Notable Leicestershire villages in 1839
Seleby is on the right bank of the Soar, near Mount Sorrel. It has a fine church with a handsome tower, an endowed school, and several dissenting places of worship. Syston is on the road from Leicester to Melton ; it has a large church with a square tower. Both these villages are in the hundred of East Goscote, and had a population, in 1831, of 1,491 and 1,349 respectively. The stocking manufacture is carried on in them to a considerable extent.
Wimeswould is in East Goscote hundred, near the border of the county, on the road from Leicester to Newark. The population, in 1831, was 1,276 ; the chief manufacture is that of lace.
Woodhouse is in West Goscote hundred, near Mount Sorrel ; the population in 1831 was 1,262 ; the inhabitants are engaged in the stocking manufacture.
Castle Donnington, in the same hundred, is on the border of the county, on the road from Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Nottingham. The population of the parish in 1831 was 3,182 : about 100 of the inhabitants were engaged in manufactures. There are the remains of an old castle, from which the parish gets its name, and a noble park and mansion, the residence of the marquis of Hastings. The house is modern, built of stone round a court-yard ; the architecture is Gothic. It contains a valuable collection of paintings.
Sheepshead, between Ashby and Loughborough, had, in 1831, a population of 3,714. The stocking manufacture gives employment to 500 hands. In the middle of the village is a stone cross, consisting of a single shaft, standing on steps. There are several dissenting meeting-houses.
At Whitwick, near Ashby, in West Goscote hundred ; at Great Wigston, Oadby, Blaby, Cosby, Countessthorpe, and Whetstone, near Leicester, and in Guthlaxton hundred ; at Southfield in the same hundred, near Lutterworth ; at Earl Shelton, Burbage, Barwell, and Sapcote, all near Hinckley, in Sparkenhoe hundred ; at Thurmaston in East Goscote, and Austey in West Goscote, and at Enderby and Narborough in Sparkenhoe hundred, all near Leicester, from one hundred to three hundred stocking-weavers are employed. This constitutes, in fact, the staple manufacture of the county, and gives employment in all to upwards of ten thousand workmen, more than half of whom are at Leicester or Loughborough, or at other places in West Goscote hundred.