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PopulationThe Domesday Book tells us that Barrowby had 55 households. Assuming an average of five people per household this would mean about 275 adults and children. In addition Casthorpe and Stenwith may each have been home to about a hundred people each. So very approximately the best part of 500 people were resident in the parish.
The first accurate indications of how many people lived in Barrowby was the Hearth Tax return of 1665. The total of 28 hearths has led to a suggestion of 260 people. This is surprisingly close to the estimate of 275 for 1086.
The Hearth Tax enumeration of 1672 counted 125 hearths, maybe 330 people. The people with the most hearths were George Morris (8) and Thomas Hurst (6).
White's Directory for 1842 states that Barrowby's population in 1801 was 465. The source of this information seems to be the Topological Dictionary Vol.1 published in 1808.
In 1811 the first national Census was taken and every ten years thereafter (apart from 1941, but the National Register Enumeration of 1939 serves a similar purpose).
1939 642 (National Register Enumeration)
1949 734 (Crockford's Clerical Dictionary)
2021 2,500 (approximately)
With the exception of 1971 (when significant housing developments had commenced) this is a surprisingly consistent population. Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire villages with framework knitters or lacemakers often doubled in population during the heyday of these trades.
The Grantham Journal of 26 April 1856 refers to 120 people from Barrowby emigrating to America in the previous decade:- 'a large number for a village of this size'. Clearly there was not enough employment on the farms. In the next few decades a less drastic 'emigration' to the towns would be a key factor in stabilising Barrowby's population.
Also a factor was the number of people who died young. While it was typical in the Victorian era (and presumably before) for half the children to die before adulthood, once they survived to about eighteen then most could expect to live into their sixties. Not so in Barrowby where many gravestones reveal the age at death to be in the forties.
Cryer 1979 p8
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Articles about BarrowbyBarrowby's location and geology
Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Articles and web links for nearby places
rare seventeenth fonts at Muston, Bottesford and Orston from Project Gargoyle Newsletter 2020
Ironstone quarries of Leicestershire
The Grantham Canal
Croxton Kerrial manor house excavations