A look back in time (3)

 

 

Measham Hall

Measham Hall

This splendid building used to stand on Leicester Road, on the left as you head out of the village towards Swepstone.

The old 'manor' of Measham was founded in the time of William the Conqueror and belonged to the de Measham family. The manor would have included most of the land in and around Measham and oversight of the church. Over the centuries the 'manor' passed through several families until the Wollaston family, whose descendants still reside in nearby Shenton, sold much of the outlying land which had lost value due to over-mining the coal. One of the Wollastons is the only known person to be buried in the crypt under Saint Laurence Church. Finaly, the family sold the 'manor' to Robert Abney, a relative of the Abneys of Willesley Hall (pictured), a grand Hall (now demolished) and Estate near Donisthorpe.

Willesley HAll

One of Robert's grandson's, William, inherited the land in Measham and became rich from the mined coal. He had Measham Hall built for his large family in about 1767. Little is known about the interior of the house, but, as the top picture shows, there were two and a half stories, the top floor presumably for the servants.The front of the house faced south, but the main entrance was to the east (on the left as you look at the picture. Although little is known about the inside, there was reputed to be a grand staircase in the very centre of the house.

William's family and ancestors lived in the house for several generations. The last occupant was Helen Wooton Abney, widow of William's great grandson, also called William. Having also lost her only child in infancy, Helen lived alone in the Hall for 27 years until her death in 1893, although she was looked after by the servants. She dedicated a stained glass window  in the church (pictured here) to the memory of her husband. 

 

For a commentary about this window and others in the church follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5kes5-Qs6qosZ0rUixMv2p6lSp9StaxV

After her death the Hall was sold to the Measham Colliery Company to be used as offices and a residence for the mine manager. After nationalisation the Hall was divided into flats but gradually fell into disrepair and suffered much subsidence as the coal underneath the house was extensively mined. The Hall was evacuated in 1958 and, as the final picture shows, was ready for demolition in 1959.

Measham Hall prior to demolition


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