Lindley Hall

Lindley Hall that once graced the Leicestershire countryside near Higham on the Hill.

lindley hall near higham on the hill leicestershire
Lindley Hall.

1444 A medieval chapel was built on the parkland of Lindley, this was the site of an older chapel which was dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

24th August 1575 William Burton author of 'The description of Leicestershire' (published in 1622) was born at Lindley Hall. William wrote a description of the Hall which at the time was a Manor house that had a stable yard, orchards and surrounded by a rectangular moat.

1576 Robert Burton, William's younger brother was born at the hall, He would become famous by publishing his satirical work 'The Anatomy of Melancholy', this earned him injudicious praise from Dr Johnson.

1619 William inherited the Lindley Hall estate when his father Ralph Burton died.

July 1624 George Fox the founder of the Quakers was born at Drayton-in-the-Clay (known as Fenny Drayton).

6th April 1645 William died at Lindley Hall after suffering with his health for several years.

showing some of the grounds of lindley hall
Showing some of the grounds of Lindley Hall.

1705 Lindley Hall was rebuilt to the north of the original moated building situated on the hilltop, by Samuel Bracebridge (1673-1735) the Tory MP of Tamworth. The moat would be partly filled and the outer perimeter was fronted by trees. A half a mile driveway was built that went through some of the 94 acers of parkland which connected the Hall to Watling Street (now the A5) on the Leicestershire and Warwickshire boarder. Formal gardens were laid out in geometric patterns that included a knot garden and parterre that fronted the building. The Lindley estate also included the nearby village Fenny Drayton (birthplace of the Quaker founder George Fox in 1634), several small farms and the Red Gate Inn.

11th November 1735 Samuel Bracebridge was buried at Fenny Drayton. Lindley Hall would be the home of the Bracebridge family for several generations.

1774 Additions were made to Lindley Hall with additional out-buildings, a two storey pillared portico and two landscaped ponds/fishponds within the grounds.

1797 Samuel Bracebridge-Abney was the owner of Lindley Hall estate.

1824 Rev Samuel Bracebridge-Heming (1770-1856) was the Lord of the Manor to Lindley, Weddington, Drayton and Ravenstone in Leicestershire.

aerial view of raf lindley aerodrome on former lindley hall site in 1945
Aerial view of RAF Lindley aerodrome on former Lindley Hall site in 1945.

1830 The Lindley Hall estate was passed down to James Applewaite Esq through the female line of the Bracebridge family. Queen Adelaide travelled from Warwick Castle and stopped at the Red Gate Inn on the way to visit the Curzon family at Gopsall Hall. Due to the royal visit, the Inn would be renamed to the Royal Red Gate Inn at a later date.

1873 Barbara Agnes Caroline Giffard was the owner of Lindley Hall, she married Captain Vincent Thomas Joseph Eyre who was a catholic. Later that year they had a private Roman Catholic Chapel in the grounds of Lindley Hall.

1920 Vincent and Barbara Eyre's son, Lieutenant Commander Francis Eyre RN died, Lindley Hall was left empty for 5 years.

1925 Lindley Hall was demolished along with the Roman Catholic Chapel that was built just 55 years prior to demolition, having been purchased by Thomas Slack, an Alderman from Atherstone in Warwickshire.

7th February 1943 An aerodrome was built and opened within the estate of Lindley for the Second World War, it was called RAF Lindley.

1946 RAF Lindley disbanded.

22nd May 1954 The Motor Industries Research Association (MIRA) opened their proving ground on the disused RAF Lindley using the runways and building a circuit and a perimeter track. The control tower and several other wartime hangers and buildings are still in use by MIRA in the present day.

Lindley House, a three bed house was built in Lindley Park on the site of Lindley Hall, where remains of the old chapel and the small lakes and woods still survive today.

In a field at Lindley Hall Farm in Fenny Drayton, there is a monument with a plaque that denotes the exact centre of England.

lindley hall and chapel being demolished 22nd may 1925
Lindley Hall and Chapel being demolished 22nd May 1925.

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