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Grid reference: SK625005
Location: 52°35’55"N, 1°4’35"W
Population: 22,729
Post town: Leicester
Postcode: LE2
Dialling code: 0116
Local Government
Council: Oadby and Wigston

Oadby is a small town in Leicestershire, which traditionally has a reputation for being one of the most upmarket and affluent parts of the county. The town is famous for Leicester Racecourse, situated on the border between Oadby and Stoneygate, and the University of Leicester Botanic Garden.

Oadby today is predominantly a residential area for families. As is increasingly the case throughout Leicestershire, Oadby has a diverse population, ethnically and by religion.

The village is a mixture of properties, from Edwardian houses to new purpose-built accommodation blocks. These three sites are very popular with undergraduates, especially those just beginning their university career. High levels of pastoral care are provided to reflect the younger population.


Angles, Danes and Normans

The name 'Oadby' is Danish (meaning "Outi's village") or from Auðarbýr meaning "Auði's village".[1] However a village must have existed here long before the Viking Age as is shown by the existence of a pagan Anglian cemetery. The original Old English name has been lost.[2] In 1760, on Brocks Hill, evidence of an Anglian burial ground was discovered. Oadby is one of seventy Danish-named settlements in Leicestershire ending with "-by", which means village or settlement.

In the Domesday Book, 1086, Oadby's name was recorded as Oldebi. Other early forms are Oladebi, Outheby (Feet of Fines, 1199), Onderby and, finally, Oadby. When King Harold had been defeated, William the Conqueror gave Oadby to Hugh de Grandmesnil, Governor of Leicestershire, who founded the parish church of Oadby on the site of the present St Peter's Church. The tenants of the manor of Oadby were Roger who held one and half carucates, and Countess Judith who held 9 carucates and 2 bovates, and 30 acres of meadow. On the Countess's land were 46 socmen, 11 bordars and 3 serfs; 2 carucates were let to Robert de Buci.[3] The manor was held in 1444 by William Ferrers; in 1457 it was held by William Grey, Lord Ferrers of Groby. In 1541 the manor was held by John Waldron; his successor John Waldron sold it in 1629 to Sir John Lombe. In 1831 the main landed proprietors were the trustees of the late George Wyndham (patrons of the vicarage), George Legh Keck (lord of the manor) and Thomas Pares.[4]

Modern times

Oadby remained a small settlement until the late 19th century when it became a fashionable suburb for the businessmen of Leicester, such as the factory-owners of Leicester's shoe and stocking manufacturers. Many substantial houses were built in Oadby, some of which are now used by the University of Leicester.

Stoughton Road in Oadby contains 2 sets of houses of historical interest. Some of the Framework Knitters Homes date back to 1909, while the North Memorial Homes, financed by Sir Jonathan North (former Mayor of Leicester) were built in 1927 and opened in the same year by the Prince of Wales.[5] As well as a series of houses, the North Memorial Homes site also houses the North Memorial Hall, built in a neo-Georgian style, which has been leased to Oadby Evangelical Free Church since 1974.

Expansion of Oadby took place rapidly in the 20th century and is still continuing in 2012. Many residential developments have been constructed so that the population in 2001 reached 22,729.[6]

University of Leicester Oadby Student Village

Set in an affluent residential location, adjacent to the University of Leicester Botanic Garden and University Sports Facilities, the Oadby Student Village is one of the most impressive student accommodation sites in the UK.[7]


Sport and culture

  • Football:
    • Oadby Town FC
    • Oadby Owls FC (junior football)
  • Rugby Union: Leicester Tigers
  • Tennis: Oadby Granville Tennis Club
  • Swimming: Oadby and Wigston Swimming Club

Outside links


  1. Ekwall, E. (1940) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names; 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; p. 330
  2. Hoskins, W. G. (1957) Leicestershire. (The Making of the English Landscape.) London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 3, 8
  3. Curtis, J. (1831) A Topographical History of the County of Leicester. Ashby-de-la-Zouch; p. 136
  4. Curtis (1831), p. 136
  5. "Oadby and Wigston Council forward plans" (PDF). Oadby-wigston.gov.uk. http://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/Home/Planning/Forward%20Plans/attachments/misc/Adopt%20Appraisal_FWK%20NMH%20CAA%20lo.pdf. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  6. 2001 UK Census
  7. "Oadby Student Village — University of Leicester". Le.ac.uk. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/accommodation/student-accommodation/oadby-student-village. Retrieved 2013-08-08.