The Parish was the most ancient form of Local Government in Europe and in England and has been used for some civil purposes since the 8th century. Under Elizabeth I it became responsible for Poor Law administration. Langham Parish covers an area of 2,920 acres (1182 hectares) and is eleven miles in circumference.The civil functions, as distinct from the church, grew haphazardly. The civil parish and the church parish were, and are, separate entities and had, and have, separate functions. So haphazard was the growth of these functions that before 1894 it was common to have up to six properly constituted bodies to carry out duties in the same village. These authorities included the Incumbent, Churchwardens, Overseers and the Vestry.The Local Government Act of 1894 regularised the situation and Parish Councils were formed to deal with all civil matters. The 1894 Act stood the test of time and it was not until 1972 that another Act gave wider powers to the Parish Council. Langham Parish Council Minute Books indicate that some matters have been exercising the minds of councillors from the very beginning to the present day - overgrown shrubbery; the state of the brook; unpleasant odours...•In 1899 our Council‘s expenditure was £6 2s 0d, £4,000 in 1990 and £16,000 in 2010, the equivalent of £160.00 in 1899. To explain this twenty-five fold increase, in 1899, we had no street lighting, no piped sewage or water, roads were maintained but unpaved, grass cutting was carried out by the residents abutting the verges. The church provided burial plots and allotments were privately owned. Schools, social services (Oakham Union) the police were improving but delivered a very limited service when compared to 2012.•The Parish Council elected Overseers of the Poor until 1927 •The Annual Parish Meeting is responsible for electing trustees to administer ancient village charities •The first Parish Clerk was William Almond. He held that office for 23 years and was paid £3 per annum. (His successor only received £2!) It was the duty of the Parish Council to elect a Parish Constable each year. William Hubbard held this office from 1899 until 1916. From 1917 until 1927 the office was held by William Edgson. The payment was one pound and one shilling.