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An attempt to save the Hall on the Green - 1963

The Hall on The Green

The building which was no 8 Station Road was probably at the time it was demolished the oldest in Quorn with the exception of the church. It was a hall type house c1450, which was built in two distinct portions.

The early history of the house is obscure, but it is known to have been owned by the Nether Hall branch of the Farnham family, who use it for dower, and it was called The Dower House in some of the deeds.

A map of 1752 shows the building as the Hall on The Green, and it is described as such in the Quorndon Records.

In 1763 it was sold by Charles Farnham to John Willows and in 1835 it was bequeathed to Edward Basil Farnham by Esther Willows. Mr Farnham then sold the house to Dick Burton, huntsman with the Quorn Hounds under Lord Southampton

In 1854 a reading room and library were established in this building.

In the late 1870s the building was owned by Mr France, with a business in Leicester, who gave it as a convent for the Blue Sisters.

During the 20th century the house was used as a furniture shop by Messrs Facer for a number of years. The modern row of shops was built on the site.

A photograph of it can been seen at artefact 918. This letter, written on behalf of the local Archaelogical Society at the same was a valiant, but ultimately vain attempt to save this important building.


22nd July 1963

From: Loughborough & District Archaeological Society
To: Leicestershire County Council



Dear Sir

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT, 1962 SECTIONS 32 AND 33
No 8 STATION ROAD, QUORN

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government, through the Council for British Archaeology, under Ref 1905/11/15 dated 9th July advised us that Closing Orders have been made on the building and that it is proposed to redevelop the site. They say that any representations should be made to the local authorities. Please regard this letter as a representation from our society – we most strongly deprecate the proposed demolition.

We have made a current site examination at once, but we had also on our file copies of the articles written in January, 1955 in the “Loughborough Echo”, by our member – Geo. H Green, in which he indicated the extreme importance of this group of buildings. At that time by courtesy of the occupier (Mr McArthur) we were able to go thoroughly over the interior. Mr McArthur had thoroughly restored the property and although subsequently some lack of care has been exercised there seems no substantial reason for demolition on account of decay, etc

The property termed “No 8” is amongst a group of most interesting buildings and any demolition would be a grievous loss to architectural students, history societies and to the character of the village in general. The Church is directly behind it, two doors away nearer the main road is another equally old thatched shop and dwelling (this is almost certainly a cruck building), on the other side of “No 8” is an exceedingly interesting building of huge slabs of granite facing of the cruder form (such buildings are now getting few in number) and opposite is a building which as been used by the County Council as a Loughborough College hostel which embraces a fine close set timber house (unfortunately public ownership has now (not?) prevented very unsympathetic treatment by partially hiding this with boxes of bricks for extra dormitories.) Other houses nearby include eighteenth and nineteenth century residences and a few of this century. So in a single group closely adjacent the building of centuries of English Domestic Architecture are represented.

The articles mentioned pointed out that No 8 appears to be identical with the “Priest’s house” of the 13th century, with the “House on the Green” of the 15th century, with the “Dower House” of the 16th century, and the “Hall on the Green” of later times (although the College Hostel might also be one of these). The interior shows at least three pairs of crucks (one visible outside) a place that seems to have been a grilled cell, a strange small dome or tower (not visible outside), a rich supply of other timbers, quarried floor with tiles of unusual size, a room which originally was from floor to roof pitch without intervening floors, and a few stained glass windows. The walls are thick and in parts of granite, the timbers are all wooden pegged and the whole is a composite piece of many periods – seemingly with two separate buildings united by a third one. In the nineteenth century the place was occupied as convent being the only English building of a French order of nuns called The Blue Sisters. The quaint windows on front and the coloured glass probably relate to that period. The house also may have been associated with one of the three chantries. The nuns conducted a school in it. Much of this information may be culled (by close examination) from Geo Farnham’s “Quorndon Records” and it was variously in the ownership of the Upper Hall and Nether Hall branches of the Farnham families.

We trust the most careful consideration will be given to the preservation in its entirety of all of this group in the centre of Quorn which is so accessible from the main A6 road. If demolition of No8 were finally decided upon, it would be a tragic loss from the standpoint of history and architecture. It would be no loss to strip off the projecting shop portion which has already been altered from its use as a shop and used as extra rooms. – it is a 20th century addition which disturbs the balance. Also the shattered conservatory could be pulled down to further display the older portion.

One would judge that in these days No 8 block if placed in the hands of auctioneers would fetch £8,000/£10,000.

Should it be determined to destroy another of our national treasures, we ask that this Society should be given opportunity to photo-record it, measure it and generally check its details and see whether any of the window layouts are worth a museum place.

Yours faithfully

W Moffat (secretary)

   
 Submitted on: 2012-11-16
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1715

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