Thomas Messenger also owned a number of properties in Ellistown, which lies about 2 miles south of Coalville, Leicestershire.

In the late 1880s, two collieries and a brickyard dominated the local area. There was evidently a requirement for housing the workers locally and over the space of about a decade, a number of residential terraces were built, forming what is now known as Ellistown.



At the time of his death these totalled twenty-nine, but exactly where is not detailed in his will. However, the dispersal sale of 1920[1] identified all 29 properties; 11 were on Midland Road, 5 on Kendal Road and 13 on Ibstock Road. All of Thomas Messenger’s houses possessed the same two characteristics; firstly, they formed distinct terraces, one on each road; secondly, they fronted directly onto the pavement, with no front gardens. At the auction, held on 29th January 1920 at The Bull’s Head Hotel, Loughborough, all 29 properties were offered as three lots, but remained unsold, failing to reach their reserve[2].


Ibstock Road

On the Ibstock Road, the 13 six-roomed properties including a corner shop occupied a single terrace (Nos. 56-80, inclusive (even numbers only)) on the north side of the road, immediately east of the junction with Kendal Road. They had a total frontage of 161ft. 6in. to Ibstock Road and 94ft. to Kendal Road. To the rear, the properties had a yard paved with blue bricks, gardens and the usual outbuildings[3]. The gross annual rent amounted to a little over £114[4]. The properties were subject to an indenture It appears that Thomas Messenger purchased these properties on 13th March 1891 from a group including Thomas Wood, Gervase Scott Wood, William Watts Clarkson and Ebenezer Healey[5].



The houses no longer exist have been demolished sometime after 1960. The site is now occupied by the Ellistown Scout Group.


Kendal Road

The five six-roomed houses (Nos. 3-11, inclusive (odd numbers only)) on Kendal Road, lie on the southeast side of the road, close to Midland Road. Again, they occupy a single terrace, although another terrace has been built adjoining to the south-west. The overall plot is wedge shaped with a total frontage of 75ft. 9in. onto Kendal Road but much narrower at the end of the gardens.

In the 1920 sale, No. 3 Kendal Road was stated as having a “large brick built Cart Shed with a pair of folding door, fronting onto Kendall-road, with loft over[6], which it still possesses today (2012). At the time of the sale the five properties were producing a combined gross annual rent of £62 8s. They all had yards, large3 gardens, W.C.’s, pig stys and the usual variety of outbuildings. Interestingly, the properties were offered for sale with two restrictive covenants; the first regarding burning bricks and tiles with the second referred to observance of the building line[7].

In 2012, No. 3 was on offer for sale at £105,000 being described as a three double bedroomed terraced home with a garage/store to the side(the original cat shed), entrance, lounge, dining kitchen, bathroom and a narrow (7ft. 6in.) but long garden to the rear.

All five houses are now rendered but were originally probably brick fronted, as is the garage/store to the side of No. 3.



Midland Road

Just around the corner from Kendal Road, lie the eleven properties on Midland Road (Nos. 34-54 inclusive (even numbers)).

Again, it consists of a single terrace with a corner shop fronting onto Midland Road and Kendal Road. The houses in Midland Road, lie on the south-western side and share a common boundary with those on Kendal Road. This boundary runs along the end of the gardens parallel with Midland Road and along the side of the narrow garden of No. 3 Kendal Road, terminating on Kendal Road. Each house, with the exception of No 34, which was a corner shop, comprised of three downstairs rooms, a pantry and three bedrooms upstairs. At the time of the sale No 34, also had a brick built stable with a slated roof and carriage shed[8]. In the 1920 sale, the properties were described as having a total frontage of 161ft. 6in, onto Ibstock Road and 94ft. onto Kendal Road with a gross combined annual rental income of £141 4s[9].

The terrace was built prior to 1898, when in October[10], Coalville Urban District Council laying a footpath in front of his properties in both Ibstock Road and Midland Road, expected Thomas Messenger to provide 70 yards of granite kerbs and the bricks for the Midland Road footpath. The following April[11], he was served with a statutory notice by Coalville UDC “with regard to the obstruction to the ditch by the side of Midland-road”.

In 2012, No. 54 was being offered for sale for £65,000; being described as in need of modernisation, it comprised of a lounge, kitchen diner, inner hallway, bathroom, first floor landing and three good-sized bedrooms.

Compared with the houses on Kendal Road, the fronts of the houses on Midland Road appear decorative, built in brick with Flemish bond. An almost identical set of terraced houses appear on Kendal Road, towards Cumberland Road, suggesting that the Kendal Road properties could have been built prior to those on Midland Road.





  1. The Loughborough Echo, 16th January 1920.

  2. The Loughborough Echo, 30th January 1920.

  3. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. The Loughborough Echo, 16th January 1920.

  7. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  8. These have subsequently been replaced by an extension.

  9. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  10. The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury 22nd October 1898.

  11. The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury 22nd April 1899.