A BRIEF HISTORY......OF KIRKBY MALLORY

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF LEICESTERSHIRE ... BY J.NICHOLS .HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND PARISH OF KIRKBY MALLORY... BY DOROTHY FOX and
G. FARNHAM`S MEDIEVAL VILLAGE NOTES

        Kirkby Mallory stands on the old Roman road that ran North East from Leicester to join with the Watling Street approximately 8 miles South of Atherstone. The Watling Street, now the A5, was the main Roman arterial road out of London to access North Wales.

KIRKBY MALLORY IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

          Villages in mediaeval times often took their name`s from eminent local landowners and Kirkby Mallory was no exception. References to the Malory ( or Mallorre), family date back to the reign of King Stephen in the early 12th century. The first known "Mallory" was Richard living in about 1100. It is believed that the family originated from France and possibly came over with William the Conquer. One of several documents relating to the family and referred to in Farnham`s Medieval Village Notes is shown below. It concerns a descendent Thomas Mallorre confirming his families connection with the village.

         Hastings MSS.           Dated 1299 on the ascension 27 Edward I.         Charter by which Ralph de Esseby granted to Thomas Mallorre Lord of Kyrkeby and his lawful issue, an acre of land in Kyrkeby which the grantor had bought from Thomas de Cherlecote. Witnessed by .....William Motun of Peckleton,  Richard de Shelton, Richard de Caleby,  Simon de Dersford   and others.

        The above text gives us the status of Thomas Mallorre as being that of "Lord " of the village of Kyrkeby. Note the witnesses association with other nearby settlements, ie. the present day villages of Cadeby, Shilton and Desford. 
        An earlier distinguished Mallory descendant was Ankital Malory, who was keeper of Leicester Castle, he Died in 1187.
        The Mallory families connection with the village was to last for several generations, as indicated in this next extract dated 1345 , again indicating a Mallory as being "Lord of the Manor ".

Hastings MSS.         Charter by which John Mallorre, son of Robert Mallorre the elder, of Kykeby Mallorre, granted to Ala Brocket, his mother, 3 acres of land in Kykeby Mallorre which the grantor had of her gift, for the term of her life, with reversion to the grantor.  Witnesses, Sir Anketil Mallorre,  Lord of Kykeby Mallorre, Sir William Motoun of Peckleton, Knights, John Scot, William Ward, Thomas Leman, all of Kykeby Mallorre. Dated Kyrkeby Mallorre on Sunday after the Translation of St. Cuthbert, !9 Edward III 1345.
         
 

In the rein of Edward 3rd. 1361 or thereabouts the administration / ownership of the village changed and control was transferred to the Abbot and Convent of St. Mary in Leicester. Nichols, Vol. IV  informs that Sir Ankitell Malory sold the manor of Kirkby Mallory to William Clowne, abbot of Leicester . A document setting out the details of this transfer is shown in part below, but no mention is made of the Malory family ?? .
    

     The Inquisition ad quod damnun  file 339, 8 taken at Kirkeby Mallore Friday after st.Denis, 35     Edward III 1361.
On the oath of John de Stapulton,  William Marchal of Stapulton,  John Ward,  William de Ward,  John de Belton,  Thomas Andrew,  John de Bitmeswell,    Ralph de Walcote, Nicholas Freeman and others, jurors,  who say it will not be to the damage or prejudice of the King or others, if the King gives leave to Simon Pakeman of Kirby,  Thomas de Rippele,  clark,  and Richard de Leycester to give and assign the manor of Kirkeby Mallore, to the abbot and convent of St. Mary of The Meadow of Leicester, to hold to the abbot and convent and their successors to pray for the good estate of the same Simon, Thomas, and Richard, while they live and for their souls when they shall have died, in the said abbey for ever, and that the abbey may appropriate the said church to their own uses. The manor, messuages, mill, lands, rents and advowsons are held of William of Bavaria and Maude his wife, of the inheritance of Maud of the honour of Leicester, namely the manor and advowson by service of a knights fee.

  
Notes on the above 

Lady Maude was the grand-daughter of Henry duke of Lancaster Earl of Leicester , and was married to Duke William of Bavaria.

   Messuage =  Site of a home with  outbuildings.   A  house and yard.
   Virgate      = Unit of land considered necessary to support a peasant family, usually 20 to 30 acres
   Advowson = The right to appoint clergy                                                                     

 

 

Recommended reading for further information on the mallory family

"History of the Mallory family" by S V Mallory Smith published by Phillimere Co Ltd.

 

Also an excellent site to check out.   

Senior Medieval Mallory family - Genealogy.com
http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/mallory/2742/

  by Hiukaru Kilabayoshi

             The Abbey & Convent of St. Mary of the Meadow was founded in 1143 by Robert le Bossu, Earl of Leicester. The Abbey stood to the North of the city, outside of the then boundary wall. Administration of the Manor of Kirkby Mallory was taken over at that time by the Abbot, William of Clown (elected 1345 died 1378). The abbey retained control for the next 176 years until 1537, being the time that King Henry VIII dissolved the Monasteries. A year later in 1538 King Henry`s army upon entering Leicester, completely destroyed the Abbey, their enthusiasm was such that not a stone was left standing above ground.    

 

  It was not until 1920 that excavation work began to reveal the foundation stones that are now visible today, as shown in the picture, left , but this is only a part of the unearthed Abbey foundations. This stonework can now be seen on the outer edge of Abbey Park which is located about a mile from the city centre. It must have been a truly impressive building in its day and reputed to have been one of the richest in England.
 After the destruction of the Abbey, its wealth and lands were duly confiscated by the crown, and so it was throughout the land that Henry through his chief minister Thomas Cromwell vented his anger upon the church seeking revenge after the Pope had refused to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon.

 

        KING RICHARD   1485 ...It is probable that King Richard III passed though Kirkby Mallory on his way to confront the army of Henry Tudor. This historic battle was to become known as the" Battle of Bosworth" and was the final engagement in the War of the Roses. On the 22nd of August, Richard was defeated and killed. The battlefield at Redmoor Plain lay some 2 miles South of Market Bosworth and the old Roman road, which ran through the villages of Kirkby Mallory and Peckleton would certainly have been the most direct route back into Leicester to where Richard`s body was finally taken. For the inhabitants of Kirkby Mallory those few days would have been quite traumatic particularly after the battle with soldiers either escaping or celebrating, depending on which side they fought

      

Plaque at Battlefield site denoting spot where Richard was killed.
Site walk and Visitors Centre open to public

www.boswothbattlefield.com
  

      KING HENRY VIII    In 1541 after the dissolution of the monasteries King Henry VIII granted the Lordship of Kirkby Mallory to Thomas Harvey, an already wealthy land owner. His estates at that time included lands at Elmsthorpe, Fleckney, Barwell and Hinckley which together with  that of Kirkby Mallory added up to almost 4,000 acres. The text describes his holdings as being a 1000 acres of land,  500 of meadow,  1000 pasture,  200 wood,  1000 furze and heath  and with respect to Kirkby Mallory, 30 Homesteads. However in 1544, three years after acquiring the Kirkby Mallory Manor, Thomas Harvey died, and was buried in the nearby village of Peckleton, which would infer that this was his place of residence at the time.

       Following his death, his estates and lands were divided between his co -heirs, being his 3 surviving daughters and a granddaughter named Anne Fowler, then aged 14. Anne Fowler was bequeathed the Manor of Kirkby Mallory and later married John Noel, son of Andrew Noel, Earl of Gainsborough. This was to be the beginning of the Noel association with Kirkby Mallory which was to last some 370 years

      In  1564  it was recorded, there were then 25 families living in Kirkby Mallory.

        Another influential family living at Kirkby Mallory at this time was the Dilke family.  In 1569 or thereabouts a legal dispute arose between certain local landowners and the Master and Chaplains of the Hospital of St. Dewes in Northampton, (plaintiffs). The landowners (defendants) being,  John Harrington Knt,  Lord Harrington of Extan county of Rutland,  Sir Thomas Dilke Knt.  George Dilke Gent,  and William Roberts.   The dispute was over ownership and lease of lands in Kirkby Mallory originally endowed by Queen Mary to the above Hospital. The house and land in question, known as the Beckefield Pasture ( The Becks), lay to the North of the village. The dispute continued for several years before finally being put before the "Barons and The court of Exchequer."the outcome of their judgment, in part is shown below.

By the records of Hilary term 1570  13 Eliz. Rot 706  Brownlow
   .......That James Harrington Knt. was seized  1/4 part of the Manor.  John Noel Esq. and Wife Anne of   another 1/4 part and  Richard and George Dilke  1/4 part each.   ......The court ordered and adjudged that  the defendants William Roberts and George Dilke, and their heirs shall forever hereafter occupy and enjoy  the said lands and premises.........
etc. 

A point of interest ........ James Harrington also owned the nearby 2,000 acre Bagworth Park, bought from Lord William Hasting`s son. Lord Hastings commissioned the building of the Ashby and Kirby Muxlow Castles. He was however executed for treason before Kirby Muxlow Castle could be completed.

 

          Richard Dilke died at Kirkby Mallory on the 13th Feb 1595, leaving his 1/4 share of the Manor to his eldest son George. A memorial stone dedicated to Richard Dilke ( originally a floor stone) may be seen inside Kirkby Mallory church against the West wall to the right of the Belfry, ( see photograph, left ). The inscription reads as follows.- 

"Here lyeth the bodies of Richard Dilke of Kirkbye Malorie and Ann his 1st. wife who had issue 3 sons
and 1 daughter   and Elizabeth 2nd wife who had issue 2 sons and 7 daughters.  Richard died 13th day    Feb. Anno Dom 1595

Leicester Probate Registry.  Will of Richard Dilke.  Inquisition  23rd Aug. 1595
Below is an abridged version of Richards Dilks Will. For the full text click here

To be buried at Kirkby Mallory. To leave to wife Elizabeth either,  £200 in goods and money or else a farm worth £5 by the year and   £100 in goods and chattels.  My said wife shall live in my now  dwelling house for the 1st. year after my death with allowance after £5 per year. To George Dilke  eldest son, the indenture and lease of the Manor House of Kirkby Mallory granted by John the Abbot of the now dissolved monastery unto Thomas Dilke my farther, dated 10th. July 26 Henry VIII 1534 for 81 years. William my second son to be my executor and to receive £600 according to an indenture dated 28 Sept. 33 Elizabeth 1591.

"John the Abbot" was almost certainly John Bourchier elected 1534 surrendered 1538.         

Thomas Dilke, the father of Richard, was a yeoman who farmed the manor of Kirkby Mallory on a lease, taken out in 1534 from the Abbey of St Mary of the Meadow, Leicester. By the provisions stated in the lease Thomas Dilke was obliged to provide for the upkeep of all buildings outside of the Manor House and its attached premises, while the Abbey remained responsible for the Manor house itself and all the  heavy timbers therein used for its support .......

Ref. E 303/ Leic 216 Valor Eccl (Rec.com) iv 148

It would appear from the provisions set out in Richard Dilkes Will, that the State honoured the lease agreement after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538.

         Trying to identify prominent houses of the time, based on the information given in Richard`s Will, is difficult, for instance, could the "Manor House of Kirkby Mallory,"and the property referred to as "my now dwelling house" be considered the same property ? I think unlikely. George Dilke was obviously a very wealthy man, so his dwelling house would have been quite substantial. The Noel family also had considerable wealth with Anne Fowler inheriting the "Lordship of Kirkby Mallory" together with several other estates from Thomas Harvey.
 John Noel (husband of Anne Fowler) had died in 1593 . We know that Sir Verney Noel was living at the Hall in 1666 from the Hearth Tax returns. So we could speculate on the sites for these three notable houses thus.

1.   The fortified manor house known as "The Moats" I am sure would have been (The Manor House of Kirkby Mallory)
2.  The original "Kirkby Hall " was certainly the residence of John and Anne Noel
3.  Then lastly the residence of George Dilk, "My now dwelling house", could this have been the old Manor Farm?. This building is a good candidate as it was situated in the centre of the old village, of course there are other possibilities, perhaps the farm at the Beckfield Pastures to the North of the village as mentioned earlier.

The following document dated 1606, serves to illustrate, to some extent, the content and acreage of the estate at that time.
Fine.      Quindene of Easter  4 James I   1606.     Between Thomas Glover Knt and wife Jane, (plaintiffs) and George Dilke Gent. and wife Ann (defendants) of  3 parts of the Manor of Kirkbie Malorye and 20 messuages,  6 cottages,  6 tofts,  3 Mills,  30 gardens, 500 acres of land,  200 meadow,  800 pasture,  60 wood,  200 furze & heath divided into four parts in Kirkbie Malorye and the advowson of the church divided into four parts .............Right of Thomas Glover, and the plaintiff gave the defendant £400.

      Note " Fine" in this context refers to a contract or sale.
              "advowson" The right to appoint or recommend a member of clergy.
The above text, records a sale in which George Dilk sold land and property to Thomas Glover for £400  within the Manor of Kirkby Mallory
George`s father and stepmother had recently died 1595 and 1603 respectively, so this sale would now make him a very rich man, a millionaire by todays standard.

         Finally, part of the inquisition on William Noel eldest son of John and Anne Noel
Inquision. pm  William Noel esq.      SeriesII 703-62 taken at Leicester on   18 Jan  18 Charles I   1643 The Jury say that William died Seised in demesne (possession) as of fee of the whole Manor or Lordship of Kirkby Malory and the advowson and free disposition of the Rectory and Parish Church of Kirkby Malory and also the whole Manor of Wellsburgh ( names of fields given ) ........... William Noel died 15 March  17 Charles I at Kirkby Malory.1642
         

Here we find the first reference to the village Rectory. It is worth noting at this point that the designated "Lord of the Manor" did not necessarily own the manor as such, but administered it. He would collect taxes where appropriate, and dispense justice through the Court Leet / Court Baron  system as devolved from the Crown and granted to the Kirkby Mallory estate. By way of this grant, the Lord of the Manor was able to exercised jurisdiction over his tenants by means of  =

   1.     The Court Leet    which heard criminal offences not punishable by Common Law, then referred to as the Assizes, this included offences involving sums of money exceeding 40 Shillings
     2.    The
Court Baron    who's main business was to note changes in property ownership and as such the Lord was able to claim payment for such transactions.

         In 1771  by act of Parliament, the Manor of Kirkby Mallory was due to be "Enclosed". This meant that any remaining open fields and common pastures relied on by the villagers for sustenance were now to be taken, divided and fenced off. The practice of enclosure in Leicestershire had in fact begun much earlier, ref. ( L. A.Parker  "Enclosure of Leicestershire" 1485 - 1607) and had peaked between the years 1490 and 1510.  Leicester Abbey in about 1530 was enclosing on a large scale. The above publication makes reference to an incident in Kirkby Mallory  when ......      The Abbot, John Penny in October 1501 evicted 18 people and laid down 5 ploughs by destroying 3 farms and by enclosing and converting 180 acres of arable land into pasture. .........    Not much compassion shown there then, but no doubt wool was a more profitable commodity

 The area described in the 1771 act totalled some 780 acres and came into force on the 10th. day of October of that year, .

The act however excluded several Crofts, one being Battling Croft, a 10 acre field which is now one of "Mallory Parks" car parking areas, see picture right.

Battling Croft, together with a cottage in the tenure of Thomas Cooper, plus a further 106 acres of land, all belonging to the Parish Church were exempt from the above act. 

 

LEFT

Showing BoundaryMap of the Kirkby Mallory Manor estate, outlined in red, giving approximate position of the Open Fields

 

The "Open fields"referred to in the act, being the subject of the enclosure, were the Beckfield Pastures to the North, the Long Sich in the East and Netherfield to the South of the village. The Long Sich and Netherfield formed an area of land that loosely followed the line of the Peckleton Brook, and extended to the South as far as the water course of the Shilton Road brook. This same brook, who`s source lies to the North in the village of Brascote was also used to define the Western boundary between the neighbouring Manors of Barwell, Stapleton and Cadeby. The Long Sich field contained about 144 acres, this being contiguous to a homestead belonging to the church, (possibly the now Glebe Farm on the Shilton Road). The Church Records for 1772 when identifying family locations, other than "Village Street", make reference to areas then known as "The Pasture" and "The Heath".This Act caused great upheaval to the villagers and their way of life. The Rev. Rowney Noel Rector of Kirkby Mallory and Edward, Lord Viscount Wentworth "Lord of the Manor", were both subject of the above act. After the Land Commissioners had completed their task of dividing and allocating the areas concerned, the "enclosed" sections they left behind are the fields of the countryside that we now see today.

 

 

For the full text of the Kirkby Mallory Enclosure Act

click here

 

By 1801 there were 49 families living in the village making up a population of some 243. There was 47 inhabited houses and 3 uninhabited houses. Of those in employment, 15 were in agriculture the other 90 being in trade and manufacturing, possibly Framework Knitters. The knitters housed their frames, which they rented, in their own homes. With high rents, unpredictable trade and exploitation, poverty for these workers was rife.

The village changed little over the following century. In 1871 there were 56 houses / cottages with 220 inhabitants.

 THE RECTORY    dates back to the early 17th century ( mentioned in 1643 ) ,then being a Half timbered building .The Historian, J.Nichols states that the rectory was rebuilt by the Rev Clobery Noel, then altered and enlarged in the 18th century by his successor the Rev.Rowney Noel . The 1881 census gives us some idea of the Domestic staff considered necessary for the upkeep of the Rectory. These being
                                                                            
 

 Ann Rowly...............Cook,          Hannah Eagleton .....Ladies Maid
  Harriet Wood ..........House Maid     Sarah Lasitarn......... Parlour Maid
  Mary Newcombe.....Kitchen Maid     George Gibson.........Groom
  John Kerrison..........Gardener
           The last Rector in residence was Edgar Mills from 1933 to 1947 , when he retired the Rectory stood empty for a time before being sold. The following new Rector, the Rev G Chippington took up his residence at the Peckleton Rectory.  The old Kirkby Rectory was recently demolished due to extensive decay, but has now been totally rebuilt to a much grander design.

ALL SAINTS CHURCH KIRKBY MALLORY
 

 Left view taken in 1950

 

Right view taken, 1999

    

 

Inside All Saints Church Kirkby Mallory

Photo left circa 1920 Photo below 2016

           The Village Church dates back to the early 13th century. The choir stalls are Jacobean, the rectors stall is early 17th century and the wrought iron work for the communion rail has been dated 1615
A new ball and vane was erected on the tower cupola in 1799.
      The church organ was acquired and installed in 1878. Later in 1888 work began on a major refurbishment program which was to cost some £800. This involved building a new chamber on the North side of the church to rehouse the organ, on redesigning the West arch and window, and also carrying out remedial work on the Nave roof
           

      On the 5th of June 1939 following a meeting between the Church Wardens, being Mr Alec Summers and Mr A.E. Birch together with other parishioners and the Rev. Edgar Mills. A unanimous decision was taken to partition the Bishop of Leicester that "The Electric Light be installed" within the church. The Leicestershire & Warwick Electric Power Company had recently brought electricity into the village, so taking advantage of this new energy source with its labour saving advantages would have been quite a priority. With permission granted the contract was eventually awarded to                                      Messrs T.H. Wathes & Co, Electrical Engineers, Leicester.   A company still trading today.

         The church organ of course relied upon a continuous supply of air for its operation, and originally this was supplied by a hand operated bellows pump at the rear of the organ. On brief occasions I was able to accompany my uncle, (Frank Heath), who had volunteered his services at that time (the late 1940's) to attend the daily services and operate this hand pump during the hymn singing. However it was not until 1950 or thereabouts that the organ was eventually converted to operate via the aid of an electric fan.
           The tower clock was donated by the Newton family and was installed in 1927.
     A survey of the church roof carried out in the late 1960`s had revealed extensive decay due to infestation and damp. Consequently in 1969 work began to completely replace the church roof. This major undertaking was duly completed by the end of the following year. Normal church services, which had been transferred to the School Room, could now be resumed once again in the church.
         The Bell Tower contains 6 bells, the earlier 3 bells are possibly 16th century. The 4th and 5th bells were installed to commemorate the dead of World War 1 and were made in Loughborough. The 6th bell the Tenor was installed in memory of the Rev.Octavius Philpot who died in 1933.

 

  The Christmas Nativity play held in the church and performed by the villagers

My uncle, Joe Heath is second from left and my mother is fourth from left.

Circa 1962

The then"Church of England" Village school was built in 1863, on a site provided by Lady Byron, the previous school building being on the North side of the village. In the 1871 census, the School Mistress is given as Elizabeth Newton aged 29 who originated from Ashby. Ten years later, there is a new School Mistress named Mary Rowland, who together with her mother Ann Rowland live at the School House, both originated from Shropshire. By 1900 there were 90 children on the school register, but the school had only an average attendance of 30. At the height of the first World War there were 56 pupils in attendance. In 1968 the school was finally closed and is now used as the Village Hall.
                                          To see past school group photographs click here

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Many Thanks to Hazel Handford for sending in this photograph, taken outside the "Kirkby Mallory Post and Telegraph Office". The Post Office was opened in 1903 and was then housed in the Blacksmiths Cottage .  (see below). Hazel goes on to say that the bearded gentleman in the driving seat of the coach is that of Arthur Herbert together with his family. The couple shown against the fence are Alice Talbot and her daughter Elsie. The picture (dated pre 1917) was taken by Parker Herbert who had opened a photographic studio in Barwell.

 

 

The blacksmiths cottage
The census returns for 1881 / 91 gives us some insight into the village community, for instance the village had a blacksmiths shop, the cottage on the corner of Desford Lane (see above photo) . This was once thatched, but now much modernised and extended, and is shown again pictured left. In the same location, moving to the right in the picture is the cottage known as "Atlasta"this was reputed to have been an old Coaching House standing conveniently as it did next to the Roe Buck Inn, pictured below
          

There were two Blacksmiths listed, Charles Rowley and Robert Hassell the latter also being the Parish Clerk. Sarah Gibson kept  a grocery shop . Anna Hill was also listed as a Shopkeeper . The local carpenter was William Bonsir, other occupations to be found were Thomas Edwards... Butler, unemployed, William Gibson...Groom, Stephen Pool...Sheppard and William Matkin was a Provisions Dealer living at Gardeners Cottage (North Lodge?). Porters Lodge and Keepers Cottage together with the Hall were all unoccupied at this time. An interesting entry is one for a "Steam Cultivator Van in the road leading to Stapleton".  George Tordiff and William Henson, registered as Lodgers. They must have been contract workers, working with a steam engine / tractor near the Bridle Road leading to Stapleton, sometimes referred to as "Dark Lane" due to the then overhanging trees.

 

 

  Stapleton Lane   circa  1920,

known locally as  Dark Lane, This lane eventually settled into a cart track when once past the "Kirkby New Parks Farm" by which time it had more or less aligned itself with the old Roman road again

Picture shows Hill Farm House in the foreground.Rose Cottage in the distance

 

 

 

 

Village Shop Main Street, Circa 1880

Sarah Gibson`s shop , the sign over the door reads "Sarah Gibson Dealer in Tobacco"

The 1871 census has her in residence as shop keeper along with her father

This shop in Church Street was later to become the Post Office and general stores and was the home of Miss Molly and Mable Vann during the nineteen fifties and sixties The 1871 census

I am greatly indebted to Mrs J. Martin, USA. for her help and supply of photographs in respect of the Gibson family of Kirkby Mallory.
   
 

 The earlier 1861 census gives John Geary (born in Groby) as the Gamekeeper living at Keepers House . Later in 1871 Colin Vann had taken over as estate gamekeeper, George Ellis was Head Gardener at the Hall ,and Thomas Beck was " Vintner " at the Roe Buck Inn, the white house on the corner of Peckleton Road . By the time of the following census was taken 1881 John Cahill with his wife Elizabeth had taken over the tenancy of the Roe Buck Inn
  Roe Buck Inn, The large "White House"on the corner of Peckleton lane also served as village Post Office at one time.  

 

Continuing with the 1891 census, Manor Farm now gets its first mention, although an earlier 1785 map shows buildings there. It is farmed by Joseph Bonsor (born at Kirkby Mallory). and Albert Ward is farming at the Glebe Farm on the Shilton Road.

 

       

 Kirkby House Farm  is to the right in this photograph.
  
The 1891 census tells us that this is the home of tenant farmer Timothy Summers, and gives his place of birth as Sutton Cheney, (a small village about six miles away).  He lived there with wife Sarah and family being, Tim, Lucy, Charles, Sarah, Frances, Rose and Arthur together with their Governess, Edith Stevens and three servants, Sarah Miller, Frank Cope and John Preston. His son, Tim later went on to farm at Hill Farm in Stapleton Lane up until the early 1950's
               

 One of the most striking things about the entries in the Census Returns for this era is the distance individuals and families were prepared to travel in order to find work. I find this quite remarkable considering the basic means of transport and the limited means of communication, Possible vacancies would have been advertised through newspapers, but no doubt "word of mouth"also played its part. The telephone, that we now take so much for granted was not  widely available, not really until the early 1900`s, and the motor car likewise had yet to make its mark.    So long distance travel relied mainly on the railway network. Yet in a small village like Kirkby Mallory we find the "place of origin" listed in the census as being as far apart as  Leeds, Northumberland, Shrewsbury, Charmouth in Dorset, and Ireland.  Then others were employed from less distant villages from within the county itself, namely Carlton, Shenton, Stoke Golding and Wolvey. These journeys could not have been easy, many taken on unmade roads with horse and cart.

 

THATCHED COTTAGES  late 19th. century, long since demolished that stood in Church Road opposite the house that was later to become the Village Post Office in the1940`s. The road shown here provided access to Kirkby Hall, which lay behind the trees, and also to the Rectory, turn left in front of the beech tree .

 click here for painting
 

 

THE ESTATE. Up until the early 1920's the village cottages and the surrounding farms were all owned by the Kirkby Hall Estate. In 1921 the village was put up for sale,
The tenant farmers and villagers were now to be given the opportunity to purchase their own homes, the Manor was to be split up and sold off.

 

AMENITIES in the late 1940`s and 50`s  
        The Post Office and general stores in Church Road, was kept by two sisters,
Molly and Mable Vann. Mrs Biddles owned the Garage, which provided a taxi service, sold Esso petrol and carried out minor repairs. The nearest cinema was in Station Road, Earl Shilton which was about two miles away, so within easy cycling distance. The small field in the centre of the village known as the "Leas"(meaning grassy meadow), accommodated the Village Cricket Club. The village had its own "road sweeper" Mr Jack Parry, employed by the council, but was not a resident in the village, he lived in Barwell I believe. Mr. Huntridge was manager at the Hall, and Mr. Dowler was the gardener there, he  lived in Earl Shilton. Produce from the large garden was on sale to the village. The Church Wardens were Mr. Alec Summers and Mr.Burch. The Sextant was Mr.Fred Heath and the church organist was Miss Edith Summers while Mr. Ben Gibson serviced the church clock.
Mrs Nellie Farmer took over the position as the "live in" school teacher circa 1956 to 1964
          Up until the late 1950`s the community relied heavily upon traders from outside the village to provide essential provisions. They would visit weekly or less, some in dedicated vehicles fitted out for the purpose. Mr. Cooper (from Leicester) would supply a wide range of hardware and cleaning material. Mr. J. Weston (Desford) was the Greengrocer. "Archers" (Desford) sold cycle parts and batteries etc., bicycles far out numbered cars so this was quite a lucrative business at the time. The Baker, Butcher, Grocer etc. would each have their respective rounds, again visiting as necessary.

WOMANS GROUPS
 

Womans institute 1949.

Kirkby Mallory supported two woman's groups, "The Womans Institute" founded in 1924 and the "Mothers Union".

Both these groups being very well attended in the past

Click here for enlargement, plus names

TRANSPORT         
   

 Probably the earliest bus service to be operated between Kirkby Mallory and Leicester  (Western Boulevard) was one provided by Mr. Fred Preston, father of Tom Preston who later managed the village garage for Mrs Biddle

There is no date on the card, but it would have been around 1920

Many thanks to Helen Hamer for the photocopies.
          

 A more comprehensive service was later  provided by two bus companies. The "Comfort"bus company provided a service into Leicester ( last bus 6.00pm.) weekdays , while the second , the "Browns Blue" bus company provided transport into Hinckley via Earl Shilton.
         For school transport, the "Deacon & Hardy" company based at Barleston did the run to South Charnwood Secondary Modern School, situated about a mile from Markfield, leaving the "Clarence"bus company to provide a likewise service to the Dixie Grammar School                                at Market Bosworth.

The Village Post Office
        
The Post Office had been accommodated in various locations throughout its roughly 100 year history. An early Ordinance & Survey map dated 1903 gives its location as being at the Roe Buck Inn. However there may of been some confusion here because there is photographic evidence that it was actually in the property just a few yards away, being other village shop adjacent to the Smithy

  From there it moved again to the shop in Church street, ajacent to the school,  occupied erlier in 1871 by Sarah Gibson and her elderly father John.    (See photo above)

The last Post Office in Kirkby Mallory was kept by Mrs Reed and family who lived in Desford Lane. When she retired in October 1990 the Office was obliged to close as no new proprietor could be found. So the closure and transfer of business to the Earl Shilton Main Office. was therefore inevitable

The document shown below is a receipt for the conveyance of that property then known as "The Old Post Office" from the Countess of Lovelace & Others to   Mr. Edward Gibson for £120  dated Jan. 1921, being the time of the estate breakup

 

Mr Edward Gibson     

 to

S.H. & W.J. Pilgrim

 Jan  1921.......

The professional charges in connection with the conveyance to you from the Countess of Lovelace & others of a messuage & premises known as the Old Post Office Kirkby Mallory, the consideration being £120 including completion in London £2-15s

Payments

Stamp on conveyance 12s-6d

Parchment paper for conveyance 3s         Share of expences to London £1-15s

£4-10s-6d

received S.H. Pilgrim

 

       

 
Courtesy of Mr Lance Gibson

 

 

 

 CLICK BELOW FOR MORE PAGES,

VILLAGE MAPS, PHOTOS and CONTRIBUTIONS etc

KIRKBY MALLORY REMEMBERED              extra pages

Village map circa 1920

 

Aerial picture of village, mid 1950`s

 

Village photographs, comparisons between the old and the new

 

The sites of the Kirkby Manor Water and Wind Mills  

 

             Contributions to the History site,      New             

 

 School Photographs 1910 to 1952

 

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