The historic county boundary between Leicestershire and Derbyshire is the River Mease, which runs through the village, with the village centre being on the southern (Derbyshire side), forming part of an exclave of Derbyshire.
When administrative counties were set up, this exclave was considered to be part of Leicestershire.
The railway came to Donisthorpe 1873 in the guise of the Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway, see The Battlefield Line Railway (the last existing section of the ANJR) for more details.
The village was also home to the Donisthorpe Colliery, one of the many to fall victim to the decimation of the coal mining industry. The pit closed in 1991, and the character of the village would change radically over the next decade. At the time of the closure it was very much a 'mining village', with an strong but insular sense of community and 4 local shops (including a post office). The shops proceeded to close one by one, and the former mine site was developed into a housing estate.
The population of the village leans far more heavily now towards young professionals - doctors, lawyers etc. Further signs of the departing heart of the old community came with the departure of the vicar of St John's Church in 2006. It was announced there would be no permanent replacement, and the vicarage and church hall have now fallen into disuse, the latter being condemned.
The village now has a church of occasional use, no shops, 3 pubs and DM's. DM's is the Miners' Welfare Centre, which was closed during 2005.
Donisthorpe is the surname of: