Displaying items by tag: Kibworth Beauchamp

The Mud Cottage,70 High Street, Kibworth Beauchamp, an 18th century thatched cottage was demolished in the late 1940’s.The remaining Mud Wall is a Grade ll listed building. The cottage may have been a farm worker’s home developed from a farm outbuilding on land at the edge of the village.  The 1886 Ordnance Survey map shows the cottage as the last residential property on the north end of High Street. The last occupants of the cottage were Charlie Everitt and his son, Ted.  The cottage was damaged by fire which apparently causing quite a spectacle with many villagers flocking to the scene. 

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High Street, Kibworth Beauchamp showing The Mud Cottage on the right.
(photograph published by kind permission of Jennifer Rogers)

Mud Cottage2
Front aspect of the Mud Cottage.

All that remains of the Mud Collage is the front wall.

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The Mud Wall

The wall is described in the Natural Heritage List for England as the former front wall of an 18thcentury cottage.  It is made of mud with a rubble stone supporting plinth.  A modern corrugated iron coping has been added at some stage in its history, presumably to serve as protection against the elements.

The condition of the wall had been a matter of concern for some time and there have been various attempts to refurbish it. 

Mud Wall2
by 2015 much of the rendering had begun to fall off.

Refurbishment of the wall.

In January 2016 the Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council's Village Focus Group sought the advice of a local professional who had previous knowledge of the wall.  The late Anthony Goode from Slawston, a recognised authority on the maintenance of early buildings, found that the rendering was modern and had not adhered to the wall causing decay and allowing rainwater to seep between the rendering and the original wall. The wall itself showed no deterioration or of movement.

The refurbishment was undertaken by Anthony Goode and the first task involved removing the damaged and loose plaster and slightly undercutting back around the edges of the remaining plaster to create a key for the new work.   Using a bristle brush all the newly exposed mud wall was brushed and cleaned to remove loose debris and dust before spraying and dampening down with water.

The new lime plaster was mixed several weeks before it was needed and rested to allow it to mature. Goat hair reinforcement was added just before use. The mix was made from a measure of 1 part sharp sand to 2½parts lime putty. The plaster can be applied by a plastering trowel but in this case the plaster was literally thrown onto the wall with a purpose-made rough casting or harling trowel. This is a well-known technique which is known as ‘outside plastering’ and is commonly found in Scotland on masonry buildings of solid wall construction.

The lime plaster was applied in this manner because on a mud wall there is little key so the plaster relies mainly on suction. In the harling process as the plaster mix hits the wall it expels the air and forms a better bond between the two surfaces.  As the plaster firmed up it was rubbed with floats to produce a coarse finish following the contours of the wall. It was then protected by an absorbent material covering to prevent the lime putty plaster drying out too quickly.  Unlike cement, putty lime plaster does not set hard.  The lime needs warmth to carbonate, depending on the time of year and the temperature, this can take several weeks.

In November 2016 the protective cover was removed revealing the refurbished wall for the first time. The refurbishment has successfully preserved a small piece of Kibworth Beauchamp’s Heritage.

Mud Wall3
The refurbished Mud Wall

Postscript: There is another mud wall in Kibworth Beauchamp - between the Manor House and Ridley Lane. This was examined by the Harborough District Council Conservation Officer in 2020 and deemed sound.

 

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Stephen Butt for allowing me to use parts of the article he wrote about the Mud Wall for the Market Harborough Historical Society Magazine.
Jennifer Rogers
The Kibworth and District Chronicle
Joan Spain

 

Published in Modern

REVEREND THOMAS THOMAS

1741 – 1826

Part 1

Revd. Thomas Thomas was born on 24th November 1741 at Castell Gorfod, in the parish of Trelechar Bettws, Carmarthenshire in Wales. Thomas was one of the three children of George and Catherine Thomas. The elder son, Samson Thomas, became a Calvinist Methodist Minister and his sister Rosamond married Thomas Howell in 1769.

Revd. Thomas Thomas was ordained and appointed as Rector of St Peter’s Church in the parish of Isham, Northamptonshire by the then Bishop of Peterborough, John Hinchcliffe in 1773.

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Appointment letter from the Bishop of Peterborough

By 1788 Revd. Thomas Thomas was living, with the Foxton family in the Manor House (Manor Farm House), 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt.

On 21st September 1796 at St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp the Revd. Thomas, age 55,  married Elizabeth Foxton aged 51 years. Their marriage was conducted by the Revd. Jeremiah Goodman, Headmaster of the Kibworth Grammar School. Their Marriage bond* names Richard Coltman, yeoman, grazier and Churchwarden, of East Farndon promising with Revd. Thomas Thomas the £200 surety. 

Elizabeth Thomas, nee Foxton, died on the 6th September 1797, sadly this was within a year of  their marriage. Following her death Thomas wrote a letter written on 8th October 1798 to his brother Samson in Pembrokeshire describing his grief at his wife’s death and saying;

The coming of death was in so gradual a manner, that for days before her departure, she ordered everything about her burying without any signs of confusion. She told her maid to pin the cap and handkerchief ready against the time they should be wanted for use whilst the shroud was to be fetched from Harborough.  She was very fond of reading pious books and conversing about a future world. She retained her senses to within a very little time of her last moment and expired in the comfortable persuasion that Christ is the only saviour’.  He describes in detail her memorial in St. Wilfrid’s Church and signs the letter‘Care dig Frawd’.(Dear Brother)

On Thursday 5th December 1805 Revd. Thomas notes that he held a ‘Thanksgiving for Lord Nelson’s Victory on the 21st  October off Cape Trafalgar’ at East Farndon church. (See Rev. Thomas Thomas Part 2)

Revd. Thomas’s sister Rosamond and her husband, Thomas Howell wrote from the family farm in Carmarthenshire to Revd. Thomas on 6th February 1805. They were asking about how to raise £150 for ‘India equipment’ for their youngest son John, who wished to enter employment as an assistant surgeon with the East India Company. This money was to purchase clothes, a surgeon’s apothecary kit and to fund his entry into the Company.

John Howell also wrote to his uncle about a possible appointment with the East India Company and received a withering reply criticising the spelling errors in his letter. Rev. Thomas tells him firmly ‘to use a dictionary, however his uncle includes a draft for £20 expenses in the letterto encourage him to find a position locally in England. However, as a young man will do, in March 1806 John Howell accepted a position with the East India Company as an assistant surgeon recommended for a position in Bengal, India and sailed on the ‘Matilda’ to Calcutta. It would seem that this money was, possibly reluctantly, found by Rev. Thomas because in his will John Howell leaves £300 to his uncle, Rev. Thomas, in a codicil repaying his kindness.

Not only had Revd. Thomas been instrumental in mentoring, educating and financing his nephew John Howell through his medical training at the London Hospital.  Letters discovered at the Northampton Record Office confirm Thomas also financed the training of another surgeon at St. Thomas’ and Guy’s hospitals namely his nephew Poyntz Adams (his late wife’s sister’s son.) (see Rev.Thomas part 2)

The following year Thomas is still living in The Manor Farm House, Kibworth Harcourt and in a letter to his niece, dated 31st October 1807 he says that he has ‘leased some grounds from Merton College for 21 years renewable every 7th year by paying a fine for its renewal’. (Merton College, Oxford owned the Manor Farm House and still owns much of the land at the rear of houses on Main Street and Albert Street, Kibworth Harcourt.)

In 1814 Revd.Thomas Thomas is appointed Rector of St Dionysius Church, Kelmarsh and then Curate of the Church of St. John the Baptist at East Farndon. As the curate at East Farndon Parish Revd. Thomas was assistant to the Rector, William Brooks, who was also Rector of St John’s Church, Coventry where he spent the majority of his time. Revd. Thomas was left to administer the East Farndon Parish and to sort out the many problems and issues which ensued.  This is confirmed by correspondence between Thomas and the Bishop of Peterborough where he outlines issues with the enclosures and the upkeep of tenements and buildings, not least the fabric of the church which needed much attention.

In 1815 Revd. Thomas’ sister Rosamund Howell died in Carmarthenshire and his nephew, her son, John Howell, surgeon, for the East India Company died in 1819 in Bengal, India aged 36 years.

On 10th  October 1818 Revd. Thomas bought a farm, Penriwbaily, from his cousin James Howell in his home parish of Trelechar Bettws hoping he says, one day to return there to his dear ‘Kingdom of Deheubarth’. Interestingly, on the same day his clerk sold the lease of the farm for a term of 21 years for the sum of £32 annually to Benjamin Howell, farmer, (a nephew).

In 1824 Revd.Thomas Thomas, aged 83 years, retired from his clerical positions at Isham and East Farndon.  Noting in a family letter that he had lived in Kibworth Harcourt and the neighbouring area for 56 years. However, his love for his homeland and Welsh culture never left him. His family letters and indeed his church records are often written in both Welsh, his native tongue and English.

Revd.Thomas Thomas is recorded in Crockford’s Clerical Directory, as being an ordained minister of the Anglican church from 1773 to 1826 the year he died on 20th May.

Plaque commemorating the lives of Revd. Thomas Thomas BD and his wife Elizabeth in St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp

TThomas memorial
Consoled in approaching Death by Faith scripture and the Hope of Advancement to Life eternal on September:1797 dyd Elizabeth the Daughter of George Foxton of Kibworth Gentleman and Wife of reverend Thomas Thomas. BD. Rector of Isham. Alfo in Memory of Revd. Thomas Thomas BD. who died Dec 1st 1825 in the 85th Year of his Age. O Grief allow that Death nor Tomb profound Can duft reviving lock in charnel Ground When JAH commands the Clay dead form arise And Spirit like ascend to Sion Skies so Grievance more to feel nor fancyd Gloom But Rapture that confess a glorious Doom Where Saint becomes in Soul embodying Frame. A Monument of Praise to Shiloh’s Name.

In 1885 the family executors of his estate in Wales sold The Manor House, (Manor Farm House) Kibworth Harcourt for £4,450 to another nephew he had educated and financed, John Philipps, who had lived there with him as a proxy son. (see John Philipps 1801 – 1867 – Modern)

John Philipps inherited a love for antiquities from his uncle and kept all his uncle’s letters, papers etc. in a trunk in the attic. A chest of Revd. Thomas’ papers including manuscripts, broadsides from the Manor Farm House, Kibworth Harcourt is lodged at the Northampton Record Office.

A poster was discovered among Revd. Thomas’ papers at the Northampton Record Office advertising a production on 28th October 1802 at the Kibworth Theatre of School for Scandal’ a 1781 comic opera to music by Samuel Arnold with a libretto by John O’Keeffe. This includes an American romantic comedy ‘Gretna Green’ written by Grace Livingston Furniss. This suggests that Revd. Thomas may have attended the Kibworth Theatre. (see The Kibworth Theatre-Modern).

*  Marriage bonds were used when a couple applied to marry by licence and were not married by banns.  The marriage allegation was a document in which the couple alleged (or frequently just the groom alleged on behalf of both of them) that there were no impediments to the marriage.  The marriage bond set a financial penalty on the groom and his bondsman (usually a close friend or relative) in case the allegation should prove to be false.  Marriage bonds ceased to be used after 1823.

Acknowledgements

Pembrokeshire Record Office
Northamptonshire Record Office
British History on Line
East Farndon Village Website Group
The Gentleman’s Magazine

Researched by Jeni Molyneux & edited by David Adams

 

 

Published in Modern

JOHNSON & BARNES LTD

Dover Street, Kibworth Beauchamp

The company was started by John Thomas Johnson who was working for a hosiery manufacturer in Fleckney when he decided to start his own business.  He installed two knitting frames in a shed in Kibworth Beauchamp and started production.  He was joined by William Barnes in 1901 and the Johnson and Barnes Company was created.

JohnsonBarnes

A factory was built in Dover Street and equipped with knitting machines to manufacture fully fashioned hose. The company expanded rapidly and in 1906 a factory was opened at Lutterworth and two years later new machines were purchased for the Kibworth factory. These new machines proved highly successful and the original building in Dover Street was extended.

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Johnson and Barnes factory, Dover Street, Kibworth Beauchamp

The company purchased premises in Rutland Street Leicester which provided offices, showrooms, and warehousing space.

About this time Johnson and Barnes introduced the trade name ‘Excello’ for their hosiery products and the company became one of the leading manufacturers in the hosiery business.  Growth continued and in 1912 the business became a limited company.

The World War l years saw changes to the company, in 1915 a former lace-making factory in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire was acquired, John Thomas Johnson died in October 1917 and in 1918 the factory at Lutterworth was closed.

Post war the company thrived as demand for longer stockings increased with the company reacting to this fashion change by installing new machines

capable of producing longer and wider stockings which were marketed under the trade name ‘Flexcello’

New factory, warehouse and office space was acquired in Charles Street and Rutland Street Leicester and the head office was moved from Kibworth to the new premises.

William Barnes died in December 1932.

During World War ll the factories produced half-hose for the ATS, WAAF, and WRNS.

After the war the company continued to prosper and on 23rd February 1948 a factory was opened in Worsbrough, near Barnsley. Kibworth’s production was centred on fully fashioned ladies stockings and boys' three-quarter hose with production increasing to 3,500 dozen pairs a week.

In 1951 Johnson and Barnes celebrated their Golden Jubilee.

However, this was the beginning of the end of Johnson and Barnes as the hosiery trade was threatened by cheap overseas imports. This was followed in the early 1960s by the introduction of the mini-skirt and the demand for tights instead of stockings. Johnson & Barnes had insufficient capital to invest in new machinery required to produce tights. The company suffered during this time and in 1961 the Worsborough factory was closed. The business diversified into the production of knitted garments and the company was acquired by a Canadian financier, Joel David Lerner. In 1970 the Leicester premises were sold, the Stapleford factory was rebuilt and the Kibworth factory was closed in 1971. By 1977 the business had been bought by an investment company, however it continued to lose money and in May 1981 a Receiver was appointed. The Stapleford factory closed that year. Liquidators were appointed in August 1983 with Johnson & Barnes Ltd dissolved in January 1987. 

Acknowledgements:

George Weston
Kibworth History Society
Kibworth and District Chronicle

Published in Modern

During excavations at the rear of Tudor Cottage, Weir Road, Kibworth Beauchamp in 1954 the skull, atlas, the top vertebrae which supports the skull, and metatarsal, the long bone in the foot, of a large Ox was uncovered.  Oxen were a large horned mammal that once roamed in herds across Europe including the United Kingdom but became extinct in these areas.

The find resulted in Leicester University organising archaeological excavation of the site.

KibworthOx
Archaeologists recovered the skull, vertebrae and parts of the pelvis and limbs and these items have been preserved in the Leicester Museum

From the bones recovered it was deduced that the Ox was the largest to be found in Leicestershire. The measurement between the horns was 96 centimetres (38 inches). An unusual feature about the remains was that it was buried in an upright position indicating that the mammal had been trapped in soft ground and had died standing up. The Archaeologists estimated that the mammal died over 5,000 years ago.

Acknowledgements:
Leicester University
Kibworth History Society

 

 

Published in Pre History

On the weekend of 25th and 26th July 2009 two hundred villagers, volunteer diggers and professional archaeologists worked together to open fifty test pits in the villages of Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt and Smeeton Westerby in south Leicestershire.The event was organised by Michael Wood and his production team from Maya Vision International as part of their new BBC TV series the “Story of England” and under the direction of Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA).

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Big Dig volunteers outside the Coach and Horses Inn
Andrew Southerden (pub licensee), Michael Wood and Prof. Carenza Lewis in foreground

The volunteers gathered in Kibworth Grammar School Hall on the Saturday morning to receive a briefing from Professor  Carenza Lewis, a British archaeologist who became famous as a result of her appearances on the Channel 4 television series “Time Team”. Stockpiles of tools including mattocks, trowels, tarpaulin and sieves were available as well as detailed instructions on how to record finds.

Throughout the weekend archaeologists were available to respond to calls from the pit sites to give advice on articles found. The digs were also filmed by three roving film crews. The exercise was co-ordinated from The Coach and Horses Inn where the restaurant was equipped with aerial maps, wireless broadband and relevant printed histories and documents relating to the area. This enabled the teams of experts to quickly attend any of the test pit sites where their expertise was required.  The licensee of the Coach and Horses Inn, Andrew Southerden, dug a test pit in the corner of the pub car park (there is now a plaque on the wall behind the site of the pit).

During the course of the Dig over 2500 finds were recorded and labeled, and are now at Cambridge University for analysis by Carenza Lewis and her team. The finds included:

The pit at The Coach and Horses Inn produced early/middle Saxon pottery (450-650AD) and a stratified fragment of an incised patterned early Anglo-Saxon bone comb from undisturbed deposits.  There appears little doubt that it revealed the site of the earliest Anglo-Saxon settlement of Kibworth, with at least 20cm of undisturbed deposits of that date. It appears to have fallen from use before the Viking invasions, and not occupied by people since.

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Early-Anglo-Saxon bone comb from the pit at the Coach and Horses Inn

Roman pottery was found in two test pits, one in Kibworth Harcourt, the other in Smeeton Westerby. Neither pit produced more than a few sherds.  The pit in Kibworth Harcourt also produced forty sherds of St Neots Ware (c.875-1100AD) and six of Stamford Ware (c.875-1200AD) indicating intensive use of this plot during these periods.

Only one of the pits, more than 1km to the south of this find, produced any pottery of middle Anglo-Saxon date (650-850): a single small sherd of Ipswich Ware (700-850) weighing just 6g, although small this was noted as the first find of Ipswich ware in Leicestershire, and as such is of considerable interest, possibly indicating a site of some status in the vicinity.

Four pits in Smeeton Westerby produced Stamford ware (c.875-1200AD), three of which were sited close together along the west side of the main street. Although these produced smaller amounts of pottery (none yielded more than four sherds), they do seem likely to indicate settlement in this area in the late Anglo-Saxon period.

In Kibworth Beauchamp only about half of the pits excavated produced medieval pottery, whether this indicates less intensive settlement here or it is simply due to sampling bias across a small number of pits where there were far less dug.

In the medieval period, the pattern is very different, with most pits producing significant numbers of sherds dating from 1100-1400AD. These include nine of the twelve pits along Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt, indicating the possibility that there was settlement along this street in the High Medieval period, quite possibly arranged as a regular planned row either side of the street.

Smeeton and Westerby also produced large amounts of pottery dating to 1100-1400AD and activity here appears to have increased significantly in the centuries after the Norman Conquest.

Only two of the five pits excavated in Kibworth Harcourt produced later medieval pottery, also in minimal quantities. Documentary evidence suggests that the population of Kibworth Harcourt dropped by around 40% in 1348-9 (The Black Death) and, after a weak rally in the 1360s and 1370s, dwindled further throughout the first half of the fifteenth century to less than a quarter of the pre-Black Death level, almost to vanishing point. The pottery evidence from the excavated test pits clearly seems to reflect this, it seems that those few families who lived in the former villages in the fifteenth century must have done so in an otherwise almost deserted landscape. In the post-medieval period, however, there is a marked recovery, with nearly all test pits producing material of sixteenth to eighteenth century date.

The pit in Jubilee Green, Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt (the site of the old village market (see Early Modern/ Kibworth Harcourt Village Centre)) was dug by a team of pupils from Kibworth High School and they un-earthed a stone cannonball from the English Civil War (1642 to 1651).

jubileegreenpit

Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Maya Vision International

All the volunteer diggers were very enthusiastic and many were rewarded by their finds, the artifacts below were recovered from a pit in Smeeton Westerby much to the delight of the amateur archaeologist who found them. 

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Finds from Smeeton Westerby pit

Published in Modern
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