The Buildings of Hinckley

Buildings that start with the letter W to Z

The Waggon & Horses

The WAGGON & HORSES The Wharf, Coventry Road. It is recorded in the trades directories from 1840 until 1849.

Walton House

WALTON HOUSE pre-1885-6 London Road. Situated approximately on the site now occupied by Queens Park Nursing Home. A substantial house with large gardens which is shown on the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey.

Walton House from the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey

Above: Walton House from the 1885-6 Ordnance Survey.

War Memorial 1921

WAR MEMORIAL 1921-2 Argent's Mead. Erected on part of the Hinckley Castle site (although originally intended for The Borough).

'The Peace Memorial. Generous gifts make Castle Hill Site Possible' (Hinckley Times, Sat 14 Aug 1920, with description of site recently acquired from the Co-operative Society). By the end of the year the architect's design had been accepted, and various arrangements were under discussion (Hinckley Times, 25 Dec 1920).

Hinckley War Memorial, about 1923
Hinckley War Memorial, about 1923.

The foundation stone was laid on 12 Nov 1921 and unveiled and dedicated on 20 May 1922 (detailed account with photographs in the Hinckley Times, 27 May 1922). In 1924 the Garden of Remembrance was created. Additional panels were added on 11 Nov 1951.

The memorial records 384 men from Hinckley alone who died in the Great War. At mid-day the outstretched hand of the statue casts a shadow, which falls exactly onto the memorial cross. The whole scheme was designed by John Alfred Gotch, FRIBA, FSA of Messrs. Gotch and Saunders of Kettering, with a bronze figure by Allan G. Wyon of St. John's Wood, London (1882-1962), 'a plaster cast of which is being exhibited at the Royal Academy' (Hinckley Times; obituary of Wyon in The Times, 27 Feb 1962). The carving and erection of the stone work, and the engraving of the tablets, was carried out by Messrs. Morris & Sons of Kettering.

See D. F. Allinson, 'Hinckley's War Memorial', Hinckley Historian, 27 (Spring 1991), 24-5.

Hinckley War Memorial, designed by J. A. Gotch of Kettering Hinckley War Memorial, designed by J. A. Gotch of Kettering

Hinckley War Memorial, designed by J. A. Gotch of Kettering

Above: Hinckley War Memorial, designed by J. A. Gotch of Kettering. Bronze figure by Allan G. Wyon.

'The semicircular area enclosed by the castle earthworks is occupied by the Hinckley War Memorial. This comprises two elements. The first is an octagonal ashlar column on a stepped base, surmounted by a copper statue of a robed angelic figure with outstretched arms. This faces a flight of steps up to an ashlar wall with a central cross flanked on each side by three copper panels with the names of the fallen (with added panels bearing the names of the World War II dead beneath), all beneath an entablature, originally topped by an urn at each end. On either side are two-bay wing walls with a balustraded upper section (now damaged by vandals)' (Peter F. Ryder, Hinckley... Historic Buildings Appraisal (2000)).

Warren's Yard

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

Water Tower 1891

WATER TOWER 1891 Off Highfields Street. Brick tower surmounted by lead tank.

'On the water tank, by the Eagle Iron Co. of Nottingham [sic?], ornamental leading and ironwork. For storing water pumped to Hinckley from Snarestone' (Pevsner, The Buildings of England, 178).

Designed by Messrs. T. and C. Hawksley of Westminster, civil engineers, who were responsible for the whole scheme, from Snarestone to Hinckley. Mr. W. W. Coopera., surveyor to the local board, was clerk of the works for the reservoir, water tower and tank, pumping and town distributary mains. Mr. T. Smart of Nottingham was contractor for the erection of the water tower and covered service reservoir at Hinckley (£4,847. 10s), and The Eagle Iron Co., Coventry, was responsible for the supply and erection of the cast iron water tank on the tower for £850. Reports of its inauguration appeared in the Hinckley Times, 6 June 1891 and 8 August 1891.

Water Tower 1891

'The water tower, which is 60 ft. high… has a capacity of about 50,000 gallons, is covered with a wooden framing, boarded over, and covered with sheet lead, and fenced round with a strong ornamental cast-iron pallisading. The tower, with its tank on the top, is a prominent land-mark for many miles round the neighbourhood. The tower is square in plan, built on a foundation of cement concrete, 18 in. thick. It is faced with Haunchwood brindle bricks. It has a second floor of Yorkshire flagging, supported on cast-iron girders, resting on the walls of the tower, which are capped with projecting stone corbels and cornice, which, together with the tank, gives the whole a pleasing and substantial appearance. The roof of the tank is also reached by a second iron ladder from the second floor' (Hinckley Times, 8 Aug 1891).

For a detailed and entertaining account of the town's water supply and sanitary arrangements (or lack of) prior to 1891 and the erection of the tower, see David J. Knight, 'Hinckley Parish Pump Politics', The Leicestershire Historian, vol. 4, no. 3 (1995), 23-29.

Waterloo Square

WATERLOO SQUARE c. 1812. Slum properties here demolished in 1937-8 (Hinckley Times, 15 Oct 1937).

The Weavers' Arms

The WEAVERS' ARMS Derby Road (formerly Derby Avenue). It was recorded for the first time in a trades directory of 1874. Initially it was little more than a terraced shop selling ale. Around the 1930s it was rebuilt with a mock black and white half-timbered facade. The interior continues the Tudoresque ethos.

The Weavers Arms, about 1910
The Weavers Arms (left), about 1910.


WELLS Christopher Spa (SP433942) (1782); Cogg's Well (SP443948); Holy/Our Lady's Well (SP433940) (1755; rebuilt 1757; pump removed c.1895); Priest's Well (1782?); Stock Well (SP426941) (18th century - Stockwell Head) (See James Rattue, 'An Inventory of Ancient, Holy and Healing Wells in Leicestershire', TLAHS, LXVII (1993), 59-69).

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).

'At a short distance from Hinckley is a spring called the Holy Well, originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and formerly known by the name of Our Lady's Well, and several other mineral springs are found in the vicinity' (John Gorton, A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland, II (1832), 228).


Welwyn Estate

WELWYN ESTATE Constructed 1928-9. Bloxham & Goadby of Rugby Road, builders. See advertisements for building land in the Hinckley Times, 5 Oct etc.

Wesleyan Chapel


Westfield School

WESTFIELD SCHOOL April 1932 Leicestershire County Council Education Committee invited tenders for new schools at Hinckley. Included amongst them was a senior school for 480 boys, a junior school for about 350, and a school clinic. Tenders were to be sent to the County Education Committee architect, E. G. Fowler, at its offices, Grey Friars, Leicester. 5 April 1932. (Hinckley Times, 8 April 1932). A tender of £27,253, by Messrs C. H. Ottey and A. Clegg of Leicester, was accepted in July 1932 (Hinckley Times, 29 July 1932).

Westfield School hinckley

Wharf (Ashby Canal)

WHARF (ASHBY CANAL). In 1802 Thomas Sansome, Lord of the Manor of Hinckley (of the Manor House, Upper Bond Street), built the warehouse for Hinckley Wharf, on the newly completed Ashby-de-la-Zouch Navigation.

Early 19th century woodcut showing Hinckley Wharf (1802) Wharf buildings behind Port House, Spring 2003

Above, left: Early 19th century woodcut showing Hinckley Wharf (1802). right: Wharf buildings behind Port House, Spring 2003

 Hinckley Wharf, Wharf Inn, Port House, Brick and Tile Works, Moira Coal Wharf etc. from the 1889 Ordnance Survey
Hinckley Wharf, Wharf Inn, Port House, Brick and Tile Works, Moira Coal Wharf etc. from the 1889 Ordnance Survey.
The Old Wharf, 1934
The Old Wharf, 1934.

Wharf Bridge

WHARF BRIDGE Coventry Road. Built of sandstone blocks. Demolished April 1960 (Hinckley Times, 15 April).

The Wharf Inn

The WHARF INN 1805 Coventry Road, at junction with Nutts Lane. An advertisement for the sale of the newly erected inn at the wharf appeared in the Leicester Journal, 5 April 1805, although it is not recorded in the trades directories until 1835. Its situation is shown in an early 19th century engraving of Hinckley Wharf (see above). In the late 1920s it was totaly rebuilt in mock-Tudor style.

Wharf Inn after rebuilding, 1930
Wharf Inn after rebuilding, 1930.

The Wheatsheaf

The WHEATSHEAF Advertised in the Leicester Journal, 2 Nov 1810.

The White Bear Inn

The WHITE BEAR INN 32 Coventry Road, formerly opposite the old Trinity church. It is first recorded in Pigot's 1822-23 Directory under Litchfield Street. Shown in postcard of Hinckley Trinity Harriers (below) c.1905. Three storeys, two bays.

The White Bear Inn

The White Heart Inn

The WHITE HART INN 5, Market Place. The site of this prominently situated public house and hotel is now occupied by the Yorkshire Bank (Clarence Buildings). It was part of the block of buildings in the Market Place originally known as the Roundhill, which included the Town Hall (now occupied by Barclay's Bank).The establishment was first recorded in Pigot's 1822-3 Directory, later styling itself as a 'commercial hotel'. Originally there was a block of buildings intervening between the Inn and Regent Street, the narrow thoroughfare between them being known as Duke's Lane. In 1930 these properties were scheduled for demolition to make way for the new Lloyd's Bank building. Thy included the premises of S. Bedford, hairdresser, and Gilbert's billiard saloon and coffee house (Hinckley Times, 2 March 1930).

White Hart Inn frontage to Market Place, adjacent to the Town Hall, about 1900 The Conservative electoral candidate in 1906 with Duke's Lane and the White Hart in the backgroud

Above, left: White Hart Inn frontage to Market Place, adjacent to the Town Hall, about 1900. right: The Conservative electoral candidate in 1906 with Duke's Lane and the White Hart in the backgroud.

Built of two storeys with an attic storey, the White Hart had four bays on to Duke's Lane but the main front, of just one prominent bay, was to the Market Place (below, left). All of characteristic red brick with slate roofs. The old inn was, sadly, demolished in 1976. It was typical of a class of hotels which were largely made redundant with the widespread use of the motor car by commercial travellers etc. (See 'Fight to save piece of old Hinckley' in the Leicester Mercury, 25 Oct 1976, together with photograph of condemned building).

The White Hart in the 1960s
The White Hart in the 1960s.

The White Horse Inn

The WHITE HORSE INN Market Place. Recorded only in Holden's Triennial Directory for 1809-11.

The White Lion

The WHITE LION Lower Bond Street. Recorded in the trades directories between 1835 and 1870.

Properties on White Lion Yard (and Fox Yard) were demolished in 1931 (Hinckley Times, 15 Jan; 10 July 1931). A public enquiry was held to examine the proposal. Photographic views of both yards appeared with the 15 Jan article. 'The White Lion and Fox yard properties were certainly more than 100 years old. [Mr Pickering] would not be surprised if some of the houses were 300 years old. The houses... were old and dilapidated, and it was impossible to say anything in their favour, except that in some cases there was good air space… [They] could not be put into a habitable state at a reasonable expense, and in many cases the only way to deal with them was to pull them down' (A. J. Pickering Chairman of Housing Committee, in the Hinckley Times, 15 Jan 1932).


WINDMILLS Photograph of Derby Road post mill c. 1875. D. Knight has located and traced the development of all Hinckley's mills. The first medieval mill was possibly near the Priory if 'the mount' was a mill mound. The enclosure running to it looks like a mill enclosure. The next mill was on Mill Hill in part of what was known as the Wildmoor Field (later Middlefield).

Cooper's Mill, Hinckleys last windmill

Above: Cooper's Mill - 'Hinckley's last windmill' (Hinckley Times, 13 Jan 1939).

This was superseded by a mill at the Mill Pit at the end of Middlefield Lane, which was dismantled and removed to the Derby Road site in about 1600. Bartholomew Laxton built the second mill in about 1610 in Derby Road. A new mill was built at the Mill Hill site, probably between 1761 and 1782 since it is not mentioned in the Enclosure Award but appears on Nichols map etc in his Leicestershire (1811). Then the Steam Mill described by Nichols was added.

A photographic illustration of 'Hinckley's Last Windmill' appeared in the HinckleyTimes, Fri 13 Jan 1939. This was Cooper's Mill, which stood in Mill View, where the water tower is now situated.

The Wine Vaults

The WINE VAULTS Recorded in a trades directory in 1874, and probably one and the same with the TOWN HALL VAULTS, which occupied the old town hall, built in 1806 (now Barclays Bank).

Wood Street: Industrial

WOOD STREET: INDUSTRIAL 'Several factories survive from the period just after the introduction of mechanisation - see the pre-1887 examples north and south of Castle Street in Wood Street (note the wall-mounted crane)...' (Pevsner, The Buildings of England, 178).

'[Wood Street was the] site of a number of hosiery factories, some of which have been demolished including the site of the first steam powered factory in Hinckley built by Thomas Payne in 1853 (Lawrence House). During the mid 1890s Ginns, Son and Moore took occupancy of these premises and subsequently traded as Castle Street Works' (Bill Partridge, Hosiery Trail).

Capital Leisurewear… now occupies one of the older factories on Wood Street (below, right). Arthur Davenport and Son also occupied a factory in this area' (Hinckley Hosiery Heritage Trail, 1999).

Thomas Paynes first steam powered factory Extensive works in Wood Street

Above, left: Thomas Payne's first steam powered factory. right: Extensive works in Wood Street.

The Woodbine

The WOODBINE Coventry Road. In existence about 1840.

The Woodboy

The WOODBOY Stockwell Head. Recorded only in a trades directory of 1850.

The Woolcomber

The WOOLCOMBER Opened on Sketchley Hill estate 29 September 1960.

The Woolpack

The WOOLPACK Mentioned in advertisement in the Leicester Journal, 13 Jan 1804.

Old Workhouse

WORKHOUSE, OLD Stockwell Head. Situated next to the House of Correction, on or near site of the present Concordia Theatre. (See maps in Nichols' Leicestershire (1780s) and by Edward Phillips (1818) at the county record office.)

The workhouse was built by the trustees of the Feoffment Charity and let to the Guardians of the Poor for £40 per annum. It was in use until 1838 when the new Workhouse was built on London Road. The Master of the Workhouse was also Keeper of the Bridewell or House of Correction. During the Stockingers' riots of 1826 the rioters pulled down the workhouse gates and burnt them in the Market Place (Francis, History of Hinckley, 128).

Next to the Old Round House (situated in what is now Council Road) was part of the old workhouse and a room where the maniacs were confined. Large staples were fixed to the walls to confine their arms and legs (Francis, History of Hinckley, annotated edition, 136a).

The keeper of the Bridewell was also the 'master of the workhouse adjoining, in which the poor there (circa 1783) looked healthy, were cheerful, clean and at work, but at my last visit it was far otherwise' (John Howard, prison reformer).

See the Great Feoffment accounts for early details of the workhouse (info - D. Knight).

The old workhouse as shown on Edward Phillips map of 1818

Above: The old workhouse as shown on Edward Phillips' map of 1818.

Workhouse 1838

WORKHOUSE 1838 London Road. Demolished 1947. By Joseph Aloysius Hansom (below).

'The Union House is in the Tudor style, and was built in 1838, at a cost of £4,000' (Post Office Directory, 1876).

'The workhouse was built in the Elizabethan style in an E Shape, and was three storeys high with a low range connecting the extremities of the two long arms. There were battlements, square chimneys, stepped gables and strong mullions for the windows. It stood until 1947, when it was decided that the cost of maintaining it was too high and thus a rare example of Hansom's work in the Elizabethan style was lost forever. Some of the less interesting parts of the building were retained and are still used today as part of the campus of the College of Further Education' (G. Drozdz, Cab and Coach (1990), 13-14).

Hinckley Workhouse from the London Road, about 1915
Hinckley Workhouse from the London Road, about 1915.

It had accommodation for 450 inmates. Three storeys, E-shaped plan like Elizabethan house with low range connecting two projecting wings. Various elements of decoration, battlements, stepped gables and square chimneys. Neo-Tudor style. Hansom's first attempt in this idiom (Bridget Clare Allen, Joseph Aloysius Hansom, Architect, 1803-1882 (Manchester University BA thesis, 1977)).

J. A. Hansom, architect of the Workhouse Hinckley Workhouse, about 1920

Hinckley Workhouse, about 1910

Top, left: J. A. Hansom, architect of the Workhouse. right: Hinckley Workhouse, about 1920. bottom: About 1910.

', ninety years after, it is one of the most picturesque buildings in Hinckley, and if ever discarded from its present use, should be acquired by the town for some other public purpose' (H. J. Francis, History of Hinckley, 136).

'This workhouse was built in 1838 after the formation in 1836 of Hinckley Poor Law Union comprising fourteen parishes. It was in the Tudor style and was said to have accommodation for 450 inmates. According to statistics never more than half this number were ever in residence. The general effect was picturesque but undistinguished due to the failure to reconcile the types of expression resulting from the varying kinds of accommodation incorporated in the building' (Stephen Welsh, 'biographical notes and a list of the principal works of Joseph Aloysius Hansom' (August 1974)).

'These buildings themselves continued to provide the essential accommodation of the workhouse - increasingly over stretched and with recurring complaints about the state of the fabric - until this century. Overcrowding led to alterations to the internal infirmary of 1902. Shortly afterwards the workhouse children moved to separate premises in Burbage. In 1911 the major step followed of erecting two further large structures, both of which remain. A laundry block appeared to the east of the main workhouse, and at right angles to it, as did an infirmary, behind the mortuary and parallel to the main building' (H. J. Francis, History of Hinckley, 130).

The formal opening of the workhouse extensions in May was reported in the Hinckley Times (together with two photographic illustrations) where the layout and decoration was described in detail (11 May 1912). Many of the original elements survive, including some of the gaslight fittings. The infirmary, in particular, preserves most of its room layout, which comprised two main wards at opposite ends of the building, with corresponding small male and female isolation wards and day rooms. Upstairs were nurses' quarters. The architect for the infirmary and laundries etc was W. T. Grewcock of Hinckley and Leicester; the contractor Mr. Frank Sleath of Rothley. 'Mr Grewcock was the architect of the new infirmary, laundry and kitchen blocks and other additions, with alterations and improvements, at Hinckley Union Workhouse, in a limited competition held in 1908' (obit, Builder, 28 May 1915, 510).

Hinckley Union Workhouse from the 1884-5 Ordnance Survey
Hinckley Union Workhouse from the 1884-5 Ordnance Survey.

In the late 1920s there was a fierce debate as to the building's future taking into account the heavy cost of its upkeep. 'Is Hinckley to have a new workhouse?... Squandering money on repairs...'

In early 1928 the debate was taken up in earnest. In an article headed 'new workhouse wanted at Hinckley' a report on the state of the existing building by E. H. Crump, HUDC surveyor, was pubished. 'The administration block and the outbuildings connected therewith were in a very poor condition, both structurally and otherwise except where recent painting had rendered them cleanly. The whole of the buildings were effected with the following defects: Excessive dampness, defective and dangerous chimneys, insanitary and insufficient washing accommodation, unsatisfactory closet accommodation, falling in of ceilings and in some cases roofs, defective guttering and insufficient rainwater pipes; uneven floors, ill lighted and badly ventilated corridors, an unsatisfactory food store without cupboard accommodation, perishing windows with defective window sills, etc. The continued use of the old tramp ward block… ought to be obviated. The mortuary was unsatisfactory for its purpose…. It would be waste of money to endeavour to put these buildings in repair as a low estimate for that work would be from £3000 to £4000, and if such work was carried out very little amendment could be made in the general planning and lay-out of the buildings which were out of date. Excessive dampness was apparent everywhere, due to no damp courses in the walls, defective and leaky gutters, etc. Insertion of damp courses in every ward was necessary to deal with this. Larger and new gutters were required as well as new tiling on some of the roofs… there were about twenty chimneys in which the bricks and mortar were perished. They required taking down and rebuilding. New sanitary and up-to-date blocks for washing should be provided. The ceilings of various apartments were loose and liable to fall. They could only be rectified by complete relathing and replastering. Additional guttering and new rainwater pipes were required outside the buildings… A number of windows were rotting away and in such a condition as to assist towards the dampness of the building… The old tramp ward should be demolished without delay. The existing mortuary was not a suitable place for the reception of any dead body…' Crump concluded, 'I could enlarge further on the defects I found, but the above convinced me that the only real solution was the removal of the whole of the existing main administrative block and the erection of an up-to-date and better and smaller building on a site at the rear of the infirmary. No other practicable or economical course is open'. Meanwhile basic repairs should be undertaken at a cost of about £150. But the Guardians 'should at once consider the question of a new administrative block. That policy would be the most economical and most efficient, and the estimated cost would be about £14,000 to £15,000.'

Responding to the report Mr Freer said that the institution as built had served its day, and the demands of to-day had altogether outgrown the facilities a place like this could offer. They would be wise to face the possibilities of a new institution (Hinckley Times, 17 Feb 1928). The cost of a new institution was investigated but nothing came of that idea (Hinckley Times, 11 May 1928). Later in the year the Hinckley Times contained a report entitled 'Why a new institution is necessary'. But despite much discussion no firm decision was made (28 Sept 1928).

', ninety years after, it is one of the most picturesque buildings in Hinckley, and if ever discarded from its present use, should be acquired by the town for some other public purpose' (H. J. Francis, History of Hinckley (1930) , 136).

After the War the future of the building was again under consideration. 'Once the building had been cleaned up to look as good as it ever would do under the circumstances, it was thought that a better idea would be to knock the whole building down and build a new part of the [Technical] College in its place. When this was announced in the local paper many of the public were up in arms [as] this was the only piece of heritage that Hinckley had... Quite a few months passed and nothing more was said, but at least two surveyors had had a look at the old building with a view to restoring it to its original splendour, but to no avail [as] all the cement between the bricks was decaying and it would take thousands of pounds to make it properly habitable. So later that year [1947]the old main block of the workhouse was demolished just leaving the mortuary, kitchen, chapel and infirmary standing (these are still in use today)' (Henderson, Milestones of Hinckley 1640-1981, 23)

See Greg Drodz, 'Hinckley Poor Law Union Workhouse - Part I: The background to the workhouse and its buildings', Hinckley Historian, 40, Autumn 1997.

Working Men's Club

WORKING MEN'S CLUB Stockwell Head. '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). This was presumably the old Wesleyan Methodist Chapel of 1782, which had been sold to the Hinckley Club Company Ltd when the new Wesleyan chapel was erected on New Buildings in 1878. See also METHODIST CHAPEL (WESLEY HOUSE) 1782 for earlier history of the building and The HALL for later history of the Working Men's Club.

Workmen's Dwellings 1913



YMCA August 1955 - YMCA headquarters in Lancaster Road (next to the Salvation Army Citadel) were being demolished to make way for new bus station (Hinckley Times, 5 Aug 1955). See also MIDDLEFIELD HOUSE

[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]