This village was first recorded in the Domesday Book, as Catebi. It is believed that the name of this village means Cate’s Homestead. At the time of the Domesday Book, the land was owned by Hugh of Grantmesnil, who rented the land out to Ivo.

There was 1 plough in the village. There were 7 villagers, a priest and 3 smallholders. With woodland 3 furlongs by 2furlongs, the land was valued at 20 shillings.

 The village is today known for it’s light railway, and also the church, which is famous for brass rubbing.

Article by D. Spencer



Carlton Curlieu

This village was recorded as “Carleton” in the Domesday Book. This means the village of the free peasants (ceorls). The village got the second part of its name from Robert de Curly, who held the village during the 13th Century. 

The Domesday entry for this village tells us that the King held a small amount of land in the village, but that most of the land was held by Hugh of Grantmesnil, who owned 3 ploughs and 5 slaves in the village. There were 9 villagers, 1 priest, 8 smallholders and 1 frenchman living in the village, with an additional 5 ploughs. With 16 acres of meadow in Lordship, the village was worth £4.

 Carlton stands high above the surrounding countryside on a ridge. There is a fine Jacobean Hall, and a Norman Church, although this has been much altered, with a 17th Century tower, a 14th Century font, and other large areas of the building dating from the last 3 centuries.

Article by D. Spencer



Castle Donnington

This North West Leicestershire town was recorded as Dunitone in the Domesday book. It became known as Castle Donnington to distinguish it from Donnington le Heath, a small village near Coalville. The word Dunitone mean Dunn’s Settlement.

 At the time of the Domesday survey, the village was held by The Countess Aelfeva. In lordship were 3 ploughs. There were 30 villagers, with 1 priest, 11 smallholders (with 12 ploughs) and 5 freemen. There was a mill (valued at 10s 8d) and a large area of woodland. The value was £11.

 Standing atop a hill, the centre of this village is a church, which originates from the 13th Century.

The north aisle dates back to the 14th century, and the porch s 15th Century. The castle has long gone, although many of its stones may be found in buildings around the village. The moat of the castle remains in the gardens of the houses built on its site. The castle was built by Henry de Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln and Lieutenant of England. The castle was demolished in 1595 by Sir George Hastings, the 4th Earl of Huntingdon who built a country house not far away at Donington Park. This house was rebuilt in 1795 by William Wilkins, and has spent much of its recent life as a hotel. Today the park is a well known Motor Racing Circuit and motor museum.

Also in the Castle Donnington area is East Midlands Airport, now a major airport with flights across Europe and even further afield.

 Article by D. Spencer




This village was first recorded in the Domesday Book as “torp”, which derives from “thorp” meaning an outlying farmstead. It is believed that “Cat” comes from the name of an early owner.

 The land was owned by Mainou the Breton (i.e. from Brittany) at the time of the Domesday Book. No details are given about the numbers of villagers, but we are told that he held 1½ ploughs (presumably one working and one broken plough) and  mill. The total value was 20 shillings.

 Located right at the southernmost point of the county, near the River Avon, this village has a 700 year old church, with a 13th century font. The village was home to John Dyer, who was rector at the church. He was a poet, and a friend of William Wordsworth.

 Article by D. Spencer




First recorded as “Caldeuulle” in the Domesday book, this village’s name derives from the “cald wella” meaning cold stream. At the time of the Domesday book, the village was owned by the king, who owned 2 mills at a value of 1 shilling each in the village.

There is a Norman church at the centre of this small hamlet, with a Norman font, and a 13th century tower.

 Article by D. Spencer



Church Langton

The largest of the Langton Villages of South Leicestershire, Church Langton was first recorded in the Domesday Book as Langetone, the village was at that time combined with East and West Langton. The name “Langetone” means the long settlement. In 1384 the villages were recorded as being separate. “Church”, “East” and “West” distinguish between the villages. 

The combined entry at the time of the Domesday Book tells us that the village of Langetone was owned by the Archbishop of York. In lordship were 3 ploughs and 6 slaves (2 female and 4 male). There were 20 villagers, 4 smallholders and 6 ploughs. There was 20 acres of meadow and an area 2 furlongs by 3 furlongs of woodland.  

The other Langton villages are in separate articles: East Langton, West Langton, Tur Langton and Thorpe Langton. 

The village has a very large church, with a 15th century tower, 14th century chancel and 18th century interior. Much of the roof dates back to the 15th century. The font is dated 1662, and there is also a 17th almsbox and a 19th century pulpit made of local oak.

 Article by D. Spencer




(Magna and Parva)

Claybrooke (later split into great and little) was first recorded in the Domesday Book as Claibroc, meaning the brook with a bed of clay.

 The village was held by Fulk at the time of the Domesday Survey. He was one of the Count of Meulan’s men. He held one plough and 2 slaves. There were 9 freemen, 9 villagers, 2 men at arms and 6 smallholders with 5 ploughs. The value as 55 shillings.

 The village is located only one mile from the Roman High Cross, where the Fosse Way crossed Watling Street, the spot which was considered the centre of Roman England. There have been many finds of Roman coins in the area.

 The church in Claybrooke Parva is over 600 years old and has a medieval screen.

 Article by D. Spencer




This town’s name is pretty self explanatory – the town of coal. The parish was formed in 1892, although the name was recorded as early as 1838. The few houses in the area before this time previously came under Whitwick, Ravenstone, Snibston and Swannington. Before becoming a town, the main road through Coalville, (the A50 – now the A511) was known as Long Lane, Swannington.

 The town owes its existence to the coal mining industry. A massive mine formed the heart of Coalville, the site of which is now Snibston Discovery Park. Further mines at Whitwick and Swannington also brought huge numbers of workers to the area.

When the mines closed, the future looked bleak for Coalville. However, the town survived, and is now a prospering industrial town.

 Despite being quite a “new” town, Coalville has a very interesting history, and therefore this article will be added to soon.

More work will be done on an article for Coalville soon.

 Article by D. Spencer 

See also: Mining in Leicestershire


Cold Newton

This village was recorded as Neuton in “The Book of Fees” in 1236. The name means The New Settlement. The name Cald was latter added, due to the village’s exposed location.

 The village is now abandoned, lying about 5 miles east of Leicester.

 Article by D. Spencer 


Cold Overton

This village was first recorded in the Domesday Book as Overtone, meaning Ulfera’s Settlement. The Cold comes from the villages exposed position.

 At the time of the Domesday Survey, the land was held by Drogo of La Beuvriere, who rented it out to Fulk.

 There was one plough in Lordship. There were 5 villagers, 1 priest, 4 freemen, 4 smallholders and 5 ploughs. There was 30 acres of meadow, and a further 30 acres of woodland. The village as valued at 50 shillings.

 Cold Overton is located on the Leicestershire-Rutland border, on a hill overlooking Rutland. The church is 13th Century. The present Cold Overton Hall was built in the 17th Century, but there as a far earlier house here, that was one of the manors of the Mowbrays.

 Article by D. Spencer 



Coleorton was first recorded as Ovreton in the Domesday Book. This means the settlement on the hill. The word Cole was added later, presumably as this is the heart of Leicestershire’s coal mining area.

The village was owned by Henry of Ferrers, whose descendants were until this century the owners of Staunton Harold Hall nearby. At the time of the Domesday Book, Henry rented out the land to Meginta. There was one plough, 2 smallholders and one villager, with woodland 1 furlong square. The value was 5 shillings.

Coleorton Hall was for many centuries the family home of the Beaumonts. Sir George Howland Beaumont, the owner of the hall from 1762 to 1827 was the 7th Baronet, and became a close friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge. Indeed, for over a year Wordsworth, his wife, sister, sister-in-law and children lived at Coleorton Hall Farm (1806-7). Wordsworth and Beaumont met as they were supporting Coleridge through financial difficulties, and drugs problems. 

Other visitors to Coleorton included the poets Scott, Byron, Routhey and Rogers. Sir Humphry Davy, John Constable an Benjamin Haydon also stayed at the hall.

When Sir George died, he left a variety of valuable paintings, including Rembrandts, Wilsons and Lorrains, 16 of which were left to the nation.

 Article by D. Spencer



First recorded in the Domesday Book as “Cuingestone”, this villages name meant “The King’s Settlement”. However, at the time of the Domesday book, the land was owned by two people. The first, Henry of Ferrers, rented his land out to Roger. There was one plough in Lordship. There were 10 villagers, 6 smallholders, 2 ploughs, one mill, and 3 acres of meadow. The value was 20 shillings. 

Robert the Bursar also held land there, although there was only one villager, one smallholder, and half a plough!!! The value was 2 shillings.

 Article by D. Spencer 


Copt Oak

This village was first recorded in 1230 as le Coppudhok, meaning the Pollarded Oak.

 This village is located on a hilltop in the Charnwood Forest, and it still has an original village pump. There is a small church, a pub and a few houses.

 Article by D. Spencer 


Semper Eadem © The Leicester Online History Society