Smisby is an ancient farming settlement deriving its name from the Old Norse of 'Smidesbie', literally Smith's Farm. The parish includes the hamlets of Annswell and Boundary. Of particular interest are St. James' Church (13th century), the Old Manor (16th century) and the village lock-up (early 18th century).

The village shop is now a private dwelling and the former school is now the day Nursery. The village also has a village hall and two pubs, one in the centre of the village, the other at Annwell place. The village including the outlying farms and houses has a population just over 200 that occupies some 110 properties. Although originally a farming settlement few inhabitants now work the land; today the village has a few small businesses though many people are commuters of the larger towns and cities.