Around old Burbage the Second Time

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

Page 3

cedar lawns an 18th century house in burbage
On entering Church Street from its northern end, one cannot fail to notice "Cedar Lawn", a majestic 18th century house, previously occupied by families who took great interest in village life, but now taken over by the Conservative Association as its area office, and with the name changed to "Cedar Lawns".

From a study of the above photograph, possibly taken before the first world war, one can see that the outline of the buildings in the background has changed little over the years, though many other alterations have taken place — types of windows, doors, and also the interiors.

It is also of interest to compare the photograph with the present time to determine what has changed. For instance, there is now a different porch at "Cedar Lawn"; also there are now no decorative railings. In the background there is now no lamp-post, no signpost, water pump, thatched cottage, no shop to the right of the "Cross Keys", no Heath's hosiery factory chimney, and the top storey is now missing from the building which is now Hamilton's Newsagents.

the atherstone hunt outside archers cottage  in 1925
From the "Hinckley Times" of February 7th 1925:

"For the first time in the history of the Atherstone Hounds, the meet on Monday last was fixed to take place at Burbage Village instead of as has been the case in the past, at Burbage Common or Burbage Woods. It was a lovely morning, and the scene presented was one of the most picturesque during the present season.

When Wardle, the Huntsman, brought the hounds into Burbage, near the Church, the square was pretty well occupied with children who were having an extra hour recreation for the occasion. There was a large assembly of motors from Hinckley and adjoining districts.

The hounds moved away, and put into the Burbage Woods from the Sapcote Lane, where they soon turned out two foxes. Running about from covert to covert one was killed. According to reports this was a very tough fox, for the hounds could not pull him to pieces. This probably accounts for the story which had previously been told by some of the residents in the immediate district of Burbage Covert that there was a fox in the district who had turned grey, which had been known to the area for the past ten years. Was this that fox?"

In the photograph, Reuben Bates, a well-known man of the village in his day, can be seen standing with a dog under each arm.

the large building on the left once been occupied by george canning the victoria jubilee tree
The large building on the left of this photograph is said to have once been occupied by George Canning, twice Foreign Secretary and, for a very short space of time, Prime Minister. He was born in London in 1770 and died in 1827. One date suggests that the building was erected in 1707, but in those early days evidence seems to point to the fact that it was split into several dwellings. In 1846 the New Inn took up part of the property, and in 1865 on the same site it is recorded that the Earl de Grey's Arms was also situated here, the Innkeeper being one Samuel Nickels. The whole of the building is now occupied as the Burbage Constitutional Club. The picture was taken before 1914. Notice how free the children were to play in safety in the streets.

The young tree surrounded by railings, is the Victoria Jubilee Tree of 1887 (see next picture). The cobbled pavement in front of the Manor wall on the right is still in existence today.

The Victorian Jubilee Tree, in all its glory, taken in the late 1940's. This tree was torn apart during a gale on 29th March 1952. Of the houses shown in the background, only the one on the left remains. This house, although looking fairly ordinary from the outside, is very interesting in that embodied in its structure is a large part of a Cruck Cottage with the original wattle and daub filling. It was also on these premises that, in the 1790's, George Greenway, Victualler and Malster, erected a Malthouse in the grounds for the purpose of brewing ale. Although George died in 1827, the Malthouse was not demolished until 1883. The houses to the right of the white cottage were demolished around 1970. The first floor room, with the bay window, was the workroom of our last village tailor, Charles Hands. The room below was formerly used as a branch of the Midland Bank.

the coronation committee at the manor the coronation committee at the manor

Inside the Manor on Christmas Eve 1953, members of the Coronation committee gathered to witness the sealing of the lead caskets. This operation was being carried out by Tom Lord of the well-known firm of local plumbers of that time, T. S. Lord & Sons I was 13 years old at the time and remember the occasion quite well.

The Church Choir, of which I was a member, always made the rounds of various large houses in the village to sing carols. We duly knocked on the door of the Manor at the right time and after entering the large hallway, we burst forth with a few festive renderings, and were then invited into the room to the left of the front door where the sealing was taking place. There on the table before us were the old and new lead caskets, dated 1887 and 1953 respectively.

I remember the late Keith Wileman being present with what I think must have been some sort of instamatic camera, for our photographs were taken and developed before we left only minutes later. I'm sorry to say that I was unable to obtain a photograph for myself.

In the photograph above we, from left to right, Ken Bell, George Boast, Tom Mc Grah (sitting), Mrs. Whitehead, Mrs. Atkins and Miss J. Atkins.

caskets placed in a brick vault and a copper beech tree was planted at the manor caskets placed in a brick vault and a copper beech tree was planted at the manor
The ceremony took place outside the Manor House on a very fresh winter's day, 26th December, 1953, with prayers and speeches by the various participants.

The caskets were placed in a brick vault and a copper beech tree was planted by the three oldest men in the village — Mr. Wright, Mr. Foxon and Mr. Tunnicliffe. In the photograph top left we see (from left to right) Mr. Harry Tunnicliffe, Ken Bell, Gordon Paul, Mrs. Whitehead, Tom McGrah, Rev. R. D. H. Pughe (Rector), Mrs. Atkins, Miss J. Atkins and Mr. Tompkin. in the photograph on the right are (from left to right) Mr. Harry Tunnicliffe, Mr. Wright and Tom McGrah (Chairman of the Coronation Committee). In the foreground is a young lady of the village who was invited to assist in the tree planting.

the grange along aston lane in 1911 the grange along aston lane in 1911
One of the most photographed, painted or sketched buildings in Burbage — Grange Farm in Aston Lane (Lord's Lane to locals). Both photographs on this page were taken down Lord's Lane on a very fine summer's day in 1911.

Two dates are visible, possibly indicating when the Grange was built. First, there is a date inside the building, 1608, and an extension at the rear bears the date 1697. The stables and coach house appear to be 19th century.

The Hall, which can partly be seen opposite The Grange, was occupied towards the end of the last century and the first few years of the present one by K. B. Baghot de la Bere, third son of a clergyman and born at Prestbury, Cheltenham, in December 1837. He studied civil engineering under Osborn Edwards and Isambard Kingdom Brunei. He carried out large railway constructions in Southern Ireland and in South America. At the age of 35 he gave up his engineering profession and took up agriculture, first in South Wales and then in Leicestershire. He was called on a number of occasions to the Lords and Commons to give evidence upon matters concerning agriculture. For 28 years he took an active role in Church organisation, and it was he who presented the stained East window in the Sanctuary of the parish church.