Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lost houses ... found!

Carnegie Library

Where else but … in the library!

Read on to find out  more ...!

Just one of the display cabinets in the library
If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’ve probably gathered that I’m quite keen on houses, and had long been planning a blog post on Loughborough’s grand houses that had been demolished, but the display by those wonderful volunteers in the local studies library in town have beaten me to it! However, I think I can still provide some information here on the blog, since I would imagine that not all of you will be able to get to the exhibition in the library. If you do live close enough to visit, I would highly recommend this exhibition which has been put together by the wonderful folk who volunteer in the local studies section of Loughborough public library. I believe the exhibition is on throughout September and October 2013, and possibly through November, so you've still got time to go along.

Books in one of the display cabinets

I’d better warn you that as I neither took any photographs of these houses when they existed, nor do I own the copyright to any old photographs of these old properties, this blog post is a little light on pictures. I did, however, with permission from the library staff, take some photographs of some of the display panels to give you an idea of whats on offer.

Display panels in the library

I would personally like to thank all the volunteers in the local studies library - Brian Williams and Brian Bentley, to name but two -  for putting up this particular display and for all the other displays for which they have been responsible. Without all their hard work in mounting these displays, being there to staff the local studies library and to help people with their enquiries on the local area, this facility would probably cease to exist.

Some of the houses that are covered in the display in the library include the following (underlining indicates a hyperlink to a photograph on the web):

Houses A-J

·        Atherstone House - Ward’s End (built 1780. The Atherstone family were in the dyeing industry and owned Bleach Yard and some land that is now part of Queen’s Park. Dr Bagnall ran a boarding school there, in the late 19th century, and Dr Briggs bought the house in about 1880. It was demolished in January 1938 and was replaced by Atherstone House, which was the Income Tax Offices, next to the Moon and Bell, now the Wetherspoon’s pub.

·        Bell Foundry House - in Freehold Street, was built around 1895 for John William Taylor and his wife Annie Mary. It was designed by Joseph Aloysius Hansom, of Hansom cab fame and designer of the former public lending library in Leicester.

·        Burleigh Fields House - if you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you’ll know that this was the home of Dr Eddowes. Located off Radmoor Road, the house was built about 1890 and it’s a classic 18th century house. Later in its life, Burleigh Feilds House became a hostel for Loughborough College students, and after being left empty for a while was demolished in the early 1980s.

·        Burleigh (Burley) Hall –  In the Civil War, Henry Hastings used it as a Royalist military outpost. By 1711, Henry Tate, High Sheriff of the Country, had made many improvements. The Tate family lived here for 150 years and gave generous sums of money to the building of Emmanuel Church. The last residents were the Coltman family before the Hall was acquired by the university. The garden arbour bearing the arms of the Tate family, once surmounted by two urns and the Tate crest, still survives on the university campus but the main house was demolished in 1961 and the estate now forms part of Loughborough University. Amongst other things, important 18th century delft “ship” tiles were lost during the demolition. The 18th century dovecote with 144 nesting boxes was later used as a small mill, and was demolished at the same time as the hall itself. However, the medieval estate cottage survives and can be found near the site of the former hall.

·        Cotes Park House – only fragments of this house remain. This was a grand Tudor mansion on banks of river Soar at Cotes, the construction of which was probably begun under Sir William Skipworth, who inherited the lordship of Prestwold, Cotes, Hoton and Burton after 1588. His son, Henry, was the County High Sheriff in 1636. On May 28th, 1645, he entertained King Charles I, at Cotes on his way to besiege Leicester (the Royalist army was billeted in Loughborough). Parliament fined him £1,1114. On losing his estates after the Civil War, Sir Christopher Packe, Lord Mayor of London, acquired them [perhaps this explains the naming of the Packe Arms at Hoton]. In about 1770, the great mansion was almost totally demolished by fire, and the family steward was suspected of some involvement. He absconded with the estates rent money. Later tradition spoke of haunted cellars, which the “vulgar” believed still contained immense quantities of the old strong beer.  The ancient tithe barn was also demolished.

·        Forest Road Cottage - this was the home of Thomas Clarke, of Clarkes Dye Works but is now the site of student flats [not sure if this might be Forest Court].

·        Garendon Hall - was built on the site of Garendon Abbey, an Abbey which was founded in 1134, and fragments of it were embodied in Garendon Hall. The building of the Hall began just after 1684 when the estate was bought by Sir Ambrose Phillipps. After 1737 his grandson, also Ambrose Phillipps, made further designs on it and as a gentleman architect is noted for his classical studies and other buildings in the park. The final remodelling was done by E. W. Pugin (1864-1866, son of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, architect of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey) for Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps de Lisle. Military occupation during WW2 led to the neglect and eventual demolition of the Hall in 1964, and its building material was used for hardcore for the M1.

·        Head Gardener’s cottage - was situated in Garendon Park. The statues outside were originally in the hall before it was remodelled and given a new Mansard roof in about 1864. The cottage was demolished just after WW2, having been neglected during the military occupation of the estate.

·        Georgian town house - this was opposite the Ramada Hotel (previously known as the King’s Head), on High Street. In the late 19th century it was home to William Grimes Palmer, surgeon, and later to J.W. Storey, dental surgeon. It was demolished in the 1950s.
·        Glebe Farm - Meadow Lane. The last inhabitants were Joe Smith and his family. He was the last “Meadow Reeve” for the town’s great meadows, overseeing its usage and branding cattle on it. This was the last farm in the town centre and dated back to the Middle Ages. It was demolished around 1950.

·        Island House – built about 1804 for William Palmer a provisions merchant from Sileby. Alan Moss, one time Mayor of Loughborough, bought it in 1939 for £1,400 and presented it to the town corporation. It was used in WW2 to house refugees and later for library storage. It was demolished in 1965 to make way for an extension to the library.

Houses K-Z
·        Knightthorpe Hall and barnthis was an important medieval site whose lordship once belonged to Hugh le Despenser (founder of Loughborough market in 1221), Henry, Lord Beaumont and many others. The hall itself was only a fragment of a much larger building whose foundations were often found in the adjoining orchard. It was said to contain 60 bedrooms! The last inhabitant was Miss M.J. Moseley and despite her wish that it be preserved, the hall was demolished between 1968 and 1970.

·        Knightthorpe Lodge - or Quaker farm, was off the Old Ashby Road. It was demolished in 20th century and replaced in the late 20th century by the de Lisle retirement home and housing estate.

·        Medieval Merchants House – this was on the corner of Church Gate and Lemyngton Street. Reputedly lived in by Thomas Burton, around 1456, and in 19th century converted into the headmaster and caretaker’s house of the once adjacent Church Gate  School. The house was demolished 1964.

·        Minister’s House - on Sparrow Hill/Wood Gate and lived in by the Minister of the United Methodist Free Church. It was built in 1817 originally for the Particular Baptists, and demolished 1962. The site is now retirement bungalows.

·        Moat House - was a medieval hunting lodge on Loughborough Parks.

·        No. 12 Forest Road - was the home of John Trafford Bailey, butcher, of 2 Church Gate – on the site of toady’s Trinity Methodist Church.
·        Regent House - was on the corner of Derby Road and Regent Street. In 1880-1907 it was the home of George Hodson, who was, amongst other things, a surveyor to board of health, and responsible for the damning of the Blackbrook reservoir. The house was demolished shortly after the end of WW2. One of the stone lions (National Exhibition Lions) was transferred to no.60 Leicester Road, which was the home of the two Misses Cayless sisters (which was also demolished and now right hand part of Arnolds Motorcycles and ID Signs & Printing stands on the site, Maison Green, the hairdressers being an original building that was next to no.60). The sisters were big RSPCA supporters and were descended from the 19th century cricket bat and sports manufacturers established in the town in 1810.

·        Shelthorpe House - was built around 1850. In 1889 John William Taylor bought the property for £4000 and at one time Mrs Hole lived there. It was demolished in 1959.

·        Southfields (House or Hall) - built by William Paget in 1835. It was a family residence, but was considerably altered and enlarged when under the municipal control of Charnwood Borough Council.

·        Entrance lodge to Southfieldscorner of Leicester Road and Southfields Road, Demolished late 20th century after the estate and the house were purchased by the Town Corporation in 1947.
·        Thorpe Cottage - which was off Derby Road, between Alan Moss Road and Knightthorpe Road, dates back to the 18th century. It was last occupied by the Palmer family and demolished in the 1920s.

Loughborough Carnegie Library

     Watch this space over the next week as there may be an unscheduled posting before next Sunday!

      If you have any topics that you'd like me to cover, please comment below! Thanks.

      Bye for now!



  1. Your site is amazing, so so interesting. You have certainly put a lot of work into it. If you have time, l would love to see photos or information on the ordinany poor people's old small Terrence houses that have disappeared. My great grand father had a bakery on Pinfold street, and great great lived on Buchorn square. If there is ANY information . Kind regards Brenda Needham

    1. Hi Brenda! Thanks for your lovely comments! Time is rather in short supply at the moment so current blog posts are a but thin on history! I tend to only put photographs on the blog that I have taken myself, because it's not good practice to use other people's pictures (and indeed, one can be sued under the copyright act - of any country, which may be different from our own). I only came to Loughborough in 1978, do the oldest pictures I've got date from that time, but I wasn't really interested in history then, so they're less relevant. I'm sure there have been photos of places like Salmon Street etc. on the Remember Loughborough facebook group? A good starting point, anyway. Were these ancestors paternal? Thanks again for getting in touch. Lynne


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