Barton in the Beans

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Barton in the Beans
Crossroads at Barton on the Beans - - 483096.jpg
Crossroads at Barton in the Beans
Grid reference: SK396063
Location: 52°39’-0"N, 1°25’12"W
Local Government
Council: Hinckley and Bosworth

Barton in the Beans is a small village in Leicestershire, close to Shackerstone and sharing its civil parish.

There are no shops or pubs here, only a Baptist church and a post box. It was in the 18th century an important centre for the Baptist Church and the minister at Barton was the notable clockmaker Samuel Deacon (1746-1816). The population ca. 1830 was 177.

One of the earliest mentions of this place is in the Domesday Book where it is listed amongst the lands given to Hugh de Grandmesnil[1] by the King (the land required half a plough and there were two acres of meadow). During the Middle Ages the land passed through many hands including several members of the family of Hastings.


This is one of numerous places across the British Isles with the name "Barton", which is from the Old English [ge]bur tun: farmer's village. Barton in the Beans and Barton in Nottinghamshire were once known both known in ecclesiastical records as "Barton-in-Fabis", which is Latin for "Barton in Beans": the Latin form has been adopted in Nottinghamshire's village, which is called Barton in Fabis.[2]

In Domesday Book both are just 'Bartone' and later usage has varied.

A popular saying in the county is "Shake a Leicestershire man by the collar and you may hear the beans rattle in his belly": the author John Benjamin Firth quotes this from a contributor to Magna Britannia, 1820.[3] Leicestershire was once noted for cultivating the broad bean (Vicia faba).[4]

Baptists, clockmakers and leeches

Samuel Deacon settled at Barton around 1765 and set up in business as a clockmaker. His workshop was preserved by his successors and after many years of continuous use is now in the collections of the Leicester Museum.

Deacon was a leader of the General Baptist sect and the author of many works, including his autobiography.[5][6]

John Goodman (born 1765) was a Baptist preacher who hired out leeches for bloodletting. The leeches came from lakes in Cheshire and North Wales through which Goodman would wade with bare legs.[7]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Barton in the Beans)


  1. Domesday Book: a Complete Transliteration. London: Penguin, 2003; p. 656 ISBN 0-14-143994-7
  2. Firth, J. B. (1926) Highways and Byways in Leicestershire. London: Macmillan; pp. 420-422
  3. Firth, J. B. (1926) Highways and Byways in Leicestershire. London: Macmillan; p. 422
  4. Evans, Arthur Benoni (1881) Leicestershire Words, Phrases, and Proverbs. London: Trübner & Co.; p. 101, p. 299 "Bean-belly: an epithet of Leicestershire"
  5. Nichols, John (1795-1815). History of the County of Leicester. Vol. 3. London: John Nichols
  6. Leicestershire Clocks [and] the Deacon Workshop; compiled by the Earl Shilton Old Clock Club, 2002-05. Issue 2: 2005. CD-ROM
  7. Palmer, Roy (1985) The Folklore of Leicestershire and Rutland. Wymondham, Leicestershire: Sycamore Press; p.74