The Grange Buildings
In November 2002 The Grange was advertised for sale by the owners Charnwood Borough Council. It was described as an 18th Century Country House in 4.4 acres with planning permission for refurbishment and new build within the grounds. Suitable uses include offices, residential and educational. For sale by informal tender with a closing date of the 10th January 2003.
It made headlines in the Leicester Mercury on the 1st May 2002 that the historic building had been saved in a £2m deal to a developer but the identity had been kept under wraps.
The final occupants of The Grange were Severn Trent Water and Leicestershire County Council Social Services Department. The lovely rooms had been divided off to create smaller units and destroying the original design. It was sad to enter the building as it deteriorated and to see vandalism destroy the site.
In November 2004 it was reported that Charnwood Borough Council had negotiated the sale of The Grange to developers William Davis. It added that the developers would be required to replace the bridge at the bottom of Homefield Lane with a single span bridge. The existing bridge has two arches. The bridge needs to be replaced to allow a faster flow of water to reduce the risk of flooding. This work was not, in fact, completed.
However, it was good news that the outbuildings in the car park and the awful computer block to the right of The Grange were to be demolished.
In June 2006 it was reported that delays to the development of he Grange were expected to end over the next few months. One of the biggest problems was due to a rare fungus, the Pink Wax Cap, which was found on the site following an ecological survey. However, all was solved by reducing the number of dwellings form 38 to 34 to satisfy the Environment Agency's concerns over flood risk. The reduction to 34 dwellings means that the rare fungus is no longer at risk. Badgers on the site would be re-located under licence.
One of the conditions of building was for William Davis to provide a 32 space car park on the Fowke Street Recreation Ground opposite The Grange.
Photographs below were taken during the development as a reminder of how a derelict building can be transformed into a lovely residential area in the centre of the village of Rothley
The front of The Grange around 1910-1919
Ethel May Stokes worked at The Grange and her son, Roy, has fond memories of the times spent there. He remembers the entrance hall with its lovely wooden staircase with steps on both sides up to the first floor. He also recalls the railings around the front in the 1930's but he was forbidden to touch them otherwise 'the parrots would come out and eat us'. As Mrs Abbott Robinson used to keep parrots and macaws that were known to swoop down on her visitors this was not just an idle threat!
The front of The Grange boarded up awaiting a buyer. September 2005
The Discus Thrower was a plaque above the original front door. Where is this now? Like other items it was removed and never returned. September 2005.
You can see the plaque above the original front door. September 2005
Rear of The Grange. September 2005
Rear of main building. October 2005
Rear of side wing. October 2005
Detail from original side wing. October 2005
Rear of The Grange from the overgrown gardens. Old computer block to the left. September 2005
Side of The Grange from Fowke Street. March 2007
An original window overlooking Fowke Street. 2002
An original front bay window overlooking Fowke Street. 2002
An original cupboard in a front room overlooking Fowke Street. 2002
An original cupboard in a first floor front room overlooking Fowke Street. 2002
Side view of The Grange. March 2007
Outbuildings in an area used as a car park. March 2007
Side view of The Grange with outbuildings demolished. July 2007
Looking to building on car park from The Grange Playing Field Site 123. February 2007
Side view of The Grange looking over building on car park. February 2007
Clearing the car park. Looking to Grangefields Drive. February 2007
Clearing the car park. Looking to Fowke Street. February 2007
Clearing the banks of Rothley Brook. February 2007
Clearing the car park by Rothley Brook. Looking to Fowke Street. February 2007
Looking over car park to Fowke Street. March 2007
Access to The Grange Playing Field over car park. March 2007
Cleared car park looking to Grangefields Drive. March 2007
Looking over Rothley Brook to Grangefields Drive. March 2007
Looking over car park to the gardens of The Grange. July 2007
All outbuildings demolished around car park. July 2007
To celebrate 40 years of Radio Leicester photographs of life in November 2007 were submitted and the above was part of the story of Rothley. Building what in 2012 is Saxon Court. The builders were happy to let me take their picture and there was a cheery wave from the man at the back.
Just further down Saxon Court the men were happy to be part of the 40th Anniversary of Radio Leicester in November 2007.
Front of The Grange from Fowke Street. June 2008
New front entrance to The Grange. The original eagle was taken away some time after May 2002 but could not be found so a replacement was made as part of the planning permission. June 2008
The eagle has landed. June 2008
The original windows to the front elevation were restored. June 2008
One of the ancient oak trees. July 2008
The old computer block was demolished to the left and Clare Court is being built there. The yew hedge was removed as part of the new landscaping. July 2008
Temple Court to the right and Saxon Court to the left on the site of the old car park. July 2008
The original side wing was demolished and re-built. July 2008
Part of the re-built side wing. July 2008
Rear view of Temple Court built on the old car park. July 2008
Rear view of The Grange with the re-built wing to the right. July 2008
The old cider press was used in the original garden as a flower pot and given a new life as the centrepiece of the formal garden. July 2008
The rear of The Grange with re-built side wing to the right. July 2008
Rear of the original main front building. July 2008
View from the first floor of Saxon Court to Fowke Street. July 2008
Looking to the rear of The Grange from the gardens. March 2012
Last Updated Thu, 26 Apr, 2012.
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