The Buildings of Hinckley

Buildings that start with the letter S

Salvation Army Headquarters

SALVATION ARMY HEADQUARTERS 1905 Castle Street. Prior to moving here the Salvation Army in Hinckley had premises in the Malt House in New Buildings (see OLD MALT HOUSE) and a stable loft in Church Walks. 'It was while the local Corps was thus housed [in Church Walks] that the Castle Street building now known as the Palais de Danse, and previously used as a factory, was designed and built. The scheme owed its origin to the local officer Ensign Scott, who was not only the architect, designing the plans, but also prevailed upon a local builder, Mr. G. Greaves, to undertake the erection. In many ways the building was ideal for its purpose, and probably cost something over £700. So well suited was the building that the Army might well have been the occupants still, but the time came [in 1919] when the owner decided to sell… Thus after 16 years in Castle Street, the Salvationists found themselves compelled to seek a new home' (Hinckley Times, Fri 11 Oct 1929). After evacuation by the Salvation Army the building became a hosiery factory, then a saleroom, the Palais de Danse, a Men Only club, an exhibition room and political committee rooms. During WWII it was used as a laboratory. In March 1982 a shop called 'Chapel Loft' opened in the loft of the 1905 Salvation Army chapel. Today (2000) it is situated between the newsagents and video rental shop in Upper Castle Street. See also PALACE OF VARIETIES

Salvation Army Citadel

SALVATION ARMY CITADEL 1929-30 Lancaster Road. After some time working from a hut in Rugby Road, in December 1927 a scheme was proposed for a new permanent senior hall in Lancaster Road. The estimated cost of £3,000 was for a hall holding approximately 450 persons with offices, together with a young people's building. The young people's work was to be carried on meanwhile at the hall in Rugby Road (Hinckley Times, 16 Dec 1927). Foundation stones of new building laid 5 October 1929: '… a scheme of building which will provide it with a handsome and permanent home' (Hinckley Times, 11 Oct 1929).

Architect's perspective of proposed Citadel, 1929 tylised view of facade from commemorative first day cover

Above, left: Architect's perspective of proposed Citadel, 1929. right: Stylised view of facade from commemorative first day cover.

A full account of the building and its opening on 29 March 1930, with sketch view (above, left), was published in the Hinckley Times, 4 April 1930. The cost, including land, erection, seats, heating, lighting, fittings etc. was about £4,200. The contractors were Messrs. Paul & Sons of Burbage. 'The new building is a tribute alike to the architects and the builders…' [but the name of the architect is not given]. In June 1930, the Children's Hall was opened (contractors again Messrs Paul & Sons). In a speech on this occasion by Colonel Humphreys of the Salvation Army, it was stated that 'the senior hall was a beautiful building' (Hinckley Times, 6 June 1930). 1998 - extension completed.

Salvation Army Citadel, 2000

Above: Salvation Army Citadel, 2000

Sanitorium 1913


Saw Mill

SAW MILL - see STEAM MILL 1839-41.

Shipman's Hall


Sketchley Dyeworks


Sketchley Hall

SKETCHLEY HALL The Sketchley estate was purchased by Mr C. H. Alldridge in July 1892 (Hinckley Times 30 July).

During Alldridge's time Illustrated Guide to Hinckley 1911 Drawing by Cicely Pickering, 1930s

sketchley hall as it appears today

Above, left: During Alldridge's time (Illustrated Guide to Hinckley (1911)). right: Drawing by Cicely Pickering, 1930s (A. J. Pickering, The Cradle and Home…) bottom: As it appears today.

It was subsequently sold at auction in the autumn of 1930 (Hinckley Times, 31 Oct) and in 1934 the hall was rebuilt incorporating materials from a much earlier building on the site. Sketchley Hall is now a specialist centre for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of people with severe and chronic musculo-skeletal, psychological or work related disorders.

Smock Mill


Southfield Road: Industrial

SOUTHFIELD ROAD: INDUSTRIAL Bennett Brothers (Hosiery Mftrs & Dyers) Ltd. (below) have an extensive site now in part occupied by Richard Roberts Dye Works, Tudorose and Hinckley Workspace. The company was founded about 1918 by brothers William and John Bennett.

artist's impression of Bennett Brothers' works, about 1940

Above: Artist's impression of Bennett Brothers' works, about 1940

The Manchester Hosiery Manufacturing Company (at the junction of Queens Road) was established in 1906 as 'manufacturers of knitted underwear for men, ladies and children'. The family business was bought out in 1986 but the original factory building survives; two storeys of red-brick and slate roofs with fifteen bays of generous fenestration for lighting the workrooms (below, right).

Part of the original Bennett Brothers factory, now occupied by Hinckley Workspace etc Manchester Hosiery Company works, about 1940

Richard Roberts Dyeworks part of the original Bennett Bros. factory, now occupied by Tudorrose

Top, left: Part of the original Bennett Brothers factory, now occupied by Hinckley Workspace etc. Top, right: Manchester Hosiery Company works, about 1940. Above, left: Richard Roberts Dyeworks. Above, right: part of the original Bennett Bros. factory, now occupied by Tudorrose.



Spa Villa / Spa Lane

SPA VILLA/SPA LANE Situated at the junction of Leicester Road and Spa Lane and named after the nearby Christopher Spa chalybeate spring, Spa Villa appears on the 1885-6 OS map, surrounded by fields and gardens. Within the next ten years Spa Lane itself, linking the Leicester and London roads, was gradually developed and occupied by some of Hinckley's handsomer townhouses.

Spa Lane, about 1910 Spa Villa, from the 1884-5 Ordnance Survey

Spa Lane in 2000

Above left: Spa Lane, about 1910. right: Spa Villa, from the 1884-5 Ordnance Survey. bottom: Spa Lane in 2000.

Spa Lane about 1915
Spa Lane about 1915.

The Star

The STAR. 18 Stockwell Head. Details of the old Star appear in the Feoffment accounts from 1745. For example, in 1753 the then leaseholder, George Iliffe, built an assembly room here for the Feoffees or Town Masters, intended for dances and social functions. The Star appeared in press advertisements (eg. Leicester Journal, 28 November 1800) and in Holden's Triennial Directory for 1809-11 and subsequently in the trades directories until 1901-02. At a sale of property in 1927 'one of the old hostelries of the town, "The Old Star Inn", which was closed fifteen or more years ago and is now a dwelling house in the occupation of Mrs Alkin, was also put up and was knocked down to Col E. C. Atkins. The purchase price was £500. The above property is very centrally situated and is among some of the older buildings in the town. Many will remember the "Old Star Inn"…' (Hinckley Times, 11 Nov 1927). By 1930 it was a newsagent's premises.

Station Road

STATION ROAD The road from the railway station to the market place was developed in the 1860s, but was not formally designated Station Road, and widened, until the 1870s. In 1871 the Local Board (established 1858) purchased fourteen dilapidated houses, some of which had a frontage to the Market-place, the others onto Queens Square. They were sold at auction as building materials, by Messrs. Harrold and Clarke, on Tuesday 12 December 1871, realising a grand total of £61 16s. The next day their demolition commenced. 'There was considerable interest felt at the demolition of these buildings, as they were among some of the oldest houses in the town, and were, with a few other exceptions, almost the only traces of old Hinckley' (Baxter, History of Hinckley, 76). A rare photograph shows these houses shortly before their destruction (below, left). [See 'An eyesore - Remnant of Old Hinckley. Station Road in 1840' with four photographic views, probably dating from the 1860s (Hinckley Times, 18 Jan 1929)]. The widening of Station Road now began, with the Midland Railway Company contributing £100 to the process (Hinckley News, 27 July 1872). From 1873 the Leicestershire Banking Company began the construction of its new premises on the prominent corner site at the junction of Station Road and the Market Place.

Station Road before development, from the Market Place, with the Globe Inn to the left (taken prior to December 1871)
Station Road before development, from the Market Place, with the Globe Inn to the left (taken prior to December 1871).
Station Road, about 1910
Station Road, about 1910.
Station Road, about 1905. To the right, Constitutional Club and Parsons Sherwin Ltd. To the left, Hinckley Public Library
Station Road, about 1905. To the right, Constitutional Club and Parsons Sherwin Ltd. To the left, Hinckley Public Library.

By 1900 Station Road was still the property of the London and North Western Railway Company, was in poor condition, and there were discussions as to whether the Urban District Council should acquire it outright (Hinckley Times, 26 May 1900).

About 1930, with the library and council offices on the left and the Constitutional Club to the right
About 1930, with the library and council offices on the left and the Constitutional Club to the right.


Station Road: Commercial

STATION ROAD: COMMERCIAL Parsons, Sherwin & Company Ltd., c.1890. Agricultural machinists, constructional ironworkers, ironmongers and merchants etc, also based at Coventry and Nuneaton. Late nineteenth century emporium with two floors of plate glass shop fronts and third storey with miniature Doric order for offices etc. Purpose-built for the company, which served the agricultural industry of the district as well as retailing gardening equipment and household fittings. Building still intact, although ground floor now divided amongst various retailers and first floor bricked up and fenestrated. The company continues as Charles Corts.

station road in hinckley station road in hinckley

station road in hinckley

Steam Mill 1809

STEAM MILL 1809 'The most conspicuous object, on the approach to the town of Hinckley from the Coventry road, is the steam and wind mill, erected in 1809' (Nichols, Leicestershire, 1811). It is located on Edward Phillips' map of 1818 (LRO, DE1225/246)). In 1854 it was reported that the old smock-mill 'at the end of Hinckley is now being pulled down', having not worked for some time (Leicester Advertiser, 18 Feb 1854). (The name comes from the appearance of the mill, from a distance, resembling a peasant wearing a smock.)

Steam Mill as shown on Edward Phillips map of 1818

Above: Steam Mill as shown on Edward Phillips' map of 1818

Steam Mill 1839

STEAM MILL 1839-41 At Leics Record Office (DE 1243/271/1) is a bill of 7 Sept 1840 for brickwork and slating, string courses and cornice at the new steam mill, Hinckley, amounting to £62.12s.½d, from Charles Hansom, 'architect and surveyor' (brother of Joseph A. Hansom). Together with this is a book of accounts (DE1243/271/2) for construction work at the mill and adjoining stables, April 1839 to January 1841. The contractors were Messrs Glover & Co.

'An extensive steam corn mill was built here [in Hinckley] in 1845-6, by several proprietors, at the cost of about £10,000 - worked by two engines - one 30 and one 20 horse power. It was purchased about nine years ago [i.e. 1854] by Messrs T. and W. Farmer for £650, and is occupied by them, except some few rooms let off to stocking weavers' (White's Gazeteer and Directory, 1863).

'A steam corn mill was built, in 1846... but afterwards became the great Midland sawing mill' (Goring, Imperial Gazeteer of England and Wales (1870-2)).

Stockwell Head

STOCKWELL HEAD In 1873 Mr William Hurst and the Local Board were in negotiations over his plans for a new house at the foot of Stockwell Head Hill, and Messrs. Homer & Wileman were seeking approval for their plans for a new factory close by (Leicester Journal, 21 March 1873).

Summer House (Bowling Green)

SUMMER HOUSE (BOWLING GREEN) The bowling green was created in 1808 and is shown on Phillips' map of 1818. It was situated between the Duck Paddle (Regent Street) and what was later Station Road, and was connected to the Priory House.

When Bowling Green Road was created in 1898-99, between Station Road and Regent Street, it was noted that the bowling green and its summer house were about to disappear: 'The new forty-feet road into Regent Street crosses the George Hotel Croft diagonally and cuts through the old bowling green which, in years gone by, was so much used by the inhabitants of the old town. This bowling green was in great repute in the early part of the now expiring century. Part of the old summer-house is already demolished and another link with the past is destroyed. Hinckley was visited in those days by many notabilities, who came for, or brought friends for, treatment under the famous Doctor Chessher, and this old summer-house of Georgian style formed a banqueting room, in connection with the old bowling green' (Hinckley Times, 3 December 1898).


Summer House (Old Parks)

SUMMER HOUSE [OLD PARKS] On the Hurst estate near the Priest Hills. Shown on Robinson's map of 1782, but by May 1856 had disappeared, according to the Leicester Journal (8 May).

The Sun

The SUN Stockwell Head. Recorded only in Pigot's 1822-23 Directory.

Sunnyside 1880


Swimming Baths 1850


Swimming Baths 1909

SWIMMING BATHS 1909-10 St. Mary's Road. Plans and estimates 1909 by Council Surveyor E. H. Crump. Cost £2,349. Entrance at the rear of the Council Offices leading from the Station Road. Swimming Bath room 90' by 40'… 'it will be provided with all the usual fittings, such as dressing boxes on either side, diving stage, spring board, and steps leading down into the water. Four slipper baths are also provided, together with the necessary boiler house and laundry' (Hinckley Times, 20 Mar 1909).

Plan of the proposed baths by E. H. Crump, 1909

Above: Above: Plan of the proposed baths by E. H. Crump, 1909

'Plans approved in June, 1908, showed a building estimated to cost £2,650 with a Swimming Bath 75ft. by 25ft. holding approximately 60,000 gallons of water (with dressing boxes on either side of the main swimming hall) and 4 slipper baths, together with the necessary heating apparatus etc.' (Warren, 10). Official opening of the baths took place Thursday 17 March 1910 by Councillor Thomas Aucott (Chairman of the Council) - total cost, including land - £3,200.

'… the new baths are amongst the most up-to-date in the county. The main entrance is from the Station Road, and is ornamented on either side by trees and shrubs. On entering the building visitors pass through a registering turnstile controlled by the attendant from his office, and thence to a waiting room, from which entrance can be obtained to either the swimming bath or the slipper baths. Each of the latter, of which there are four, is 6ft. by 8ft., and is provided with hot and cold water… The slipper baths, waiting room and lobbies, are heated by means of radiators and steam pipes.

The swimming bath… is provided with all the usual fittings, such as dressing boxes on either side, lavatory accommodation, hot and cole water shower bath, drinking fountain, diving stage, spring board, and steps leading into the water. Each dressing box is about 3ft. 9in. square, and between the boxes and the bath is a 4ft. concrete gangway, which is admirably drained so as to keep practically dry. The bath is 6ft. 6in. at the deep end, and 3ft. 6in. at the shallow end, and holds 59,000 gallons of water. The diving stage and spring board are at the deep end of the bath, where the gangway is something like 9ft. wide… The water is heated by high pressure steam from the deep end, while at the shallow end there is an ingenious spray arrangement which forces the accumulating scum into a trough at the deep end. As the spray is brought into operation each morning the perfect cleanliness of the bath is assured. The bath is lighted by lantern lights and skylights in the roof. These restrictions were insisted upon, together with no exits or entrance from either side but from the Station Road, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, from the whom the Council purchased the land.

Under the gangway at the deep end of the bath there is a commodious subway in which the majority of the pipes and the calorifier for supplying hot water to the slipper baths are situated.' Also laundry, boiler house with 18ft. by 6ft. boiler 'and there is also provision for the heating of the Council Offices and Free Library in course of time'.

'The whole of the building has been carried out by Mr. George Greaves, the well-known local builder; the heating apparatus, including boiler, piping, pump, and calorifier, by Messrs. Thomas Bradford and Co. of Manchester, who are experts in this special branch of work, having carried out the installation in the principal public baths in the country; the painting by Mr. W. Porter of Hinckley, and the gas fitting by the Council's gas department, under the superintendence of Mr. F. Lee' (Hinckley Times, 19 Mar 10).

The contractor was George Greaves of Hinckley. Descriptions and ground-plans of proposed baths in the Hinckley Times, 20 Mar 1909; inauguration 18 Mar 1910 - see the Hinckley Times, 20 Mar 1910, with two photographic views.

Interior of baths shortly after opening.

Above: Interior of baths shortly after opening.

In March 1928 extensions to the baths were underway, which included a ladies' dressing room, kitchen accommodation and a new floor for dancing (Hinckley Times, 16 Mar 1928).

The Swimming Baths were demolished in November 1977 - see photographic illustration in the Leicester Mercury, 4 Nov 1977 (also Hinckley Times, 2 Dec 1977).

[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]