Historic buildings and places in Harborough are being preserved for generations to come

They include a rare Second World War fortification and a hotel linked to tourism pioneer Thomas Cook

By Red Williams
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 10:49 am
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2022, 10:50 am
Second World War pillbox and Waller Bedingfield’s House.
Second World War pillbox and Waller Bedingfield’s House.

Historic buildings and places in Harborough ranging from a rare Second World War fortification to a hotel linked to tourism pioneer Thomas Cook are being preserved for generations to come.

An entire catalogue of precious and treasured landmarks throughout the district is being protected for posterity’s sake by Harborough council.

Harborough boasts a wealth of nationally-recognised heritage assets.

There are some 1,281 listed buildings, six historic parks and gardens, 65 scheduled monuments and 63 conservation areas scattered throughout the largely-rural district.

They are all “designated heritage assets” and protected through national legislation.

Harborough District Council has also pinpointed a list of local sites of interest, known as ‘non-designated heritage assets’, which are thought worthy of protection due to their historic, architectural or archaeological interest.

‘Designated heritage assets’ can include World Heritage Sites, listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments.

And ‘non-designated’ assets are sites identified by the local authority as having important local interest.

A non-designated heritage list is a way for the council and communities to identify and celebrate historic buildings, archaeological sites and designed landscapes which enrich and enliven the area.

Once identified such assets are scored.

And if they meet the criteria, they are included on the council’s Local List of non-designated heritage assets which, as well as helping to preserve them for the future, can attract tourism, business and investment.

Last year Harborough council launched a public consultation asking people to nominate assets for inclusion in the list.

Assets can also be targeted through Conservation Area Appraisals or Neighbourhood Planning.

The following are the first entries to have been included in the Local List, which will be reviewed annually:

- Home Farm, Bakehouse Lane, Saddington – historic bakehouse which would have had an important role providing food for the local community

- Keyham Bridge, Hungarton Lane, Keyham – an unusually-decorative road bridge over the Barkby Brook, built in 1832 for £140

- Claybrooke Magna Village Hall, Main Road, Claybrooke Magna – a purpose-built village hall likely dating from the later Victorian or Edwardian era

- The Yews, London Road, Great Glen – located at an important junction of the London turnpike and the road to the former station

- Highfield Farm, Main Street, Cold Newton – 18th century farmhouse which displays traditional construction techniques and forms part of the shrunken Cold Newton settlement

- Carmel Baptist Chapel, Wolsey Lane, Fleckney – non-conformist chapel in a village setting; the datestone from the 1813 building it replaced is incorporated in the chapel

- Castle Inn, Main Street, Caldecott – railway inn dating from the opening of the Rugby and Stamford Line in 1850 and located on the former Nottingham to Kettering turnpike

- Three Gates Farm, Melton Road, Illston on the Hill – traditional red-brick farmhouse from late 18th or early 19th century

- Waller Bedingfield’s House, Bitteswell Road, Lutterworth – house built, and lived in, by Waller Bedingfield, a prominent local and nationally recognised architect. His notable works include helping to design Lutterworth Memorial Gardens and the former Goddard Plate Powder factory (1932) in Leicester, which is grade II listed for its Art Deco design

- The Red Arrow Pub, Coventry Road, Lutterworth – pub was built as the ‘Flying Saucer’ and the original advertisement shows a model of a flying saucer as part of the sign. The name was later changed to the Red Arrow

- Former Temperance Hotel, St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough – grand two-storey building has likely links to Thomas Cook, who lived in Market Harborough, and the former Temperance movement, a major force in the 19th century

- Northampton Road Cemetery, Northampton Road, Market Harborough – municipal town cemetery opened in 1878

- The Old Rectory, Chapel Lane, Misterton – 1840s rectory associated with the adjacent Church of St Leonard and the settlement of Misterton

- Former Toll House – Chestnut Cottage, Uppingham Road, Tugby – rare surviving example of a tollhouse where tolls for the Leicester to Peterborough turnpike were collected

- Second World War Pillbox, Oakham Road, north east of Fox Lodge, Withcote – a rare surviving WWII hexagonal pillbox put in place to secure key infrastructure routes in the event of an enemy invasion during the last war – the only one in Harborough district and one of just 14 within Leicestershire

- The White House, Scraptoft Lane, Scraptoft – ambitious, grand and curious residence, built by a successful businessman TH Crumbie in the interwar period, which was characterised by local prosperity and urban expansion. Tom (TH) Crumbie was an influential figure in the early development of Leicester Tigers Rugby Club.

Inclusion on the list does not mean, though, that it’s open to the public.

You can read more and enjoy pictures of all the heritage assets on the council’s website by clicking here.

Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough council, said: “Whilst not an exhaustive list, the assets identified so far play an essential role in building and reinforcing the sense of historic character and distinctiveness of the district.

“By identifying and protecting these assets, we are in a stronger position to preserve them for future generations through, for example, the Local Plan or planning applications.

“Thank you to everyone who helped us compile this list.”

Anyone who wants the council to consider a site or building for future inclusion in the list can email [email protected]

A programme of appraisals of conservation areas in the district is also under way to define, record and justify why a place should be designated as a ‘conservation area’.

A conservation area has ‘special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.

Shearsby conservation area is the first to undergo an appraisal as part of the programme, which, following consultation with villagers, has been recommended for approval by the council’s Cabinet.