About VCH Leicestershire

Hallaton in Leicestershire

Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust was formed in 2008 and registered as a charity (no. 1128575). It raises funds to enable more parish histories to be researched and published as part of the Victoria County History series.

Achievements

The map (separate link below) shows the Leicestershire parishes where work has been completed and published within the ‘red book’ series. These histories can be found in VCH Leicestershire volumes IV and V, available as published volumes or online

Work on the ‘red book’ series ceased in 1964, but a project to produce further volumes was set in motion in 2008 through the creation of a charitable trust to raise money to enable more research to be completed and published.

Thanks to the support of private donors across Leicestershire, including the Friends of Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust and members of the Trust’s 200 Club, we completed and published paperback histories of Castle Donington and of Buckminster and Sewstern in 2017.

We have also completed histories of Kirby Bellars, Leire and Welby, which are available online.

In 2013 we won the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 4 year project, Charnwood Roots, which researched the histories of 35 towns, villages and hamlets in the Charnwood area. This project involved an incredible 650 volunteers, who donated 20,000 hours of time and collected over 6,000 pieces of information, which are now held in our project databank.

Ambitions

The map demonstrates the size of the task facing us, as there are around 300 towns and villages whose histories have yet to be researched, written and published.

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have now completed a substantial amount of research across the Charnwood area, which will soon be made available to the public in the form of a database. We are currently seeking to raise money to analyse that data and turn it into parish histories, which will be published as new volumes within the Leicestershire VCH series.

For just the price of a single cup of coffee each month, you can help us by joining our Friends scheme. We also have a 200 Club, where supporters have a chance of winning a cash prize in our quarterly draws. Another 100 supporters, or an equivalent single donation, would help us to make substantial progress, and will also help us to attract grants by demonstrating public support for our project.

Current work

Work is presently underway in a number of other parishes. These include:

Lutterworth, where we are very grateful to the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society for their grant which will enable us to complete our research and publish a history of this market town in south Leicestershire. Our target date for publication is 2021.

Ibstock, where we recruited a new volunteer group in 2017, thanks to a substantial private donation, which will enable a full parish history to be researched and published in 2020.

We are a small team and welcome volunteers with appropriate experience to help with fundraising, marketing, organising events and managing our Leicestershire History website.

Staff Profiles

Dr Pam Fisher Dr Pamela Fisher, Research Manager

Pam Fisher has been interested in the history of individual places for many years, and she has been working with volunteers across Leicestershire for the VCH project since 2010. She has an MA in English Local History from the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester, and a PhD, also completed at the Centre for English Local History.

Pam’s role is to plan the research needed to produce a parish history, to recruit and provide training and one-to-one support to volunteers engaged in a range of research activities, to complete or commission the more technical research and to write and/or edit the parish histories, taking these through to publication, whether online or as paperbacks. As part of her role, she has delivered volunteer workshops on a wide range of topics, including agrarian history, landscape interpretation, church history, nonconformist history, schools, charity, the poor law and palaeography (reading old handwriting).

Draft parish histories will initially be published on this website, and shorter pieces, together with transcripts of many of the documents we have found, are on the VCH Explore pages. Selected parish histories are published as paperbacks where funding can be arranged, while others will, in due course, be incorporated into new VCH 'red book' volumes for the county.