The Buildings of Hinckley

Buildings that start with the letter P

Palace of Varieties

PALACE OF VARIETIES (PALAIS DE DANSE) Upper Castle Street (now situated between a newsagents and video rental shop). This building '…which in the present [roller skating] boom has led the way so far as Hinckley is concerned, continues to be the rendezvous of local skaters, for the floor and the building appear to be well suited to the purpose'. Erected in 1905 as 'a Salvation Army citadel, it was afterwards bought in the open market for the purpose of hosiery manufacturing. Later it became a saleroom and, in more recent times, a dance hall. In addition it has been a meeting room, exhibition hall and political committee room.' (Hinckley Times, 28 Feb 1930)

For previous and subsequent history of the building see SALVATION ARMY HEADQUARTERS 1905

Palais de Danse


Palladium Cinema

PALLADIUM CINEMA 1920 New Buildings. Built in 1820 as a Free or National School by the Great Feoffment (see NATIONAL SCHOOL 1820), it formerly housed the grammar school (1877-1894) before its removal to Leicester Road, and then became the drill hall of the Volunteer Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (see GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1877).

In 1911, prior to being a cinema, it was hosting amateur musical shows and drama, and by October 1911 was The Hinckley Pavilion of Varieties and Drama, Hinckley Drill Hall (Hinckley Times, Aug 1911). In August 1912 it re-opened as a cinema. Accounts of the re-opening of the Drill Hall as The Pavilion Cinema and Variety Hall occur in the Hinckley Times, Saturdays 10, 17 and 24 August 1912. It continued as such until 1913. After some years of mixed functions the building was re-christened The Palladium by a new owner, Hinckley and Dursley Theatres Ltd. (owners of the Hinckley Theatre), and opened as 'a modern cinema' in September 1920 after 'extensive alterations and improvements'. (Hinckley Times, 11 and 16 Sept).

Lawrence's self-service store, about 1954

Above: Lawrence's self-service store, about 1954.

The house could seat 400 in tip-up seats. It closed in 1930, under pressure from the new Regent Cinema, and was replaced by the New Borough Theatre.

At a later date the Palladium Roller Skating Rink occupied the building, with a new maple floor (Hinckley Times, Mar/April 1926). 'Not the least interesting development of the craze locally has been the conversion of the Palladium, which until recently was a popular cinema. In pre-war days this building was the old Hinckley Grammar School. Later, as the Drill Hall, it became the scene of local military activities, and subsequently, with the increasing popularity of motion pictures, it was converted into a cinema. Most of the performances of the Hinckley Amateur Operatic Society have been performed within its walls' (Hinckley Times, 28 Feb 1930). Hinckley and Dursley Theatres Ltd retained ownership until 1935, when its interests at Hinckley were sold to Oscar Deutsch's Odeon Circuit. Plans to demolish the old Palladium and build a new Odeon Cinema on the site were not realised.

During World War II a 'British Restaurant' was opened here. Subsequently the building was occupied by Lawrence's Self Service Store (opened 24 Sept 1954) which was remarkable as being one of the first self-service stores on the American model to be opened in the United Kingdom (Hinckley Times, 16 Sept 1955). Later the building housed Unit Sales DIY and in November 1986 Hinckley Indoor Market opened in the building. Demolished about 1990. Site still vacant in 2004.

NMR - 1 photo


Pares Leicestershire Banking Company

PARES LEICESTERSHIRE BANKING COMPANY PREMISES 1898 The Borough (now National Westminster Bank). Joseph A. Hansom's house (Bank House) previously stood on this site; a blue plaque on the exterior wall commemorates this.

The premises were completely rebuilt between March 1897 and October 1899 for Pares Leicestershire Banking Company. (For its previous history see under LEICESTERSHIRE & WARWICKSHIRE BANKING COMPANY PREMISES c.1834.) The company monogram, 'PLBC', is carved on the lintel of the doorway (below, centre) and the date 1898 on the second floor façade.

Pares Leicestershire Bank, about 1900 Doorframe with company monogram, PLBC

Natwest Bank, 2000

Above, left: Pares Leicestershire Bank, about 1900. right: Doorframe with company monogram, 'PLBC'. bottom: Natwest Bank, 2000.

Hinckley Local Board considered and approved the plans on 16th June 1897 (LRO (DE 3640/41). By early next year it was noted that the new bank premises were 'rapidly being pushed on'. The first storey was complete, and it was expected that the remainder would be finished by mid-Summer. 'The frontage of the new bank will be elaborate, and will add considerably to the improvement of the Borough' (Hinckley Times, 12 Feb 1898). Later, at a meeting of the Urban District Council, concern was expressed about the 'boarding in front of the new bank', which had been in place for 14-15 months. (Leicester Journal, Fri 30 Sept 1898).

The architects for the new bank were Messrs R. J. & J. Goodacre of 5 Friar Lane, Leicester and the contractor A. Faulkes of Loughborough. Fittings were provided by Messrs Perkins, Long & Sons and the total cost was £7,691 (architect's fee £594.5.4; builder's account £7,197.0.1; fitter's account £493.19.11, including furniture in teak, Spanish mahogany and brass). (Papers and photographs regarding the rebuilding are held by the Royal Bank of Scotland Property Department, Edinburgh, Packet 7354.)

Three storeys, six bays with projecting right hand bay. Lower two storeys stone-clad, top storey brick with stone quoining. Lower storey has a heavy cornice running across the first five bays. A high quality building, the overall effect being domestic and attractively asymmetrical.

Park House Farm

PARK HOUSE FARM At LRO (12 D43/in 131) plan of Park Farm (Hinckley and Burbage) 1851. Also (DE 1911/197) sale catalogue, 15 December 1959.


PAVILION 1911 New Buildings - see GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1877; PALLADIUM CINEMA 1920

The Pig & Whistle

The PIG & WHISTLE 37 Regent Street. Later the CASTLE INN, subsequently the POST OFFICE (1874; Baxter, History of Hinckley, 61) and the REGENT CLUB & INSTITUTE. There was a photograph of the building, situated opposite Murray's bookshop, in the Pickering collection. See D. Knight in Hinckley Historian, Borough/Regent Street article. There are no references to it in the trades directories.

Pill Box

PILL BOX Coventry Road, near to the Ashby Canal, situated about fifty yards from the road, where it crosses the canal near to the Wharf Inn. World War Two period, of red brick with stone dressings. Just visible from the road, the angle of the slits suggests that it was covering the Nuneaton approach to the town rather than directed at the canal. (Info and photo, courtesy Greg Drozdz.)

pill box along coventry road hinckley


PINFOLD 'At the recent vestry meeting it was stated that S. R. Bonner, Esq., the lord of the manor, had kindly consented to the removal of the Pinfold from its present unsightly position [in Upper Castle Street?]. The vestry gave instructions to the nuisances removal committee to remove it. One party advocated Spa-lane as its future site, but this was objected to on account of the Burbage-road being a favourite promenade. It was then suggested that Middlefield-lane would be a good place, and this appeared to meet with general approval' (Leicester Journal, Fri 2 Apr 1858).

The Plough Inn

The PLOUGH INN Market Place. It is advertised in the Leicester Journal, 16 May 1803, at that time in the occupation of John Harris. It also appears in Holden's Triennial Directory for 1809-11.

The Plough Inn

The PLOUGH INN 21 Stockwell Head. Mentioned in Feoffment accounts of 1682, and appears in the trades directories from 1805 until 1916. In the early days it was known as the Pensioners Club, Hinckley being believed to have more military pensioners than any other town of its size in England. Many of the pensioners were survivors of the Peninsular War.

Police Station and Session House 1843

POLICE STATION AND SESSION HOUSE 1843, 1861, 1876 Stockwell Head (formerly Chapel Street).

'There is a station house for the superintendent of the county constabulary, with a house of detention attached to it' (Post Office Directory, 1848).

In 1843 the station house and strong room was built by the county magistrates (at the same time as those at Lutterworth, Melton Mowbray and Bottesford) 'following complaints by [Frederick] Goodyer [the county's first Chief Constable] of the loathsome state of the parish lock-ups'. William White (History, Gazeteer and Directory (1863)) gives the date as 1842 and puts the cost at £600. The station house at Lutterworth, to the same design, survives intact (below) and since that at Melton is known to be the work of William Parsons, then county surveyor, he must also have been the architect for the whole group, including that at Hinckley.

Surviving Station House at Lutterworth, 1842, by William Parsons

Above: Surviving Station House at Lutterworth, 1842, by William Parsons; to the same design as that at Hinckley.

In March 1848 Hinckley abandoned its own parochial police system. The respective superintendents lived on the premises. There was a staff of one sergeant and three constables. (See Clifford R. Stanley, 'A Centenary Tribute to Frederick Goodyer, Leicester's First Chief Constable 1836-1876' TLAS, LI (1975-6), 15-28.)

'At the Leicestershire Midsummer Sessions, 1860, plans for enlarging the Police Station were submitted for approval. The existing building was not adequate for the district, having no place for the stamping of weights and measures, and no stable or gig-house. Extra house accommodation was needed. The plans were approved by the Secretary of State, the amount being £287 12s.' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 31). On Monday 2nd July 1860, at the Leicestershire Midsummer Sessions (held at Leicester Castle), 'Mr Crosland [J. S. Crosland, Esq., magistrate] laid before the court plans and specifications for the enlargement and improvement of Hinckley Police Station'.

Original police building Original police building with post-1860 addition adjoining

Above, left and right: Original police building, to the right, with post-1860 addition adjoining.

The cost, including the purchase of the land, would not exceed £287 12s. It was stated that 'the [existing] accommodation was not sufficient for the requirements of the district, and particularly they were in want of a stable and coach-house'. At present there was only one small bedroom to accommodate a man, his wife and four children (Leicester Journal, Fri 6 July 1860).

In the year 1876, further alterations were underway. 'A new police court has been recently erected in this town for the use of the magistrates, which it is believed will be much more convenient for holding the county courts in than St. George's Hall where the courts have for some time past been held…' The judge wanted removal to the new building to occur early in the coming year (letter from Stephen Pilgrim, registrar, County Court Office, Hinckley, 8 Nov 1878: LRO, DE 4914).

In 1937 the Hinckley police moved to a new purpose-built station in Upper Bond Street. The old building survives, much mutilated, as a kitchen showroom (1999). A house in nearby Baptist's Walk was once occupied by a police constable (info - D. Knight).

Police Station 1937

POLICE STATION 1937 Corner of Hollycroft and Upper Bond Street. The County Council Standing Joint Committee of 12 Nov 1930 stated that the existing police station and court were inadequate to requirements. The county architect had submitted plans for alterations to the police station and courthouse on Stockwell Head, but it was eventually resolved that a scheme be submitted for new police buildings on a more convenient site (Hinckley Times, 14 Nov 1930).

The site of the old Manor House was first suggested in 1931 (Hinckley Times, 13 Feb 1931). The decision to build a new police station on the site of the Hinckley Tuberculosis Dispensary (former Manor House) was confirmed shortly afterwards, and in May 1932 further steps were taken (Hinckley Times, 13 May 1932).

Facade and details of Police Station by William Keay, 1937 Facade and details of Police Station by William Keay, 1937

Magistrates entrance, concrete panel with figure of Justice by J. H. Morcom

Above, left and right: Facade and details of Police Station by William Keay, 1937. left: Magistrates' entrance; concrete panel with figure of Justice by J. H. Morcom.

A full account of the new buildings appeared in the Hinckley Times, 16 April 1937 and 23 April 1937, the ceremony taking place on 17 April 1937. The architect was William Keay, FRIBA, the county architect (of Pick, Everard, Keay and Gimson), the builders Messrs. Ottey and Clegg of Leicester. [William Keay was appointed architect to the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College in 1921, which opened in an adapted asylum. He also built St. Christopher's church, Leicester (now the church hall) in 1928 and the (former) county offices in Leicester, 1936.]

Above: Distinctive fenestration to upper storey

Above: Distinctive fenestration to upper storey.

'The new station occupies a prominent position… The main entrance to the building is at the angle of the two streets and leads into the hall, communicating directly with the principal court. The hall divides the police station from the courts and the court offices… In the construction, local materials have been used where practicable… the bricks, Swithland slates and reconstructed granite… Over the main entrance are the arms of the County; at the magistrates' entrance is a figure of Justice, and over the police entrance a figure symbolizing protection. These figures are the work of Mr. J. H. Morcom, sculptor, who exhibited plaster casts of the figures at the Leicester and Leicestershire Society of Artists' (Hinckley Times, 23 April 1937).

[Leicester Society of Artists, catalogue 1937, no. 29: 'Concrete panel for Hinckley Police Station'. See newspaper cuttings on Morcom's work at Leicester City Museums Service and typescript account of Morcom's life by his son, written to accompany the gift of models and carvings to Wrexham public library in 1981. Morcom was responsible for the bronze cast of G. A. Lawson's statue of 1871 of Mayor John Biggs, MP for Leicester, which stands opposite the New Walk Centre in Leicester.]

The new Court House is 'a model of simplicity and dignity' (Guy Paget & Lionel Irvine, Leicestershire (London, Robert Hale, 1950)).

Port House

PORT HOUSE Coventry Road, near Hinckley wharf. Pre-1840. One of the best-preserved early nineteenth century houses in the town. 'House, now offices. Early 19th century. Red and brown brick chequer with flat wooden eaves soffit to shallow pitched hipped roof.

port house along coventry road hinckely port house along coventry road hinckely

port house along coventry road hinckely

Two brick stacks behind ridge to rear. Three storeys. Regular three window front: glazing bar sashes on the first and second floors with rusticated voussoir stucco heads. Ground floor windows: Sashes in canted bays with cornice heads. First floor central window and entrance below in shallow projections with wide open pediment resting on end triglyph brackets. Central first floor cross window. Entrance in wide round-arched surround, enclosing Doric columns carrying open-moulded head and triglyph keystone. Panelled door and reveals and fanlight' (Dept of Culture, Media and Sport - listed building notes).

Post Office pre-1901

POST OFFICE, pre-1901 The first mail coach came through Hinckley on April 6 1877, when a regular post office was established. The first office was at the Bull's Head Inn, Market Place, the second at a house in the Borough. It was subsequently moved to the White Hart Inn, and thence to The George Hotel, Market Place (Hinckley Parish Magazine, 1872-82, quoted by the Hinckley Times, 8 August 1930). According to another account, the 'old Post Office' was at The Pig and Whistle, 37 Regent Street, when that thoroughfare was better known as the Duck Paddle. Later it was renamed The Castle, and was subsequently, until 1929, the Regent Club and Institute (Hinckley Times, 14 and 21 March, 1930). 'From what we can gather the Post Office was in Regent Street before now, then it was at Jude's corner, also up on [upper?] Castle Street, as well as in other places' (Hinckley Times, 25 June 1902).There is a detailed account of the history of the postal service in the town to that date in the Hinckley News, 20 Feb 1875.

Post Office 1901

POST OFFICE 1901-02 Junction Station Road/Lancaster Road. The town's first purpose-built post office, originally with the monogram "ER" and "1902" over doorway. The contract and specifications (though not the architect's drawings), dated 14 August 1901, are at the National Archive (WORK 13/88). The commission, as a government building, came from His Majesty's Office of Works. The architect was William Thomas Oldrieve and the builders Messrs. Scurr, Jowett & Co. of Barrow-on-Soar. The cost was to be £3,069 10s, and the work due to be completed by 1st July 1902. The new premises were first occupied on Sunday 21 Sept 1902.

hinckely post office along station road in 1902 Post office, probably on its day of opening in 1901

hinckely post office along station road in 1902

Above, right: Post office, probably on its day of opening (from contemporary postcard). left and bottom: Photographs taken shortly afterwards, with date 1902 etc over doorway (Post Office Archives, Mount Pleasant, London).

The new Post Office was reckoned to be 'a new, up to date, and highly convenient building… This will be the finest, and certainly one of the most substantial buildings, Hinckley will possess no doubt for many years to come, and the position in which it is placed will give it a commanding aspect… the new building stands on 310 square yards, and is 41 feet from the ground floor to the roof. Built on the north side of Lancaster Road, the land having been sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the length of the building abuts on the Station Road… Although the building itself - that is, the "shell" so to speak - has been finished, the work inside, such as painting, the laying of the floors, and the erecting of the fixtures, is not yet quite complete' (Hinckley Times, 25 June 1902).

Hinckley Post Office and Station Road, about 1905
Hinckley Post Office and Station Road, about 1905.

'Entering the public room, the improvements upon the old place are at once evident. Notices over the counter indicate where the business of the different departments is transacted, while on the right hand compartments have been provided for writing out telegrams. There is also a silence box for the convenience of those using the telephone.The Postmaster's private room is at the rear, replete with every necessary, while further on is the sorting room. This room has counters specially adapted for stamping, etc., and the profusion of racks and large amount of space it provides all tends to facilitate speed in despatch. The telegraph room is upstairs, and the messages are sent up to the operators in a pocket lift. Adjoining this room is the telegraph boys' waiting room. Right through out the building are retiring rooms for the male and female clerks, the operators and the postmen, and these rooms are replete with gas stove, range, private lockers, washstands, with hot and cold water, and in fact everything that is likely to be needed… The third story is taken up by the engineer's store room and the battery room' (Hinckley Times, 27 Sept 1902). The cost was about £4,000 (Hinckley Times, 25 June and 27 September 1902).

Hinckley Post Office, 2000

Above: Hinckley Post Office, 2000

The aspect and proportions of the building have been largely spoilt by the removal of the corner entrance and, inexplicably, Edward VII's monogram and the date of erection.

See also 'Hinckley Post Office', Hinckley Historian, 50 (Winter 2002), 14-21.


PRE-FABS 1946-7 24 Nov 1944 HUDC announced that the Hinckley district was to receive 100 factory built houses, known as Prefabs, instead of the 250 requested (Hinckley Times, 24 Nov). They were only guaranteed for ten years. The first 200 pre-fabs were erected in Middlefield Lane in 1946 and 1947 (see Hinckley Times, 21 Dec 1945). They were of the Arcon Mark V type (Warren, 50).

Priesthills Road


Priesthills Road in the 1920s
Priesthills Road in the 1920s.

The Prince's Feathers

The PRINCE'S FEATHERS 9 Rugby Road (Images of Hinckley, 57). It first appears in Pigot's 1822-23 Directory as 'The Feathers, The Borough'. In the 1876 Post Office Directory its address is Wolvey Road. Still in business.

The Prince of Wales

The PRINCE OF WALES 52 Coventry Road (originally Street). Appears in Holden's Triennial Directory of 1809-11 as in Litchfield Street, and was advertised in the Leicester Journal, 23 April 1819. Still in business.


PRIORY An Alien Priory - ie. belonging to a foreign monastic house - for two Benedictine monks, dependent on the Abbey of Lyra (or Lyre) in Normandy. See Nichols, Leicestershire, 680-2 for documents relating to the priory and its endowments. The Hinckley-Lyre Agreement, a document of 1283 now lost but known through transcripts of 1742, provides details of the responsibilities of the Vicar of Hinckley in relation to the Abbey and its priory here. See also the accounts of the priory drawn up after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1540s (see below) with some details of the buildings. Transcripts of the accounts (at Westminster Abbey Muniment Room) are in the Francis Collection at Hinckley Library, and were published in part in his History of Hinckley (1930). The priory was situated to the south of the parish church, roughly on the site now occupied by St. Mary's Church Hall (see below). The following account of the Priory's history is taken from the Victoria History of the County of Leicester (vol. 2 (1954), pp. 52-53):

The details of the foundation of Hinckley Priory are obscure. In the Matriculus of the Archdeaconry of Leicester it is stated that Hinckley church was given to the Benedictine Abbey of Lire by William filius Roberti Osberti; the person meant is probably William Fitz Osbern, founder of the Abbey of Lire (Eure). It seems, however, that Hinckley church was given to Lire not by William Fitz Osbern but by Robert le Bossu, Earl of Leicester. A charter granted by Henry II to Lire describes the church of Hinckley as having been given to the abbey by Robert, Earl of Leicester, and a charter of Robert ès Blanchemains, Earl of Leicester, describes Hinckley as the gift of his father, Robert le Bossu. Property confirmed to Lire by Robert ès Blanchemains included tithes from the earl's soke of Hinckley, and a revenue of 2 marks from the township of Hinckley. It is not known when a cell of Lire was established at Hinckley, but it must have been before 1209, when a Prior of Hinckley is mentioned. About 1220 there were two monks only at Hinckley, and the cell was probably always a small one.

An agreement made in 1283 between the Abbot of Lire and the vicar of Hinckley stated that the mortuaries of the inhabitants of Hinckley and of the dependent chapelries of Dadlington and Wykin were to be the perquisite of the Prior of Hinckley, together with the Candlemas offerings from Hinckley and Dadlington. The agreement also mentions the priory's barn. As an alien priory Hinckley was repeatedly seized by the king during the later years of its existence, though while in the king's hands it was frequently granted at farm to its own prior. In March 1399 Hinckley Priory was granted to the Carthusian house of Mountgrace, and licence was given to Lire to alienate the priory to Mountgrace. This grant, however, was vacated later in the same year, and in the following May Hinckley was granted to Mountgrace for the duration of the war with France only. In January 1400 Hinckley was handed back to its prior, presumably because of the truce with France concluded soon afterwards. In 1409 revenues arising from the priory were granted to Queen Joan for life, and in 1414, by a second grant, a slightly larger income from the priory was secured to the queen. In 1415, though the queen was still alive, Hinckley Priory was finally granted to Mountgrace. A pension continued to be paid to Queen Joan.

The possessions of Hinckley Priory seem to have consisted of little save tithes from the parish of Hinckley, with its dependent chapelries, and a little land in the vicinity. Nothing is known of the internal life of this small cell.

Priory House

PRIORY HOUSE (HALL HOUSE) c. 1598 The priory lands of Hinckley were granted, 5 Aug 1543, by Henry VIII to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster 'in exchange for certain lands of the said College, lying near to the decayed hospital of St James...'

'On a casual reparation of the West end of the old priory (in 1787), a brick was discovered with the date 1598, as represented in Plate CXII [see below]; which seems to shew that the house was re-built at that period, after the demolition it underwent on its suppression. The Priory was in the middle of the seventeenth century the residence of John Oneby, esq; and came afterwards to Peter Gerard (son of Mr. Nathanael Gerard, who had married a sister of dame Mercy Oneby). By Mr. Gerard the middle part of the house was re-built in 1715, soon after the battle of Preston field: the wings are of much older date. Mr. Orton was the next possessor of the house.

The Priory House (A), Vicarage (B) and St. Mary's Church from the North-East, about 1780
The Priory House (A), Vicarage (B) and St. Mary's Church from the North-East, about 1780.

A fine row of walnut-trees, which stood between the house and the church was cut down by Mr. John Strong Ensoe, the succeeding owner, between 1740 and 1750. The Priory house was in 1782 the property of the later Rev. Dr. John Gaunt (whose only daughter married, in 1802, Samuel Franks, esq.); and the house was then inhabited by stocking-makers, the garden being let to Mr. Hunt, of the Bull's-head inn (the principal inn-keeper of the town), who converted it into a bowling-green, but was again gardened in 1803; and a new bowling-green was made, in a close adjoining the George Inn, in 1808. On a mantle-piece in the kitchen of this old Hall-house is a strange ornament, in a kind of baked clay, which tradition has erroneously called 'the arms of three monks.' A second tradition, with as little probability, calls them the sign of three houses, which, whilst the priory existed, were destined to the relief of pilgrims travelling through Hinckley, who were to receive a night's lodging, and something the next morning to help them forward on their journey. And this perhaps was 'the hospitality' to which a part of the revenues of Wyken was to be applied.' (Nichols, Leicestershire, 680-2).

The Priory House from the South, about 1780. The wings were probably late 16th century with the main block dating from about 1715.
The Priory House from the South, about 1780. The wings were probably late 16th century with the main block dating from about 1715.

The Priory House from John Robinson's 1782 plan of the town the priory house replacement, Hunters Row (1827), from the 1885-6 1:2500 Ordnance Survey

Above, left: The Priory House from John Robinson's 1782 plan of the town (labelled '7'). Above, right: Its replacement, Hunters Row (1827), from the 1885-6 1:2500 Ordnance Survey.

'The hall-house is an old structure' (Universal British Directory, 1791).

'Adjoining the church yard an old building, called the Hall House, formerly the residence of the Priors of Hinckley, was pulled down in 1827, and fifteen small houses erected very near the spot' (Samuel Curtis, Topographical History of Leicestershire (1831)).

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Hinckley builder, Andrew Jeffcote, carried out work for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who owned the property and surrounding land. 'He remembered receiving instructions from the commissioners to pull down and remove a number of cottages known as Hunter's Row adjacent to the church yard standing on the site of the old hall. The old hall stood on the site of a small Norman priory. The cottages were for the most part constructed of brick, but in the back wall nearest the church yard wall there was about 5 feet of stone work, doubtless part of the old hall and possibly part of the old priory.' (Written in 1930: The Hinckley Chronicles, 41.)

An engraving published by Thomas Short in 1832 shows Hunter's Row, the church, the old stables and the Globe Inn (reproduced in the Hinckley Times, 5 Feb 1932).

Since March 2004 an archaeological project has been underway on the site of the Priory and Priory House (Hall House), to the rear of the present St. Mary's Church Hall. A detailed account of the excavations was published in the Hinckley Historian, 57 (March 2006). As a result, pottery and artefacts from Hunter's Row, from the Priory House and from the original Priory were identified. Two finds of significant interest were a seal or matrix and part of a small, delicate glass bottle. The seal, 1.5 inches high, of bronze alloy type metal, with open trefoil handle, has an interesting design for the seal impression; a phoenix with bowed head plucking at its breast. From the style and context in which it was found, it has been dated to c.1600. The glass bottle, only one inch high, has a bulbous body and narrow neck. Stylistically referred to as a 'pilgrim's bottle', with iridescence built up on the surface of the glass, this artefact could have been manufactured any time between 400 and 1400 although, from the context in which it was found it is more likely to be 14th century. It is possible that a Benedictine monk brought it to Hinckley Priory from the founding monastery at Lyre in Normandy. These finds are displayed at Hinckley and District Museum in Lower Bond Street.

Priory Row

PRIORY ROW Property demolished here 1932 (Hinckley Times, 23 Dec 1932)

Public Baths


Pumping Station

PUMPING STATION 1929-30 Between Wharf Inn and Ashby Canal, Coventry Road, to serve new housing estates in that area. Inaugurated 16 June 1930. Total cost of sewerage scheme and pump house £8000. Designed by J. S. Featherston, UDC surveyor, supervised by asst. surveyor, H. Schofield. Work carried out by Messrs T. Bradbury. Fully described in the Hinckley Times, 20 June 1930.

The Puncheon and Grapes

The PUNCHEON AND GRAPES The Borough. Public house which appears in Pigot's 1822-23 Directory and was recorded in subsequent trades directories until 1841.

[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]