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Ratby (St. Philip)

RATBY (St. Philip), a parish, in the union of Market-Bosworth, hundred of Sparkenhoe, S. division of the county of Leicester, 5 miles (W. by N.) from Leicester; containing, with the hamlets of Botcheston, Groby, and Newton-Unthank, 1274 inhabitants, of whom 663 are in Ratby township. This place, anciently called Rateby, is supposed by some antiquaries to have been the Ratæ of the Romans, not only from its coincidence in name, but also from its exact agreement with that station in distance from Vernometum and other stations mentioned by early writers. The Roman camp here, occupying about twelve acres, is still in a perfect state, the ditches and breastworks being distinctly marked. The parish is intersected by the road from Leicester to Ashby, and comprises an area of 6100 acres; the soil is partly a strong clay, and partly gravel. Bordering on the parish is Charnwood Forest, of which the hills form a prominent feature in the landscape; and the ancient woodlands mingle in the picturesque scenery on the north. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 5. 10.; net income, £174; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Stamford and Warrington: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1770. The church is a large ancient structure of various dates. At Groby is a chapel of ease.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.