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!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Doing Loughborough

Looking for something to do in Loughborough?

Then look no further than Loughborough itself, where there’s certainly plenty going on and plenty to do! So, here are a few suggestions you might like to follow-up if you’re looking for somewhere to visit or something to do, either on a regular basis or a one-off event,  in Loughborough. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, and although I’m concentrating on Loughborough, there are a few suggestions included for things nearby too, but sticking to Leicestershire!

Shopping, places to visit and things to do in Loughborough

There are plenty of independent shops, cafés and bars to visit- have a look at my very first blogpost for a list of some of these.

If it’s museum’s you’re after, you’re in luck - we’ve got at least five:

Charnwood Museum – based in a building originally called The Memorial Baths which were opened in 1897 for public bathing, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, the Charnwood Museum opened in 1997 after an extensive re-fit. Immediately prior to this, the space had been used for craft, antique and book fairs as well as for the Friday morning bric-a-brac market, which is now held in the Market Place. Today in the museum you can see the Barrow Kipper, a suspended airplane, an old shop, information on Beamanor Hall and its inhabitants, and learn about the geology of the area. There are regular changing displays in the area to the side, the Charnwood Gallery. The current display is one of black and white photographs from the East Midlands Monochrome group: This goes on until January 2014. 

Special events for the Autumn/Winter seasons are included in the printed What’s On guide which is also available as in pdf  

If you can’t get to the museum but want to see some of its treasures online, have a look at the objects that were used in the Leicestershire Revealed exhibition.   

The museum also has an independently run café, which displays and sells the work of local painters.

The Carillon tower – is a war memorial and houses the wonderful musical instrument, the carillon, as well as a museum exhibiting material related to the armed forces, to the world wars, and to the American forces. Unfortunately, the museum is now closed until Easter 2014, but there is a website depicting information about Loughborough’s military history, and including a list of all those people who are listed on the Carillon memorial. The borough carilloneur, Caroline Sharpe gives recitals throughout the year.          

The Old Rectory Museum – is a small museum in what was the rectory for All Saints church. It houses some local artefacts and is open on Saturdays from April to October 11am to 3pm. Unfortunately, the official website is a little out-of-date but the museum is well worth a visit.  

Taylor’s BellfoundryTaylors are the company that made the Great Paul bell, the casing of which is now situated in Queen’s Park. The museum is open Tuesday-Thursday, 10-12 and 2-4 but it’s best to check before turning up. They also offer tours which take place on days that bells are being cast so you can see the process in action.  

The Great central Railway - situated on Great Central Road, this is the only mainline steam train in the country! For the railway enthusiast, it has everything you could possibly want! Events here are many and varied and there is a small museum

Cinemas, theatres and other venues

The Odeon cinema – is in Cattle Market and the building itself has an interesting history. It has been modernised, whilst keeping some of its beautiful art deco features, and is now part of the Odeon chain, housing about six screens showing a variety of films. 

The Town Hall – is a major venue for events, which range from plays, musicals and panto to cake baking competitions, vintage fairs and wine tastings! Here’s the full programme.  Throughout the day and evening there is free access to the Sock Gallery, the exhibition area, where there are regularly changing displays of artwork. Upstairs is a small café area.

Emmanuel Church – on Forest Road often hosts concerts by both local artists and those from further a-field.   

Trinity Methodist Church – on Royland Road also hosts events, ranging from choral concerts to archaeological talks (although the forthcoming talk by Richard Buckley is being held at Barrow).   

All Saints Church - also known as the Parish Church, also hosts concerts and events and coffee mornings. 

The Public Library – you can borrow books and DVDs, or use a computer, or delve into local or family history, but the library is also a great place for events: They recently staged a comedy stand-up evening and their current programme of events includes the regular things, like children’s events, but also events specific to October, well-being month.  

John Storer House - a venue which offers meeting facilities, a small shop and a cafe, also hosts events

Loughborough University - this large campus hosts arts events, public lectures and provides meeting space for local societies 

Looking for an event?

Here are some links to websites that list events in and around Loughborough:
Looking for something more active?

Our town has probably the best sporting university in the country, and is home to many prestigious sporting people and institutions. But for townsfolk, here are a few suggestions for sporting (well loosely) activities:

Charnwood active together – for walks, geocaching etc.  
Charnwood Golf Range - a golf driving range on the A6 towards Hathern    
Shelthorpe Golf Course - pitch and put for all
Longcliffe Golf Club - members only club
Charnwood Leisure Centre - I believe this is now fully re-opened
Merlin Archery - Merlin Archery have moved their warehouse and shop from the Bull in the Hollow Farm (formerly the Needless Inn) to Great Central Road, although the associated archery club still meets at the farm. 
Looking for a club or society to join?

Activity in the town is so varied there is probably a club or society for every possible interest, but I can only list a few here. We have:
As you can see, I could go on forever about what there is to see and do in Loughborough, but it is now time for me to publish!

See you next week.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fun in Loughborough

Over the last 10 weeks I’ve been blogging about a variety of things relevant to Lufbra – shopping, local initiatives, local places of interest, local people and more – so today I shall turn my attention to a number of local events that I have recently attended, which were certainly interesting!

Play in the park

The bandstand in Queen's Park

One of my blogposts was about Queen’s Park, and it was here, a fortnight ago, that I spent a very happy couple of hours. I often find myself walking through the park, either on my way into town or to the library, or just because I fancy doing so, but never after dusk when the park is closed! However, this particular evening some of us snuck in, after hours! All legal and above board – just in case you were wondering!

The bandstand adorned!
Imagine the park, if you will, with 1930s music playing from a gazebo, lights shining out from the café, fairy lights adorning and twinkling around the bandstand, and sofas, scattered with cushions, placed around it. Suddenly, the sound of car engines, distant at first, gradually getting louder until the vintage special rolled up to one side of the bandstand, and a 1970s hotrod raced up to the other side! And just as the cars arrived the French maid, who’d been swigging wine from a bottle, rushed to retrieve her shoes from the bushes and smooth down her hair and apron, before beating a hasty retreat from the bandstand!

This was the opening scene of Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”, a play based around the marriages of four characters, who were all spending their honeymoon in Paris, and unbeknownst to them are staying in adjoining rooms to their former spouses! The actors were students from Loughborough University, part of a group called the “English and Drama Theatre Company”, and they did a wonderful job of bringing Coward’s characters to life – and some!!

Warned to bring blankets – and not to bring alcohol – the audience were treated to chairs gathered around the bandstand, and cocktails were available from the café! Although this was late September, the weather was very mild, and with the silhouette of the Carillon in the background, the atmosphere was, well, nothing less than electric!

The actors and the audience
This was a truly remarkable event which brought “town and gown” together in a collaboration that made fantastic use of a remarkable setting that is normally only accessible in the daytime. For me, it was great not to have to travel miles to an outdoor play – although, perhaps Queen’s Park doesn’t quite have the setting of the Minack! The production was part of the Fab Friday initiative that I believe came about as a result of Mary Portas’s visit to the town, but I’m really hoping that this wasn’t a one-off event.

Charnwood roots

Last Saturday saw me in Leicester attending the Charnwood Roots project meeting. This initiative is all about updating the Victoria County History series of books, and the Leicestershire volume(s) had not been updated for a very long time. The area that was being focussed on was Charnwood Forest, which included about 35 towns and villages in Leicestershire, which included Loughborough, Hathern, Mountsorrel, and Barrow. The aim of the project seems to be to do research in local archives, take part in an archaeological dig, be involved in making a record of oral history, do some field-walking and various other things in order to update the history. The whole process is being led by staff at Leicester University and is going to take a couple of years to complete. After the introduction to the project, a member of the team talked about his visit to California where he was able to personally consult the Hastings papers: This archival material, pertaining to Loughborough, some of which goes back to Medieval times, was sold many years ago, and deposited and preserved by the Huntington Library in San Marino, for future use. Some of the material was digitised in the very early days of digitisation, but, as the lecturer enthused, there’s nothing quite like being able to handle the original documents! As I said, the project will be going on for a couple of years, and at the end of the presentations we were invited to sign up to take part in any, some, or all of the proposed activities: I can’t wait to get going!


That same evening, I made my way to our own university to join some new friends at the first meeting of the year of the Loughborough Archaeological and Historical Society. The presentation that evening was given by Peter Liddle, former Leicestershire County Archaeologist. My knowledge of monastic buildings was quite scant, but by the time Peter had described the 15 or so abbeys in Leicestershire and the evidence that the archaeology had brought to light, I definitely had much more of an idea about the archaeology and the history, and picked up a few pointers to some possible future research I could do myself.

Laughter in the library

The Carnegie Library

Last Thursday saw the birthday of my youngest child. His elder two siblings have gone off to university, so he was left at home to celebrate the occasion with his mum and dad! After a great meal at the Cactus Café, we went off to Laughter in the Library, a couple of hours of stand-up comedy. Again, great to see a space that’s not normally open until 11pm being used after-hours!

The Organ Grinder
The library has recently been re-furbished, and the taller shelving units replaced with lower shelving units on castors. This meant that a flexible space could be created by moving the units around. The use of a café-style table layout, complete with strings of fairy lights, helped make for an enjoyable experience. Even more surreal was the fact that there was also a bar run by the folk from the Packe Horse  Organ Grinder: They did quite a good trade! The acts were really quite good, and much mention was made of the fact that we were in the local library, especially by the compere. The days of libraries being run by ladies with buns, shushing people and throwing them out for eating and drinking in the building has well and truly passed!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Loughborough doesn't make the top 50 in "Crap towns" book - thankfully!

The art deco cinema on Cattle Market.
As you may know, one of the reasons I started this blog was in protest against the idea that Loughborough is a "rubbish" town.

You see, there's this book, originally published in 2003, called "Crap towns" which humiliates those towns that are seen as less-than-perfect, and in which "the concrete slab in the garden of England" is lifted and the authors "dish the dirt on the latest planning disasters, urban blight and the posh blighters disfiguring our nation". [1]

So popular did the 2003 edition prove to be that those chaps over at the Idler decided it was worth publishing a 2nd edition, and today was the day that all was revealed - apart from all those leaks in the newspapers and on Twitter.

The Carillon in Queen's Park.
In an earlier blogpost you will remember me saying that we'd made it into the top 100 of "rubbish" towns, so I have been blogging about all things Loughborough, and what a great town it is to help make sure that we didn't make it into the top 50. They do say that any publicity is worth it, but I'm not so sure. Anyway, I'm sure you will understand that I am delighted to announce that we did not make it into the top 50!

I know this book classes as humour, but I can't say as it's my kind of humour. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I am even offended by some of the inclusions in the top 50, and am left wondering what exactly makes for a good town. But then, of course, we all know that we can't please all of the people all of the time, and that one man's meat is another man's poison, so what makes a good town for one person will not be what makes a good town for someone else.

Now, I'm sure the authors will be really pleased that one more blogger/tweeter/facebooker/and general internet user is giving their book a bit of a marketing boost, but, hey, if it means that more people have heard of our wonderful town with all it has to offer, then it's probably worth it.

If you're interested to find out more about what's going on in Loughborough, and how Leicestershire in general is trying to tap into the tourist market, have a look at the GoLeicestershire website.
Outside the university swimming pool.

See you again on Sunday!


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!