Ellistown is a small village in
Leicestershire, Englandwith a primary school, several parks, a football club, two shops, a garageand a Post Office. There is also a Public housewith rooms to rent, called The New Ellistown, and a Working Mens Club. It is situated on the main village cross roads which recently became two mini round-a-bouts. The village lies 2 miles (3 km) from the larger village of Ibstock, and 1½ miles (2½km) from the town of Coalville. Ellistown lies just within western boundaries of the National Forest.
Ellistown received its name from Colonel Joseph Joel Ellis of London. However the history of Ellistown predates Colonel Ellis.
Around 1140 Swinfen Grange was one of two granges given by nobleman Robert Byrton to the Abbot of Garendon Convent which was based near what is modern day Loughborough. Swinfen was where the Abbots bailiff resided and was only a small mud and wattle built settlement with three strip fields surrounded by the
With the dissolution of the monasteries by King
Henry VIIItheir lands were seized and rented out. Swinfen Grange was rented to a John Pykeringe in 1531 for £7 per year. At this point the name seems to have changed to Pykeringe Grange after its first lay tenant, although there is some evidence to show that Swinfen Grange and Pykeringe Grange seemed to coexist for some time together. The area that became Ellistown initially was known as Swinfen Rushes at the start the 19th Century, while now named “Pickering Grange” seemed to extend to the crossroads where the Hugglescote to Bagworth pony track crossed Beverley’s Lane.
The pony trains appear to have demised around 1810 with the comings of the canals and railways in the area. The pony trains extensively brought coal from the Ibstock Colliery and turning at the crossroads towards Bagworth, to avoid the toll roads, and then onto Leicester via Aylestone. The Slip Inn on Whitehill Road near where the first pit was sunk was a favoured stopping point for the pony trains.
On their arrival the Ellis’s took over the Inn converting it into their servants quarters and adding accommodation for themselves as well as stables and a carriage house. Around there was very little in the way of buildings at this time, Johnny
Battram’s cottage, a couple of farms along Whitehill Lane and the railway spur that served the Ibstock Colliery.The Ellistown Colliery was sunk in 1873 and two years later was producing coal. The colliery had rail links onto the Leicester to Burton Railway. Colonel Ellis had two terraces of houses erected on either side of the Bagworth to Hugglescote road to accommodate employees and this was the beginnings of modern Ellistown. All, but one, of these terrances have now gone. Towards the end of their lives Ellistown West Terraces had a great deal of iron banding and brick supports attached to them to stop any of the effect of mining subsidance that are common in this area.
The South Leicestershire Coal Company opened its colliery in 1874 northeast of the crossroads. Like Ellis it built terraces for its workers on lane leading to it, South Street. The colliery had with rail links on to the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway (See the
Battlefield Line Railwayfor gen). With the closure of the railway in 1964 the railway trackbed was realigned; from running through the old Hugglescote Station to having the embankment north of it removed and rebuilt to run in the South Leicestershire Colliery only.
In 1881 the Church of England built a day school which also served as a mission church. At the same time the Methodists were building a chapel by the original Ellistown Terraces and the Wesleyans built theirs opposite what became to be known as Whitehill Farm. Both of these chapels have since been demolished, the Wesleyan Chapel was replaced by newer housing.The pub currently know as the New Ellistown was initially named the South Leicester Hotel and stands on the land of the original White Hill Farm. Deeds for White Hill Farm date back to 1784 showing the farms location running from the cross roads along Ibstock road to the end of the present day village.
The first private houses on Whitehill Road appeared in 1877. With both pits prospering more housing was required and more were constructed on the Ibstock and Midland roads. The terraces on Kendal and Cumberland Roads were erected 1895 - 1900. With the development of Whitehill Road the two separate areas of White Hill and Ellistown became one, Ellistown.St Christopher’s Church foundation stone was laid in October 1895 by Mrs Mandel-Creighton, the Bishop of Peterborough’s wife. It was consecrated on 25th April 1896 by the Bishop. It was constructed using Ellistown Red Tapped bricks from the Ellistown Brick and Pipe Company. Mr Terry became the first vicar of the Parish. In 1911 a vicarage was erected next to the church for the Rev. Boothby. Prior to this Broughton Villa on Whitehill Road served as the clergyman’s house.
In 1897 Colonel Ellis died, the colliery, brickworks and estate being carried on by trustees under Orders of the Court of Chancery until 1936. In 1936 the colliery and brickworks were separated into two separate companies. Ellistown Brick and Pipe Company closed before the Second World War.
On 16th May 1952 a notice of a meeting for the winding up of the Ellistown Colliery Company Limited was published. The site is now a concrete pipe manufacturing facility. The South Leicestershire Colliery closed in the 1989, the site of the colliery is now a small industrial estate.
Over the last few years Ellistown has expanded dramatically with the addition of new housing estates on its eastern side.
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