Harcourt Trail

The Kibworth Theater (Theatre) is believed to have been situated on the turnpike road in Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt during the 18th and 19th centuries. The exact location has not been confirmed but is believed to have been to the rear of 25 Main Street. This location would have been convenient to entertain passengers taking a rest break at the many inns when journeying through the village on the many stage coaches travelling along the turnpike route. Indeed travelling theatre players would also have also used the coaches and taken advantage of the theater to perform plays. In addition local residents particularly from the Dissenting Academy and the Grammar School in Kibworth Beauchamp may well have been patrons of the theater.

Copies of two posters advertising productions at the theater are shown below. The first on Wednesday evening September 29th 17890 was a production of the celebrated comic opera ‘INKLE and YARICO’ followed by ‘ALL THE WORLDS a STAGE’ The second was on Friday evening October 1st 1790 when a production of ‘RICHARD 111 Or, The Battle of Bofworth Field’ followed by ‘The Agreeable Surfrise’ was performed.

TheatrePoster1      TheatrePoster2

Attendance was not cheap, the posters shows prices for both productions at 2s for the Pit and 1s for the Gallery. Possibly these prices would have been unaffordable by many local residents.

Although a poster is not available on the theater bill for the evening of 28th October 1802 was the comedy play ‘School for Scandal’ a 1781 comic opera to music by Samuel Arnold and a libretto by John O'Keeffe.

Acknowledgements:
British Library
BBC

Published in Modern

OldHouse

The Old House Main Street (front) aspect


The Old House stands at the junction of Albert Street and Main Street in Kibworth Harcourt. The house, dating from 1678 and the garden walls are Grade 1 Listed Buildings. The house is a red brick building with stone dressings and is remarkable for its period, both because of the use of brick is early for this district and as an example of the fully developed Renaissance house which is rare in Leicestershire before the beginning of the 18th century. The house consists of two stories, cellars, and attics. It is approximately rectangular in shape with a Swithland slate hipped roof with brick ridge stacks, dormer windows, and a symmetrical front. Built in red brick with coursed rubble stone plinth rusticated stone quoins, stone dressings and band and moulded stone cornice. The mullioned and transomed windows are surrounded by moulded stone architraves and there are two small oval lights in the centre of the north wall facing Albert Street. The front of the house faces west onto Main Street and has five windows to the first floor, the central one being flanked by pilasters and surmounted by a scrolled pediment containing a coat of arms. Below the pediment is the date 1678. The Coat of Arms (three escutcheons each charged with a pheon) is possibly the arms of the Parker family (see The Parker Family of Kibworth Harcourt part 4-early modern).  The central doorway, which might be a later addition to the house, has a rectangular open stone porch with three stone steps, two Tuscan columns supporting an entablature with plain frieze and blocking course.

At the front of the house is a semicircle of iron railings on a stone plinth, a pair of gates with spear head finials with urn finials at intervals. These railings were added to the house circa 1773.

The house has a very fine interior staircase with twisted balusters and some original paneling.

The garden walls, approximately 2 meters high extend from the rear of the property along Albert Street and from front right corner along Main Street. The wall was built in 1862 along with an extension to the rear of the house.

During the years 1890 to 1895 The Old House was connected to the water and gas supply.

 

Written by David Adams

 

Acknowledgements

Steve and Clare Langan

Peter Burfoot

British History Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Early Modern

 Where Main Street, leads into Albert Street the road widens at the junction and is fronted by The Old House, a superb Carolean Grade I Listed house of 1678 (see Early Modern/The Old House). The curved iron railings of the Old House on Main Street encroach on the space which once formed a market area and where stood a market cross along with the village pump, and a water trough.

Published in Early Modern
Go To Top