Sunday, 26 February 2017

Cartwright and Warner

Oh dear, here I go again, promising you a further post on holiday connections, but finding myself eager to tell you about something else first!! This one's timely, as it follows immediately from my attending a book launch - a book about the Warner family, as associated with Cartwright and Warner (Hosiers), Nanpantan Hall, the churches of All Saints, Holy Trinity, St Peter's and St Mary in Charnwood at Nanpantan, and many other places!

Now, I don't want to spoil your reading of the book (by Derrick Hewitt) so what follows are a few snippets of information, not all of them gathered from the detailed talk that Derrick gave at the launch at the church of All Saints with Holy Trinity.

The Warner family is probably best known for its partnership with the Cartwrights in a hosiery business that seems to have been rather successful! There was enough money in the business for Edward Warner to buy Quorn Hall from the Farndon family, to build The Elms and Nanpantan Hall. 

According to Mr Hewitt, Aingarth (now retirement and sheltered housing) a Victorian building, was originally associated with The Elms, and the gatehouse to the Elms, now called the Lodge to Aingarth, fronts onto Leicester Road. This was recently for sale, and there are some pictures available. Both The Elms and The Lodge to Aingarth are listed buildings.
The Lodge to Aingarth

The Lodge to Aingarth

The Lodge to Aingarth

The Elms

The Elms

The Elms


Nanpantan Hall, was sold by the Warners to the Pagets (William Byerley Paget to be precise), and has latterly been part of the School of Economic Science. Not sure if this is still the case, as the Echo reported in July 2016 that Nanpantan Hall has recently become a wedding venue, ironic, since W B Paget's former house, Southfields House, is now the Loughborough Register Office!

The Warner family had connections with the Church of All Saints (now the Church of All Saints with Holy Trinity), and were instrumental in the building of Holy Trinity Church and St Peters Church, as well as a memorial to Archdeacon Fearon, in the form of Fearon Hall. 
Church of All Saints (today with Holy Trinity)

Fearon Hall

The company had various factories around Loughborough, including the one on Clarence Street (now a locally listed building) and those taken over by Towles.   

The Warner family were also benefactors of the Grammar School

In 1851 at the Great Exhibition, Cartwright and Warner* won a medal for their women's "union dresses" - a Victorian euphemism for women's combinations  

Apparently, one member of the Cartwright family, James, lived at 151 Ashby Road, in 1911.

There were a couple of Cartwright and Warner employees, Ernest Grimbley and Charles J Hunt, who died during the first world war and are listed on the Roll of Honour website.

In 1900 a row of almshouses were created on Mill Lane, as part of the Warner legacy. Sadly, the cartouche on the side of the building is beginning to wear away, but the properties are still, I believe, inhabited by former hosiery workers. These are administered by the Warner's Almshouse Charity in Melbourne, South Derbyshire. 
Mill Lane

One wonders if George Warner of Quorn, who went off to the United States, was part of the Warner hosiery family: Derrick may have said this, but I am a little hard of hearing and missed some of the talk.

An extract from White's Gazeteer of 1877 appears on the Genuki website, giving a brief description of Loughborough and naming various people associated with the hosiery trade. The complete White's Gazeteer is also available on the internet.

The Victoria County History of Leicestershire also includes some information on Cartwright and Warner, and is complemented by information on the British History Online website.

The Barrow Upon Soar Heritage Group include a report of evidence given by inhabitants of the village in regard to increasing mechanisation of framework knitting, some of whom worked for Cartwright and Warner in Loughborough.

If you're a member of the FaceBook Group Remember Loughborough, you've probably already seen this video of Cartwright and Warner employees leaving the factory in 1900 but here it is again!

Here are two of my favourite things - coincidences: whilst looking for mention of Cartwright and Warner on Grace's Guide, I happened upon a bell foundry called called J Warner who made the initial Big Ben, which was later recast by the Whitechapel foundry! And, would you believe it, John Henry Boyer Warner, one of Edward Warner's sons, moved to Kepwick Hall in Yorkshire, and on the top of one of the hills he built - you guessed it - an obelisk (see my previous post about obelisks)! The description I've found of this on various listed building websites seems to be incorrect, listing him as a Weaver not a Warner, but interestingly, the obelisk is constructed of Portland stone - just like the ground floor of our Carillon!

Portland stone bridge and Carillon base

We were lucky enough also to see some examples of original catalogues of products from Cartwright and Warner:

Finally, that institution, beloved of many Loughborough inhabitants, the Warner School, on what was the corner of Pinfold Gate and School Street, was funded by Edward Warner in 1870, as he provided both the land and the money for it. At the time it was most unusual as it had teacher's accommodation attached: ironically, today the teacher's accommodation is all that remains of the school which was demolished in 2015 to make way for the inner relief road. It is the only remaining stone building in Loughborough apart from the Old Rectory, and the former school on Nanpantan Road (which is classed as being in Nanpantan).
Warner School prior to partial demolition
The Warner School teacher's accommodation

The Warner School teacher's accommodation with a former framework knitters building adjacent
*Stanley, Chapman and Middleton-Smith, Jane (2015) John Smedley: the establishment of a tradition in fine knitwear, c. 1750-1874 In: Textile History, Vol. 46, No.1, pp.70-98 

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Cartwright and Warner. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 26 February 2017]

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Kendal Troutbeck Scotland Carlisle and the Loughborough Connection Part 1

Oh dear, I've been on holiday again, but, even as far away as Scotland, Loughborough has never been far from my mind!

On the way up to Scotland (somewhere called Portsonachan - we stayed in the Portsonachan Hotel, a break we bought at the Prestwold Hall Food Festival in May 2016) we stopped off at Kendal in the Lake District. I was quite impressed with the size of the Carnegie Library, and the fact that it appeared to made of red stone, rather like our own.

The other thing that impressed me was the obvious care that was given to their yards and courts: we also had a lot of these in Loughborough, and funnily enough, Kendal had an Angel Yard, not unlike ours, although I doubt they had a world-famous publisher based in theirs!!

Like Loughborough, Kendal has a market, the charter for which was granted in 1189, while Loughborough's was granted in the 1200s:
Sign over Kendal Market
The main street in Kendal is called Highgate, and this was the name of Loughborough's High Street before it became the High Street:
Highgate, Kendal
Having spent a few hours wandering around Kendal, we moved on to Troutbeck, a small villlage near Windemere. Here we were in serious rolling countryside, the home of sheepfarmers. While my thoughts turned to Robert Bakewell, I was also struck by the piles of slate I saw scattered along the roadside. 
Sheep at Troutbeck

Slates at Troutbeck
We still had a long journey to Scotland ahead of us, so we stayed the night in Dumfries. This was a very interesting town with strong links to Robert Burns, the celebrated Scottish poet, and we were staggered by the mausoleum, but even more so by the size of the gravestones in St Michael's churchyard. Most seemed to be made of the local sandstone, and were huge, and some had angels carved into them.
Enormous gravestones

What I would call normal sized gravestones

An angel carved into the sandstone gravestone
We visited several museums in Dumfries, many with a Robert Burns connection, but it was at the Dumfries Museum that there was a strong connection with Loughborough, in he shape of a sock - a garment fashioned on a framework knitting machine, although most likely to be made of wool.
A framework knitted sock 

As if that weren't enough, there was also a model of a cruck frame building, rather like our very own Windmill Inn, our Manor House (now Caravellis) and Lowes.
Model of a cruck frame building
Gosh, we're still only in Dumfries, and so so much more to write!! I think I'll leave that until next week! Pop back and hear about more local connections!
You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Kendal, Troutbeck, Scotland, Carlisle and the Loughborough connection part 1. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 18 February 2017]

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Leicester, Swannington and Loughborough

Having difficulty deciding what to blog about tonight, so going with Leicester, Swannington and Loughborough!

Apologies for not blogging last week: my internet connection disappeared into the ether and I was without contact with the outside world - except I could phone people or visit them or send them a letter!!

I was lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to attend a lecture at the refurbished City Hall in Leicester delivered by Sir Peter Soulsby on the subject of Leicester - its history through architecture. This was part of the City Series lectures organised by the Leicester Urban Observatory, a joint venture between Leicester City Council, De Montfort University, Leicester University and Loughborough University, which aims to explore the urban development, architecture and history of Leicester. 

See the following websites for more info:

Sir Peter's page
The Leicester Urban Observatory Project page
De Montfort University's involvement

It was an interesting lecture, with an interested audience, and we romped through the centuries in Leicester, as well as learning of Sir Peter's vision for the city. Sadly, there seems little co-operation and understanding between city and county. As we know, there is to be new GCR Museum at Birstall, which is scheduled to open in 2021, Abbey Pumping Station is likely to be refurbed, a Science Park is being developed near the National Space Centre, and there are plans afoot to revamp the Jewry Wall Museum, I would imagine partly because of more Roman finds at the latest dig on High Cross Street.

Enough of Leicester!! Last weekend I was also lucky enough to attend the latest Loughborough Archaeological and Historical Society (LAHS) talk given by Roger Bisgrove, Chair of the Swannington Heritage Trust, on the industrial history of Swannington. This was simply fascinating, covering Swannington through the ages, from coal mines (bell pits) from the 12 hundreds (1200s), through coal mines (gin pits) in the fifteen hundreds (1500s), to Newcomen boilers in the 1700s, Jessop's tramway, the Charnwood Forest Canal, and the Charnwood Forest Railway.  Oh, and, of course the Hough Windmill and the Califat Spinney

Back at work, I happened upon a book called "Vanishing Victoriana" and was particularly taken with the chapter on graves! The chapter was lamenting the poor state of many of the London cemeteries, and this made me consider our own, on Leicester Road. Loughborough Cemetery was created in about 1857, just after the peak of the popularity of Swithland slate gravestones, thus many of the headstones to be found in the cemetery are not made of slate, but rather of Carrara white marble with lead lettering, of sandstone, of polished pink granite, of Portland stone or of polished black granite. There are large memorials, small memorials, single plots and family plots, elaborate and plain, and quite a number of war graves. The grounds are maintained, although the edges can be quite overgrown in summer. The railings surrounding the cemetery, and the wrought iron birdcage turnstile are typical of the town. The chapel building, designed by the Lincolnshire architects Bellamy and Hardy, was refurbished sometime after 1994. The building had a chapel for the Church of England worshipers and one for Nonconformists. Since its refurb it has been let out to various companies.

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Leicester, Swannington and Loughborough. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 11 February 2017]