Protestant Nonconformity in Willoughby Waterleys, 1829-1916

Willoughby Waterleys is 4 miles south of Blaby and 6 miles north of Lutterworth. Various spellings of the place name occur in records, including Willoughby Waterleys and Willoughby Waterless.


In the Meeting House Return of 1829, the constable from Willoughby Waterleys submitted a ‘nil’ return.[1] This implies that there were no nonconformist congregations meeting in the village at that date. No return was made by any nonconformist congregation to the 1851 religious census.



It is recorded that there was a chapel built in 1877 for the Baptists.[2] It may have been used later by the Primitive Methodists.


Primitive Methodists

A Sunday school in association with the Primitive Methodists was mentioned in 1855,[3] and later, in 1863, a reference was made of a small thatched chapel for Primitive Methodists.[4] Much later (1916) there was a report of a chapel, said to have been built in 1877.[5] It appears to have been the chapel previously used by the Baptists.

The 1886 Ordnance Survey map (1:2500) shows a Primitive Methodist chapel in the south of the village, on Main Street. This became Willoughby Waterleys Methodist church, and is still shown as such on the 1967 Ordnance Survey map. That building still stands, and bears the date 1877. It has been converted into a private house.

[1] ROLLR QS 95/2/1/33

[2] Kelly’s Dir. (1881) p.729

[3] PO Dir. Leics. (1855)

[4] White, Hist. Gaz. & Dir. Leics. (Sheffield 1863) p.774

[5] Kelly’s Dir. (1916) p.649

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