. . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays in October for people to see sails and new information boards . . . . . . . Talks re the history of Hough Mill Sunday 27th October . . . . . . . Trees from around the world - tour of Califat arboretum - Saturday 9th November . . . . . . .

Family names from Swannington past and present.  We are adding to the list and are very keen to include new families. Can you help us with yours?

Families featuring in our Village Archive include:

AtkinsThomas Atkins bought the Colliery Manager’s house in 1870 and it became a beer house, The Fountain Inn.

Bailey – The Coal mining family of William Willis Bailey the three mining engineers of that name did not live in Swannington but are linked to the mining history of the village.

Bakewell Adolphus Bakewell, 35 years, Licensed Victualler at the Anchor Inn in 1901.

 William Bakewell – Higgler of Peggs Green, was reputed to use donkeys, which having carried their loads, were allowed to to rest at the Aqueduct before returning to their stabling.  He was one of the last of the local higglers.

Bradley James Bradley, 56 years, Inn Keeper and Coal Miner,  at the Anchor Inn in 1891 Thringstone.

Burton – Anne Burton the founder of the Juvenile Missionary Association.

Henry Burton who wrote the words for many Methodist hymns and a Jubilee Ode performed at the Royal Albert Hall in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.  More information about Henry Burton is available on:


Challoner– Three Challoner grandsons,  Thomas, James (Jim) and Harold.  The three brothers were the grandsons of William Curtis Moon who was killed in the Whitwick Pit disaster of 19th April 1898. Their uncle was Francis Thomas Challoner born 14th August 1873 in Narborough, Leicester. Francis was living at Colliery House, Spring Lane at the time the 120 foot high chimney was demolished.


Cresswell  Harry Cresswell was the last licensee of The Bulls Head in 1939, he was also a coal miner and A.R.P. warden (air raid precautions).

Gray – The coal mining family of Thomas Henry Gray 1827-1914, the mining engineer and colliery manager who lived in Station Row during the 1860’s and 1870’s.

Griffin – Three generations of the Griffin family owned and worked Thringstone Smock Mill (now known as Hough Mill) until the 1870’s. Marriage connections include – Blastock, Draper, Gilbert, Horsley, Jesson, Kirby, Knight, Moll, Teall, Timms, Tugby

John Griffin of Thringstone, who died December 25th 1874 in his 83rd year and Susannah his widow, who died 31st August 1877 aged 78 years - St George's, Swannington

Holland – Gabriel Holland the 18th century coal mining entrepreneur who went bankrupt.  Gabriel married the daughter of Edward and Priscilla Muggleston.

Henson – Swannington Policeman Leonard Henson, son of the late Frank and Ann Henson,  of The Coldstream Guards died 25 September 1915 aged 25yrs.

‘He was the son of the late Frank Henson a labour of Loughborough Leicestershire and his wife Ann.  Leonard was educated at Emmanuel boys school Loughborough Leicestershire, enlisting in the Coldstream Guards on the 11th of June 1907 and he served for seven years before joining the Leicestershire Constabulary being stationed at New Swannington Leicestershire.  On the outbreak of war he re-joined his old regiment and was wounded on the 23rd of September 1914 by a shell during the Battle of the Aisne, subsequently dying from his wounds two days later in Claridge’s hotel in Paris.  The doctor wrote that he was brought in on the night of the 23rd of September and then after being very brave and patient he passed away quietly at 4:30 on Friday the 25th he was buried in the Pantin Cemetery and a company of French soldiers followed and fired the last shots.  Leonard was unmarried.  Other sources show his place of birth is All Saints Leicester.
He is remembered on the Carillon Tower Memorial Loughborough, Leicestershire.  Pte.7290. 2nd Bn.  Coldstream Guards.’

Horrobin – Swannington Rail Tragedy May 1938. “The woman killed was Elsie May Horrobin, wife of Horace Horrobin, a miner employed at the South Leicestershire Colliery and residing in Main Street, Swannington.  She was 34 years of age and the mother of nine children, whose ages range from 7 months to 14 years”

Hough – The family of John Hough the land steward of the Beaumonts of Coleorton Hall, who bought Thringstone Smock Mill (now Hough Mill) in 1878.  Marriage connections include – Chester, Griffiths, Lakin, Taylor.

Jeffcoat – Including Samuel Jeffcoat born in Swannington on May 2nd 1782, son of William and Elizabeth Jeffcoat who fought in the Peninsular War (Spain and Portugal) against Napoleon’s army.

Jesson – Including Susannah Jesson the wife of John Griffin (father), the miller at Thringstone Smock Mill (now Hough Mill).

Kirby (Kerby) – The milling family who leased Hough Mill from the Griffin and Hough families plus operated other windmills in Swannington and Thringstone.  Marriage connections include – Burton, Cartwright, Clayton, Farmer, Gamble, Griffin, King, Lakin, Pegg, Sketchley, Smith, Wilson

Lewis – The coal mining family of Richard George Bailey Lewis the mining engineer of the Coleorton Colliery Company, whose number 2 colliery (Califat Colliery) is owned by the Trust.

Lidwell – John George Lidwell was born 10 March 1909 in Swannington.  The eldest son of John George Lidwell, Builder and Clara Elizabeth Fewkes.

1915 – The family were living at The Robin Hood Inn, Swannington.  The Army records of John senior shows him as both a Builder and Publican.

1933 – April 15th John married Florence Charlotte Beniston

1939 –  John and Charlotte were living at Deepdale, Swannington,  John was a Builders Foreman.

1961- 21 December John died.  His last address was still Deepdale, Swannington.

MugglestonEdward and Priscilla Mugglestone were a Quaker family who farmed on the corner of Main Street and Church Lane.

Newarke – The 1749 inventory of William Newarke’s property provides a fascinating insight into the life and possessions of a prosperous farmer.  William also operated a coal mine that was subsequently worked by Gabriel Holland.

Orton – The life of Edward Orton 1665-1746, a tanner.

Stacey – The family lived in Centre Cottages (next to the school playing field) before moving to Centre Farm in 1939.  Read an account by Peggy Shipman (nee Stacey) of family life in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s.


Walker – The coal mining family of Benjamin Walker the co-owner of the Coleorton Colliery Company, whose number 2 colliery (Califat Colliery) is owned by the Trust.

Wileman – The Wilemans were a well known and respected Swannington family who lived at the very bottom of Station Hill close to the Robin Hood at what may then have been known as Wileman’s Corner. However in 1866…


At Ashby Petty Sessions, in February 1866, John Wileman was charged with being “in a state of nudity at Swannington”; he was sentenced to one month’s hard labour. For the prosecution, Inspector Ward stated that “it was becoming quite a common practice by the lower class of colliers in and around Swannington to strip themselves almost entirely of their clothes, and run certain distances down the street, which was a great nuisance to the public. Ile wished the Bench to put a stop to it”.