top of page


Background to the project

I came to live in Sileby just under thirty years ago. At the time of my arrival the village was in the last throws of its industrial phase.


I wanted to know more about the history of the village and I took it upon myself to find what was out there, both locally and in the various archives offices.


For the first few years I consulted various local and national archive record indexes and then I took even more time to scout out and start transcribing and interpreting those records. It involved numerous visits to county record offices and to the National Archives in London.

I quickly found out that many of Sileby's records either didn't exist anymore, were lost or were scattered in many repositories across England and as far away as California. There was no estate archive to consult like at Rothley. Manorial records haven't survived in great numbers and those that do are not all in public archives. Important local church records have been lost, so there's no pre-Victorian churchwardens or overseers accounts. Other historical material such as property deeds and papers are mainly in private hands. So, the project started with copying as many Sileby documents that I could borrow.

Therefore, from the start I was transcribing documents, indexing sources, conducting fieldwork, writing to archivists and building a collection of media to illustrate the village, in particular its vanished buildings and landscapes. And it is something I am still doing. Over time many people and organisations have graciously given their time, historical material (to donate, loan, copy, etc), expertise and artefacts to the Sileby History Project and the archive.  


After nearly thirty years there's quite an archive of material, and much of it has been sorted or indexed into specific repositories, subjects, record types, and the like. Also, various databases have been created, capturing data from important record sets such as Sileby births deaths and marriages, census material, wills, tax returns, even house reconstitution. From it all, a good impression of the development of Sileby's community can be gleaned.

The Sileby History website (

To take information to a wider audience I started looking at the option of the internet and social media. I'd been toying with a local history website idea for some years; first of all thinking about publishing transcripts of important Sileby documents. However, I think that a website charting the main themes of Sileby's past would be more interesting and beneficial, and that is the direction I am going in. I've decided that a narrative approach would be best to avoid the hundreds of references needed to populate a normal history. Plus, it's far easier to read! As a website creator this is my first attempt at a public website, a huge learning curve.


The Sileby History website is not for profit and I aim to keep that stance. 

No website like this is ever complete. The scope is enormous. Publishing it without all the component pages seems the only way that I can get it out there without waiting years for me to write all the other pages. 

A final word for those that have helped along the way. Peter Campbell, my fellow Heritage Warden has been the driving force for many exhibitions and in the sharing of mountains of information and material. The late John Whittington and Geoffrey Rose for the same reasons. And lastly, the disbanded Sileby Heritage Group whose enthusiasm and funding have made this project possible. There are also many,many others who I've hopefully mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.

Please enjoy.




Public exhibitions of Sileby's history were produced by Sileby's Heritage Wardens and Heritage Group in

2007, 2009 and 2014


Transcribed documents by subject


Transcribed Manorial Records


Transcribed Tax Records

Sileby Parish Index_edited.jpg

Excerpt from the 'Sileby Parish Index' database :

A listing of villager's records of birth, baptism, marriage and burials made in various denominational registers from 1568 to 1920


Yesterday Today - Sileby history exhibition poster 2014

Design : © Peter Campbell

bottom of page