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Drayton shown within Leicestershire
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Drayton is a village in Leicestershire, England in the district of Harborough. It was formerly in the Parish of Easton along with the nearby villages of Bringhurst and Great Easton. It has one of the smallest churches in England. Drayton is close to the county boundary with Northamptonshire and the nearest town is Corby, in that county.
Drayton has won many awards for its "outstanding natural beauty" and continues to be at the forefront of the English village revolution.
Population and History
In the 1870s, Drayton was described as being:
- "A township in Bringhurst parish, Leicester; near the river Welland, 2 miles West of Rockingham. Pop., 126. Houses, 29. There is a Wesleyan chapel. George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, was a native" 
The village of Drayton had a population of 137 according to the 1881 census. 10 years later, the population had decreased by 32 to just 105. By 1901, this had shrunk even further, to just 93 residents. The 1911 census saw a small increase in the village's population by just 8 residents to a total of 101. 1921's census shows another decrease in population (this time only by 4) to 97 residents. After this, it once again began to rise quite significantly to 121 residents in 1931. 20 years on, following World War II, the 1951 census found a population of 99 residents, presumably due to loss of lives during the war. The 1961 census saw another gradual increase in population to 112. By the time of the 2011 census,50 years later, the population of Drayton had increased quite drastically when considering the size of the village and past population data, by 117 people to 254 residents.
Census data shows the changing number of households in the village of Drayton. The first census in 1881 showed that there were just 30 houses in the village which is not surprising considering the villages small population of just 137 in this year. By 1891, the total number of households in the village was had increased by 7 to 137 and in 1901 had decreased again to 35. Following World War 1, the 1921 census showed that the total number of houses in Drayton had decreased to 29. In 1931 it had increased once more to 37 houses. 20 years later, following World War 2, the total house number was 35 and finally, the 1961 census showed a total house number of 37. 50 years later, the 2011 census of Drayton showing a total of 96 households in Drayton.
Church of St James
The Church of St James is located on Main Street in Drayton. The Church was listed as being Grade II on 7 December 1966. St James' Church fell out of religious use in the 18th century, following the reformation, and at one point, became used as the village bakery. In 1878, George Lewis Watson of Rockingham Castle bought the building and proceeded to remodel it throughout 1878-79 into a Mission Church. It is said to be Leicestershire's smallest consecrated church.
- Wilson, John (1870–72). Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1st ed.). Edinburgh: A. Fullarton and Co. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Changing Populations of Drayton through time". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Drayton (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Vision of Britain: Changing House Number of Drayton, Leicestershire". Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "2011 census : Accommodation Type - Households 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "British Listed Buildings: Church of St James, Drayton". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "St James' Drayton - A History". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Panoramio: Drayton Village Church. St James, said to be the smallest church in Leicestershire".
Media related to Drayton, Leicestershire at Wikimedia Commons