. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

The people who lived (and perhaps worked) at the Swannington Incline

This page lists the people who lived in the two semidetached cottages at the top of the Incline.  There are some properties at the bottom of the Incline with a Main Street address.  These are not included.

Inhabitants are likely to have lived at the Incline for longer periods than shown by the following documented dates.

It is very difficult to determine whether some of the residents also worked on the Incline.  It is understood that in its later years the Incline was only used twice a week to deliver coal to the Calcutta pumping station.  It is possible that twice a week usage goes back as far as the pumping station’s inception in 1877.  Even if residents worked at the Incline that would only be their secondary occupation.  Coal miners, enginemen and railwaymen could have worked the Incline’s winding engine, stoked the engine’s boiler, ridden down with the coal trucks to detach the cable or carried out maintenance activities on the track.  We will never know unless there are stories in your family that you can share with the Trust.

In some instances the census does not give sufficient information to identify the cottages, hence the gaps.

Residents 1861-1867 Coleman and 1861-1885 Rolling/Farmer Families

1861-1867 Coleman

The 1861 census listed:

  • George Coleman, 24, engineman, born Leicester
  • John Coleman, father, 53, wool dealer, born Leicester
  • Ann Coleman, mother, 56, born Leicester

George Tomlisson Coleman died aged 29 of “Pneumonia Congestion of Lungs” at the Incline on the 10th January 1867.

1861-1885 Rolling, Pegg and Farmer

The 1861 census listed:

  • William Rolling, 28, coal miner, born Cornwall
  • Mary Rolling, wife, 27, born Hugglescote
  • Richard Rolling, son, 6, born Swannington
  • Henry Rolling, son, 11 months, born Swannington


The 1871 census listed:

  • Hannah Farmer, widow, 53, railway gate keeper, born Hugglescote
  • Richard Pegg, father, 73, farm labourer, born Stoke Golding
  • William Rollings, brother in law, 38, fireman railway, born Cornwall (died 3rd December 1876, Incline)
  • Mary Rollings, sister, 37, born Hugglescote (died 28th December 1876, Incline)
  • William Rollings, sister’s son, 9, born Swannington
  • John Thomas Rollings, sister’s son, 7, born Swannington
  • Julia Rollings, sister’s daughter, 4 born Swannington
  • Walter Rollings, sister’s son, 1, born Swannington

Notes – The term “fireman” was used for a stoker who stoked the fire with coal.  The four children would have been born at the Incline.

The 5th January 1877 Royal Cornwall Gazette had a single sentence entry in its death column:

  • ROLLING – At Swannington incline, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, Dec 28, Mary Rolling.


The 1881 census listed:

  • Hannah Farmer, widow, 63, railway gate tenter, born Newbold Verdon
  • Julia Rollings, granddaughter (error as niece), 14 scholar, born Swannington
  • Mary Elizabeth Rollings, granddaughter (error as niece), 9 scholar, born Swannington

Hannah died in 1885, probably at the Incline.

Residents 1891 Johnson and Jowett Families

1891 Johnson

  • Thomas Henry Johnson 30, railway goods guard, born Swannington
  • Mary Johnson, wife, 31, born Duffield, Derbyshire
  • William H Johnson, son, 5, born Swannington
  • Gertrude A Johnson, daughter, 4, born Swannington
  • George H Johnson, son, 2, born Swannington
  • Nellie B Johnson, daughter, 2 months, born Swannington
  • Maria Jeffcoat, aunt, 59, no occupation, born Swannington


1889-1892 Jowett

  • John J Jowett, 31, Stationary Engine Driver, born Rawmarsh, Yorkshire
  • Elizabeth Jowett, wife, 29, born Swannington
  • Frances A Jowett, daughter, 5, born Swannington
  • Florence Jowett, daughter, 4, born Swannington
  • Gertrude Jowett, daughter, 1, born Swannington (born at the Incline 17th April 1889)
  • Maggie Jowett daughter (born at the Incline 23rd May 1892)
  • Charles Paling, boarder, 19, Locomotive Engine Cleaner,  born Twywell, Northamptonshire

Many thanks to Christine Davies for her paintings that illustrate the spartan living conditions of life at the Incline.

1892 - new baby Maggie in the cot, Gertrude and Florence on the stairs, Frances making toast - basic furniture and cheap food - by Christine Davies
1891 - William and Gertrude top and tail in the bed, George in the cot, baby Nellie held b mother in doorway, aunt saying prayers - basic furniture - by Christine Davies

Residents 1901 Litchfield and Throssell Families

1901 Litchfield

  • Alfred Litchfield, 44, Train Examiner, born Ulverston, Northamptonshire
  • Martha Litchfield, wife, 41, born Leicester
  • Alfred J Litchfield, son, 15, Hosiery Machine Hand, born St Pancras, London
  • Sidney Litchfield, son, 10, born Leicester
  • Mabel Litchfield, daughter, 9, born Leicester


1901-1902 Throssell

The 1901 census records:

  • Nathaniel Brookbank Throssell, 26, Railway Fitter’s Labourer, born Peterborough, Northamptonshire
  • Martha Throssell, wife, 25, born Walsoken, Norfolk

Their son was born at the Incline in December 1902.

Residents 1911 Throssell and Walker Families

1909-1911 Throssell

The family appears to have left the Incline then returned, unless Martha had an unexpected delivery while visiting someone in Coalville!  The 1911 census records

  • Nathaniel Brookbank Throssell, 35, Loco Steam raiser, Midland Railway, born Peterborough, Northamptonshire
  • Martha Throssell, wife, 34, married 11 years, 3 children, all living, born Walsoken, Norfolk
  • Ernest William Throssell, son, 8, born Swannington (birth certificate 19th December 1902 at The Incline House)
  • Albert Throssell, son, 4, born Swannington (birth certificate 31st December 1906 at Oxford Street, Coalville)
  • Arthur James Throssell, son, 1, born Swannington (birth certificate 23rd December 1909 at The Incline)

The birth places suggest that the Throssells left the Incline and returned.  The family emigrated to Canada in 1913 and their son Harvey Francis Throssell was born in Saskatchewan in 1915.

1911 Walker

The 1911 census records:

  • Samuel Walker, 62, platelayer, born Desford
  • Hannah Walker, wife 62, married 43 years, 14 children, 8 living, 6 died, born Desford
  • Frederick Walker, son, 31, brick layer’s labourer, born Coalville
  • Harry Walker, son, 21, coal miner in stall (hewer), born Coalville

Residents 1921 Electoral Register – Fothergill and Rodwell Families


The 1921 electoral register for New Swannington lists:

  • Ann Horton Fothergill
  • Thomas Robert Fothergill
  • Thomas Septimus Mark Fothergill


The 1931 electoral register for New Swannington lists:

  • Thomas Septimus Mark Fothergill
  • Ann Horton Fothergill
  • Isabell Grace Stratton Fothergill
  • Jessie Goddard



See below

Residents 1939 Register – Rodwell and Lawrence Families

1921-1941 Rodwell

The 1921 electoral register for New Swannington lists John William and Celia Rodwell.

The 1931 electoral register for New Swannington lists John William and Celia Ellen Rodwell.  Plus their son-in-law Joseph Wardle (a) and daughter Celia Ellen Wardle.  The (a) indicates parliamentary elections only, probably because Joseph is away in the army.

The 1939 register records the family as:

  • John William Rodwell, born 1876, railway engineer, maintenance and repair
  • Celia Rodwell (nee Percival), wife, born 1877, unpaid domestic duties
  • Celia Ellen Wardle, daughter, born 1908, unpaid domestic duties (living at Incline House when married to soldier Joseph Wardle at Thringstone on 29th January 1929)
  • Elizabeth Ellen Wardle, granddaughter, born 1929, school (born Incline House)
  • Joseph William Wardle, grandson, born 1938 (born Incline House)

Another grandson was born in 1941 (born Incline, name not given as may still be alive)

1939 Lawrence

The 1939 register records the family as:

  • Allen Lawrence, born 1911, coal miner
  • Elsie M Lawrence, born 1907, unpaid domestic duties


Were the Rodwell and Lawrence families the last to live at the Incline?  If you know more please contact the Trust.