. . . . . . . . Trust awarded Kings Award For Voluntary Service . . . . . . . . Christmas at the Mill - Sunday 3rd December 2pm . . . . . . . . . . .

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.

The archive comprises:

Physical Archive

Paper documents, booklets, printed photographs and maps that are housed in the archive cupboard in the village hall.  They are stored in category files and trays.  Categories comprise:

  • Chapels, Church, Families, General, Heritage Paintings
  • Institutions, Newspapers, Now and Then Magazines
  • Properties, Quakers, Quilt, School, Swannington Maps
  • Transport, Trust Site Maps, WW1, WW2


Digital Archive

Trust laptops hold digital items comprising:

  • copies of some of the items in the physical archive
  • copies of recent research at Records Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland
  • copies of other research
  • items sent to the Trust by email
  • photographs of Trust events, sites, artefacts and volunteer activities


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 30th March 2020 to see what we have.  It contains 1,668 items which have 4,359 parts (a folder of photographs may contain dozens of photographs, a document may comprise several pages).

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.   The following may assist you in understanding the catalogue:

  • As well as the archive material the catalogue includes artefacts held by the Trust.
  • There is a large number of physical and digital items still to be catalogued.  If you cannot find what you are looking for in the catalogue, email the Archive Group to see if we can help.
  • Reference numbers commencing with P = permanent collection, S = secondary collection, L = on loan to the Trust, T = Trust photographs.


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

The 1921 census is due to be released in 2022.

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