Since 1974 the civil parish has been renamed Knossington and Cold Overton. It has been a designated conservation area since 1977.
Knossington is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, having 31 households, in the hundred of Gartree. In the south of the village is the Manor House, dating from the 16th or early 17th century. The west side of the village is dominated by the grounds of Knossington Grange, a large Tudor style mansion built in the late 19th century, now a school. The 14th-century St Peter's church, restored in 1830, is a Grade II* listed building.
Between 1894 and 1936 Knossington was a civil parish in Melton Mowbray Rural District and from 1936 until 1974 in the Melton and Belvoir Rural District. In 1936 it absorbed the neighbouring parish of Cold Overton.
The parish was part of Melton Mowbray Rural District from 1894 until 1935 when the rural district was abolished and replaced by the Melton and Belvoir Rural District which covered a larger area. A year after the introduction of the new rural district its parishes were reorganized and reduced in number from 68 to 25.
In 1974 a new nationwide organization of local government was introduced in which rural and urban districts were replaced by "non-metropolitan" districts. In the northeast of Leicestershire this meant little save for the fact that the principal town of Melton Mowbray, formerly a separate urban district, was now governed by the same body (Melton District or Borough) as the rural area that surrounded it.
Maps on the place-pages for Belvoir Rural District and Melton and Belvoir Rural District illustrate the location of the various parishes and the geographical and administrative changes that occurred in 1936.