. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

What’s In The Archive?

Swannington Heritage Trust administers the village archive which was designed by Trust member David Bagshaw and built in Keith Brookes’ joinery shop in Coalville.   The cupboard was financed by a Lottery Fund grant for millennium projects.


Archive Group Work

Physical Archive

The Archive Group meets at the village hall on alternate Monday evenings where activity comprises:

  • Scanning paper documents
  • Cataloguing the scanned paper documents and their digital versions
  • Storing scanned paper documents in archive quality, acid free, pockets that will reduce their deterioration


Digital Archive

Some of the Archive Group undertake digital archive activities on the Trust laptops during the Monday evening sessions and at home.  Activity comprises:

  • reviewing, categorising and cataloguing the Trust’s photographs and documents relating to the history and historic activities of the Trust
  • processing and cataloguing digital items sent to the Trust
  • reviewing, categorising and cataloguing digital research
  • building up a people index of names that appear in catalogued documents

Public Access To The Archive

The Trust is keen to share the fascinating history of Swannington with the public at large.

Archive Group Sessions

We are always pleased to receive visitors at our Monday evening sessions.  We are in the room on the right when entering the village hall from the main entrance.  Check the diary page for when we are there.

The room is not very big and our small team can only spare one person to help visitors, we therefore suggest that you contact us beforehand to ensure we are able to accommodate you.

Online Catalogue

You can download the Swannington Archive Catalogue 10th January 2024 to see what we have.  It contains about 2,300 items which have around 14,500 parts (a folder may contain numerous documents or photographs).  The spreadsheet can be searched using the ctrl and F keys

This extract lists all the items catalogued to the file date, but does not include additional information such as the origin, source and copyright of the items as this often includes personal data.   There is a large number of physical and digital items still to be catalogued, plus some of the catalogue entries are incomplete.  If you cannot find what you are looking for in the catalogue, email the Archive Group to see if we can help.

The archive structure is topic based comprises:

  • Families
  • Mines
  • Roads (Roads with lots of properties are split between their sides, such as the East and West sides of Main Street.  Former farms, public houses, chapels etc appear under their current house address.)
  • Transport
  • Trust
  • Village
  • Windmills

Trust Sites can be found as follows:

  • Califat Spinney – Topic = Mines, Box = Coleorton Colliery, Folder = Coleorton No2 (Califat).  There are numerous sub folders covering mining, nature and the children’s wood.
  • Gorse Field – Topic = Mines, Box = Bell Pits – Gin Pits, Folder = Gorse Field.  Most of the material re the replica horse gin is in a separate museum catalogue.
  • Hough Mill – Topic = Windmills, Box = Hough Mill.  There are numerous folders re the history and restoration of the windmill.  The families topic has details of the mill owners and milling families – Griffin, Kirby and Hough.  Most of the material re the machinery in the mill is in a separate museum catalogue.
  • Snibston No3 – Topic = Mines, Box = Snibston Colliery, Folder = Snibston No3.
  • Swannington Incline – Topic = Transport, Box = LSR – Swannington Incline.  There are numerous sub solders covering the history of the Incline, its restoration and the maintenance work.  The families who lived in the Incline Cottages and operated the engine are under the Families topic.  There are additional folders for the rest of the Leicester and Swannington Railway.

Religious Buildiings are all listed under their address (i.e. the Roads topic):-

  • Coleorton Baptist – The Rowlands
  • New Swannington Wesleyan Reform Union Church – Church Lane
  • Primitive Methodist Chapel – 2 Main Street – East Side
  • Quaker Smithy (former Quaker Meeting House and Baptist Chapel) – 34 Main Street
  • St George’s Church – Church Hill
  • Wesleyan Methodist Chapel – 43 Main Street – West Side

Public Houses are all listed under their address (i.e. the Roads topic):-

  • Anchor Inn – Anchor Lane
  • Bluebell Inn – 74 Main Street – East Side
  • Bull’s Head – 71 Main Street – West Side
  • Fountain Inn – 121 Main Street – West Side
  • Railway Inn – 44 Main Street – East Side
  • Robin Hood – Spring Lane
  • Station Inn – 6 Hough Hill

Other prominent buildings are all listed under their address (i.e. the Roads topic):-

  • 2nd Co-op Shop – Chilli ‘n’ Spice – 35 Main Street – West Side
  • Brook House – 123 Main Street – West Side
  • New Swannington School – Church Lane
  • Stone House – 53 Main Street – West Side
  • Swannington House – 64-70 Main Street – East Side
  • Swannington Primary School – 33 Main Street – West Side
  • The Grove – 58 Main Street – East Side
  • Village Hall – 81-85 Main Street – West Side

Contacting The Archive Group

Email us via the contact page, selecting the History and Archive option.

How You Can Add To The Archive

Donate Your Photos And Documents

Items can be brought to our archive sessions.  As an accredited museum with Arts Council England we only collect items within our scope and may sometimes refer you to another organisation.  We are also limited by space.

Send Us Digital Copies Of Your Photos And Documents

We appreciate that you may wish to keep family photos, centuries old deeds to your house, family diaries and other material, even though they would make a valuable contribution to the archive and help the understanding of Swannington’s history.  Technology enables you to keep your documents and photographs while providing the Trust with a digital copy.

Transcribe Wills And Conveyances

The archive contains many grants of probate (includes the will), conveyances and other documents that are not very easy to read.  With a little patience these can be transcribed so that they are much easier to read.  Extracts of documents to be transcribed are shown below.  If you feel you can help reveal fascinating insights into the past, please contact the Archive Group.  Advice on transcribing documents is provided.

Conveyance from Samuel Pickering to Charles Jones of two messuages and hereditaments in Swannington 12th March 1906
Mortgage of messuages and hereditaments in Swannington Charles Jones to Mrs M M Stableford for £140 13th March 1906
Reconveyance between the personal representatives of Mrs M M Stableford deceased and Charles Jones 29th October 1910
Grant of probate of William Willis Bailey 1848 - a mining engineer who carried out work in Swannington
Grant of probate of William Worswick 1871 - co-owner of Coleorton Colliery and owner of Swannington Colliery
Grant of probate of William Walker 1878 - a mining engineer and co-owner of Coleorton Colliery (inherited from father Benjamin Walker)
Grant of probate of Sarah Walker 1894 - widow of William Walker coal mine owner

Census Dates

The censuses were carried out on the following nominal dates:

  • 6th June 1841
  • 30th March 1851
  • 7th April 1861
  • 2nd April 1871
  • 3rd April 1881
  • 5th April 1891
  • 31st March 1901
  • 2nd April 1911
  • 24th June 1921

The 1939 register (used for ID cards and ration books) was taken on the 29th September 1939.