeting-place. During Norman times, the hundred would pay geld based on the number of hides.
To assess how much everyone had to pay, a clerk and a knight were sent by the king to each county. There would be two knights from each hundred. After it was determined what geld had to be paid, the bailiff and knights of the hundred were responsible for getting the money to the sheriff, the sheriff for getting it to the Exchequer. Above the hundred was the shire, under the control of a sheriff. Hundred boundaries were independent of both parish and county boundaries, although aligned, meaning that a hundred could be split between counties, or a parish could be split between hundreds. Exceptionally, in the counties of Kent and Sussex, there was a sub-division intermediate in size between the hundred and the shire: several hundreds were grouped together to form lathes in Kent and rapes in Sussex. At the time of the Norman conquest of England, Kent was divided into seven lathes and Sussex into four rapes; the system of hundreds was not as stable as the system of counties being established at the time, lists differ on how many hundreds a county had.
In many parts of the country, the Domesday Book contained a radically different set of hundreds from that which became established. The numbers of hundreds in each county varied widely. Leicestershire had six, whereas Devon, nearly three times the size, had 32. Over time, the principal functions of the hundred became the administration of law and the keeping of the peace. By the 12th century, the hundred court was held twelve times a year; this was increased to fortnightly, although an ordinance of 1234 reduced the frequency to once every three weeks. In some hundreds, courts were held at a fixed place; the main duty of the hundred court was the maintenance of the frankpledge system. The court was formed of freemen. According to a 13th-century statute, freeholders did not have to attend their lord's manorial courts, thus any suits involving them would be heard in a hundred court. For serious crimes, the hundred was under the jurisdiction of the Crown. However, many hundreds came into private hands, with the lordship of the hundred being attached to the principal manor of the area and becoming hereditary.
Helen Cam estimated that before the Conquest, over 130 hundreds were in private hands. Where a hundred was under a lord, a steward, acting as a judge and the chief official of the lord of the manor, was appointed in place of a sheriff; the importance of the hundred courts declined from the 17th century, most of their powers were extinguished with the establishment of county courts in 1867. The remaining duty of the inhabitants of a hundred to make good damages caused by riot was ended by the Riot Act 1886, when the cost was transferred to the county police rate
Market Bosworth is a small market town and civil parish in western Leicestershire, England. At the 2001 Census, it had a population of 1,906. In 1974, Market Bosworth Rural District merged with Hinckley Rural District to form the district of Hinckley and Bosworth. Building work at the old Cattle Market and other sites has revealed evidence of settlement on the hill since the Bronze Age. Remains of a Roman villa have been found on the east side of Barton Road. Bosworth as an Anglo-Saxon village dates from the 8th century. Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, there were two manors at Bosworth one belonging to an Anglo-Saxon knight named Fernot, some sokemen. Following the Norman conquest, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, both the Anglo-Saxon manors and the village were part of the lands awarded by William the Conqueror to the Count of Meulan from Normandy, Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester. Subsequently, the village passed by marriage dowry to the English branch of the French House of Harcourt.
King Edward I gave a royal charter to Sir William Harcourt allowing a market to be held every Wednesday. The village took the name Market Bosworth from 12 May 1285, on this day became a "town" by common definition; the two oldest buildings in Bosworth, St. Peter's Church and the Red Lion pub, were built during the 14th century; the Battle of Bosworth took place to south of the town in 1485 as the final battle in the Wars of the Roses between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Following the discovery of the remains of Richard III in Leicester during 2012, on Sunday 22 March 2015 the king's funeral cortège passed through the town on its way to Leicester Cathedral for his reburial; this event is now commemorated with a floor plaque in front of the war memorial in the town square. In 1509 the manor passed from the Harcourts to the Grey family. In 1554, following the beheading of Lady Jane Grey, the manor of Bosworth was among lands confiscated in the name of Mary I of England and her husband Philip II of Spain.
They awarded the manor to the Catholic nobleman Edward Hastings. In 1567, his heirs sold it to Lord Mayor of London, who never lived in Bosworth; the first Dixie to live in Bosworth was his grand-nephew, Sir Wolstan Dixie of Appleby Magna, who moved to the town in 1608. He started construction of a manor house and park, as well as establishing the free Dixie Grammar School; the modern hall, Bosworth Hall, was the work of 2nd Baronet. In 1885 the 11th Baronet'Beau' Dixie was forced to auction Bosworth Hall to pay his gambling debts, it was bought by Lady Agnes Tollemache, whose husband Charles Tollemache Scott enlarged the estate, planted woodlands and rebuilt the lodges and farms. Lady Agnes' daughter sold the estate in 1913; the War Memorial in the town square honours 19 local men who died in the First World War, 11 men dead in the Second World War. This includes people born, having lived in Market Bosworth. William Bradshaw – Puritan Dr. John Charles Bucknill – asylum reformer, psychiatrist Sir Charles Carter Chitham, policeman in British India Richard Dawes – Latin scholar Lady Florence Dixie – wife of the 11th baronet.
Revised his father's book Leicestershire Words and Proverbs, Davey Graham - influential folk guitarist, born at Bosworth Infirmary and commemorated with a blue memorial plaque James Holden – electronic music producer Thomas Hooker – Puritan, founder of Connecticut Samuel Johnson – essayist and lexicographer. C. in the 1920s Thomas Simpson – mathematician Ollie Smith - England international rugby player began his career with Market Bosworth RFC The Town entered into the Britain in Bloom competition on the 500th anniversary of the battle in 1985. Floral decorations were displayed around the town; the success of this entry caused the formation of the "Bosworth in Bloom Committee", to prepare for more displays. In 2012 -- the Town won a Gold Award; the town has two football teams, AFC Market Bosworth and Market Bosworth FC. Both have teams across various age groups from under 5s to over 35s; the triathlon club and cricket club are based at the same ground as Market Bosworth FC, the sports and social club.
The town has a rugby club and a tennis club. The facilities within Market Bosworth are good for a town of its size; the market square is in the centre of the town, surrounded by various shops, including craft shops, small cafes, a traditional butchers and green grocers store, a bank and estate agents. A regular market takes place on monthly Sunday Farmers' Markets; the town has three schools, Market Bosworth Primary and Junior School, The Market Bosworth School, the private Dixie Grammar School, three churches, Anglican and Free Church, a fire statio
Desford is a village and civil parish in the Hinckley and Bosworth district, 7 miles west of the centre of Leicester. The parish includes the hamlets of Botcheston and Newtown Unthank and a scattered settlement at Lindridge; the population at the 2011 census had increased to 3,930. At Lindridge about 1 mile north of the town is a rectangular moat up to 13 yards wide enclosing an area about 115 yards by 127 yards. In the 19th century it was temporarily drained and six early 14th century pottery vessels were found. A building such as a manor house is to have stood on the island created by the moat; the moat is a scheduled monument. There are records of a manor at Desford from at least the 15th century; the Old Hall or Old Manor House in Desford High Street is a gable-roofed building with an irregular front of four bays, dating from about 1600 or a few years thereafter. It has a timber frame; the house has a two-storeyed porch. Attached to the house is an early 18th-century service wing built of brick in Flemish bond.
The Manor House and its attached buildings are Grade II* listed buildings. The Church of England parish church of Saint Martin has a Norman font but the present building appears to be late 13th century; the chancel includes two lancet windows. There is a south aisle with an arcade; the west tower and spire are Perpendicular Gothic and therefore later: a window in the tower west wall is 14th century. The architect Stockdale Harrison of Leicester restored St. Martin's in 1884; the tower has a ring of six bells, all cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough in 1912. St. Martin's is a Grade II* listed building. St. Martin's parish is part of a united benefice with Peckleton. Desford has a free church, a member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. Desford's common lands were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1759; the Leicester and Swannington Railway was built through the parish in 1832. It passes within 0.6 miles of the town and Desford railway station was built at Newtown Unthank to serve the parish.
The Midland Railway took over the line in 1845 and had extended it to Burton-on-Trent by 1848. British Railways withdrew passenger services in 1964 and today the Leicester to Burton upon Trent Line carries only goods traffic. Caterpillar Inc. is now a significant employer in the parish. South of the town and Sigrist had created Desford Aerodrome on Carts Field plus land in the adjoining Peckleton parish by 1936, it was a flying training school, with George E. Lowdell as its Chief flying Instructor; the majority of aeroplanes used were De Havilland Tiger Moth single engined biplanes. An early form of flight simulator was used and was visible from the public road. Leicester Aero Club used the aerodrome. Early in 1939 Lowdell flew the first flight of the New Malden-built Reid and Sigrist R. S.1 Snargasher from Desford. The aerodrome has been redeveloped as an industrial site; the parish has three public houses, two in Desford: the Blue Bell, Lancaster Arms and the Greyhound in Botcheston. Desford has a secondary school, Bosworth Academy.
Desford has a public library and a sports club. Tropical Birdland, a visitor attraction exhibiting many bird species, is at Desford. Hoskins, W. G.. The Heritage of Leicestershire. Leicester: City of Leicester Publicity Department. P. 16. Pevsner, Nikolaus. Leicestershire and Rutland; the Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Pp. 94–95. Tropical Birdland Map sources for Desford