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.