Census returns provide a very useful resource for both the family and local historians, those for Wanlip are no exception.
The oldest surviving census returns start with 1841 and were repeated every 10 years thereafter except in 1941. The detailed household information is closed to public viewing for 100 years. Hence the most recent census to be opened for public scrutiny was the 1911 Census.
There is some suggestion that, given the amount of personal information that is now held at local and national government level, the recent 2011 census might be the last. This would be a sad loss to future family and local historians because they provide a valuable resource in building family trees and historical insight into local communities.
The 1911 census return is the most recent census to be made available to the public. It can be accessed via http://www.1911census.co.uk. The indexes can be searched free of charge but the detailed returns for individual households are only available on a pay-to-view basis.
The 1901 census clearly illustrates that the village is still an estate village where all the inhabitants are either serving the Lord of the manor directly or his tenants.
At that time, the only landowners were Sir Archdale R Palmer and William H Palmer, Rector. As a consequence, there was no basis of inheritance of property or employment, so the majority of the inhabitants were listed as 'Ag. Lab.' (agricultural workers) mainly born outside the parish of Wanlip.
Of the 110 inhabitants only 13 were born in Wanlip, 54 in Leicestershire, 65 in the East Midlands and 36 were born elsewhere in England. The lady of the manor, Lady Augusta Palmer was born in France as a British citizen.
The average age of the inhabitants was 28 years - a little different from today (2008)!
The 1891 Census Return for Wanlip uses the terms 'Birstall Lane' and 'Syston Lane' which helps to identify the houses or cottages to which they refer.
It would appear that what is currently called Rectory Road was then referred to as Syston Lane to the north of the school house and Birstall Lane to the south (the school is listed as Birstall Road). The terms 'Church Road' and 'Butchers Lane' are not used.