Nos. 41-45, Park Road


By April 1886, Thomas Messenger was building several new villas in Park Road[1]. A couple of months later, in June, he submitted plans for another new villa, again in Park Road, although this time his plans were again not quite in accordance with the Board’s requirements[2]. Having recently completed one of the houses in Park Road, he secured permission to make series of alterations[3]. It is uncertain as to which houses the above references refer. According to his will, he owned three other properties on Park Road, namely Nos. 41, 42 and 43. Interestingly the road numbering system was established prior to his death, no No. 42 appears on any directory either from the period or subsequently, and no No. 42 appears today. Nos. 41 and 43 form part of five 2½ storey group of terraced houses (Nos. 37, 39, 41, 43 and 45) that were built at the same time, sometime after 1883. The numbering problem was resolved in 1920 when, as part of the disposal of his estate[4], the correct numbering scheme was used, namely Nos. 41, 43 and 45. Only No. 45, then known as ‘Foxholme’, was being sold; whether the other two had disposed of previously is unknown. At the time of the sale, No. 45 was described as a modern semi-detached villa residence with a palisade wall, a carriage gateway, having a 77ft. frontage onto Park Road. Inside there was an entrance hall, three reception rooms, a kitchen, scullery, cellar, four bedrooms, a bathroom with lavatory, hot and cold running water, a W.C. and three large attic rooms[5]. Outside there was a small conservatory, a yard paved with blue bricks, a W.C., other outbuildings, together with a large garden. At the time, it was occupied by Mr. William James, on a yearly tenancy of £32. Also included in the sale was a plot of ‘Garden Ground’ land, referred to as being on the Sidney Estate, situated to the rear, together with a strip of land running to the rear of Nos. 41 and 43 Park Road, amounting to about 1,247 square yards and occupied by Mr. Arthur Foxall. The house and land was subject to two indentures; firstly in 14th October 1885 between Richard Thompson, Charles Hacker Capp[6] and Thomas Messenger; secondly on 29th September 1886, between Joseph Marriott, and Henry Woodcock Needham[7], Charles Hacker Capp and Thomas Messenger. Mr. William Moss purchased this combined lot for £800[8]. The property was sold subject to an agreement, signed on 13th February 1887, between Messrs William Moss, Henry Deane, the 2 adjoining landowners and Thomas Messenger with respect to a proposed new private drive or road; however, the scheme was never carried out.


Nos..37-45, Park Road, Loughborough


A small building plot, of 410 square yards, was also offered in the sale, as a separate lot. Again it was situated on the Sidney Estate, with a 20ft. frontage onto Beacon Road and occupied by Jabez Ballard, who bought it for £26[9]. Thomas Messenger bought this at the same time as he purchased the previous property[10].

Nos. 37-45 (odd Nos. only) form 2½ pairs of terraced houses built to the same plan and are possibly the villas referred to in April 1886[11]. The five houses do not sit square with the road and each pair are setback slightly compared with their neighbours as you move from No. 37 to 45. They all stand back a little from the road with small front gardens, with box-bay windows with stone mullions and pilasters to both ground and first floor levels with open pediment above. All five houses are brick built in Flemish bond, have hipped dormers, corbelled brick eaves and original two storey extensions to the rear. Nos. 37 & 39 and 41 & 43 each share a massive central chimneystack with each pair sharing an entrance passage providing access to the rear, with semi-circular cut brick or terra cotta arch. No. 37 is attached to a later row of terraced houses[12], whilst No 45 notes the end of the terrace and has an addition set of box bay windows built into the corner, with a gabled dormer and decorative bargeboards above, giving it a much grander appearance.

It is possible that Thomas Messenger was responsible for all five houses, having divested himself of two of them prior to making his will in June 1898.

In the 1891 census, Mr. Frederick Otto Trautmann, a language and musical teacher born in Germany, together with his wife (also German born), four daughters and three sons (all born in Leicestershire at either Ratcliffe or Loughborough) were living at No. 37. At No. 39 was Charlotte Marshall, a widow, living with her 27-year old daughter. At No. 41 was Ann Astill[13], a widow and her female servant. At No. 43 was Thomas William Rickard, a tailor[14] and outfitter, with his wife, 2 daughters and servant. At No. 45, which was then known as Shrewsbury House[15], was Henry Pickwood, a draper, his wife, two sons, 2 borders (both drapers assistants) and two servants.

Ten years later, by which time Thomas Messenger’s estate was being managed by his trustees, No. 41 was empty[16]; No. 43 was occupied by Rowland Hibbins, a shoemaker, his wife, niece and servant; No. 45 was occupied by Ernest Gascoyne, a bank cashier, his wife and a live-in servant.

In 1911, No. 41 was occupied by Samuel Cooper, a hosiery warehouseman, his wife, Annie, two daughters and two sons. At No. 43 was Thomas Cockerill, a grocer with premises at No. 4 Swan Street. He was living with his wife, Mary, two daughters, four sons and his sister-in-law. Thomas continued to live there with his wife and daughter Mary, until his death in 1961, aged 83. Following the death of her mother later the same year, aged 93, Mary continued living there until after the mid-1970s[17].


No. 45, Park Road, Loughborough


At No. 45 were four Gascoyne children, two sons, two daughters and a live-in general cook, though no sign of the parents. William Newton Weston lived there for about 10 years form the early 1930s. He was an engineering working at the Empress Works of Herbert Morris. Kenneth Maclean Burder and his wife Frances moved there from Clavering, Ashby Road, towards the end of the Second World War, Kenneth Burder was a director of Messenger & Co. Ltd. and confusingly renamed the house Clavering. He continued to live there until his death in December 1959, his wife having died two years earlier.

On 11th September 1953, No. 45 featured in an article in the Loughborough Monitor, part of a series by S. H. Matthews. The article describes the building as being built between 1880 and 1890 and on land originally belonging to Sydney Cottage, which stood in the triangular plot formed by Far Park Lane and Middle Park Lane, with its entrance being where Beacon Road joins Park Road. The article also states that Thomas Messenger purchased the land from Charles Hacker Capp, a Wine and Spirit Merchant, who occupied Sydney Cottage and one time proprietor of the George Yard Vaults. The first tenant was Henry Pickworth, a furnisher and draper, who was responsible for calling it “Foxholme”. He was followed by William James, then by William Weston, who purchased the property and made a large number of alterations. The article described the interior in some detail:

… an attractive house, covered partly with Virginia Creeper and possessing a fine garden the extent of which is rather surprising. The house has the large and lofty rooms so characteristic of the Victorian era.

In the spacious lounge I noticed a long caser clock by Thomas Cook of Loughborough, and a long dresser formerly at The Elms, which Mr. Burder’s father leased from 12889 to the beginning of the (nineteenth) century.

I noticed on the mantelpiece a pair of large frog mugs. Such curios were purchased in large numbers from the exhibition building at Hyde Park in 1851, but are now comparatively rare.

Off the ball is the drawing room whose salient feature is a very beautiful display cabinet of walnut. In it there are many specimens of good porcelain, including some pieces made at the Pinxton factory in Derbyshire, which closed down in 1812, I saw also part of an elephant tusk intricately carved with flower designs.

In a little ivory box in the cabinet are the fragments of a piece of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake, which was given to Mrs. Burder by her aunt, who was lady-in-waiting. I am shown, too, a tiny container which held 12 perfectly carved elephants in ivory. All could have stood a silver three-penny piece.

I noticed, too, a nest of four Japanese lacquer tables, and an old chest of drawers over which on the wall, hung nine silhouettes of Mrs. Burder’s family, the Gifford Nash’s of Essex.

The dining room is a very charming room, and is dominated by two pictures, one a portrait if William Preston, an ancestor of Mr. Burder, and the other, which, looked like a Snyders, representing a vividly coloured group of birds.

On a mantelpiece are two rushlights, and nearby two elephants, which were carved by Mr. Burder’s father.

The property appears to have remained a private residence until the late 1980s when it was converted for use as a residential care home, latterly run by the Royal Mencap Society. Part of the transition from a private into a residential home, alterations[18] were made to the property, including the demolition of a conservatory, and kitchen.

In 2013, No. 45 appears to have been converted back to a residential property.




  1. The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury 3rd April 1886.

  2. The Loughborough Herald and North Leicestershire Gazette, 10th June 1886.

  3. The Loughborough Herald and North Leicestershire Gazette, 9th September 1886.

  4. The Loughborough Echo, 16th January 1920.

  5. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  6. A wine and spirit merchant, with premises in Market Place.

  7. A member of firm of Messrs Needham and Crick, maltsters, of Leicester.

  8. The Loughborough Echo, 30th January 1920.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Leicestershire Record Office ref: DE5099-117.

  11. The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury 3rd April 1886.

  12. They do not appear on the 1891 census but do appear in 1901.

  13. Ann Astill was the widow of David Astill and died on 6th March 1896. Her husband died at No. 41 Park Road, aged 74 on 31st March 1891 and was the Postmaster in Loughborough for 25 years; working post-office, in Baxter Gate that Thomas Messenger owned.

  14. Of Simpson & Rickard, 44 Market place, Loughborough

  15. Kelly’s Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, etc., 1891 – Part 2 Leicestershire & Rutland.

  16. Ann Astill died on 6th March 1896, aged 74.

  17. Register of Electors – 1975.

  18. Charnwood Planning References – P/88/1750/2; P/89/0098/2; P/89/2592/2.