Liggins’ Bakery, Park Hill – Then & Now

Joseph Liggins’ Bakery, Park Hill
Joseph Liggins’ Bakery, Park Hill

Joseph Liggins’ Bakery stood at the corner of Park Hill and Stoneleigh Road, opposite St Barnabas’ church and the Wyandotte pub. The bakery premises was formerly Parkhill House.

Robin Leach records some details of Joseph Liggins in his book Kenilworth People & Places Volume 2 (Rookfield Publications, 2013). In the census of 1871, Liggins was living in retirement in Thornby House on Windy Arbour. He had achieved master baker status and employed people as far afield as Bedworth and at a mill on the outskirts of Coventry. By 1881 he had come out of retirement and was running the bakery on Park Hill.

The bakery was demolished in the late 1980s.

We are very grateful to Mrs Joan Heatley for providing the Then photo.

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The Brethren Meeting Rooms – Then & Now

The Brethren Meeting Rooms, The Close
The Brethren Meeting Rooms, The Close

This Then & Now pairing shows the site of the Brethren Meeting Rooms near the junction of The Close and Park Road. It was one of a spate of ‘tin tabernacle’ constructions built during the mid 19th century as a result of the development of corrugated galvanised iron for the use of constructing prefabricated buildings. A similar example locally of an Iron Room is St Barnabas Church, built in 1885, which still sits at the junction of Park Hill and Albion Street. Many such Iron Rooms are now listed.

Richard Storey and Helen Scott’s book A Kenilworth Collection (Odibourne Press, 1986) contains another pair of images of the Brethren Meeting Rooms and records that there is a mention in the 1883 directory of “The Iron Room, near the Washbrook, occupied by the Brethren providing accommodation for 150 people”.

The term “Brethren” is fairly ambiguous, as it was a name adopted by a wide range of mainly Christian religious groups throughout history. A loose, overlapping group of like-minded independent church assemblies known as The Plymouth Brethren, which can trace its roots to 1820s Dublin, spawned a number of offshoot organisations such as the Open and Exclusive Brethren, the Exclusive Brethren and the Open (and Closed) Brethren. An offshoot from this network of church assemblies may been the congregation responsible for building this assembly hall in Kenilworth in the mid 19th century.

An extract from A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6, Knightlow Hundred (Victoria County History, London, 1951) on the British History Online website records that as of that date the building was occupied by what it refers to as The Free Brethren.

The ever reliable A Kenilworth Chronology by Harry Sunley (Odiborne Press, 1989) records that The Brethren Meeting Rooms were demolished for flats in 1982.

We are very grateful to Mrs Joan Heatley for providing the Then photo.

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November 2016 Newsletter

KENILWORTH HISTORY & ARCHÆOLOGY SOCIETY – November 2016 Newsletter

» Last Meeting: Alan Godfrey spoke about Kinwarton – the ‘pint-pot parish’. He amazed us at just how much history can be squeezed our of such small area, only 470 acres!

» Tonight: Anne Langley is asking us to join her on a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bertie Greatheed.

Bertie Geatheed by John Jackson, 1821
Bertie Geatheed by John Jackson, 1821

» Next month, Dec 12th: is the ‘Seasonal’ meeting with appropriate refreshments and a short talk from Jan Cooper about the end of the Siege, and what came after. At the usual 7.30 for 7.45

» Kenilworth Family History Society 14th Dec: Members’ Meeting + Christmas refreshments. Activities to be arranged Meeting 7.30 at Senior Citizens’ Club.

» Kineton Local History Group: Friday 20th January – Banbury during the first Civil War 1642 – 1646  by Gregg Arthur   7.30 in the Village Hall

» Warwickshire Local History Society Tuesday 15th November 2016 Paula McBride, Magic and Witchcraft in Warwickshire. Start at 8.00pm, preceded by coffee at 7.30pm, in The Friends’ Meeting House, 39 High Street, Warwick, CV34 4AX

» CADAS 10th January: Rediscovering the Icknield Way: New insights from excavations at Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire   Lecturer: Mathew Morris 7.30pm at Friends’ Meeting House, Hill Street, Coventry

» Kenilworth Civic Society 15th Nov Roger Cragg: Elan Valley Aqueduct. At the Senior Citizens’ Club at 7.30pm. Also 9th Dec: Christmas Party at the Cottage Inn, Stoneleigh Road 6.30

» A reminder that your Editor has given notice that Kenilworth History 2017 will be his last. The Society therefore needs a new Editor. The production of this Newsletter falls to him/her as well, unless someone will undertake it separately.

» Other events are added verbatim to this Newsletter. It would be useful if members would indicate to the Editor if this sort of information is useful, or whether a link to the organisations on the website would suffice.

Contacts: Chairman – 01676 532654; Secretary – 01926 858670; Treasurer – 01926 852655;

Vice Chairman & Editor – 01926 858090 moc.1493065361liamt1493065361oh@sn1493065361evets1493065361ron1493065361

Website www.khas.co.uk

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KHAS Meeting – Monday November 14th at 7:45pm

Dear KHAS Member,
Just a reminder that there will be a KHAS meeting tonight (Monday November 14th) at 7.45pm, in the Senior Citizens’ Club at Abbey End.  Anne Langley will be speaking to us on “Bertie Greatheed’s 18th Century Grand Tour of Europe”.
Bertie Geatheed by John Jackson, 1821
Bertie Geatheed by John Jackson, 1821
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Best regards,
Geoff Whiteman
Secretary,
Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society (KHAS)
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The Common – Then & Now

Forge Road from the Common
Forge Road from the Common

Harry Sunley tells us in A Kenilworth Chronology (Odiborne Press, 1989) that various of the common lands of Kenilworth were enclosed by act of Parliament in 1755, with the exception of “forty acres of Hilly Wast Ground [which] are to remain as unenclosed and common land so that the poor of the parish should from time to time for ever hereafter use, exercise and enjoy a free and constant right to get Furse Goss or Fern off the same…”. In 1882 a strip of this land was sold for £20 for building the Berkswell railway line.

The Common was later conveyed free of charge to the Kenilworth Urban District Council (KUDC) in 1932 by the Earl of Clarendon, the lord of the manor, with the KUDC paying £200 to cover his legal costs.

In the same book, Harry Sunley also records that the “The mill was fed from Finham Brook via a channel that ran alongside School Lane and The Close. It was last run just after World War II.” It was leased by JG Eagles.

As per previous T&N posts, Forge Road was established in 1965 following the demolition of the Mill at Mill End in April 1964. It was so named because of the blacksmith’s forge which fronted onto Stoneleigh Road. The forge site is occupied by Just Tyres at the time of writing.

The route shown in these pictures through the Common was a well-used route – past the mill, ford the brook, up over the common and on to Coventry. Robin Leach’s book Victorian Kenilworth and its People (Rookfield Publications, 2006) contains tales of accidents there including a horse and cart swept away in a flood, and a young girl likewise who was rescued further downstream in the fellmongers.

Thanks to Robin Leach for additional details provided in this article.

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The Square from the Clock Tower – Then & Now

The Square, Kenilworth
The Square, Kenilworth

The Square must have been established along with the building of the new Castle End borough on lands granted to the de Clintons as lords of the castle manor in the early 12th Century as a result of a charter issued by the pope on land issued to them by Henry I.

Residents of the Castle End borough owed rent to the lords resident in the castle as lord of the manor, as opposed to the older Abbey Manor district whose residents owed rent to the canon of the Abbey as lord of their manor.

According to Stephen Wallsgrove’s book Kenilworth 1086 – 1756 (published by S.G Wallsgrove, 1991) by 1268 the Castle End borough had been sufficiently established to be awarded a market charter and fair by Henry III. This stretch of road is still known as The Square from Abbey End as far down as Station Road.

A market cross once stood at the spot where the clock tower now stands (behind the camera). The clock tower was unveiled in 1906, having been presented by Birmingham draper George Marshall Turner, who lived in Montpellier House on Abbey Hill, as a memorial to his late wife.

From this angle, the ‘now’ photo of the square looks relatively unchanged from the ‘then’ shot. However, the buildings on the extreme left replaced those destroyed in the Abbey End landmine of November 1940. Many of the buildings in the distance on the right hand side of the road were demolished in the 1960s and 1970s, but the foreground at least retains much of the character of the old market square.

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