Foxton....a history

The Parish of Foxton, Leicestershire dates back to settlements established 1,000 years ago.

The village has changed through the centuries and particularly with the advent of the canal system, Foxton Locks and Inclined Plane, and the start of the Industrial Revolution in the UK.

As we discover more about the settlement and its history, we add to this page.

Updates Feb - Apr 2020:

  • A comprehensive history of the village, manors, economy, mills, Parish administration, nonconformity, schools & charities
  • More on St Andrews Church
  • More on Softwell Lane & water pump (nature reserve)
  • More insight on the orchards which preceded much of the residential development in Foxton

Village history in depth

  • A comprehensive history of Foxton, Leicestershire (Word Document, 147 Kb)

    Extensive documentation relating to the history of Foxton, Leicestershire, covering Manors, Economic History, Mills, Parish Administration, St Andrews Church, Nonconformity, Schools and Charities.

  • Foxton Heritage Project (PDF, 429 Kb)

    This research document helps put dates to residential dwellings in the village of Foxton.

    The village has existed for well over 1000 years with the oldest building St Andrew's church (originally built around 1200). The settlement developed in the 11th Century and remained primarily an agricultural village up to the end of the 18th Century (see the 'Foxton Pride' orchards documents) at the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

    Please note: for context, readers should view this document along with the others on this page relating to socio/economic trends, orchards & railways.

  • Guide to St Andrews Church, Foxton (PDF, 547 Kb)

    With kind permission of the PCC, the guide book which is on sale in the church is also available for download on the Parish Council website. We are not charging for this, however, if you download a copy it would be great if you could make a small donation when you're next in the church.

  • Softwell Lane historical record (PDF, 1.6 Mb)

    From a soft water well used by villagers for centuries, to a piece of land bequeathed and transformed into a tranquil nature reserve for everyone to enjoy.

  • Softwell water pump (Word Document, 1.4 Mb)

    Image of the Softwell water pump, taken in 1920.

  • The Canal at Foxton (MS Word, 46 Kb)

    Local history expert Carl Bedford kindly updated his piece on the canal at Foxton in May 2020. This is the full article, published with kind permission.

Village housing

Village economic & social structure

Historic maps of the village

This fascinating plan from 1940 (courtesy of Carl Bedford) shows the sites of over 30 wells and pumps in Foxton at that time. In fact, it was noted that the streets in Foxton fairly closely follow the lines of spring water discovered by our ancestors. Some residents recall a time when natural spring water trickled down each of the three 'main streets' of Foxton around this time. Have you got a well or pump in your garden?!



Orchard plantations preceded much of the residential development in Foxton. This map from 1880 shows their locations.

Orchard plantations preceded much of the residential development in Foxton. This map from 1880 shows their 1880 locations, overlaid onto a modern aerial view of the village.