Kirby Frith Hall

photo of original painting from 1894, courtesy of the Everard family.
I wonder if there were really stags roaming the grounds? It would be nice to think so.
For high res photo contact: Record office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.
c1915 Kirby Frith Hall in all it's glory. Once stood on the what is now the Western Golf Course. The property was sold after the death of Mr Samuel Francis Stone, Steward of Duchy of Lancaster.

Now a burnt out ruin. Photo probably from the 30's or 40's. The Hall and grounds were purchased by Arthur Cart and subsequently converted into flats for renting out. There is a story that the fire was started by a disenchanted resident when Arthur wished to reclaim the property. Possibly the only trace left is a few bricks to be found in the tree's.
I believe that this fence post is the same one as can be seen on the right hand side of the ruins


The most serious poaching affray which has
occurred in Leicestershire for many years took
place at Kirby Frith, some miles from Leicester,
when some poachers made a desperate resistance,
and left a constable in a precarious condition . It
appears that three—Sergeant Hall and Police constables
Kirby and Harding—were on fixed point
duty about 1 a.m., with Charles Basket, butler to
Mr. S. F. Stone, of Kirby Frith Hall, and all four
saw five poachers enter the park and begin netting .
The butler called for help, and the poachers thereupon
showed fight. One, a shoe hand, named
Parker, offered no resistance, and Hall secured another.
But the remaining three made a desperate
resistance, and belaboured the two policemen most
unmercifully with bludgeons P.C. Cooke was thrown
violently to the ground and seriously handled, but
secured a third poacher. Having received a
terrible blow on the temple from a sharply - pointed
stone, and was also pounded on the head with the
same weapon, while another poacher beat him on
the head with a thick stick. He was subsequently
conveyed to Leicester, where upon he was examined by
a doctor and found to be in a precarious condition.
Two of t h e five poachers made their escape; but
the remaining three—Parker, James Cooke, a
framework knitter, and Thos. Simpson, a labourer
—-were brought to Leicester, with their "spoils"
in the form of fifteen rabbits, 250 y a r d s of netting,
pegs and sticks. They were brought before Sir
John Rolleston and remanded for a week, it being
explained that Harding had been seriously injured.
The Teesdale Marcury, Wednesday June 22nd 1898
Reg Twigg was born in 1913 and as a child he lived in Kirby Frith Hall, Glenfield c1925. Later in life he became a prisoner of the Japanese and was forced to labour on the Burma railway. His harrowing account was published in 2013, two weeks after Reg died age 99.
This extract is by kind permission of Penguin books
Dad scrounged a hand cart from somewhere and we loaded up our few belongings onto it and trundled out to Glenfield, to Kirby Frith Hall. This was a dreadful place, made worse, I now realise, because it had once been a rather grand Georgian country house with a cobbled courtyard and stables. The house was falling apart when a local landlord, Arthur Cart, bought it and converted it into flats. The man was a stranger to scruples and rode around the place in a pony and trap, like a lord of the manor. He whipped the horse for no reason at all as far as we kids could see. Once, it lashed out with it’s hoofs, only to get them tangled in the shafts. Purple with fury, he beat the animal all the harder.
I didn’t like him and I didn’t like the stables. There was an ancient landau or some sort of coach behind the old, weather-beaten doors, so riddled with woodworm it threatened to fall to bits at any moment. Beneath the out buildings were more doors that led to the old cellars. These were the dungeons, I knew, and untold terrors lurked there. The Twigg household consisted of a sitting room, two small bedrooms and a tiny kitchen. The floors were flagstone, freezing in winter, and only the sitting room had a fireplace. There was a communal tap in the yard outside and the lavatories were buckets in an outhouse, emptied every day into a huge tub on a cart and spread on the fields nearby. The whole place stank but the mushrooms were legendary!
Coal was unaffordable so the job for us kids was to find wood wherever we could. My mate Bernard and I hit upon a brilliant idea: we chopped down a young oak tree on the estate. Arthur Cart went, as they’d say today ballistic and threatened to evict everybody if no one owned up. In those days tenants had precious few rights and we went in fear and trembling for days. In the event Cart didn’t evict anybody. It may have just been guilt that I imagined that he stared at me more than most at that time. Dad had got a job at Snaith’s decorators’ merchants in Leicester; this meant a two mile walk to the centre of Glenfield to catch a bus. I’d go with him sometimes just for the outing, but of course I had an agenda of my own. There were miles of fields, hedges and woods, a kind of paradise for a twelve year old. I’d cut across the fields to school, past a gypsy camp where a fire constantly burned, no matter what the weather. They kept a fox tethered to the wheel of one of their brightly painted caravans and there was always a cheery wave from one or the other of them. I never went too close, of course. It was well known that gypsies stole kids. That wasn’t going to happen to me.
As a townie , I loved the countryside, the birds heralding the spring, the fields drowsy with the hum of bees in the summer. We scrumped apples in Smith’s orchard next door and played games handed down through the generations, games that have almost disappeared. Tin-a-lerky was a sort of hide and seek where the person caught could be released by someone reaching a tin can and kicking it, shouting ‘tin-a-lerky’ so we’d all have to start all over again. ‘Dicky Dicky Show Your Light’ only worked at dusk or after dark and required the ownership of matches! Like half the kids in the world we made trolleys from old pram wheels and raced each other downhill at breakneck speeds. Brakes? Who needed them?


Reuben Mawby (who emigrated to Canada) is mentioned on the last page of the late Jonathan Wilshere's book "Glenfield a considerable village"

The following information is for serious historians!

The Pares family Thomas Pares I (1716-1805) was an attorney in Leicester and a nephew of John Pares who had been Mayor of Leicester in 1714. In 1786 Thomas purchased Hopwell Hall in Derbyshire along with a share of the manor of Ockbrook and various farms and pieces of land in the Hopwell and Ockbrook area. Hopwell Hall had been built by Henry Keyes in the early 18th century on the site of a 16th century predecessor, owned by the Sacheverell family. The Hall was demolished after a fire in 1957. Further details about the history of Hopwell Hall are given below.
Thomas Pares I had three sons. His eldest son Thomas Pares II (1746-1824), known as Thomas Pares junior until 1805, was a lawyer at Gray's Inn and Furnivals Inn in London, and also continued his father's legal practice in Leicester. Thomas retired to Hopwell Hall and took a great interest in paintings. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was also a benefactor in the Hopwell area. In 1803 the chancel in Ockbrook church was rebuilt at his expense. Seven years later the east window and chancel screen were replaced by ones brought by Mr Pares from Wigston's Hospital in Leicester. Thomas Pares II died unmarried and childless in 1824. In his will he devised the majority of his estates, in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, to his younger brother John Pares and his heirs. However, his estate at Kirby Frith in Leicestershire passed to his nephew Thomas Pares junior.
The second son of Thomas Pares I was John Pares, born in 1749. He was a hosiery manufacturer and banker, living in a house called The Newarke in Leicester. He married Agnes Lightbody, who died in 1812, and had a large family. He died in 1833. John's brother William was a clergyman and held benefices in Elmsthorpe and Narborough in Leicestershire and at Selston in Nottinghamshire. He died childless in 1809.
John Pares' eldest son Thomas Pares III (1790-1866), known as Thomas Pares junior until 1824, was educated at Eton, took a MA from the University of Cambridge, was a lawyer and was elected Member of Parliament for the Borough of Leicester in 1818 after a campaign against the Corporation interest. He held the seat until 1826 and was known as a supporter of the poor. In 1824 he succeeded his uncle Thomas Pares senior as proprietor of the Kirby Frith estate in Leicestershire. He inherited the Hopwell and Ockbrook estate on the death of his father in 1833. Thomas paid for the erection of the National School at Glenfield in 1831 and appears to have spent more time on his Leicestershire estates than at Hopwell Hall. Besides Hopwell Hall and Kirby Frith he had another residence at Ulverscroft in Leicestershire.
In 1821 Thomas Pares junior married Octavia Mackmurdo. They had seven children, the eldest of whom, Thomas Henry Pares (1830-1878) inherited the family estates. Thomas Henry's son Edward Henry Pares JP (1854-1931) sold Hopwell Hall, which had been let to tenants since the 1890s.
John's second son, John Tylston Pares, married Mary Burnaby in 1820 and had three children: Thomas John Tylston Pares, Agnes Tylston Pares and Mary Tylston Pares. John died on 20 November 1831, leaving his brother Thomas Pares III as trustee of his estate and joint guardian of his children. Letters in the correspondence section of this collection document the financial troubles of Mary Tylston Pares, who had moved abroad by the 1840s, and the difficulties she experienced with her son Thomas ('Tommy'), who was asked to leave Harrow School in 1836, married without consent in 1839, and separated from his wife in 1847.
All the members of the Pares family kept in close contact with their siblings, cousins and other relations, and the collection includes many papers connected with other branches of the family. Principal among these other families were the Dod family of Tooley Park, Leicestershire, and Cloverley Park, Shropshire (together with their own relations the Woodyeare, Tibbits and Elwin families), the Greg family of Quarry Bank, Lancashire, the Hodgson family of Caton, Lancashire, the Heygate family of London and Southend, and the Mackmurdo family of Clapton, Middlesex.
Pares family businesses
Thomas Pares I was a lawyer in Leicester. His son Thomas Pares II followed him into the profession, but practised in London during the law terms, returning to Leicester at other times of the year. Samuel Miles was clerk to both father and son, and by the early 19th century the legal firm in Leicester was known as Messrs Pares, Miles and Alston. Members of the Miles family continued to be associated with Pares family business into the 1850s.
Thomas Pares I also had interests in the hosiery trade and employed his son Thomas as his agent for financial transactions in London. His son John Pares was more closely concerned with hosiery manufacture and trade, having leased a site at Calver in 1778 and joined with John Gardom of Bubnell to build a spinning mill. The Calver Mill Company was formed in 1789, and John Pares also owned a similar mill at Caton in Lancashire, managed by his wife's relation Isaac Hodgson.
Closely connected to the mill business was the other major family concern, the Pares Leicestershire Banking Company. The bank was established in Leicester in 1800 by John Pares. A co-partnership was formed involving John, his brother Thomas Pares II, Thomas Paget of Ibstock (husband of John's daughter Ann), James Heygate of Aldermanbury, London, and James's son William. In 1824, following the death of Thomas Pares II and the retirement of Thomas Paget, John Pares's second son John Tylston Pares and James Heygate's other son James Heygate junior joined the co-partnership. James Heygate junior and his brother William (later Sir William Heygate, baronet) were by this time connected by marriage with the Pares family, having each married a sister of Octavia Mackmurdo, wife of Thomas Pares II. In 1825, Isaac Hodgson joined the bank and took over management of the Aldermanbury branch in London from James Heygate senior.
The bank suffered a severe blow in 1830 when it was discovered that the financial affairs of James Heygate junior were in disarray and that he had been embezzling funds. The burden of repayment fell on Sir William Heygate and on Thomas Pares III, who was forced to sell The Newarke. The repercussions of the event in terms of family relationships can be traced in the correspondence of this period in this collection.
By this time, John Pares had retired from the partnership which owned the Calver and Caton mills, and his son Thomas Pares III did not take any part in their management. The mills passed into the ownership of the Heygate family and then the Gregs of Quarry Bank.
Hopwell Hall (note written by Colonel T H Pares, 2 June 2000)
The manor of Hopwell earned an entry in the Domesday Book (1086) under the name of OPEUUELLE as follows: 'Bishop of Chester before and after 1066 and Ralph FitzHubert from him...'
A paper of Henry III in 1242/43 mentions Nigel de Langford having land here as part of the Bishop of Chester's estates.
Then in 1296 it was held by Ralph de Shirley under the Earl of Lancaster. Eventually Hopwell was acquired by the Sacheverells through marriage with a Shirley heiress.
In 1661 Fernando a Jacynth Sacheverell willed Hopwell, with its substantial 16th century house, to a cousin on the mother's side named Henry Keyes. He it was who rebuilt the house in 1720, which stood until partially destroyed by fire in 1957.
Pevsner, writing in 1953, mentions this building in his Derbyshire volume of 'The Buildings of England' as follows:-
'Examples of the comforable medium-sized classical country brick, usually with very restrained exterior decoration and occasionally with more ambitious interiors are Hopwell Hall of 1720...'
M Craven and M Stanley in 'The Derbyshire Country House' Volume II (1984) described Hopwell Hall as
'A tall 3 storey, 5 by 4 bay house with giant pilasters at the angles, a rather pronounced cornice, panelled parapet and low hipped roof. The central bay broke slightly forward and included a baroque aedicule with an open sequental pediment. To the left there was a contemporary 2 storey 3 bay wing, with a longer, lower service wing. In general appearance the house is reminiscent of the style of Francis Smith of Warwick active in Derby in 1723... Inside there was a delightful oak staircase of superior joinery, and the house was set in a landscaped park of 90 acres.'
Henry Keyes sold Hopwell to Bache Thornhill of Stanton in 1731, who only held the property for three years, when he conveyed it to Sir Bibye Lake Bart., Governor of the African Company. His great uncle, Sir Edward Lake Bart., had fought for Charles I at Edgehill, where, his left arm being shot, he put his horse's reins between his teeth and fought on till he fell exhausted with sixteen wounds. Eventually he recovered and Charles I gave him a baronetcy.
Hopwell remained with the son and grandson of Sir Bibye until 1785, when the latter sold it to Thomas Pares (1716-1805).
As J W Harman, writing of medieval Ockbrook, stated:
'After the Abbey at Dale was suppressed in 1538 and Ockbrook's ties with Elvaston were loosened in the early 17th century there was a tendency to look eastwards to its neighbour Hopwell, which curiously had a large house but no real village. This relationship continued until the early days of the present [20th] century, chiefly under the influence of the Pares family who came to Hopwell in 1786.'
The Pares, a Leicestershire family from the time of Elizabeth I and probably earlier, were lawyers, hosiery manufacturers, bankers and landowners. Five generations owned the Hall until 1909 when Edward Henry Pares (1854-1931) sold it to Edward Elsey, who then sold it in the following year.
Since 1910 Hopwell Hall's owners have included the Trustees of the Nottingham and Notts Association for the Permanent Care of the Feeble Minded, and Nottingham County Council. The latter reconstructed the building as a special school after the 1957 fire.

No comments: