[East Midlands Oral History Archive logo]

History of the house


[News button]

[Catalogue button]

[Schools button]

[Community button]

[Training button]

[EMOHA button]

[partners button]

[Link to: hosiery homepage]

[Link to: the production of knitware]

[Link to: Working conditions in the hosiery industry]

[Link to: Further reading and books about hosiery in Leicester]


History of the Master Hosier's House and Workshops

[Picture of the front of the hosiery museum Wigston]

Number 42-44 Busloe End, Wigston Magna, is a Master Hosier's house with a two storey Victorian frameshop in the garden. The house dates from the last years of the seventeenth century and shows signs of various alterations. Evidence of an earlier building can be seen at the front of the house, where at ground level, a stone rubble foundation is clearly visible. During the later years of the seventeenth century the house was rebuilt in brick. At this time the building was extended up to the neighbouring Cruck cottage and a fireplace and chimney were added to the front parlour, together with an additional front door.

If the West gable is studied, the evidence of the neighbouring thatched roof and front wall can be seen about two metres back from the face of number 42. The brick front of the house was constructed in Flemish bond i.e. alternate headers and stretchers, the headers being a darker colour than the stretchers. This was an effect of the 'clamp' method of firing bricks in the kiln. At the first floor level the pattern of the brickwork changes and the brick headers have been formed to a diaper pattern. The craftsmanship in the first floor brickwork is markedly better than that on the ground floor, indicating a two-stage construction.

The floors of the second storey rooms are made of a composite, concrete-like substance on top of a thick mat of reeds, on top of heavy beams and joists. This is typical of many Leicestershire farm houses. The East and West elevations clearly show the steep pitch of an earlier roof, most probably thatched, curving up and down over the upper windows in 'eyebrow' fashion. Later re-roofing in slate required a level gutter line, achieved by raising the front wall to the tops of the windows and building up the gable ends to suit.

See the rear of the museum


Last updated: 17/07/02
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.