Harcourt House, Harcourt Estate and Marsh Drive, Kibworth Harcourt
Harcourt Estate fronts onto the A6 Leicester Road opposite the Coach and Horses Inn and Marsh Drive, which runs between the A6 Harborough Road and Langton Road, and are both 20th century developments.
Prior to 1931 part of that area was occupied by Harcourt House which, for many rears had been the home of the Marriott family. (See Sir Charles Hayes Marriott MD, FRC- Modern). The gardens of Harcourt House occupied approximately 2 acres.
Harcourt House looking from Church Road
Following the death of Sir Charles Marriott’s widow, Lady Marriott, the family decided to sell Harcourt House and on 22nd April 1931 the estate, consisting of the house and its extensive grounds was sold by auctioneers Warner Sheppard & Wade and P L Kirby of Halford Street, Leicester. The estate and surrounding land was purchase by A E Tate and Company, builders, of Oadby.
The development of the area commences with the demolition of Harcourt House and the first houses were built on Leicester Road, now known as Harcourt Estate along with two houses on each side of the Harborough Road end of the footpath running to Langton Road through Marsh Field now known as Marsh Drive.
1904 Ordnance Survey Map showing Harcourt House and the footpath through Marsh Field
World War ll stopped further development of Marsh Drive. However in 1942 part of the Harcourt estate land, at the Langton Road end, was requisitioned by the Government and a Women’s Land Army hostel was constructed and occupied by Land Army Girls for the duration of the war. (See also Article about the Land Girls - Modern)
Plan of the Land Army Hostel showing the position of 4 bungalows built during the post war development
After the war the Land Army Hostel site was returned to the original owner A E Tate and Co who then resumed the development of Marsh Drive. Part of the Land Army buuilding was leased to the Victory Tyre and Radiator Company during the 1950’s and later in that decade the Hostel was demolished.
Marsh Drive was developed with a mix of bungalows, detached and semi detached houses which stand to the present day.
Sir Charles Hayes Marriott MD, FRCS, DL, (1832 – 1910)
Charles Hayes Marriott was born in Kibworth Harcourt on 18 October 1832, he was the son of John Marriott MRCS, and his wife Georgiana. The Marriott family had a history of medical practice in Kibworth, his father practiced for fifty five years and his grandfather also practiced in Kibworth for over fifty years.
Charles attended Uppingham School and after leaving school went to Northampton Hospital where he was a pupil of Henry Terry, a Surgeon at the hospital. After three years' apprenticeship at Northampton Hospital he moved to University College Hospital, London in 1854, where he lived with Dr William Jenner, Assistant Physician to the Hospital and where he received personal tuition from the eminent Physician. He was acting as a House Surgeon at the Hospital and his studies earned him several prizes. He gained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1858, became an MB London and achieved Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in 1859.
In the same year he was appointed House Surgeon at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and after two years in that position he opened a private practice in Leicester. In 1861 he was elected Surgeon to the Infirmary.
Charles Marriott married Lucy, daughter of the Reverend John Gilson in 1862 and they lived in the family home, Harcourt House, Kibworth Harcourt where they had they had six children, four boys and two girls; Harcourt House was a large dwelling on the A6 with 18 rooms and included a garden of approximately two acres.
He became an MD in1863 and very quickly built up his practice and was acknowledged as the foremost surgeon in the district. He recognised the importance of scientific training for nurses and he was largely instrumental in founding the Leicester Trained Nurses' Institution and was a member of the governing body for many years.
He was fond of animals and for many years was Chairman of the local branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Charles Marriott was elected to the General Council of the British Medical Association in 1874, and in 1877 became President of the Midland Branch. He was also a member of the Committee of the Medical Defence Union, Chairman of the Leicester Bacteriological Institute and he was a founder member of the Leicester Committee of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Outside his professional career he was very active serving his community in many ways. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of the County and served as a Justice of the Peace and he was the first Chairman of Kibworth Harcourt Parish Council. His services to the village and the wider community are commemorated by the naming of a street, Marriott Drive off New Road in Kibworth Harcourt and The Marriott Ward at The Leicester Royal Infirmary.
He was also involved in national politics and was the Chairman of the Market Harborough Branch of the Liberal Unionist Party.
A keen cricketer Charles Marriott was President of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club and captain of Kibworth Cricket Club. He was the only player to have hit a cricket ball out of the old ground over Fleckney Road and over the since demolished Johnson & Barnes hosiery factory on the corner of Fleckney Road and Dover Street.
Sir Charles Hayes Marriott’s services to the Medical Profession were recognised in 1904 when he was awarded a Knighthood by King Edward VII.
Sir Charles Marriott died on 14 February 1910 and was buried on 17 February in the churchyard of St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth.
Sir Charles’ four sons all inherited his skills as a cricketer and whilst they lived in the village all played for Kibworth Cricket Club. Harold Henry Marriott, the youngest of the four sons, was a stylish right-hand bat who played for Cambridge University, Leicestershire County Cricket Club, and the MCC as well as appearances for the Kibworth team.
When Sir Charles’ widow died in 1930 the family decided to sell the house and land (See also Harcourt House and Marsh Drive - Modern). This was purchased in 1931 by A E Tate and Company, a local builder, who developed the site over the next 20 years resulting in the Harcourt Estate on the A6 Leicester Road and a new road, Marsh Drive, running between Leicester Road and Langton Road.
Kibworth and District Chronicle
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The British Medical Journal
Kibworth Cricket Club