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Village Location and History


Broughton Astley is in the South West of Leicestershire, about 6 miles to the East of Hinckley and about 9 miles from the centre of Leicester.
It is well placed for travel, being roughly 7 miles from two M1 motorway junctions, No. 20 (in the south, near Lutterworth) and No. 21 (in the north). The A5 and the M69 are more or less as close.

The main access road is the B581 which may be considered to link the areas of Barwell and Earl Shilton near the A47 to the small village of Dunton Bassett near the A426 (Leicester-Lutterworth-Rugby road).

* Earl Shilton*Narborough* Blaby
* Croft
* Stoney Stanton* Cosby
* Hinckley* Sapcote* Broughton Astley
*Frolesworth*Dunton Bassett
* Leire
ExternalMaps:- District
- Motorway



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Village History


Broughton Astley is a large straggling village of ancient origins, formed as an amalgamation of three communities. When the Domesday Book was written in 1086AD, shortly after the arrival in England of William The Conqueror, there were references to the districts of Broctone, Sutone and Torp.

Later Broctone became known as Broughton, Sutone became Sutton or Sutton-In-The-Elms and Torp became Primethorpe. The original names are of Saxon or Danish style, typical of the period 560-900AD. [Village Tour]

The second part of the village name,'Astley', is taken from the family name of the Lords of the Manor of Broughton in the thirteenth century. They were called in various records 'de Astley', 'de Asteley' or 'de Esteley'. By the fourteenth century Broughton Astley had been more of less established as a single entity, but the matter of land ownership is complex and during that period not all the land of the village was under a single owner.


In 1086 the combined area had under 200 inhabitants. The exact number is not known but it is probably closer to 130 than to 200. By 1800 there were about 450 people and by 1900 about 1200. The rapid expansion after 1800 follows the development of industry, mainly machine knitting on hand-operated frames.

The population census report of 1991 shows 6487 residents. Hundred of new houses have been built since then and the current number of residents is probably close to 9000.


For more than a thousand years the area was agricultural. Then came the knitting/hosiery industry, after about 1750. Later still there was some brickmaking, tailoring and shoemaking.

There is now a small estate for light industry, hosting a large food distribution centre and small manufacturing businesses.

The majority of employment is now found outside the village, for example, in the Coventry, Hickley and Leicester town areas.

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Copyright - John Peirson 2000