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Burley, Rutland

Historical Description

Burley or Burley-on-the-Hill, a large parish in Rutland, on the high ground to the N of the vale of Catmose, and 2 miles NE of Oakham station on the M.R. It has a post office under Oakham, which is the money order and telegraph office. Acreage, 3051; population, 252. The Duke of Buckingham in his mansion here entertained James I. with Ben Jonson's " Mask of the Gypsies" and had the dwarf Geoffrey Hudson served up at table, in the presence of Charles I. and his queen, in a great pasty. The mansion was burnt in the Civil Wars, but the stables belonging to it are still standing. Burley-on-the-Hill, a Grecian edifice built by Daniel, Earl of Nottingham, and now the residence of the Finch family, occupies the site of the Duke of Buckingham's mansion, is 196 feet long, commands a beautiful extensive view, and contains many family portraits and some masterpiece pictures. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Peterborough; gross value, £290 with residence, in the gift of the Finch family. The church, a fine edifice of stone in the Norman style, is pleasantly surrounded with trees.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyRutlandshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBurley Holy Cross 
Poor Law unionOakham 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1577.

Findmypast, in association with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, have the following parish records online for Burley:



Church of England

The Holy Cross (parish church)

The church of the Holy Cross is a fine edifice of stone, partly in the Norman style, dating from c. 1180-90, and consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, separated from the nave by arcades of three arches on each side, north porch and an embattled western tower containing 1 bell: the reredos, a beautiful work of carved stone, is adorned with figures of Our Saviour and of the Apostles and Evangelists, in canopied niches: the east and west. windows are both stained and there are three others: the chancel retains sedilia and a credence table and has a stone screen; the font, also of stone, is ancient; near the tower now lie two recumbent effigies of a knight in armour and a lady, probably of the 14th century; in the church is a beautiful marble monument by Chantrey, with the kneeling figure of a female, to Lady Charlotte, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Pomfret, and relict of the Right Hon. William Finch P.C., M.P. d. at St. James' Palace, 11 July, 1813: there is also a marble tablet with carved figures to Emily Eglantine, wife of the Right Hon. G. H. Finch P.C., M.P. d. 26 April, 1865, and also a brass erected to his memory by his second wife; he died 22 May, 1907: the church was restored in 1887, under the direction of J. L. Pearson esq. R.A., F.S.A.; there are 208 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Burley from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Rutland is online.


Online maps of Burley are available from a number of sites:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Rutland, 1618-19 and The Visitation of Rutland 1681-2 are available to browse on the Heraldry page.

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtLE15
Post TownOakham