[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]
TECHNICAL INSTITUTE (COLLEGE) 1931 London Road. In May 1927 Capt E. G. Fowler (the county architect) attended the HUDC committee concerned with the erection of the a Technical institute, in response to a need to train those involved in the production of hosiery and boot and shoe. The projected cost was £9,000, with an additional £5,000 for furnishings. By May 1927 arrangements were complete, the site to be given free of charge by the HUDC to the County Council The original designs (main elevation, below) were now altered following the purchase of some adjoining land (Hinckley Times, 20 May 1927).
On 12 Nov 1930 the County Council accepted a tender of £9,985 from Walter Moss & Son, Coalville (Hinckley Times, 14 Nov 1930). The institute was opened on 24 September 1931 (Hinckley Times, 25 Sept). The overall cost was about £12,000.
The building is of standstock brick, with dressings in reconstructed Clipsham stone. The central pediment contains the County Arms carved in stone and the date of completion - 1931. Fowler was the prolific County Education Committee Architect, who designed Rutland and Hazlerigg Halls (1932 and 1938), the first halls of residence at Loughborough Technical College (now University) (Evelyn Henderson, Milestones of Hinckley 1640-1981, 14-15). (Some comments by Pickering in the Pickering Papers recount the opposition to its foundation.)
After World War II the Technical College was extended on to the London Road site formerly occupied by the workhouse, in part utilising some of that institution's old outbuildings. It was later renamed Hinckley College of Further Education. More recently it was absorbed into a much larger institution, the North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, whose main site is on the Hinckley Road, Nuneaton, and which also has sites at Atherstone, Bedworth and Coleshill. The college specialises in vocational qualificatons, in particular BTECs and NVQs.
Above: the new post-war block on London Road in the 1960s
THEATRES - 18th and 19th centuries
John Byng, 5th Viscount Torrington, diarist, recorded a conversation with Mr. Oliver, the Leicester bookseller, in 1790: 'He also mention'd his remembrance of Mrs. S[iddons], at Hinckley, playing the Irish-widow in a most capital stile. "Why Sr I imagin'd then, her comic powers to be very great"'. The play referred to was one of Garrick's, published in 1772. 'This brings to light that one of the most workaday of Leicestershire towns, though now one of the largest, had its playhouse, where a famous actress could appear in a new piece by Garrick' (C. B. Andrews (Ed.), John Byng: The Torrington Diaries (1935)).
In 1793 Mr Beynon's company had a six-week season at the 'Theatre' in Hinckley, billed as having pit 2s and gallery 1s. 'The theatre had been "fitted up more eligible than heretofore", which suggests that it was a converted hall. However in 1800 Mr. Chamberlain's players are billed at the "New Theatre"; perhaps this was the 'small theatre' described by H. J. Francis (History of Hinckley) as standing 'in a yard at the Borough' (see below) (Leacroft, Helen and Richard, The Theatre in Leicestershire (Leicestershire Libraries and Information Service, 1986), 13-14).
Above: Sixteenth century half-timbered houses in the Borough, on the premises of which stood Hinckley Theatre. They were demolished in 1865.
'The gallery in the Hinckley Theatre gave way in 1804 [19th November], when it was "crowded with people… the greater part thereof fell into the pit, by which accident a few young ladies were bruised". They did not have much luck at Hinckley as the same thing happened again during a performance of Richard III in September, 1835' (H. & R. Leacroft, 8 - refs: Leicester Journal Nov 23 1804; Leicester Chronicle Sept 26 1835).
'The Hinckley theatre was in the large yard and premises at the back of those fine old half-timbered houses in the Borough (above), most certainly the finest specimens of 15th or early 16th century work in the town' (Tom Harrold in The Hinckley Chronicles, 9). These houses were demolished in 1866 for the building of the Congregational Chapel; by that time they were divided into three shops. Adjoining them, on the Regent Street side, was a brick building with a wide entrance leading to the large yard which contained the barn that was "fitted out" as a theatre in the 1840s. This was Bassett's Yard, so called because it stood behind the premises of Richard Bassett, a builder employing ten men in 1851 (info: David Knight).
THORNYCROFT, pre-1902 '… one of the most attractive and desirable of the smaller residences in the town and neighbourhood of Hinckley'. It was built by Hugh Atkins, Esq., at a cost of £1,500 (he was resident there in 1902), and was sold after his death in 1911 to his nephew A. S. Atkins for £1,825 (Hinckley Times, 23 December 1911). Shown in Illustrated Guide to Hinckley (1911).
THREE POTS ESTATE 1932 Sketchley. Frontages to Watling Street and Wolvey Road. Thirty acres. H. W. Jepson, architect and surveyor, Nuneaton. Contractors: George Cooper & Sons Ltd of Nuneaton. See advertisements in the Hinckley Times, 1, 8, 15 April 1932 etc.
The THREE TUNS. 7 Stockwell Head. It appeared in an advertisement in the Leicester Journal, 1 May 1801, and in the trades directories from 1809 until 1916. Its site was later (at least by 1930) occupied by C. Toon & Co., hosiery manufacturers.
THREE WAYS Hill Street, backing onto Argent's Mead. The Hinckley architect Sidney J. Walker (of Heaton & Walker) designed this attractive and secluded house for himself in the 1920s.
TOC-H CHAPEL. New Buildings. A Toc-H chapel was dedicated in June 1928 in two-storey premises previously occupied by the offices of the Warehouse and Hosiery Menders Union. The furnishings included an altar, frontal, etc. Toc-H was founded by the Revd 'Tubby' Clayton in memory of Gilbert Talbot, who died in the Great War in 1915 (Hinckley Times, 29 June 1928). [Exactly where this was situated is not clear.]
TOLL GATES There were at one time several turnpike roads, each with its tollgates. See F. Shaw, Hinckley in Old Picture Postcards, no.51, for list and photographic view of tollgate lodge on London Road in 1909. A photograph exists of the Ashby Road gate together with an account of a tollgate keeper who committed suicide (Pickering Collection). The original painted notice board displaying the list of tolls for the Smockington gate is on display at Hinckley Library.
TOWN GAOL 'The Town-Gaol was situated on the spot called "The Round Hill," which was the butchery, market-house, and old Town-hall, where the present [town] hall now stands' (Nichols, Leicestershire, IV, 2 (1811)).
TOWN HALL, OLD Market Place; 'This site is part of the Lesser Feoffment property, which had from time immemorial been holden in trust for the town by successive feoffees. In Nichols' times (History of Hinckley, 1782) a Town Hall and Free School House stood there. At the latter, more than a century earlier, the celebrated Rev. Richard Vines presided as schoolmaster. This '...was for many years in so ruinous a condition, that it was long in contemplation to pull it down and to build a new one, with a school. Five large oak-trees were bequeathed for this use by the will of Mr. Joseph Nutt, who died in 1775. Under the old Town-hall were shambles, where the country butchers used on market-days to bring great quantities of meat; a practice long since disused' (Nichols, Leicestershire, IV, 2 (1811), 679).
'The site [of the town hall] occupies part of what was known as "The Round Hill" and in remote times, where stood the town gaol. Under this Town Hall were shambles, where the country butchers used, on market days, to bring in great quantities of meat. In an old almanac is recorded the week before Christmas 1790, 52 cows were cut up there and sold for 3d per 1b. In December 1776, a new deed of feoffment was executed, upon which the site was described as follows: - "All and singular the messuages, lands, outhouses, edifices, and buildings, with the appurtenances, situate, standing and being in the borough of Hinckley, called The Roundhill, formerly an inn, and called sometimes by the name of the Bull Inn, and compassed about on all sides with the king's highway or common street in Hinckley aforesaid, now consisting of the several buildings or tenements, after mentioned, viz., the Town Hall, commonly called The Drapery and Butchery"' (Hinckley Times, 20 May 1922).
'The town hall, now in ruins, will soon be rebuilt upon a more modern plan, and is to consist of a large public room supported by pillars, with a piazza for the use of the market, over which it is projected to raise a turret for a clock and dials' ('Robert Curthose' in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, part II, 790).
'The old town-hall and school-house remain, but are ruinous' (Universal British Directory, 1791).
'The ancient town hall, school-house and ball-room are very curious, but in a dilapidated condition' (John Gorton, A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland (1832), 228). [This is dubious - may refer to Leicester]
'The necessity of pulling it down did not arise, for about 1800 a disastrous fire broke out which burnt down the Town Hall with the Guild Hall adjoining. It is presumed that many valuable town charters and historical documents were destroyed at this time [however, this event was not recorded by the Leicester Journal]' (Hinckley Times, 20 May 1922).
There are more details of the old town hall in deeds of 17th century in the Feoffment accounts and in a report of 1604 reproduced in Nichols' Leicestershire.
TOWN HALL 1802-03 'The town hall, now in ruins, will soon be rebuilt upon a more modern plan, and is to consist of a large public room supported by pillars, with a piazza for the use of the market, over which it is projected to raise a turret for a clock and dials' ('Robert Curthose' in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, part II, 790).
'The present Town-hall and the adjoining houses were built in 1802-3' (Nichols, Leicestershire, 679).
Cost £2,416 7s 0d including new houses in the Market Place (Francis, History of Hinckley, 119).
Above: The town hall from St. Mary's church tower, c.1905
In April 1827 the town hall was damaged by fire. 'Flames were bursting from the windows of the Town-Hall and the house adjoining, with the greatest fury. The rapidity of the flames caused many to fear that the building would not be saved. After every exertion being used the fire was subdued, but not without considerable injury being done' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 13).
'The town hall is a small edifice, and is used for petty sessions and county courts' (Goring, Imperial Gazeteer of England and Wales (1870-72)).
22 March 1920 - Barclay's Bank purchased the old town hall at auction (Hinckley Times, Sat 27 March).
May 1922 - Barclay's Bank premises were opened here.
'In its time the old Town Hall at Hinckley has served many useful public purposes. It has now been converted into bank premises for Messrs. Barclays, the well-known bankers, who will remove from the corner on the opposite side of the street on Monday next. The site is part of the Lesser Feoffment property, which had from time immemorial been holden in trust for the town by successive feoffees… The well-known old building has been reconstructed and decorated internally, and the external improvements which have been effected, are such as to dispose of much of the unimpressiveness which previously existed. Since the opening of a branch of the Birmingham and District Bank in Hinckley (afterwards the United Counties), progress has been made by leaps and bounds, and the more recent amalgamation of the bank with that of Barclays, has made the capacity of the present premises altogether out of proportion with the large amount of business transacted… A large strong room of extremely substantial construction has been formed in the basement, with double door and grille, and there is also a large room situated in the basement for the storage of books and papers. The banking hall on the ground floor will accommodate three cashiers at the front desk, with provision for seven clerks and space to add desk room for another three in the future. The fittings are of oak, and are in harmony with the panelled dado round the hall. There is also a convenient room for the manager, with access from the public space, and another room for the clerks. The first storey has been converted into offices, several of which have been let to a firm of solicitors. Local firms have very creditably carried out the work of reconstructing the premises' (Hinckley Times, 20 May 1922).
See David J. and Jenny Knight, Hinckley Historian, 32.
'House, now bank. Late 18th century with later alterations. Red brick, stuccoed to ground floor with chanelled rustication; hipped slate roof aligned north-south facing east. Two storeys with rusticated quoins of unequal length, small blind panels above second floor window and a moulded plaster eaves cornice. Regular five-window front. 20th century top opening casements to ground floor set within original openings beneath semi-circular tympana with raised key blocks; 20th century bottom opening casements to first floor within original openings with rusticated plaster lintels and raised key blocks. Door to left with panelled doorcase, fluted frieze and cornice hood beneath a semi-circular typanum. Two-bay left hand return'. (Dept of Culture, Media and Sport - listed building description)
The TOWN HALL ARMS/TAVERN/VAULTS 1a, Market Place. It occupied the town hall, built in 1806, and now the premises of Barclays Bank. It is recorded in the trades directories from 1862 until 1912. See David J. & Jenny Knight in the Hinckley Historian, 32 (Autumn 1993).
TRINITY CHAPEL - see HOLY TRINITY CHURCH 1837-9
TRINITY DYE WORKS - see ASHBY ROAD:INDUSTRIAL
TRINITY LANE: INDUSTRIAL '...was a part of the town concerned with the brewing and malting industries in the 19th century. The first brewery opened in 1809, and Hinckley has been celebrated for good ale - "Higham-on-the-Hill, Stoke in the Dale, Wykin for butter, Hinckley for ale"' (Lindley, Hinckley Town Trail, 2).
John Nichols (Leicestershire, IV, 2 (1811)) mentions a brewery for ale and porter established in 1809 by Francis Ward. There is a hosiery manager's house on the corner of Trinity Lane and Trinity Vicarage Road (pictured below; in 2002 renovated and converted to private housing) and another substantial house next to the Leisure Centre (demolished 1999).
On 11 May 1875, at a meeting of the Hinckley Local Board, the surveyor 'presented plans for… a new factory of Mr. Hurst's, in the Trinity-lane, passed, in consideration that the plan of the water closets be amended' (Leicester Journal, Tues 11 May 1875).
George Bott and Son Ltd was established here in 1891. The factory, built in 1904 to designs by Ball & Heaton of Hinckley, was a prominent structure with its name visible on the roof from Mansion Street. It had all the features of a factory of the early Edwardian period designed to produce cotton fabric, and in the days of full production early in the twentieth century had separate entrances for the owner, workers and horse-drawn goods vehicles. By 2001 it was derelict and burnt out, and was completely demolished by February 2003. A private housing development is now being built on the site.
In 1926 the factories of Crook & Gilbert, W & C Wills, and Bradbury Ltd, all in Trinity Lane, were completely destroyed by fire.
Top, left: Bott & Son, from an advertisement of 1911. Top, right: The derelict Bott & Son factory from Trinity Lane. Above left: From jitty off Trinity Lane. Above, right: From Lower Bond Street.
TRINITY LANE: DOMESTIC Slum properties here demolished in 1937-8 (Hinckley Times, 15 Oct 1937).
TRINITY SCHOOLS 1847 Trinity Lane. Thomas Frewen of Brickwall, Sussex, donated the site in September 1847 for a 'school house adjoining to Trinity Chapel'. He specified that the ground plan, elevations and specifications were to have his prior approval, and the National Society and Council for Education were applied to for grants (East Sussex Record Office: FRE/3210; 23 Feb 1847). The schools were intended 'for the education both of adults and of children of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer classes in Hinckley, and for the erection of a school master's or mistress's house; and in trust that the school shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of the National Society for promoting the education of the poor in the Principles of the Established Church, and shall be under the management of the Lord or Lady of the Manor of Sapcote' (FRE/418).
At the county record office (Ma/E/BG/142/1) is an unsigned and undated sheet of designs. These include a plan for the girls' school, second and third storeys of the master's house with section and ground plan. The buildings were completed in 1848, comprising a day school to accommodate 150 boys, and master's house, at a cost of about £800.
Above, left and right: Elevation and groundplan of proposed schools from undated printed circular (Frith's Charity File, Church of England Record Centre).
The architect Ewan Christian, visiting Hinckley in 1849, reported to Frewen that 'the schools at Hinckley are opened and in use, and when I saw Mr Wilkinson last month he told me that he had only £4 to collect. The building answers its purpose admirably, and nothing is now wanted for the completion of the group but a nice parsonage house in the corner of the garden' (FRE/2942).
Frith's Charity File (Church of England Record Centre, Bermondsey) contains correspondence regarding the prospective school and an undated printed circular with proposed elevation and ground plan .
'Trinity Church Schools, together with a house for the master and mistress, were built in 1853 [sic] at a cost of more than £900, raised by subscription, and grants of £200 from the Committee of the Council on Education and £80 from the National School Society. They are near the church and are now only used as Sunday Schools and for an infants' day school. The dwelling house is occupied by the scripture reader' (White's Gazeteer and Directory, 1863).
The schools continued in operation in some form until about 1933. See also HOLY TRINITY DAY SCHOOLS 1912
[Amongst the papers of the architect Henry Goddard (1792-1868) are two schemes of c. 1840 for a school at Hinckley whose identity is unclear, but which is likely to be this.]
TRUSTEE SAVINGS BANK 1939 The Borough. A branch of the Leicester TSB was opened here on 12 January 1939 by Sir Arthur Hazlerigg, President of the Bank (Trustee Savings Bank Association Gazette, vol. 9, no. 2, April 1939, 2). There is an account of the opening in the Hinckley Times, Fri 13 January 1939, but this does not give details of the work itself, the architect or contractor.
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