Billesdon - a village of Leicestershire, England
Billesdon is situated to the southeast of Leicester and is now by-passed by the A47 east coast trunk road, which used to run dangerously through the village.
The village is located in the high ground of East Leicestershire, surrounded by rolling hills up to 700 ft. Billesdon Coplow, a steeply wooded tree-covered hill, is a feature of the area that can be seen from across the county. This forms a centre on several ancient trackways. Close to this is Life Hill, a curiously flat topped hill with slight embankments. Bronze and Iron Age settlement has been claimed, and finds of worked flints, Roman coins and a Saxon brooch give some indication of the length of time the area has been inhabited.
Many of the fields immediately surrounding Billesdon are classic examples of medieval ridge and furrow ploughing, preserved by being given over in later periods primarily to pasture for both sheep and cattle. This is no longer the case, as more of the higher land is given to arable, with consequential loss of hedgerows, but sheep remain a firm feature of the landscape.
The church of St John the Baptist and its font date from the 13th century.
The Old School with its sundials, was built in 1650, successor to a school attended here by George Fox, the Quaker, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, favourite of King James 1 and Charles 1.
On the village green is a 14th century cross and a memorial to those who lost their lives during the First World War.
The village has two pubs, the New Greyhound and the Queen's Head, Hoare's village shop, a Post Office, a hairdressers, a community/sports centre, a fire station and a doctors' surgery.
The population is approximately 679 (1991 census), and there are numerous clubs including amateur dramatic society and local history society.
An annual village fete is held each June and a charity show in early September.