Lag Lane – 1961
After taking the remake, I walked down Lag Lane, crossed Saxby Road (B676) and continued on the public footpath to Brentingby. There is a historical connection between both small farming villages. According to the Leicester Survey (c.1125), in the early 12th century, the Earl of Leicester held the manor of Brentingby as part of the fee (an estate of land) of Thorpe Arnold.
“Lag is from the Old Norse word ‘lagg’, meaning ‘marshy land beside a watercourse’,” explained Mark Orridge. “This landscape can still be imagined on the part of Lag Lane near the River Eye.”
The Leicester Advertiser published the old picture in November 1961. The house on the left was Tollgate House, then the home of Matthew Clayton and his wife. “The original tollgate was at the bottom of the hill on the main road, not in the hamlet,” said Keith Ainge. “I lived in the bungalow that replaced the house on the left, and yes, that was called Tollgate House, just to confuse things!” Also, the bungalow is still known as Tollgate House.
On the right is the wall of Thorpe Arnold’s churchyard, and the house facing the camera is The Hall, and further at the back is Dovecote House. The Hall was one of the many properties on offer at the ‘1920 Belvoir Estate Sale’ as lot 191, then known as Mr Shipman’s House, and described as a valuable grazing farm, an excellent residence, two complete sets of farm premises and a foreman’s cottage. Strangely the Grantham Journal sale report of Saturday, 6th March 1920, didn’t mention the lot. It became (later) the property of Melton auctioneer Fred Shouler.
Jake Young found an advertisement for the sale of the building after Fred Shouler’s passing, published in the Grantham Journal on Friday, 8th September 1961.
It was sold by auction – of course – by – Shouler & Son and included “1,083 square yards of building land with extensive views over the Eye Valley, with a frontage of 64ft. to Lag Lane, and a maximum depth of 168ft. The timber and felted garage included in the sale.”
On the village
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It had a recorded population of 48 households in 1086, putting it in the largest 20% of settlements recorded in Domesday, and is listed under 2 owners in Domesday Book.
Land of Hugh of Grandmesnil
- Households: 16 villagers. 11 freemen. 8 smallholders. 2 slaves.
- Ploughland: 10 ploughlands. 5 lord’s plough teams. 7 men’s plough teams.
- Other resources: Woodland 4 * 4 furlongs. 1 mill, value 5 shillings and 2 pence.
- Annual value to lord: 7 pounds in 1086; 1 pound when acquired by the 1086 owner.
- Households: 8 villagers. 3 smallholders.
- Ploughland: 2 ploughlands.
- Annual value to lord: 1 pound in 1086; 3 shillings when acquired by the 1086 owner.
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