The Buildings of Hinckley

Buildings that start with the letter M

Magistrates Court 1878


Magistrates Court 1998

MAGISTRATES COURTS 1998-1999 Upper Bond Street, adjacent to 1937 police station and magistrates court, on a site previously occupied by T. Jennings & Sons Ltd, hosiery manufacturers. The need for new courthouse was identified in 1987, but funding was only secured in November 1996. 13 October 1998 the foundation stone was laid by J. G. Selkirk, MP.

Architect's perspective of the hinckley magistrates court hinckley magistrates court

stairway of the hinckley magistrates court

Above, left: Architect's perspective. right: As built. bottom: Stairway.

The building was opened 24 March 2000 by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Bingham of Cornhill. The architect was Clive Hillcoat and the main contractors Thomas Fish and Sons of Nottingham. In the main entrance a tapestry has been hung, the gift of the Magistrates of the Bench. It bears the coat of arms of the Magistrates Association, the White Boar of Richard III, the Red Dragon of Henry VII and a Hansom Cab. The overall cost was £4.4 million.

Manor House

MANOR HOUSE 2 Bond Street. At the junction of Hollycroft Hill and Upper Bond Street and, together with the Hall and Castle Hill House, one of Hinckley's three 'great houses'. Its site is now occupied by the 1937 police station, magistrates court and modern housing.

'The Bond-end horse-pool was filled up, and the site laid to the public street, in 1798. It was situated opposite the mansion belonging to, and occupied by, Thomas Sansome, esq., which has been the family residence of the Sansomes for many generations. In 1809, Mr. Sansome took a great part of the house down, and re-built with stone: the offices and adjoining grounds being greatly improved, and the gardens tastefully laid out, converts it into an elegant and most delightful residence' (Nichols, Leicestershire, 676).

The rather indistinct surviving photographs (below, right, c.1920) show a three-story blocky Georgian mansion occupying the site on which the present police station stands; presumably as rebuilt in 1809.

Edward Phillips' map of 1818 The Manor, about 1930

the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey map

Above, left: Edward Phillips' map of 1818 showing the original block of buildings. right: Photograph of The Manor, about 1930. bottom: By the time of the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey the house had become L-shaped with bay windows and portico. The spacious gardens extended northwards on Upper Bond Street and occupied the whole block between the latter and what became Factory Road, together with a range of offices and outbuildings extending NW from the house itself.

Above, left: Edward Phillips' map of 1818 showing the original block of buildings. Above, centre: Photograph of The Manor, about 1930. Above, right: By the time of the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey the house had become L-shaped with bay windows and portico. The spacious gardens extended northwards on Upper Bond Street and occupied the whole block between the latter and what became Factory Road, together with a range of offices and outbuildings extending NW from the house itself.

At the county record office (DE 2793/11/1-5) are plans for 'conversion of Manor House, Hinckley, to Sanitorium', by W. T. Grewcock, ARIBA of Leicester, dated November 1913. There are five sheets, two of which are tracing paper sketches only. One drawing shows the Manor House before the proposed alterations (three storeys, cellar and site plan), and the others plans, elevations and sections of the proposed additions. By 1932, when the new police station was proposed, the institution was known as the Hinckley Tuberculosis Dispensary (Hinckley Times, 12 Feb 1932).

Mansion Street / Lower Bond Street: Domestic

MANSION STREET/LOWER BOND STREET: DOMESTIC Photo of old houses to be demolished, in the Hinckley Times, 21 Sept 1934.

Market Place

MARKET PLACE The commercial heart of the town and location of the old town hall. Dominated by the bulky tower and lofty spire of the parish church, here were situated the town's two principal coaching inns, the Bull's Head (at the foot of Castle Street) and the George Inn (now The Bounty), together with the White Hart, a large 'commercial hotel'.

Hinckley Market Place, c.1840, from a watercolour drawing by J. T. Burgess
Hinckley Market Place, c.1840, from a watercolour drawing by J. T. Burgess
the 1887-8 Ordnance Survey map

Above: 1887-8 Ordnance Survey, showing the two 'islands' of buildings with Duke's Lane running between.

Market Place facades, about 1880-1900 (courtesy David Knight)
Market Place facades, about 1880-1900 (courtesy David Knight)

'There were next the George two... shops (now the Vaults) both with bow-windows, then another, a few years later occuped by old Wm. Charmer, then a three storey house with an early Georgian front at one time occupied by Scunthorpe, the owner and a solicitor and also at one time by Edward Ken Jarvis, a solicitor who had a large practice and afterwards occupied the Castle Hill [House] and became notorious in several ways' (The Hinckley Chronicles, 25).

Market Place in the 1870s. Note cottages on site of present Midland Bank.
Market Place in the 1870s. Note cottages on site of present Midland Bank.
Market Place in 1905
Market Place in 1905.
Market Place in 1915, with George Inn advertising funeral services
Market Place in 1915, with George Inn advertising funeral services.
Market Place in 1925, with White Hart Hotel to the left
Market Place in 1925, with White Hart Hotel to the left.

In 1930 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 (Hinckley Times, 2 March 1930).

Market Place in 1950, showing rebuilt George Hotel
Market Place in 1950, showing rebuilt George Hotel.


The Marquis of Granby

The MARQUIS OF GRANBY 23 Regent Street. Appears in Pigot's 1822-3 Directory, although its name implies a mid-18th century date.

Masonic Hall

MASONIC HALL 1929 St. Mary's Road. The hall was opened in April 1929 ( account opening in the Hinckley Times, 26 April 1929, with photographs of façade and interior). The Knights of Malta Lodge, Hinckley, No. 50 in the Register of the Grand Lodge of England [is] 'one of the oldest in the country. [Prior to this it had met in rented premises so] it was only natural, therefore, that its members should seek to have a home of their own.

the hinckley masonic hall the hinckley masonic hall

The Hall they have built, in its architectural details and the care of its planning, is probably unsurpassed in the provinces.' 'The building consists of a Temple 40ft. x 24ft., panelled in oak and decorated in a scheme of cream and gold with rich blue hangings. A dining room, 40ft. x 24ft., with seating accommodation for 90, and an ante room attached furnished as a reception lounge… the colour scheme is cream and old gold. Connecting with the dining room is a large kitchen fitted with two large gas ovens... There are also large cloak rooms and lavatories on either side of the vestibule. As it is the intention of the promoters to let the whole of the premises for private and small public functions, the Hall is likely to prove an asset to the town particularly for occasions where the utmost degree of comfort and an air of luxury are required.' Architects Messrs. Heaton and Walker of Hinckley; contractors Messrs. Orton & Sons, Coalville. Cost £4,000.

Mechanics Institute

MECHANICS INSTITUTE Originally established in 1840, in 1854 the Institute moved to a new Reading Room in Castle Street, established in the former Primitive Methodist chapel vacated after the latter connexion had purchased the Ebenezer Chapel in Leicester Road (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 53). See below:

Methodist (Primitive) 'Ebenezer Chapel' 1854

METHODIST (PRIMITIVE), 'EBENEZER CHAPEL' 1854 New Buildings/Leicester Road. This chapel was originally built in 1802 for the Particular (or Strict) Baptists (Nichols, Leicestershire, 697):

'The Particular Baptist Meeting House at Hinckley, Leicestershire, will be opened on Wednesday June 1st, 1803. Worship to begin at Half past Ten o'clock…' (Leicester Journal, 20 and 27 May 1803).

After fifty years as a Particular Baptist meeting house, it was purchased, in May 1854, by the Primitive Methodists for £280 and partially remodelled (the porch was probably added at this point). The original Particular or Strict Baptist congregation returned to a former meeting-house in Mansion Street; built Zion Chapel, Trinity Lane in 1886, from whence in 1974 they moved to a new church in Mount Road (RCHM, 123).

The Primitive Methodists had 'visited and relinquished' Hinckley several times before acquiring this permanent base in the town. For example, a lively camp meeting had been held in 1844: 'Some of the inhabitants received us favourably; but, speaking of the greater part of them, I think I never saw a people more opposed to the gospel. The enemy of souls appeared to have almost entire sway over them, especially over the young. But his strong-holds, thank God, are now giving way. We have rescued from him fifteen person; and though some of these were once very profligate, they are now ornamenting their Christian name with a holy life. The ignorance of which several of them were the subjects previous to their conversion, is almost incredible. One, who is a husband and father, did not know, three months ago, that he had a soul, and was equally ignorant of all scriptural truth. What a blessing that the eyes of his understanding have been opened! The work of the Lord is still going on among the people, and we are hoping to see it mightily extended in every direction' (Primitive Methodist Magazine (1845), 112).

Methodist Ebenezer Chapel 1854

There is a photograph of this chapel at the county record office. See also A. J. Pickering, The Cradle and Home..., 52ff, which includes a drawing by Cicely Pickering (above) showing a simple stuccoed building with round-arched windows and a projecting porch with pediment supported on attached pilasters and architrave, bearing the legend 'PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL 1854'.

In 1863 it was referred to as 'a neat building, in the Grecian style' (William White, Directory).

From 1875-1894 the building was the armoury and drill hall of the 10th Company of the First Battalion, Leicestershire Rifle Volunteers (L. Co. First Volunteer Battalion the Leicestershire Regiment from 1883) until they moved their activities to the old Grammar School in the same street. (See also GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1877) By 1931 the old chapel was said to be 'now a portion of the warehouse of Messrs S. Davis & Sons hosiery factory' (Hinckley Times, 31 July 1931). It later became part of the premises of Messrs. Klynton Davis Ltd. In the 1980s the building was demolished with the remainder of the factory and its site is now occupied by B&Q.

The old chapel in use by Messrs Klynton Davis Ltd, 1985 (sketch by Lew Kershaw)

Above: The old chapel in use by Messrs Klynton Davis Ltd, 1985 (sketch by Lew Kershaw).


Methodist (Primitive) Chapel 1884

METHODIST (PRIMITIVE) CHAPEL 1884 Albert Road. Now Hinckley Methodist Church. Brick with stone dressings, including neo-Norman doorway with zig-zag moulding, and polychromatic brick decoration. The foundation stones were laid on 11 April 1884, according to a report in the Hinckley News, 19 April 1884: 'Unfortunately a dispute as to plans being passed by the Local Board has very much retarded progress… The cost of the building is estimated to be nearly £2000, the contract of the builders Messrs. Langton & Son, of Enderby, being £1600, the site costing £220'.

Primitive Methodist Chapel, 1902 Methodist Chapel Doorway with neo-Norman decoration

Methodist Chapel Facade, 2000

Above, left: Primitive Methodist Chapel, 1902, showing original more elaborate window design. right: Doorway with neo-Norman decoration. bottom: Facade, 2000.

The chapel 'which is so far completed as to be ready for divine service' was first used Sunday 28 Sept 1884, when the interior was as yet unpainted and portions of the woodwork unfinished. On 23 Oct 1884 a service of thanksgiving took place (Leicester Journal, 3 Oct/31 Oct 1884). The architect is not named, but is likely to have been Joseph Ball of Hinckley, given that he also designed a manse and schoolrooms for the same denomination within a few years.

Interior: traditional nonconformist arrangement with central pulpit/table and pipe organ behind. Galleried on three sides. Large and impressive stained glass window above gallery - three main panels depicting Dorcas giving alms/Christ with the children/the Good Samaritan. March 1923. Signed: W. Blythe, 18 Simes Street, Bradford, and A. Griffiths, 27 Sneath Avenue, Golders Green. Window at 'west end' 1937 commemorates Timothy Jennings and depicts the Good Samaritan. The twenty-four windows in the body of the chapel were re-leaded with coloured designs in the early 1920s, the anonymous donor being dissatisfied with the 'factory-like' originals.

Primitive Methodist Chapel hinckley Primitive Methodist Chapel hinckley

In 1922 a major renovation of the church was undertaken, including the main window, where the stonework was already crumbling and decayed. Total cost of scheme £1,650.

[At LRO (DE968 N/M/142/110) Hinckley Primitive Methodist Circuit Leaders Minute Book 1867-1922.]

Methodist (Primitive) Manse 1888

METHODIST (PRIMITIVE) MANSE 1888 Albert Road. On 17 Feb 1888 expenditure on a new minister's house was approved, to be situated adjacent to the recently erected chapel in Albert Road. On 10 Mar 1888 Joseph Ball's specifications and plans were accepted, the estimated cost to be £300 (LRO). Below, right: The manse in 2001.

Methodist (Primitive) Schoolrooms 1893

METHODIST (PRIMITIVE) SCHOOLROOMS 1893, 1928 At LRO (DE 968 - N/M/142/115) - Hinckley Primitive Methodist Schoolroom Building Fund account book and receipts. Contractor 'Mr. Jeffcote, Druid Street, Hinckley' and J. Garner, carpenter/builder of Druid Street. In late March 1893 the cornerstone of new Sunday Schools were laid by J. B. Maclaren MP (Hinckley Times, 1, 8 April 1893). 'July 6 1893 received 10 pounds for preparing plans and specifications etc. for new class rooms and school rooms for the Primitive Methodist Church - Joseph Ball'. July 25 1893 Atherstone - receipt for cutting letters in memorial stones from Joseph Ball for Charles F. Fox.

Methodist Schoolrooms 1893

The schools were opened in early July, 1893. Two storeys with a 35 foot frontage to Dare's Walk. Architect Joseph Ball. Cost £509 plus £50 for furnishings. Contractors Mr Jeffcote for brickwork and Mr Garner for woodwork (Hinckley Times, 8 July 1893).

In 1928 the Sunday school premises were again to be extended at a cost of about £1,000 (Hinckley Times, 18 May 1928). The foundation stone was laid on 19 May 1928 (see account in the Hinckley Times 25 May 1928). Contractors, Messrs. W. Foxon and Son of Hinckley. 'The new building, the foundation stones of which were laid on Saturday, is to find the young men of the church a room that will be suitable for their requirements. This new room will have a capacity of 20 feet by 12 feet and there will be an upper storey which will provide two small classrooms for the use of the intermediate dept. It is the intention of the young men of the church to furnish their new room and make it suitable for use as a church parlour.' These rooms were opened in October 1928, and included a church parlour, two classrooms for the senior scholars and an extended primary department, all furnished and equipped. The final cost was about £600 (Hinckley Times, 26 Oct 1928).

Methodist (Wesleyan) Chapel 1782

METHODIST (WESLEYAN) CHAPEL 1782 Stockwell Head. Wesley House. Brick with rendered front and hipped slate roof; probably the 'neat elegant preaching-house' referred to by John Wesley in his journal, 27 April 1783. The building, which dates from the late 18th century, was enlarged to its present size (391/4ft. by 50ft. externally) c.1800; it was superseded by a new building in 1876-8 which has now been demolished [see below]. The N front, of five bays with two tiers of windows and doorways in the penultimate bays (partly altered since 1957) was originally of three bays and extended to the west.

Methodist chapel 1782 Methodist chapel 1782

The S wall, which now has two tall round-arched windows with recent blocking, earlier had one upper and two lower windows. (RCHM, 124) The building became unsafe in the nineteenth century, and in 1876 the gallery collapsed. When the new chapel was built, this building was bought by Hinckley Club Company Ltd for use as a Men's Club. This continued until 31 December 1942. In 1943 the building was taken over by the Hinckley Youth Club. It subsequently had various uses, was occupied by Shirley Price Ltd, and now (2000) is empty.

In 1856 the Wesleyans purchased a house in New Buildings for their minister after receiving a substantial donation from abroad (Leicester Journal, 8 May 1856).

'The old Working Men's Club premises in Stockwell Head, now in the occupation of Messrs W. Pickering and Sons, box manufacturers, on a 99 years lease, were among the lots offered for sale by Mr Thomas Aucott, under instructions from Messrs Marston, Thompson and Evershed, Ltd. They were eventually knocked down to the occupiers at £250… the Working Men's Club premises… have interesting associations. They formed the home of the Club after its early days in Castle Street. It was from here that the Club transferred to its present spacious premises at the top of Stockwell Head' (Hinckley Times, 11 Nov 1927). It is unclear to which building this account refers, but it is likely that it is Wesley House.

NMR - 1 photo labelled 'Wesleyan Chapel (now a factory)'; 1 photo labelled 'Old Wesleyan Chapel' (both 1957)

John Wesley (1735-91) at Hinckely


November 1743 - John Wesley preached at Hinckley, where he recorded a large and quiet congregation.

21 July 1779 - Reaching Hinckley about 8pm, he was asked to preach before continuing towards Coventry.

15 July 1782 - Wesley, now 79, made a detour into Leicestershire on his way from Birmingham to London. According to his journal, he preached at Hinckley on the evening of Monday 15 July, calling it 'one of the civilest towns I have seen'.

27 March 1783 - Possibly during his last visit he had been asked to return this year to open the first chapel. Until that time services were held in a large room at the back of some houses at the top of Stockwell Head. Wesley arrived by chaise on Thursday 27 March on a circuitous tour from Bristol to Ireland. He had been ill with a fever until a few days before, and had asked a supportive clergyman to take his appointments. When he recovered, he took a chaise and caught up with his schedule. He writes 'I crossed over the country to Hinckley, and he preached in the evening in the neat, elegant preaching-house. So I did, morning and evening, on the three following days to a serious, well-behaved people.' He makes no mention of opening the Preaching House, but it is an oral tradition that he did so. Three days was the longest he ever spent anywhere in Leicestershire.

10 July 1786 - 'The rain continuing, he travelled on to Hinckley in the afternoon and preached there at 6.30. The new preaching house was overflowing, and a more serious, well-behaved people he reckoned he had seldom seen. While he was preaching, a man in the street, while cursing another, called upon God to "blast his eyes". He was immediately struck blind, and remained so for the time being. After an 8 o'clock supper and more time in prayer, Wesley retired for the night at 9.30.'

12 February 1787 - Wesley and a companion arrived late in the afternoon at Hinckley whilst en route from Newark to London. 'The people had no prior notice of his coming, but word soon got around and, although it was raining, the preaching-house quickly filled and he preached to them at 6.30. Many, he believed, were filled with peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. While he was at Hinckley, Wesley enquired about the man who had been struck blind the previous year. He was told that he had remained in that condition for some time, but as soon as he recovered his sight he had lapsed into being as profane as he had before.' Wesley was by this time 83 years old.

(Joan and Robin Stevenson, John Wesley in Leicestershire (Kairos Press 1988))

Methodist (Wesleyan) Chapel 1878

METHODIST (WESLEYAN) CHAPEL 1878 New Buildings (formerly Grimms Lane). It succeeded the 18th century chapel in Stockwell Head. Initial cost £6,301 plus £900 for the site. 'The new church was built in red brick with ornamental stone dressings and a double arched portico, flanked by tall Corinthian columns'. There is a full account of its opening on 7 Nov 1878 in the Hinckley News, Sat 9 Nov, 1878. The architect was John Loxton (of Loxton Brothers) of Wednesbury, the contractors Messrs. T. Foxon and Son of the Mineral Baths, Hinckley.

'The building… presents a noble appearance, the front, facing new building, being of the Italianate style of architecture, built of patent pressed red bricks, with cement facings.

methodist chapel 1878 methodist chapel 1978

The interior of the building is strikingly beautiful, the ornamental portions of the work being of very elegant design. The gallery occupies three sides of the building, and at the end behind the pulpit is an orchestra for organ and choir. The open stalls will accommodate in a comfortable manner over 800 persons. The warming and lighting arrangements are on the most approved principles. The gas pendants, in the form of stars, are suspended from the centre flowers on the ceiling. Underneath the chapel are school-rooms which will accommodate 400 children… The amount of the contract is nearly six thousand pounds' (Hinckley News, 9 Nov, 1878). John Loxton was also the architect of Swan Village Wesleyan Chapel, Staffs, 1865, and of Wednesbury Town Hall, 1870.

Wesleyan Chapel, c.1905
Wesleyan Chapel, c.1905.

At Leics Record Office (DE 968 N/M/142/38) are specifications for repairing, cleaning, painting and decorating the Wesleyan Chapel, Stockwell Head, Hinckley. These are from Messrs. Redfern & Sawday, architects, 1 Berridge Street, Leicester, dated June 1890.

Wesleyan Chapel

In 1903 the chapel was refurbished and renovated. 'The scheme on which the decorations have been carried out is one of contrasts, and the ceiling is done in blues and creams, picked out with gold. The walls are in terra-cotta with a green dado, and with a lot of stenciling in green and red picked out in gold. The whole of the work is painted, and there is not a bit of paper inside the whole building. The front of the gallery, which was formerly varnished, has now been decorated in light green and gold. The front of the orchestra has been brought further forward and room made for another row of seats, this having necessitated the pulpit being moved a little forward. All the pews have been cleaned down and re-varnished, and in the gallery some fall-down seats for special occasions have been put in. The cocoa-matting in the aisles has been replaced by cork carpets, and umbrella stands have been placed at the ends of the pews. An improvement has also been effected in the illumination of the building, and a fresh heating apparatus on the hot air system installed.' The cost was nearly £600. The architects were Ball & Heaton 'and every detail of the entire scheme as regards style, pattern and colour, has had the personal approval of Mr. Heaton'. Mr. John Abbott of Hinckley was the contractor, and Mr. C. W. Summers the sub-contractor and plasterer (Hinckley Times, 19 Sept 1903).

The last service in the building took place on 1st Oct 1969. The chapel was closed on 12th Oct 1969 and demolished soon afterwards, its site now occupied by an undistinguished office block.

See also T. Keen, A History of Wesleyan Methodism in Hinckley (1928), including fine view of chapel. Top, left and right: the chapel in the early 20th century. NMR - 1 photo (above, left).

Middlefield House

MIDDLEFIELD HOUSE pre-1885-6 Formerly 'Teign Bank'. Mrs. Agnes Atkins, the widow of Mr A. Shirley Atkins, was the owner in 1888/9. 'After the Second World War it was the home of the Hinckley YMCA, but was demolished some years ago' (Warren, Hinckley Historian, 11 (Autumn 1982), 17). The house is clearly shown on the 1885-6 OS map, a substantial residence set in two acres of gardens, situated near the junction of Factory Road and Middlefield Lane (below).

1885-6 OS map

The Middlefield Inn

The MIDDLEFIELD INN Tudor Road. Appears in the trades directories from 1936. Built to serve the Middlefield housing estate.

Middlefield Primary School


Middlefield Road Estate

MIDDLEFIELD ROAD ESTATE Large municipal housing estate of 1930s. Eight hundred dwellings initially planned (Hinckley Times, 13 Feb 1931). 'Another hundred houses to be built' in Tudor Road (Hinckley Times, 8 July 1932).

Midland Bank


Mill Hill: Industrial

MILL HILL: INDUSTRIAL Works of Arthur Bolesworth Ltd., Hosiery Manufacturers. Incorporates date stone of AD 1916 on lintel.

The Mill Hill factory, 2000 The Mill Hill factory, 2000

Arthur Bolesworth Ltd, 1940

Above, left and right: The Mill Hill factory, 2000. bottom: As Arthur Bolesworth Ltd, 1940.

Mineral Baths (Spa): Mineral Baths Hotel

MINERAL BATHS (SPA) c.1849; MINERAL BATHS HOTEL Ashby Road - later The New Mineral Baths Hotel (1898), then The Kiwi public house; now The Ashby Tavern.

'There are several Mineral Springs in the neighbourhood, viz. Cogg's Well, Christopher Stevenson's Spa, and the Priest Hills, and on the entrance into the town, on the London Road, is the celebrated "Holy Well", the water of which is exquisitely clear and good' (Curtis, Topographical History of Leicestershire (1831), 75).

'There are several mineral springs in the neighbourhood, one in particular discovered on the property of Mr Hollier, who has erected some handsome baths' (Post Office Directory, 1848).

'In May 1849, baths were open to the public, and ground has been laid out for the recreation of visitors attending to drink the water and take the baths' (Slater's Royal National and Commercial Directory, 1850).

See Mervyn Patterson MD LSA, A Medical Guide to the Hinckley Mineral Spring and Baths with Reference to Diseases for which they are useful, to which is appended An Historical Study of the Town and Neighbourhood (London and Hinckley 1849). The latter's cover has an engraved view of the mineral baths building (below).

Hinckley Mineral Baths, designed and built by Thomas Harrold in 1849

Above: Hinckley Mineral Baths, designed and built by Thomas Harrold in 1849

Patterson states that 'Hinckley has for centuries been celebrated or the beauty of the country around and its healthfulness'. 'The Baths which have been built on the site of the mineral springs… are rapidly approaching completion, and it is expected they will be opened at the beginning of the next month… Independent of the valuable properties of the water, the sanitary effects of a swimming pool in this neighbourhood must be widely felt' (Leicester Mercury, 19 May 1849).

'The building is in the Tudor style of architecture and has been erected by Mr Harrold, builder, who has now undertaken to build a swimming bath, in connection with the other baths, which, when completed, will be 60 feet long by 20 feet wide'. One acre of grounds was 'to be tastefully laid out during the summer'. 'It is a pleasing sign of the times that the sanitary condition of the people is being provided for, and we know of no means so conducive as "public baths" and we earnestly hope that the effects of the spirited proprietor will be duly supported' (Leicester Journal, 25 May 1849).

'The inhabitants… are now enjoying the healthful and rejuvenating luxury of bathing in their own mineral springs'. Preparations were being made for a procession etc to celebrate the opening of the Baths, and adjoining lands were being purchased for 'pleasure grounds'. The 'large and commodious swimming bath' was nearing its completion.

The Mineral Baths, from the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey

Above: The Mineral Baths, from the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey

It was hoped that an arrangement could be made with the Hinckley Feoffees so that the factory operatives might swim and bathe there for 1d (Leicester Mercury, 9 June 1849).

'These baths continue to increase daily in public estimation', attracting visitors from 'very remote distances'. 'I am quite prepared to see Hinckley containing its Pump Room and other places of fashionable resort, so that ages to come may yet record its celebrity amongst the Pierian Springs of more modern times' (Leicester Mercury, 14 July 1849). The same newspaper (11 August 1849) reported a meeting of framework knitters at Hinckley pressing for the provision of public baths for the poor of the town.

'These baths are situated on the side of the turnpike road leading to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and about a quarter of a mile out of the town. The building is a very convenient one, and ample accommodation was afforded to bathers. It comprised a swimming bath, with dressing boxes, together with hot and cold water and shower baths, at a charge of 6d., 9d., and 1s. The reputation of these waters, which were plentiful, made the vicinity a great public thoroughfare; but they never rendered the proprietor a fair remuneration for the outlay of his money'. After the death of James Hollier it was owned by Thomas Harrold*, then after his death by Thomas Foxon, who licensed it and opened the adjacent 'pleasure grounds' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 56-7, writing summer 1874).

An analysis of the water showed that it resembled a compound of the waters at Carlsbad, Harrogate, Buxton and Tunbridge. The baths were listed as licensed premises in a trades directory of 1892, but the old bath buildings appear to have been demolished soon afterwards in preparation for the building of the new hotel. By September the New Mineral Baths Hotel, Ashby Road, was being built by Messrs. Alsopp and Sons. When finished, it was expected to 'present a somewhat imposing appearance' (Hinckley Times, 10 Sept 1898).

*Thomas Harrold, sen, who was in partnership with Ben Law, Charlotte Brame's father. [H. A. Beavin, '1848 - Hinckley - Medical Mecca of the Midlands?', Hinckley Historian, 3, 21-3.]

Mission Room: Tudor Road


Mission Room: Druid Street


Moore's Yard

MOORE'S YARD Slum properties here demolished in 1937-8 (Hinckley Times, 15 Oct 1937).

Mount Road


Mount Road looking towards Hill Street, c.1905
Mount Road looking towards Hill Street, c.1905.
Mount Road looking towards Station Road, c.1910
Mount Road looking towards Station Road, c.1910.

[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]