Displaying items by tag: Kibworth Beauchamp


Who was Blondin?

Jean-François Gravelet was born in 1824, changed his name to Charles Blondin and became a world famous French acrobat and tightrope walker. His fame and fortune followed his tightrope walk over the gorge below the Niagara Falls in 1859.


The Kibworth Connection.

Rumour has it that Blondin visited Kibworth Beachamp for a demonstration of his skills.

Myth or Fact?

Francis P Woodford in his book, A History of Kibworth, adds some weight to the story that Blondin gave a performance in High Street, Kibworth Beauchamp.

Woodford describes the event as follows:
The Royal Oak Public House (in High Street) was kept by Mr Staines. It was from the roof of this house to that of one of the houses opposite, that Blondin had a rope stretched, on which he walked blind-folded, and wheeled a barrow across; and also on which he balanced a stove and cooked a pancake, which he tossed in the air, to the thrills and wonder of a great crowd below but only to a small addition to his purse.’

The performance by Blondin followed his usually performed stunts. Woodford does not give a date for this performance but Blondin gave a number of performances in England including locations in and near Leicestershire.

12th July 1861 Derby ArboretuMr John Stain ham.

13th July 1861 Aston Park, Birmingham.

30th July 1861 Nottingham.

1st July 1862 Whitwick Cricket Ground, Leicestershire.

11th and 12th September 1862 Campbell Street, Leicester .

These performances indicate that Blondin was near enough to Kibworth to have given his performance, most likely between his performances at Whitwick and Leicester. There is no record of a Mr Staines as the landlord of the Royal Oak Public House, however on 28th May 1867 the licence for the Royal Oak was granted to a Mr John Stain. Blondin was in England during 1869 and gave a performance at the Crystal Palace in November that year.

So examining the evidence, if indeed he did visit Kibworth Beauchamp, it could have been in 1861 whilst in England giving performances at Whitwick and Leicester or during John Stain’s tenure as landlord of the Royal Oak when he was in England in 1869.

Myth or Fact-will we ever know for sure, but it makes for a good story.

NB. Blondin gave his last performance in Belfast in 1886.



Kibworth to Smeeton A Stroll Down Memory Lane by Philip J Porter 
Encyclopædia Britannica 

Published in Modern

The central cemetery pathway

The Kibworth Cemetery is situated on the A6 Harborough Road, Kibworth Harcourt in Leicestershire.

During 1891 an extension to the graveyard at St Wilfrid’s Church was discussed at Vestry Meetings. It was decided that an extension to the graveyard was not feasible and on 29th February 1892 a meeting of village residents was held in the Village Hall and a Burial Board was formed.

The elected members of this first Burial Board were:

  • Rev. Charles Henry Thomas Cruttwell (Chairman, Anglican Minister)
  • Rev. Edmund Hipwood, (Congregation Minister)
  • Mr. William Henry Ward
  • Mr. George Reginald King
  • Mr. William Harcourt Lovell Clark
  • Rev. John Newman (Methodist Minister)
  • Mr. William Horton
  • J.S. Dickinson, (secretary)

The first meeting of the Burial Board was held on 8th March 1892 when the secretary was instructed to enquire from the owners of 7 potential sites whether they would be willing to sell from 2 to 4 acres for a Cemetery. The 7 potential sites were reduced to 2, the current site on Harborough Road owned by Merton College, Oxford and allotment land between the Railway and Harborough Road belonging to Mrs. Haymes.

The Board decided that the sites should be subject to survey by A.J. Draper the Diocesan Surveyor to ascertain their suitability for a Cemetery having regard to the nature of the sub-soil and the facilities for drainage.

At the Board’s meeting on 5th May 1892 the meeting agreed to borrow money from the Public Works Loan Commissioner to fund the purchase of the land and the work required.

Following the report from Mr Draper the Board decided to purchase the Merton College site.

At the Board Meeting on 25th June 1892 a draft contract to purchase 4 acres 3 roods and 28 perches of land from Merton College, Oxford was accepted.

This decision was placed before a Vestry Meeting on the 4th July 1892 when some opposition to the draft contract was expressed.

At the Vestry meeting on 11th October 1892 the following was proposed:

‘that there should be only one building erected on the Burial Ground and that such building be a Lychgate on the unconsecrated land’, and ‘that two thirds of the Burial Ground should be consecrated and one third unconsecrated.

At their Burial Board meeting of 1st November 1892. Mr. Coleman, the occupier of the Merton College field, was awarded £26-10s-0d compensation for loss of the field.

A loan of £2,000 was granted and on 3rd January 1893, Charles Edward Hare, a Bank Manager, was appointed as the Burial Board’s Treasurer.

Tenders were issued as follows:

Contract 1

For Levelling & Draining: £202 to £398, was awarded to Edward Mason of Kibworth.

Contract 2

For Making & Fixing wrought iron fencing, entrance gates etc. £175 to £290, awarded to Edward Mason.

Contract 3

For the Lychgate £408 to £675-15s-0d was awarded to Mr Haycock of Great Glen.

Tenders 1 & 3 were withdrawn. Edward Mason submitted revised tenders of £235 for Contract 1 and £413 for Contract 3. These tenders were accepted, leaving Mason Builders responsible for all the construction work.

On 10th May 1893 the purchase of the site from Merton College was completed at a cost of £750.

The first phase of the cemetery was completed in 1893 and consecrated in June of that year. The first burial, Florence May Kimbell aged 4 years, took place in August 1893.

Improvements to the Cemetery have seen access improved and pathways upgraded.

The Kibworth Joint Burial Board is now made up of representatives from both Kibworth Parish Councils and they have regular meetings to discuss burial costs and further improvements.

In 2021, an Epitaph software licence was purchased from Edge IT by Kibworth Harcourt Parish Council for the Joint Burial Board, for all of the burials since 1893 and in future, to be recorded and when completed, the details are due to be made available online.

Natural Burial Area

Kibworth Joint Burial Board has reserved an area for natural burials. This area will not have any headstones and only biodegradable coffins and caskets will be allowed.

Cemetery natural area2
The Natural Burial Area

The Lychgate

The Lychgate was built between July and October 1894 by Edward Woodford Mason, son of John Mason, one of Kibworth’s most celebrated builders and founder of the family firm. Historic England listed the Lychgate as a Grade II listed buulding in September 2022 ((Ref 1480910) - https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1480910?section=official-list-entry).

The Lychgate (front aspect)

Lychgate3Lychgate (rear aspect)

In February 1895 a wooden bier was presented to the Burial Board by Mr Haymes. This beautifully crafted trolley was pulled by the village Sexton. The bier would collect the coffin from the deceased's house and take it to the cemetery entering through the Lychgate into the burial ground.

Lychgate bier

Inside the Lychgate showing the bier and inside of the front doors

The Joint Burial Board agreed in 2021 to have the bier renovated and it is due to be cleaned, polished and any repairs made by a specialist from Lubenham in 2022.

Bier restored 2022

After restoration the bier was returned to the Lychgate on 5th October 2022. (additional information by Kevin Feltham).


Stephen Butt
The Kibworth Chronicle
Kibworth Joint Burial Board and current chairman, Dr Kevin Feltham
Kibworth History Society


Published in Modern

The Railway Arms, 6 Station Street, Kibworth Beauchamp

 Railway Arms

The Railway Arms

© The Bitterman and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

The Railway Arms Inn, also known as The Railway and the Railway Tavern was built in 1845 shortly before the Midland Railway Company obtained powers to build a line from Wigston to Market Harborough via Kibworth. The Inn’s location at 6 Station Street was close to the Kibworth Railway Station. (see Kibworth Railway Station-Modern)

At the Market Harborough Petty Sessions on 3rd January 1846 the first licence for the Railway Tavern was granted to William Hall, butcher and licensee, of Kibworth Beauchamp. The Police Superintendent was not too happy with Mr. Hall and the Paynes Leicester Advertiser for The Midlands & Adjoining Counties report of the Court proceedings said;

‘During the Court proceedings the Superintendent complained that Hall had allowed gambling and drunkenness to a late hour annoying neighbours. When the Magistrates granted the licence, they cautioned Hall warning that if he continued to allow such practice the licence would not be renewed’.’

Paynes Leicester Advertiser for The Midlands & Adjoining Counties later reported:

‘On 4th November 1848 William Hall held a sale at the Railway Tavern of his furniture, brewing vessels and barrels before leaving the Inn’.

Railway Station Street

The Railway Inn 1903 - photograph by John Elcock

Behind the Inn was a large yard with stabling for 12 horses, pigsties and a blacksmith's shop. The original buildings were demolished along with an adjoining cottage in 1926 and replaced by the present building. A further extension was added in the 1960s.

The pub is situated within the Kibworth Beauchamp Conservation Area of the Harborough District, however it is not listed.

The Railway Inn was a former Ansell’s House and some years ago the individual rooms were altered to form one large room which consisted of a games area with a pool table and dart board, a central public bar area and a lounge bar area. There was a wall picture of railway themes and scenes of bygone Kibworth. The Inn also had a skittles long alley which doubles as a function room. The skittles alley was removed in 2020 and the area is now incorporated into a large walled beer garden at the rear.

Star Pubs and Bars (the pub business of Heineken) took over ownership of The Railway Inn in the spring of 2019 and closed the pub on 5th January 2020 for a £200,000 refurbishment project. The Inn reopened on the 22nd February 2020. The covid-19 pandemic meant the pub had very limited opening until mid May 2021.


Kibworth and Smeeton Inn and Innkeepers1753 – 1968 by Philip Porter
Leicestershire Live


Published in Modern


The 14th century was a difficult period for Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt, Smeeton Westerby and indeed the whole country. 1314 saw the start of the Great Famine, followed by The Black Death in 1348, with both leaving a trail of death and economic problems for the three villages.

The Great Famine 1314 to 1317

During 1313 severe gales caused havoc in the villages damaging buildings, hedges and trees. Hard frosts in the first months of 1314 persisted until April followed by a hot dry summer which baked the ground resulting in a poor harvest. Autumn brought torrential rain and this extreme weather persisted throughout 1315 and 1316 leaving crops rotting and dying in the fields. Livestock suffered through the lack of animal fodder. This resulted in a severe shortage of food stocks and increased prices adding to the hardships engulfing the villagers. These food shortages persisted into the next decade. The death toll from the famine was approximately 10% of the population along with a severe damage to the economics of the villages.

The Kibworth Harcourt accounts for 1315 to 1318 show increasing rent arrears with the number of poverty-stricken tenants forced to give up their land increasing from 6 to 40 a year.

The Black Death 1348 t0 1553

The Black Death was a bubonic plague, caused by the bacterium now identified as Yersinia pestis, which originated in Asia around 1346 spreading across Europe to reach England in the summer of 1348. The plague spread throughout England very quickly leaving a trail of death in its path.

During that summer rumours, possibly through Kibworth Harcourt’s association with Merton College, Oxford, began to circulate in Kibworth of a terrible pestilence. Later that year the plague reached Leicestershire and arrived in Kibworth at the beginning of 1349.

The first deaths were recorded in Kibworth Beauchamp in April that year. The Kibworth Harcourt court rolls, held at Merton College recorded the first deaths in the village on 29th April 1349.

black death

Image used to portray the disposal of bodies during the Black Death

The court roll only recorded deaths of landholders and tenants.  The deaths of women, children, labourers and those not owning any land were not recorded.

Kibworth had the heaviest known losses from the Black Death of any English village and whilst the figures are not absolutely accurate, with some records lost, the death toll for Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt and Smeeton Westerby was about 500. The mortality rate from the Black Death in England was estimated at 40% and when compared to the estimated mortality rate in Kibworth Harcourt, at least 70%, indicates that the village was far more severely affected than most. There appears to be no explanation for the disparity in these mortality figures.

The Kibworth Harcourt court rolls from this period, held at Merton College Oxford, give an indication of how the villagers tried to keep things running as near normal as possible, vacant tenancies were filled, new village officers appointed, and children whose parents had died and were too young to tend their parent’s land were[D1] [D2] [D3] [D4]  cared for.

With the heavy death toll disposal of the bodies was a problem and open mass graves known as ‘Death Pits’ or ‘Plague ‘Pits’ were utilised.

By the end of 1350 The Black Death had begun to abate.  However minor outbreaks of the disease appeared over the next few years and continued into the early years of the 15th century.

Having to cope with the deaths of so many relatives and friends had a large impact on the people who survived the disease.  This coupled with the damage to the economies of Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt and Smeeton Westerby, had a severe effect on village life over the next few decades.



The Story of England by Michael Wood

The BBC Magazine 11th June 2020, ‘On how pandemics shape society’ by Michael Wood

Britain Express, The Black Death in England 1348-1350’ by David Ross

Demographic Changes In Kibworth Harcourt Leicestershire In The Later Middle Ages by   David Postles





Published in Medieval

1571 – 1797

The first recorded trace of the Foxton family in Kibworth was the birth of John Foxton in 1571. He was the son of Samuel Foxton born 1530 in Leicester. John married Annis, born, c1575, in Kibworth Beauchamp. They had four daughters and two sons; Richard born 20 Nov.1609 and William born1613 who died in the year of his birth. John Foxton died leaving a will dated 29th August 1767 and Annis died in1635. Their son Richard Foxton lived in Kibworth Beauchamp and in 1646 married Agnes/Ann born 1626 in Leicestershire to parents’ unknown. Together they had eight children including Matthew born 1648. In 1673 Matthew Foxton married Jane Fox born1652 in Kibworth Beauchamp and they had four children: Ann born 1674, Elizabeth born 1676, Elisabeth born 1668 and John born 18th December1685.


Extract from the Kibworth Toll Book 1719 showing John and Matthew Foxton

From 1705 the Foxton family lived in Manor Farmhouse, 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt. (see Manor Farmhouse, 39 Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt-Ancient). Jane Foxton died in 1711 and Mathew died in 1723. In Matthew’s Will he left a legacy for the poor of Kibworth Harcourt as shown in this extract from:

The thirty second report of the commissioners appointed in pursuit of the Act appointing Commissioners to continue the inquiries concerning Charities in England and Wales: Township of Kibworth Harcourt

Foxton Charity

Matthew Foxton of Kibworth Harcourt by WILL dated 3d Jan 1721, and proved at Leicester 1723 devised a half yard land in Kibworth Harcourt be divided equally between his two grandsons, and charged one share theof with the sum of 5s. per annum for the use of the poor of Kibworth Harcourt and the other share with the like sum of 5s to be paid on the feast day of St. Matthias for the like poor and to be distributed among them at the discretion of his heir-in-law for the time being and the minister of the parish church and the churchwardens of the town of Kibworth Harcourt forever. One share of his land was inclosed under the Kibworth Inclosure Act and the Commissioners, by their award, dated 14 July 1780, allotted to Elizabeth Wright in lieu of her property therin, a piece of land in West Field, Kibworth Harcourt, containing 4a. Or. 38f.

The present owner of this allotment is Samuel Lamon of Kibworth Harcourt who distributes the sum of 5s. on the 24 February among old and impotent poor persons of the township. The Commissioners could not obtain any information regarding the other 5s. per annum or the land upon which it was charged.

Matthew Foxton’s son John married Sarah Ward at St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp on 3rd July 1715. They lived in Manor Farmhouse and had two children, George, born 1716, and Ann born 1718. John Foxton died on 6th September 1767 and Sarah Foxton died on 1st December 1768.

Sarah and John Foxton’s headstone St Wilfrids Churchyard


In memoey of SARAH WIFE of In Memory of JOHN FOXTON JOHN FOXTON who departed who departed this Life September this Life November 29th 1768 3rd in the Year of our Lord 1767 Aged 80 Years Aged 82 Years The rightous shall be had in everlasting remembrance

John Foxton’s daughter Ann married John Owsley of Kibworth Beauchamp at St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp in 1739. George Foxton continued to live in The Manor Farmhouse becoming a land owner and grazier. In 1740 he married Elizabeth Fowler at the Church of St John the Baptist, Goadby. They had two daughters, Elizabeth born 1745 and Sarahf born 7th April 1747.

Sarah Foxton married Robert Adams on 6th September 1779 at Kibworth Beauchamp. They had eight children, the youngest was Poyntz Adams born on 4th September 1789 in Leyton, Essex. Poyntz was educated and mentored by his uncle Rev. Thomas Thomas. (see Rev Thomas Thomas part 1 and Poyntz Adams part 1-Modern)

George Foxton, Gentleman and Lord of the Manor was a much-respected man by his tenants and acquaintances but unfortunately he suffered from a serious nervous complaint which for many years left him dependant on others to survive. George Foxton’s wife, Elizabeth, died in March 1784.

It is likely that Rev. Thomas Thomas, who had been living with the Foxton family from 1788, supported and cared for George Foxton, who may have been suffering from dementia. George Foxton died on 6th December 1794.

The Gentleman Magazine 1794 reported his burial as follows:

‘County Leicestershire; Place Kibworth Beauchamp; Church name St Wilfrid; Burial date 30 Dec 1794; Burial person forename George; Burial person surname FOXTON (GENT); Person age 78; Burial person abode KH;

(Transcribed by June James; Credit June James; File line number 192)

Elizabeth and George Foxton’s headstone, St Wilfrids Churchyard;


In memory of ELIZABETH the wife of GEORGE FOXTON Gent She died on the 19th March 1784 in hope of a joyful Resurrection in the 60th year of her age In memory of GEORGE FOXTON Gent He departed this life Dec 24th 1794 In the 79th year of his Age in hopes of a joyful Resurrection through Death’s dark horn we hope she safely trod: Blessed are the faithful for they (illegible) The way to peace, Contentment and to God. Rest in hope.

On 21st September 1796 at St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth Beauchamp George Foxton’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Rev. Thomas Thomas and they lived at Manor Farmhouse. Elizabeth Thomas died on the 6th September 1797, within a year of her marriage. (see Rev homas Thomas part 1-Modern)

There is a plaque commemorating the lives of Rev. Thomas Thomas BD and his wife Elizabeth (nee Foxton) in St Wilfrid’s Church, Kibworth;


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.

With the passing of Elizabeth Thomas and the marriage of Sarah Foxton to Robert Adams and this family living in Essex there were no members of the Foxton family left in Kibworth Harcourt.

Written by David Adams with research by Jeni Molyneux

Research by Jeni Molyneux in December 2019 at the Pembrokeshire Archives uncovered the copy of the ‘Schedule of title deeds’ kept by Rev Thomas Thomas and this pencilled list of ‘lease and release’=sale of property relating to the Foxton family:


Schedule of title deeds, relating to an Estate at Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp in the county of Leicester regarding the property of the Reverend Thomas Thomas clerk deceased.

(Document obtained from the Pembrokeshire Records Office)


20th and 21st September 1740

Indentures of lease and release. The release between John Foxton and Sarah his wife of the 1st part Thomas Ward and George Woodcock of the 2nd part and George Foxton, son and heir of this John Foxton and Sarah and Elizabeth Fowler /eldest daughter of Elizabeth Fowler widow/of the 3rd part.

3rd April 1783

An Indre between George Foxton and Elizabeth his wife of the one part and Thomas Ward/son and heir of Thomas Ward deceased of the other part.

29th August 1767

The Will of John Foxton

6th August 1794 The Will of the said George Foxton

26th 27th November 1795

Indentures of lease and release.

The release between Elizabeth Foxton of the 1st part the Reverend Thomas Thomas clerk of the second part William Peppin and John Johnson the third part and Thomas State and William Starked of the fourth part.

27th 28th February 1817

Indentures of lease and release. The release between John Foxton Adams, Robert Adams the younger, Poyntz Adams, Dorothea Oursley Adams and Elizabeth Adams (children of Sarah Adams deceased) of the one part and the Rev Thomas Thomas of the other part.

3rd March 1817

A n indenture between the said John Foxton Adams, Robert Adams the younger, Poyntz Adams, Dorothea Oursley Adams and Elizabeth Adams of the first part; William (W) Wartnaby of the second part, the Reverend Thomas Thomas of the third part, John (W) Wartnaby of the fourth part and John Arthur Arnold of the fifth part.

Indres (Indentures) of fine wherein John Hartnaby is plaintiff John Foxton Adams Robert Adams Poyntz Adams Dorothea Oursley Adams and Elizabeth Adams are Defunct.

Published in Early Modern

POYNTZ ADAMS 1789-1870 Part 2.

May 1811 Dr Poyntz Adams left London to set up as a general practitioner in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire. His career as a country practitioner was ahead of him with a set of expensive instruments bought for him, by his uncle Rev.Thomas Thomas.

In a letter from Poyntz Adams at 5, St Thomas’s Tents, Southwark to his uncle.

‘I go to church every Sunday and it is Mr Neve who does duty, his wife called to see me about a poor woman that I am attending. I have got already twenty -six patients on my books.
I have not had any midwifery yet, but I have been spoken to by two persons who live about four miles from Sodbury. Mr Drayton, surgeon called upon me last week, he has no doubt but I shall do very well. He left this place eighteen months ago; the reason he left was on account of the prejudices of the people was so much against him on account of him becoming an anabaptist while he was at Sodbury. The population of Sodbury was taken three weeks ago and it amounted to twelve hundred and thirty five including women and children.’

Published in Modern

Grandson of George Foxton of Kibworth
correspondence with his uncle Rev.Thomas Thomas.

‘A youngest son who had to make his own way’

Whilst Poyntz Adams did not live in Kibworth except on visits his grandfather was George Foxton who lived in Manor Farmhouse, Main Street, Kibworth Harcourt and his aunt Elizabeth Thomas, nee Foxton. His mother Sarah was born, lived her early life and was married in Kibworth before moving to Essex. (see The Foxton Family of Kibworth-modern). From the Rev Thomas Thomas’s’ correspondence we see that Dr Poyntz Adams was educated and financed by him. The letters reveal the difficulties and hardships facing a young man of small means but the ambition to undertake medical training in the early 1800’s.

Poyntz Adams went as a medical student to London in 1810; he gives us an outline of his weekly schedule in letters written to his uncle and sponsor Rev.Thomas Thomas.
It was this uncle who funded him throughout his studies and training to become a surgeon and who helped him to set up his first practice at Chipping Sodbury.

Published in Modern

Manor Front

Manor House, Summer 2020

The Manor House and garden wall, 30 High Street, Kibworth Beauchamp, is a grade II listed building and possibly the oldest surviving house in the village dating from the 16th century. The house is H-shaped in plan, the lower part of the walls being of ironstone and the upper story timber-framed. The hall, with a room above it, occupies the central block. The hall is lit by a stone-mullioned window in the front wall, and has a stone chimney at its west end. Behind the chimney is the former crosspassage, its front entrance now blocked. The service wing, which lies beyond the passage, has an early fire-place on its back wall which was originally surmounted by a large flue of timber and plaster construction. This was cleared away in 1911 and the space which it occupied on the first floor has been converted into a bathroom. The remains of the flue are visible in the roof. The parlour is in the east wing, which was altered, probably in the 18th century, to accommodate an entrance hall and staircase. The roof contains original trusses with curved principals. To the left of the house are the stables which continue down Smeeton Road. The stables were built early in the 20th century, replacing older outbuildings.The stables building is surmounted by a prominent small clock turret. A red brick wall with brick coping 2⸱5meters highruns from the stables along Smeeton Road enclosing the garden and paddock.

Manor clock tower

Manor House Stables Clock Turret

A mud wall marks the boundary between the Manor House and its neighbour 28 Main Street.

There is evidence that a tapestry, consisting of many square yards, covering the whole of the panelling round the interior of one of the rooms on the second storey. The tapestry and was believed to be of Flemish design.  The subjects were varied and curious in their character.  The date of the tapestryis thought to be from the end of the 16th century. In August 1863 a number ofattendees at the AGM of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society (see Historic Gathering-Modern) visited the Manor House at the invitation of the occupier, Mrs Buzzard, to view the tapestry which was described as being in fine state of preservation. The tapestry is no longer at the house and its whereabouts is unknown.

It is believed that in the 16thcentury the house was occupied by the steward or bailiff of the manor. There is little information on the occupants of the house however Mrs Buckby, who sponsored a play, ‘Inkle and Yarico’, at the Kibworth Theater (see Kibworth Theater-modern) in September 1790, lived in the Manor House. The next known occupant was Mrs. Buzzard wholived there in 1863.  The next information on ownership was 12 June 1907, when the Manor House, the outbuildings and land were conveyed to a Mr George Mattock from Mr Thomas Arthur Bateman who was thoughtto be the owner of 28 and 30 High Street, Kibworth Beauchamp. It seems that the mud wall was not included in the sale.

Mr Mattock died on 30th March 1936 when the property passed through his wife to his daughter, Mrs Elizabeth Goodey who lived in the house until she died on 4 January 1965. In Mrs Goodey’s will Mrs Joan Croxford inherited the house, garden and paddock. However, Mrs Goodey husband Theodore Goodey continued to live in the property until he died on 29 February 1972.

Mrs Joan Croxford and her husband move into the Manor House in the early 1970s. On 12th June 2014, Mrs Croxford ‘gifted’ the paddock to her two grandchildren. 

The Manor House, excluding the paddock, was sold to the current occupants, Mr & Mrs Strevens, on 1stAugust 2014.

The Manor House has undergone extensive renovations over the past 3 years and the three photographs below show the extent of those renovations:

Manor Rest 1

Manor Rest 2    Manor Rest 3

Photographs showing the extent of the renovations

Manor Back

Manor Housw September 2020 - rear aspect



The Story of England by Michael Wood
Liberal England Blog 17/06.1917
British History On-line
Historic England
Conservation Areas HDC
Barbara Strevens
Kevin Feltham


Published in Early Modern

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. 

Mud Cottage1

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.

Mud Wall1
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.



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

Kibworth Beauchamp Manor

11th to 20th Century

1042 - 1066

During the reign of Edward the Confessor, 5 carucatesi and 6 bovatesii of the Kibworth Beauchamp Manor were held by Edwin and Alferd, and 6 carucates by Ailmar.


The manor of Kibworth Beauchamp was held by Robert (the dispensator) and consisted of 11 carucates and 6 bovates.


Geoffrey Ridel held 1 carucate of the manor on his death


11 carucates were held by Walter de Beauchamp and one carucate by Richard Basset. Walter, whose wife’s uncle was Robert (the dispensator), acquired the land from him. Richard Basset acquired his 1 carucate through his marriage to Maud, daughter of Geoffrey Ridel. What happened to Basset’s land is not known. The Kibworth Beauchamp manor passed through Walter’s descendants.


William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, died in possession of the manor and it continued to be held by his descendants.


All the lands of Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, were forfeited after King Richard II charged him with high treason. The Kibworth Beauchamp manor was granted to Thomas Green, one of the King’s Knights and his male descendants. However, the Countess of Warwick was allowed to hold the manor for life in view of the forfeiture of her husband's lands. Letters patent were issued granting the manor jointly to Green and the Countess until her death when the manor would revert to Green and his heirs.


King Richard II was deposed; the forfeiture of the manor was revoked and returned to Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick


Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick died, the manor was held in dower by his widow and on her death it was held by the Earl’s son and heir Richard de Beauchamp,13th Earl of Warwick.


Richard, 13th Earl of Warwick conveyed the manor to feoffeesⁱⁱⁱ.


Richard de Beauchamp died and the manor was held by the feoffees, a dispute arose between Richard’s heirs and John Huggeford, the surviving feoffee.


Huggeford died in possession of the manor. It would appear that the manor was appropriated by Richard’s heir, Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle. Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Lisle had married Elizabeth Talbot, 3rd Baroness Lisle (granddaughter of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick). Edward Grey seized the manor of right on the death of his wife Elizabeth in 1487.


Edward Grey died, he was succeeded by his son and heir John Grey.


Sir John Grey, 2nd Viscount Lisle died and the manor descended to his unborn daughter Elizabeth Grey, Baroness Lisle in her own right. Elizabeth Grey was born in March 1505.


Elizabeth Grey, Baroness Lisle, died at the age of 14, her heirs were two aunts. The manor appears to have gone to one of the aunts, Elizabeth, 6th Baroness Lisle, the wife of Edmund Dudley and after Dudley’s execution, the wife of Arthur Plantagenet.


Elizabeth, 6th Baroness Lisle died and the Kibworth Beauchamp manor became the subject of long negotiations between her son by her first marriage, John Dudley and her illegitimate son, Arthur Plantagenet, who had adopted the name of her second husband, Arthur Plantagenet, who had been created Viscount Lisle in 1523,held the manor.


Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle, died and John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, Earl of Warwick, acquired the manor.


The manor was forfeited and held by the Crown following the execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, for treason. The manor was granted to his widow, Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland, for life.


Jane Dudley died and the manor was held by the Crown.


Queen Elizabeth I granted the manor to Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick and his brother Robert Dudley.


Ambrose Dudley died without children and as his brother Robert had died the year before the manor once again reverting to the Crown.


On 11th June King James I granted in fee-simpleⁱⁱⁱⁱ the manor of Kibworth Beauchamp to Sir Augustine Nichols and John Smith.


Sir Augustine died in and it is not clear what happened to the manor immediately after.


The manor had been acquired by John Berridge who was Rector of Kibworth (1602-1632) and the manor remained with the Berridge family.


Richard Davenport had married Dorothy, daughter of William Berridge, Rector of Kibworth (1632-1641), and he held the manor of Kibworth Beauchamp.


Richard Davenport and his wife sold the advowson of Kibworth Beauchamp along with the manor to Sir Thomas Halford, Bt., of Wistow Hall (MP for Leicestershire). The manor remained in the hands of the Halford family.


Sir Charles Halford died childless. His widow, Countess Sarah Halford, who later married Basil Fielding, 6thEarl of Denbigh, held the manor.


Countess Sarah died and in accordance with Sir Charles Halford’s will his estate passed to his cousin Dr. Henry Vaughan MD. Physician to King George III who had been appointed a Baronet in 1809 taking the name Halford. The estate including the Kibworth Beauchamp manor passed through the Halford family and finally to Sir Henry Halford.


Sir Henry Halford died and he left the manor to Thomas Francis Fremantle, 2nd Baron Cottesloe, who held the manor into the 20th century.

Written by David Adams


British History on line

Historic UK

Calendar of State Papers Domestic James I


Debrett's Baronetage of England

The Descendants of Richard Davenport (c1545 – 1623/4) of Great Wigston


Published in Medieval
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