Around old Burbage

Book written by John D. McNaughton on the brief History of Burbage in Leicestershire.

Page 3

archer cottage in burbage george archer
End of the First World War 1919, a time to celebrate for the men of Burbage. In the background stands 'Archer Cottage', said to be the oldest house in Burbage.

This fine Elizabethan cottage stands at the south entrance to the Church. There were at one time three cottages, all belonging to the Overseers of the Poor. These were sold by the Overseers to James Bonner, Keeper of the Cross Keys Inn about 1836. The money raised by that sale went towards Burbage's quota for the building of the Hinckley and District Workhouse in 1837.

By 1854 James Bonner had sold the cottages to George Archer (hence 'Archer Cottage'). He was for many years Parish Clerk, and used the cottage both as a home and office. In the area between Archer Cottage and the building known as the Old School stood Burbage Town Hall, in which the Overseers of the Poor held their meetings.

A Poor Book entry in May, 1779 shows that many families in the village fell victim to smallpox and had to be financed by the Overseers. One entry recorded a Dr Smith being paid the sum of £0-12-0 for inoculating a man by the name of Howkins and three of his children against the disease. Records also refer to The Burbage Workhouse in 1801 as having 7 males and 11 females in residence, but I have been unable to locate the site of this building.

cross key inn procession leaving grove road
Of this very fine old part of Burbage opposite the West Wall of the Churchyard, only the buildings in line with the Cross Keys Inn remain. In this photograph we see one of the many village pumps. In the house with the climbing plants growing up its walls lived the Taylor family and branches of this family still live in the area. The house on the corner of the last bend in the road was Amy Garner's sweet shop. The houses just visible between the hedges and trees on the right were known as Grassland's Row.

The Golden Jubilee of Burbage Co-operative Society in June, 1923. We see the procession leaving Grove Road into Hinckley Road and moving towards the Infant School for tea. Note the buildings to the right of the photograph — these are now Moore's Newsagents and Mr J. Veasey's hairdressing salon.

the old stocks tree mr charles hands the village tailor
One of the oldest photographs in the book, possibly taken in the 1870s and showing the Old Stocks Tree, said to have been planted in 1706 by William Townsend, one of the village bakers. It is said that he planted the tree to shelter those who were locked in the stocks.

Mr Charles Hands, village tailor, stands in front of his shop in Church Street. His son Charles followed in his footsteps and work was carried out in a house across the road where No 117 Church Street now stands. Charles Hands was the last Burbage tailor.

the manor the grange in aston lane
The Manor, believed to be about 300 years old, has had many extensions over the centuries, there being some six or seven different roof levels. Recorded history of the Manor seems very scarce and it is not possible at this time to pass on further details.

The Grange (formerly the Old Hall) in Aston Lane (known to local people as Lord's Lane). This very attractive timber framed building appears to have been built in two stages, the first being the front timber framed section, possibly built in the late 16th century, and the second stage at the rear of the house in 1697. The building has some very interesting features such as the oriel windows which contain the original glass. The stables and coach house appear to have been built in the mid-19th century. Occupants of the property have included Anthony Gray, Earl of Kent and also the Rector of Burbage 1589-1643; also members of the Wightman family, a name going back over 400 years in the village and one that still lives on in the area. It was from The Grange that the first 'bus service from Burbage to Hinckley was started in the early 1920s.

17th century burbage hall
Burbage Hall, a very beautiful 17th century building. Its walls were said to have been hung with tapestries at one time and concealed a priest hole or chamber, entry to which was said to be by a secret door in the floor of a cupboard in a first floor room. The Hall was once the property of the Earls of Gainsborough.