Sunday, 27 October 2013

Spotlight on: Ashby Road

Ashby Road

During the Victorian times, the area around Ashby Road, was a select area where lots of the more well-to-do people lived, which is one reason why many of the houses along it are quite large and fancy. Like a lot of similar towns, Loughborough grew rapidly during the Victorian era, so the population had grown from about 4,500 in 1800 to 21500 in 1900. However, towards the later end of the Victorian era, when industrialisation had really set in, homes were needed for more ordinary folk, and these grew up around Ashby Road - Oxford Street, Leopold Street, Paget Street, Station Street, - producing almost a grid-like pattern.

Decorative tilework on an Ashby Road house
On a sunny day in August, I went out and about in Ashby Road, armed with a notebook, pencil and camera. I had been prompted to do this when I had been looking for some specific residents of the town, who lived in a house called Theydon on Ashby Road, so I was interested to find out where exactly it was, or had been. Of course, by the time I came to blog about Ashby Road, I found I had several photographs I couldn’t identify, so I visited the road again in late October.
So, here I will divulge the contents of my notebook, punctuated with photos of Ashby Road as it is today, for your perusal!

Let’s start our tour after most of the blocks of shops, but starting with a few, just to put the houses into context. Heading out of town towards the Epinal Way roundabout, this is what I found on the even numbered side of the road. I’ll give you the house number and the name (if I can find it) and any snippet of information I might have found. 

Open Heaven, number 102 - shop for sale

92-94 – Trawlers Catch, chip shop
102 – Open Heaven - shop for sale

Old English Gentleman
104 – Old English Gentleman public house
106 & 108 – small terraced houses
Newer flats – presumably built on the site of numbers 110-146. On the 1891 census, houses 110-148 existed and housed a lot of families in various trades, including, machine and engine fitters, a police constable, an iron moulder, a grocer and his assistant, a framework knitter, a cotton winder, an upholsterer and a seamstress, a herb beer seller, a tailor and a woodturner.
148A – electricity sub-station
Elim Pentecostal Church (now Salvation Army)

Curiously, on the 1891 census, listed after number 148 were Hill House, Hill House Cottage and Island house.

Gap at junction with Radmoor Road

150 Ashby Road

150 – built in 1908, named Sherwood, which is carved into the stone and brick gate posts. This is now a dental surgery.
152-156 – unnamed
158 – end of row of Victorian terrace. Named Cross Haven, which is carved into stone door arch. Run by Varsity Lets 
160 – Victorian house, unnamed
162 – the last in this block of Victorian houses. Unnamed 
164-166 – pair of 1930s semis
168 - ?
170 – 1950s house
172 – 1950s house named Mehar
174 – 1950 house
176 – 1950s house
178 – 1960s house
180 – 1960s house
182 – 1960s house

Detail of terracotta relief on 184 Ashby Road
Chimneys on 184 Ashby Road
184 – Victorian property, named Redholme, used as university halls. Carved terracotta tile depicting the date 1888 and possibly a green man with elaborate fruit beard. In 1891 Mrs Elizabeth Harley, her daughters and a servant were living here. This was once the home of Henry Clemerson, Mayor and owner of Clemerson’s Store.

In 1891, the property next to Redholme was Burleigh Fields House, the home of Dr Eddowes.

186 Ashby Road

186 – Victorian detached property, named Iffley, believed to be university halls. Double-width iron gates at the front. Once the home of Dr Herbert Schofield, Principal of Loughborough College / University, 1915-1950.

Detail of terracotta tile showing date and initials

188 – Victorian detached property, with modern university halls in the grounds. 1900 and the initials WM carved terracotta tile on the brickwork, presumably, William Moss

190 – Victorian property, renovated and with modern extension. Abbeyfield homes

192 Westfields Ashby Road Oct 2013

192 Westfields Ashby Road Aug 2013
192 – Victorian property. Name not visible but believed to be called Westfields. Currently university owned but for sale (August 2013). 1917 the owner was Mr Ernest Chapman, father of two sons (Hubert Frank, and John) who died during WW1. I believe Ernest Chapman (full name John Ernest Theophilus Chapman, a commercial traveller, whose wife was Elizabeth A Cumberland) had inherited the house from his son John. At the time of his death on 18th March 1965, Arthur Riste Clemerson, of Clemerson’s department store, was living here. When I walked the road again in October 2013 a sympathetic renovation was well underway.  
194 – detached, renovated Victorian property. University owned? Name not visible but believed to be called Essex Lodge. In 1891, Mr John Burgess, official receiver and solicitor was living here.
196 - very large Victorian property owned by university, but appears to be unoccupied, joined to 198
198 Ashby Road

198 – very large Victorian property owned by university, but appears to be unoccupied, joined to 196

200 – large cream house
202 – large, former Registry Office, now offices for PACE and debt office agency
204 - small white detached house
206 – small white detached house
208 – semi with 210
210 – white semi, attached to 208
212 – semi with 214
214 – rendered pale yellow semi, attached to 212
216 – Crossways, a large white house on corner of Ashby Road, Epinal Way and Westfield Drive.

On the other side of Ashby Road, where the odd numbered houses are, this is what I discovered.

69-71 – new building housing Language College
73 – Donkey Lets
75 – Pizza and kebab Shop
Corner newer build – Ginns & Gutteridge, funeral directors

Gap at junction with Regent Street

Generous Briton from Regent Street

85 – Generous Briton
91 – Your Smile dental surgery
93 – Nicholas Humphreys estate agency. In 1911 this was a grocers, run by Mr Thurman.
95 – Swanswell.

Gap at junction with Hastings Street

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 97 Ashby Road, is situated between Hastings Street and Storer Road, and fronts onto Ashby Road. The church was originally built in 1834, and was extended and enlarged in 1925. The current building is Grade II listed.

Gap at junction with Storer Road

103 - 113 Ashby Road
99 – The Laurels – name carved into the stone gate pillars
101 – possibly Holly Hurst – name carved into the stone gate pillars. In 1901 this was the home of Thomas Webb, a solicitor.
103 – Norwood Electricals – something carved into stone gate pillars, but not legible
105 – Ashby House – name on iron gates, once the home of a church clerk.
107 – Sports physiotherapists
109 – unnamed house
111 – more modern flats
113 – not evident but number 111 buts up to number 115
115 – Victorian with later additions
117 – Victorian terrace with no apparent name
119 – Victorian terrace with no apparent name
121 – New Life Guest House

Tile on the side of 123 Ashby Road
Chimney and tile on 125 Ashby Road

123 - Victorian terrace with no apparent name, but a pretty carving to the side wall

125 - Victorian terrace with no apparent name, in 1901 inhabited by Quails the drapers, and in 2013 by Jeff Jones and Kevin Norman

 127 – High Gables, detached Victorian house, now Kingscliffe Nursery, established 1999. In 1901 this was the home of Jemima Mounteney, a coal merchant. 
129 - detached Victorian house with no apparent name
131 – Ash Hyrst on stone gate pillar, although number 135 has the name Ash Hurst carved above its doorway.
133 – possibly joined to number 131

Ash Hurst, number 135 Ashby Road

135 – corner of Ashby Road and Cumberland Road – the wooden door plaque is named Ash Hurst

View of number 137 from Cumberland road

Gap at junction with Cumberland Road

137 – opposite corner of Ashby Road and Cumberland Road, the start of a row of Victorian terraces. Built 1900 and monogrammed carving on chimney stack – definitely includes the letter W and possibly an F or a J

137 - 147 Ashby Road

137-147 – a row of Victorian terraces. In 1911 number 137 was lived in by Frank Robert Louth Atkins, a surgeon, number 139 by Rowland Hibbins, a booktmaker, number 141 by Sophia Hews, a widow living on her own means, 143 George Gregg, a boot manufacturer, number 145, by Henry John Deane, a solicitor, and 147 by the Reverend James Sturdee. 

149 Ashby Road

149 – detached Victorian house with the date 1889 carved in stone. In 1911 this house may have been called Hillthorpe and inhabited by Arthur Cumberland, a grocer.  

Rear of 151 Ashby Road

 151 – Cambria House – very large detached Victorian house next to Rosebery Way, believed to be the home of a local solicitor. This property may have been called Steeton on the 1911 census and inhabited by James Cartwright a retired hosiery manufacturer.

Development on the site of 153-203 Ashby Road

Next there is a new housing development, presumably on the site of 153-203. In 1861, before the next property, The Grove, was a lodge and a toll house. In 1911, the gardener, Alfred Greaves, lived in Grove Lodge, and the Reverend Edmund Eddowes lived at the Cottage. 

The Grove

The Grove – nestled amongst the Harry French university halls of residence. This was once the home of the Middleton banking family and Beardsley the solicitor.  

205 – 1950s white detached house
207 and 209 – a pair of pale brick semis
211 and 213 – a pair of 1950s red brick semis
215 – a 1950s pale brick detached house
217 – Woodbury Lodge, a detached bungalow
219 – 1950s detached white house

Going beyond the Epinal Way roundabout towards Ashby, the housing is more sparse:

Bastard Gates entrance to the university

To the left is the university campus, with its former main entrance - Bastard Gates – so named because they were gifted in 1934 by William Bastard, a JP and later Chairman of the Governors of the university.

Field House from Epinal Way

On the right hand side of the road is first Field House, which was the home of the Burder family from 1891 to at least 1911, and was purchased by Loughborough College in 1933 as a boarding house for girls attending the Junior college School. Notice the same green man and beard carving as at number 184 Ashby Road.

Older house on the William Morris site

Next, the area known as the William Morris Hall, which consists of several older houses, including Somerton, Ashby Lodge, Highfields and Clavering, and some newer halls. I’ve got a feeling these house names might be newer than 1911, as I’ve only found Mancunian, Highfields, Gyseboro, and Elmfield on the 1911 census.

Older house on the William Morris site

As with most of my posts, this is a work in progress: I’ve not had time to find more information about the even numbered side of the road, and I’m not happy about the layout! If I do ever get any further with my research, you will be able to read about it on this blog. And I never did find the house called Theydon! Ah well, maybe one day.

See you next Sunday!


  1. Hi Lynne, I found your blog whilst looking for anything relating to 192 ashby road (westfields) I lived there during my student years and have such great memories of the house. I visited loughborough a while ago and saw that there was hoarding up around the site and feared it may be about to be demolished! So its good to see that you believe it to be in renovation. When I was there all the furniture was thrown on to the back garden (I snook in!) I even saw my old bedroom door discarded. I just wondered what was happening to it now? Any progress? Its a shame I didnt get to to wander its memory filled corridors one more time.

    Steve Nod

    1. Hi Steve! When I researched this piece, I had a lovely conversation with the builders who were doing the renovation of no.192 and was (and still am) convinced they'd do a great job on it as they seemed so enthusiastic about keeping the character of the building. When I last walked down Ashby Road, the renovation was still in progress: If it's taking that long, then they must be being careful! I shall pop along again sometime soon and update you. Lynne

  2. Hello Lynne, It was wonderful to see where my great grandfather lived at 145 Ashby Road prior to his moving to Park House. Park House I believe was demolished early 20th century but atleast I now have a picture of an earlier home :-)/
    Francis Deane

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Gosh, how dreadfully strange, I replied to this, but must have accidentally deleted it - so sorry. when I moved to Loughborough there was a solicitor's called Moss, Latham and Deane (and there may have been a Toon in there too). Wondering if you followed in Gr grandfather's footsteps? Park House would be number 53 Park Road, which was demolished and flats built in its place. If you look at google maps, you can see number 51, a detached property, then there's an enormous gap before numbers 55 and 57 which I blogged about in the post about Clarke's Dyeworks. I guess 53 must have been rather large, given the size of the plot. I've put a call out on fbk for any photos that people might have of no. 53. Thanks for your comments,. Regards, Lynne

  3. Lynne, I understand that Crossways 216 was the home of Dr Jenner who was well known in the town. The current owners have extensively renovated it.
    All the best

  4. Hi Richard! Thank you for reading the blog and taking the trouble to add some information to this very interesting street. I have indeed heard of Dr Jenner, although not done any detailed research: maybe I might do something on doctors of Loughborough of old when I've finished the current research project! Thank you again, Lynne


If you have found this post interesting or have any questions about any of the information in it do please leave a comment below. I might not be able to answer immediately, but I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading the blog.