Leicester was first settled in 1713 and was officially incorporated in 1714.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.7 square miles (63.9 km²), of which, 23.4 square miles (60.5 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²) of it (5.35%) is water.
Leicester Ma includes three distinct villages—Leicester Center, Cherry Valley (the east side of town, near Worcester) and Rochdale (a crossroads in the southeast corner, near the Oxford line). Cherry Valley and Rochdale have separate ZIP codes from the rest of the town (01611 and 01542, respectively), but otherwise the village boundaries have no official significance, although some Cherry Valley and Rochdale residents identify more strongly with their village than the town. The village of Greenville is now considered part of Rochdale, as it falls within the 01542 ZIP code; the former villages of Mannville and Lakeside were destroyed to construct the Kettle Brook reservoir system, in northeastern Leicester, to supply water to Worcester in central ma.
The town is cut into quarters by two state highways, east-west Route 9 and north-south Route 56. Route 9 is called Main Street through Cherry Valley and most of the rest of town; it follows a bypass alignment called South Main Street around the Washburn Square area. The town is actively trying to encourage business development along the western end of Route 9. Route 56 north of the Leicester Center crossroads is Paxton Street; south, it's Pleasant Street until it detours along a bypass road, Huntoon Memorial Highway, that skirts the edge of Rochdale