Cosby, Leicestershire

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52°33.1′N1°11.6′W / 52.5517°N 1.1933°W / 52.5517; -1.1933

Cosby Village centre Cosby village centre.jpg
Cosby Village centre

Cosby is a village in the English county of Leicestershire. Cosby is located in the south west of the county near the larger villages and towns of Whetstone, Blaby and Wigston. Its proximity to the city of Leicester means it is part of the Leicester Urban Area. The village is administered by Blaby District Council. Cosby has a brook which runs through the village and eventually serves as a tributary to the River Soar.


It is not known how the name originated, and it is first recorded as "Cossebi" in the Domesday Book in 1086 with 40 families living in the village. Cosby was described as a "considerable village" in 1810 (with a population of 555) by historian John Nichols. In 1991 it had a population of 3,400 and in 2001 a population of 3,489, increasing to 3,506 at the 2011 census. [1]

Cosby's 'Scandinavian' place name indicates that the village existed here several hundred years earlier, dating to the time of the Danish invasion in the earlier parts of the 9th century. However it is possible that there may have been an even earlier settlement here in Saxon or even Roman times given that the Fosse Way bounds the parish to the north.

The parish church is the 14th century St Michael and All Angels'. It also has Methodist and Baptist churches. Cosby has two schools, Cosby Primary School and independent school Brooke House Day School. Cosby has football, rugby and cricket teams which all participate in Leicestershire's sporting leagues. The teams play their home games at Victory Park.

Close to the church is the early 17th century house known as Brooks Edge. This is the historic home of the Armston family who lived in the village for more than 800 years. One member of this pro-Royalist family escaped after the battle of Naseby and hid out in Whetstone Gorse. Cromwell's soldiers questioned many people as to his whereabouts, including his small son who refused to divulge his father's hiding place. According to the legend this took place in the family home at Brooks Edge and was celebrated in William Fredrick Yeams' famous painting "When Did You Last See Your Father".

In 1767, the medieval open fields of the village were enclosed by Act of Parliament, bringing to an end the system of agriculture, which had been practiced in Cosby from before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The post enclosure revolution in farming resulted in Cosby becoming a more industrial village with framework knitting followed by boot and shoe manufacture dominating the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this period, the population of the village more than doubled from 555 in 1801 to 1,351 in 1901.

Council houses were built along Park Road and in Lady Leys during the 1920s and 1930s, while the Settlement was established in 1938 when 48 houses each with a third of an acre to house out of work families from Wales and the North East of England. By 1951 the population had risen to 1,533, five times that of the village in the 17th century. In the 1960s large private housing estates were also built making the village one of Leicestershire's increasing number of dormitory settlements.

The Great Central Railway, the last main line to be built from the north of England to London, opened on 15 Mar 1899 and ran past the east side of Cosby on an embankment. Although there was never a station at Cosby, this section of the line was well known for the lengthy curve which for northbound trains was to the right (east), after coming out of which the city of Leicester would be directly ahead and the route would be almost ruler straight all the rest of the way to the centre of the city, a distance of almost 5 miles (8 km). Railwaymen referred to this curve as Cosby Corner. The line closed on 5 May 1969; today the rear gardens of many adjacent homes have been extended up over the embankment.

The "Victory Show", a commemoration of World War II, is held at Foxlands Farm on a 100-acre site in September and is the largest event in the country. The show hosts re-enactments of military events.


Cosby has a non-league football team Saffron Dynamo F.C., who play at King's Park, Cambridge Road, in the United Counties League Division One. [2]

In 2009, Sir Garfield Sobers came to the village at a special evening when he talked about his cricket career. The former West Indies captain returned a few days later to join members who had successfully bid to play a round of golf with him. His visits came during a busy spell for Cosby when they hosted the County Championship at the end of June of that year.

In September 2011, Cosby's Lucy Garner sprinted to victory in Copenhagen to claim the Junior Women's World Championship. She finished in the Top 3 of the 2011 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award category. In May 2012, Garner added the National Junior Road Race title to her Junior World Title.

In the 2014-15 football season, Cosby United won an unprecedented treble by winning the Leicester and District Premier Division title, County Cup and League Cup.

In the 2017-18 rugby season, Cosby won the Leicestershire Merit C league title, losing just one game - a home defeat to Burbage 2nds. They exacted their revenge on Burbage though by winning at their ground, 17-15, in the final league game of the season in a top of the table title decider. In the football, Cosby United won the Leicester and District Premier Division title after beating Glenfield Town 7-1 in their final game of the season.

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  1. "Civil Parish population 2016". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. Uhlsport United Counties Football League: SAFFRON DYNAMO FC – Uhlsport United Counties Football League, accessdate: February 5, 2020

Coordinates: 52°33.1′N1°11.6′W / 52.5517°N 1.1933°W / 52.5517; -1.1933