[Abbreviations: AAS - Associated Architectural Societies reports. HUDC - Hinckley Urban District Council. LRO - Leicestershire Record Office. NMR - National Monuments Record (Swindon). NRO - Northamptonshire Record Office. RCHM - Royal Commission on Historical Monuments for England. TLAS - Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society. VCH - Victoria County History]
The LAWNS Slum properties here demolished in 1937-8 (Hinckley Times, 15 Oct 1937).
LEICESTER GRANGE c.1803 Situated 2 miles from Hinckley, adjoining Burbage, on the south side of the Watling Street. In 1733 it was the property of a Dr Alldridge, who built baths at the nearby spring for his patients. Afterwards it belonged to John Foster, Esq., 'who beautified it and laid out the garden grounds under the skilful advice of John Robinson Esq'. Part of this scheme, Foster's Pond, still exists (see below).
Above: Two view of Leicester Grange, about 1915
'This splendid Mansion', having been consumed by fire in March 1803, 'I am happy to hear the present proprietor, Mr Smith, when of age intends to rebuild it' (Mervyn Patterson, A Medical Guide to the Hinckley Mineral Spring and Baths (1849)). An account of this conflagration, referring to the late occupier Mrs Foster, appeared in the Leicester Journal, 1 April 1803. In the latter part of the nineteenth century the house was again rebuilt. It was the residence of the hosiery manufacturer Hugh Atkins and later, in the 1920s, of Alfred Earnest Hawley, founder of Sketchley Dyeworks and High Sheriff of Leicestershire for 1922-23. It thus represented the growing prosperity of Hinckley manufacturers as they moved further out of town. It is depicted in the Illustrated Guide to Hinckley (1911). At LRO (DE 2121/128) there is a contract file for a new conservatory at Leicester Grange dating from 1898.
Above: Foster's Pond with Leicester Grange in the distance
LEICESTERSHIRE AND WARWICKSHIRE BANKING COMPANY PREMISES c.1834 Bank House (11 The Borough, on site now occupied by National Westminster Bank). In c. 1834 it was converted (or rebuilt) by J. A. Hansom for use as banking premises. Hansom resided in the house with his family.
Above: Photograph of Bank House about 1860 (Hinckley Museum)
'This was a stuccoed building in the Georgian style designed by Joseph A. Hansom whilst agent to Dempster Heming' (Stephen Welsh, 'Biographical notes and a list of the principal works of Joseph Aloysius Hansom' (August 1974); copy at RIBA Library). Dempster Heming of Caldecote and Joseph Needham founded The Leicestershire and Warwickshire Banking Company in 1834. 'The firm of Hemming [sic] and Needham transacted banking business in Hinckley, but continued only for a short period [ie 1837]' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 64).
Joseph Hansom was employed by Heming after the collapse and bankruptcy of Hansom's partnership with Edward Welch (1828-34) to manage his estate at Caldecote, and generally act as his agent. Hansom left Hinckley for Mill Farm, Caldecote in 1837, and thence moved to London in 1840.
Above: Bank House facade, by David Knight
See conversations with Thomas Harrold in Francis Collection. Photos in Hinckley Museum, c.1860 (top). Was a substantial four-bay, three-storey stuccoed building with neo-classical motifs; pediments over two ground and first floor central windows (elevation, above, courtesy David Knight).
The company was taken over by Pares Leicestershire Banking Company, who built a new premises on the site in 1898. In 1875 repairs and alterations were undertaken by R. J. & J. Goodacre of Leicester. The contractors were Messrs T & G Harrold of Hinckley, builders (£78.15.10) who supplied new counters, desks, drawers, book rack and skeleton table, all in mahogany, together with new shutters, five pairs of new sashes, roller blinds, roof repairs and 'taking down summer arbour and out offices in garden, building new closet, dust-pit etc'. The ironmonger was George Penton (account £9.10.3). The painter was F. Morley (account £110.19.5) who repainted the exterior including fifteen dozen sash squares. He also supplied five new plate glass windows, grained and varnished the best staircase, drawing room and counters etc in bank, and also wallpapered. Total cost £190.7.0. From June to August 1879 miscellaneous repairs were carried out by R. J. & J. Goodacre, 5 Friar Lane, Leicester. T & G Harrold were the contractors (account £58.14.7). Included rebuilding of upper part of chimneys and making good slating etc. J. Morrell of Leicester, plasterer (account £47.5.4). Richard Mainwaring of Hinckley, painter (account £20.0.7). Total cost £126.0.6. Certified by Goodacre, 27 Nov 1879 (Records at Royal Bank of Scotland Property Department, Edinburgh, Packet 7354). For rebuilding from 1897 see PARES LEICESTERSHIRE BANKING COMPANY PREMISES
LEICESTERSHIRE AND WARWICKSHIRE ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, CENTRAL OFFICE Upper Bond Street. The Leicestershire and Warwickshire Electric Power Company was incorporated in 1902 under the Leicestershire and Warwickshire Electric Power Act (1902). Leicester City Council and Hinckley UDC were among its larger customers, the company establishing itself at the latter in 1912. The electricity it supplied was generated by power stations situated at Newbold-on-Avon, Warwick and at Hinckley itself.
In late 1930 the Board of Directors chose Hinckley as the location for a new Central Office, two sites being considered. Having selected a plot of land in Upper Bond Street, the impressive premises were built in 1931-2 to designs by Arthur M. Heaton of Heaton & Walker (Hinckley), the contractors being Walter Moss & Son (Coalville). The overall cost, including fees, was £14,524-10-0 (Minutes of Board of Directors: Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham, BEL 1/2-3). (The newly-built offices are visible in a photograph of the early 1930s, Frank Shaw, I, 76.)
Above, left: Doorway with pseudo-Egyptian motifs. Above, centre: Facade from Hollycroft. Above, right: From Lower Bond Street.
Originally standing opposite the Manor House tuberculosis sanatorium, the building now faces the the 1937 police station. It is broadly neo-classical in style, red-brick with stone dressings. A seven-bay two-storey symmetrical facade bears a central pediment and has an attic storey above. The lower storey clad with Clipsham stone. The rusticated doorway is flanked by Doric columns supporting an elaborate cornice and frieze with pseudo-Egyptian motifs.
The LWEPC was nationalised with the rest of the electric power industry in 1948 and its activities taken over by the East Midlands Electricity Board, whose local offices and showroom remained in the building for many years. More recently it has become offices for Leicestershire County Council Social Services Department.
LEICESTERSHIRE BANKING COMPANY PREMISES 1873-5 Market Place: Leics. Banking Co. began operations in Hinckley in Castle Street in 1834, but opened on Mondays only. In 1873 the directors of the company 'purchased a site [occupied by some old houses; below] on which to erect a building altogether suitable for their requirements.
The place selected was at the corner of the market-place, leading to the railway station, on which they have now erected a handsome and commodious bank, with manager's residence, and every requisite convenience to carry on very extensive operations. It may here be remarked that it is most substantially built, and the beauty of its design marks it as one of the finest buildings in the town' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, p.64; March 1875).
The architects were Goddard and Paget of Leicester (Brandwood and Cherry, Men of Property, p.109). 'It is further ordered that Mr. Goddard be requested to prepare plans for the erection of a New Bank at Hinckley', for which he received a commission of £157 4s. The builder was William Tomlinson of Coventry. Overall cost, £1,700. (Leicestershire Banking Company, Minute Book, Fri 3 Oct, 1873 (HSBC Archive, 10 Lower Thames St., EC3R 6AE)) Premises opened 1st January 1875.
Above, left: from Market Place. Above, right: from Church Walk.
'Orange brick in Flemish bond, with ashlar dressings. Dark brick plinth, moulded sill strings. Welsh slate roof. Corner site with entrance on angle; the renewed doorway is set in an opening with octagonal granite shafts that have foliate caps and carry a moulded segmental arch; above is an oriel with a moulded base. Station Road frontage two storeys, three and four bays. Main part on right has cross windows under segmental arches to ground floor, and a billet at the level of the sills of the first-floor windows, which are plate-glass sashes under segmental heads, with linked hoodmoulds. Elaborate terra cotta eaves cornice. The left part has simpler detail and an altered doorway; the eaves cornice continues, and there are two hip-roofed dormers. The roof has a looped tile ridge, and a tall ridge stack with an ashlar cornice. Market Place frontage three narrow bays, with similar detail, and an ashlar-corniced end stack.' (Peter F. Ryder, Hinckley... Historic Buildings Appraisal (2000))
The LEISURE CENTRE 1977 Coventry Road. By Design & Planning Associates (Bath). 'The usual recipe of facilities in a brick box that looms large in the town centre' (Pevsner, The Buildings of England, p.178). Opened doors for first time 4th July 1977.
The LIBERAL CLUB Mansion Street. Adjoining the Royal Oak public house. Five bay, three storey mid-nineteenth century. Windows with lintels and keystones, and asymmetrically placed doorway. Demolished.
Above: Hinckley Liberal Club from Mansion Street, about 1900
LIBRARY 1857-88 Free Library located at 18 The Borough; later Hinckley and District Conservative Club (1891-1900)
LIBRARY 1887-8 Station Road. Opened 16 May 1888.
The initial meeting to discuss the building of a permanent public library in the town was held in November, 1873 (Leicester Journal, 19 Sept 1873).
The library was built to the designs of Isaac Barradale of [St. George's Chambers, Greyfriars] Leicester 'with steep Franco-Flemish stepped gables. Mildly Baroque interior' (Pevsner, The Buildings of England, p.178).
The contractors were J. & W. Harrold of Hinckley and the overall cost, £1,022. The library was presented to the town by Messrs. John, Thomas and Hugh Atkins in memory of their late brother, Mr. Arthur Atkins.
'The building was planned in two sections - the reading room (south) and the lending room (north). The entrance was through an internal porch into the lending section near to the St Mary's Road corner, and books were only borrowed through a system of catalogue-choice. This was altered in the 1930s when the two departments were changed round, and open access was allowed to all shelves. An existing cottage at the back of the premises was reconstructed to serve as the Librarian's house; and a balcony was provided over the reading department for the purpose of chess and draughts, although it was never used for this. In fact the reference section was housed in the balcony area in 1949. The lending department was not actually opened until February of 1889.
Above, left: The library before the erection of the council offices, about 1900. Above, centre: Library, about 1905. Above, right: In 2000.
The interior decoration in the two large rectangular halls which comprise the library building is perhaps less remarkable than the exterior. There are eight tall square-headed windows along the north side facing St Mary's Road - a feature of Barradale's since his windows are often designed in horizontal sets, close together. Opposite the entrance, next to the brass plaque to Arthur Atkins, is a semi-circular niche about two feet high, in which is lodged a miniature statue of the Venus de Milo - said to be the gift of the architect - not to be removed as long as the building stands. A similar empty niche backs onto it on the other side of the arcade. This arcade consists of four large open arches between the two rooms. The piers, square in section, are heavily proportioned, with mouldings but no capitals. The arches themselves also bear heavy mouldings on their outer faces; and are coffered on the underside with circular and lozenge shapes. A feature called a console - a scroll-shaped bracket characteristic of the Baroque style - is included in the design of these arches. They seem to tie the expansive curvature of the mouldings together - three on each arch. The piers themselves are also designed with circular, chevron and lozenge shapes, again heavily moulded. These features may owe something to the taste of Amos Hall, an assistant of Barradale's, who was responsible for the Silver Arcade of 1899 in Leicester. Scroll-sculptured consoles and lozenge-shaped panels are also characteristics of that building, as well as the motif of cherubs holding swags tied with bows, which appears in a series of friezes at the top of the interior walls on both buildings. The ceiling in the reading room of the old library is a coffered 'depressed' barrel-vault, and the treatment of the central light-well, with its pattern of square sub-divisions, seems more modern in style, and conforms more with that style of Barradale's which hovers on the verge of the arts and crafts movement. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that the artist-craftsman, Ernest Gimson, was a pupil of Barradale's in the early 1880s.
Above: Sketchplan and architectural details, by Peter Foss
The exterior of the old library also displays remarkable inventive features for a building of its date and status. The west end of the reading room where the balcony is situated, is finished off on the outside with twin stepped gables, joined by a miniature archway, all very slender and with an echo of the Dutch and French-Renaissance mode. The very steep roof, rising behind the gables, and the inclusion of a fleche at the northern apex, reinforces this 'continental' character, as do features such as the consoles on the gables, the boldly treated keystones, and the elongated inset window panels. The brick throughout is of a high quality, nicely-finished, often neatly moulded in string-courses, and giving a varied texture in terracotta colour along the façade. The inclusion at the St Mary's Road corner of miniature concave pilasters is a jeux d'esprit totally original… The electric lighting was installed in 1920, at the cost of the Atkins Brothers…
In 1933, the walls of the library porch were reconstructed with terrazzo (buff panels with green surrounds), again at the expense of the hosiery firm. In 1961, the old counter was removed and a circular one substituted; and in 1967, when the new Council Offices in Argents Mead were finished, the old Council Rooms were converted for use by the library, though this was a temporary measure.' (Peter J. Foss, 'The Old Library, Hinckley', Hinckley Historian, pp.16-21)
'I form the opinion that this is one of a limited stock of buildings which had their design origin in the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, adopting the approach of a free traditionalism in architecture as opposed to the more pedantic and copious historicism which characterised most Victorian architecture.' (K. Baldwin, Assistant County Planning Officer, in the Leicester Mercury, 23 Aug. 1974, under heading 'Hinckley's old library may be "saved"' )
'Library of 1888... combining Arts and Crafts details with elements of William and Mary inspiration. Red brick with restrained ashlar dressings, and steeply pitched plain tile roofs with stepped gable parapets incorporating chimney stacks. Of one and two storeys. Twin narrow stepped gables linked by a miniature arch mark. The three window bays to the right, the windows being contained through two storeys by narrow arched recesses. The left hand (north) end has a similar but taller gable above the entrance with a terracotta architrave and "Free Library" inscribed in an Arts and Crafts script. The left and right hand gables are separated by a square bay with mullioned and transomed window. Lower twin gables of similar design to the left hand return with the unusal but sensitively detailed feature of shallow concave swept buttresses to the corner. A single-storey range of close-set segmental arched windows extends to the rear, lighting the former lending room and terminating in another stepped gable break. Decorative details are restrained and sharply detailed in brick; string courses, narrow keystones and vertical fillets with ashlar scrolled consoles as kneelers to the gables.' (Dept of Culture, Media and Sport - listed building details)
See also H. F. Warren, A History of the Hinckley Public Library 1888-1938 (Hinckley, W. Pickering & Son, 1938).
LIBRARY 1975 Lancaster Road. Originally Percy Taylor Ltd, manufacturers of 'Ladies Pure Silk, Rayon and Mixture Hose...' Taken over by Courtaulds in the late 1960s, it was subsequently bought under compulsory purchase by Hinckley UDC in October 1972. The building was converted to a library which was opened to the public in June 1975.
The LICHFIELD TAVERN/ARMS Coventry Road (formerly Street). Appears in the trades directories from 1870 to 1936. It was demolished 'within recent memory' (2001).
LICHFIELD TERRACE Coventry Road. In 1896 a row of seven cottages, known as Lichfield Terrace, were purchased by the Hinckley Co-operative Society, and renovated to a high standard.
LIDO 1935 Netherley Road (off Ashby Road). Opened Thursday 30 May 1935. Account in the Hinckley Times the following day refers to the 'magnificient lawn, pool and sun-bathing facilities'. Harry Simmonds, its proprietor and designer, was also director of the Hinckley Hosiery Company.
A sketch perspective view was published in the Hinckley Times, 3 May 1935 (above). The lido was opened June 1935 by Sir Frederick Oliver, president of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, who noted that Leicester was as yet without such a facility. The lido was 150ft in length, 100ft wide and had a water depth ranging from a foot and a half to 7ft. There was a constant supply of water provided by two wells, one of which was 70ft deep. The water was conveyed to the site by pipes and then underwent ultra-violet ray treatment, which provided it with the maximum of health giving properties. A thermostat process also heated it.
The filtration and sterilisation system was said to be the most modern and hygienic in existence, and after Brighton this was the first provincial swimming pool to use the process. The main entrance facing Netherley Road led into a real 'beauty spot'. At the side of the pool was a lawn, which was intended to be laid out as a putting green. Nearby was ample provision for bathing. Dressing room accommodation was provided for ladies and gentlemen, with hot and cold showers. In the pool area were two specially constructed islands and at the extreme edge a diving board. A specially constructed grandstand catered for spectators, and there was also a refreshment booth and large car park. Music was provided by a massive loudspeaker arrangement, which when at full strength could be heard at a distance of nearly five miles. During World War II the lido was occupied by both the Royal Artillery and American troops. See photograph in Lindley and Hall, p.52 (above). The site was subsequently occupied by Flude's hosiery Factory, which in turn was demolished, c. 2000.
The LIMES c.1890 Derby Road. Large late Victorian house whose site is now occupied by a residential care home bearing its name. The residence of W. H. Payne (1902 coronation booklet) and subsequently Geoffrey Tompkins. Demolished. Shown in Illustrated Guide to Hinckley (1911) (below).
LLOYD'S BANK 1930 (former) The Borough. In 1930 certain properties on the island site next to the White Hart were demolished to make way for the new Lloyd's Bank building. These included the premises of S. Bedford, hairdresser, and Gilbert's billiard saloon and coffee house. 'Lloyd's Bank have caused the disappearance of buildings of considerable age, and they will be replaced by a handsome erection which will enable the staff of the Hinckley branch of the bank to transfer to more convenient and amenable premises' (Hinckley Times, 2/7 March 1930).
The architect selected was Clement C. Ogden of [18 Millstone Lane] Leicester, 31 May 1929. The contractors were Gilbert & Hall. There is an excellent photograph of the façade in Lloyds TSB Group Archives, 71 Lombard Street, London EC3P 3BS (below, left). Handsome vernacular-style façade (Queen Anne/William and Mary revival?) facing down the Borough, within a few yards of both Barclays and the National Westminster Banks.
Above, left: Lloyds Bank before extension, 1930s. Above, centre: Pediment over doorway. Above, right: Facade, 2001.
The façade, of two bays and two stories, has a heavy cornice and an elaborate central doorway, its pediment broken by the bank's device of a leaping horse (near right). It is, altogether, a handsome and characteristic example of the small-scale vernacular-inspired commercial design of the period. This branch of Lloyds was closed about 1997-8 when the parent bank merged with the TSB, and since 2000 the building has been occupied by Coral Bookmakers.
LOCK-UP - see ROUND HOUSE
LONDON ROAD: DOMESTIC May 1927 building plots for sale on the London Road building estate - 'one of the highest and best building sites in the locality' (Hinckley Times, 20 May 1927).
The LORD NELSON INN Referred to in an advertisement in the Leicester Journal, 11 June 1819, and appears in the trades directories between 1822 and 1832.
LORD'S YARD Slum properties here demolished in 1937-8 (Hinckley Times, 15 Oct 1937).
LOWER BOND STREET: DOMESTIC Former framework knitters cottages. Nikolaus Pevsner noted that, at Hinckley, 'the domestic phase of the hosiery trade is represented by a group of thatched C17 timber-framed cottages with brick-nogging and more windows than usual in order to light the frames. Preserved as a museum by Messrs. Atkins...' (Pevsner, The Buildings of England, p.178). Reputedly built about 1720, the cottages once formed a farmhouse.
Above, left and centre: Hinckley and District Museum, 2000. Above, right: The cottages as they appeared in the 1920s, prior to restoration by Atkins Brothers Ltd.
The houses were reconstructed in an attractive manner, but more in the classic style of English box-framed vernacular timbering than as a restoration to their original form. Intended possibly as a town museum, the interior spatial arrangements reflect this. In the mid-1990s, as originally intended, the cottages became the home of the Hinckley & District Museum (which houses what is probably the earliest framework knitting machine in the world still in working order).
There is an attractive romanticised perspective of the cottages by Cicely Pickering, in A. J. Pickering, The Cradle and Home… NMR - 1 photo. An authoritative account - The Museum Cottages: An Illustrated Guide (Hinckley and District Museum Ltd., 1996) by David J. Knight - includes ground plans, elevations and sketch-views of the interior and exterior.
Above, left: Elevations of cottages by David Knight. Above, right: Museum interior from gallery, May 2004.
'House and knitting shop. 17th century, restored 20th century. Timber framed with high brick plinth and brick infill panels; thatched roofs stepped down to left at centre with brick central stack and end stacks. Two storeys to right and in centre with one storey knitting shop to left. Irregular fenestration of three windows on left hand and five on ground floor to right, all wood mullioned with square lead lattice glazing, the two flanking the right hand doorway of one light each. Two tall transom and mullion windows, again with square lead lattice glazing to left, formerly to light the frameshop. Recessed doorways to right and in centre, both up steps and with boarded doors. Framing: Three tiers of square panels with straight braces. Curving principal rafters with feet set in from the ends of the beams.' (Dept of Culture, Media and Sport, listed building notes)
LOWER BOND STREET: INDUSTRIAL The Hinckley Times of 23 May 1930 published a photograph of 'a familiar Hinckley cottage of 50 years ago'. Typically half-timbered with brick infill, this had been demolished to make room for 'the magnificient factory in Lower Bond Street of Messrs. Atkins Bros', and faced the framework knitters' cottages now occupied by Hinckley & District Museum. Atkins, founded 1722, was probably the oldest hosiery manufacturer in the world (See Atkins of Hinckley 1722-1972).
Above, left: Aerial view of Atkins of Hinckley, c.1939, showing their various factories in Lower Bond Street, Druid Street etc. Above, right: Architects' accounts for the building of the factory, 1877.
The factory was built in two stages. The original L-shaped block was built between 1875 and 1877 adjacent to the Atkins family home. The architects were Goddard and Paget of Leicester. On 3 Aug 1875 their plans for 'Messrs. Atkins Brothers' new factory in Bond Street' were approved by the local board (Leicester Journal, Fri 6 Aug 1875). The final accounts 'for the erection of new warehouses and premises' are at Hinckley & District Museum, dated 20 July 1877 (above, right). The contractors for the work were John and William Harrold of Hinckley, and the final cost, £4837.
Above, left: The empty premises in September, 2003. Above, right: the 1878 factory is located between the two doorways, with the extension of 1910 to the left. The impressive arched entrances were originally built for carts which provided communication with Hinckley Railway Station.
In 1910 a fourth storey was added to the main block, and the whole building extended. On 23 May 1972 HRH Princess Margaret opened a further major warehouse and office extension (Hinckley Times). On 14 Sept 1995 Atkins' board of directors recommended acceptance of a takeover by Coats Viyella PLC. The company ceased manufacturing in 2002 and in August 2003 the building was sold and is probably to be converted for use as apartments and small commercial units.
Above: Lower Bond Street in 1928; Atkins Brothers' factory on the left.
'Factory, main block 1878 by Goddard Paget, heightened and extended in 1910. Orange brick with ashlar dressings; Welsh slate roof. 1878 build is in English bond, 1910 in Flemish. Street front of four storeys (including basement) and twenty-two bays. Chamfered plinth above basement; upper floors have chamfered set-backs between floor levels and pilasters between bays. The basement has segmental-headed openings (now boarded over). The first and second floors have round-arched windows (those of the second floor taller) with roll-moulded surrounds, mostly with plate-glass sashes but some altered in the late 20th century. Third floor has six-pane casements under square head with block corbels and small central pilasters below their sills. Dentil eaves. The end bays have large round-arched arches, that in bay one now blocked, that at right end carrying Baines Lane. Bay twelve has a round-arched entry altered in the late 20th century, bay fourteen a square-headed entry which, like the bay twenty-two arch, has a frieze of terra cotta foliate panels above and cornice. The original 1878 building comprises bays fourteen to twenty-two, up to the top of the second floor, and a rather plainer range running east from its south end, along Baines Lane. Roof hipped at right end. Large 20th century extension to left.
Interior: The 1878 parts of the building each have central arcades of cast-iron piers; the added 1910 top floor of the main block has internal brick pilasters and a roof with collars and raking struts to the principals.'
(Peter F. Ryder, Hinckley... Historic Buildings Appraisal (2000))
A B C D E F G H I J-K L M N O P Q R S St T U-V W-Z