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

Talbot Farm


Talbot Lane

Photograph of a horse and trap outside Talbot Farm (also called Talbot House Farm) around 1884:

  • George James Gough, born 1840 Thringstone
  • Arthur James Gough born 1871, baptised 2nd April 1871 at St Andrew’s Church Thringstone
  • William Jesson Gough born 1874, baptised 17th May 1874 at St Andrew’s Church Thringstone
  • Mabel Annie Gough born 1880 baptised 14th July 1880 at St Andrew’s Church Thringstone
Farmer George James Gough, wife Catherine (nee Hodgekinson) and children approx 1884 - from Maureen Dalby via Friends of Thringstone

Farmers at Talbot Farm

1741-1851 William 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 in the Mellows or Mallows that was subsequently worked by Gabriel Holland.  William’s animals listed were:

  • 33 sheep
  • 5 cows
  • 8 blind horses (ok for walking in circles to turn the gin pit mechanisms)
  • 2 fillies
  • 1 old horse
  • 2 pigs


1851 – 1861 William Potter

The 1841 shows William Potter as the first entry on the census for “All that part of the township of Swannington that lies east of the Turnpike Road from Hinckley to Nottingham” (now Hough Hill, Station Hill, Main Street).   William is listed as a publican in Talbot Lane, almost certainly the Talbot Arms.

At the 1851 census William is described as a horse dealer and farmer of 190 acres employing 10 labourers.   William’s proximity to William Jeffcoat indicates that this is Talbot Farm.

William is a retired farmer aged 80 living in Talbot Lane on the 1861 census.  He could well have still been in Talbot Farm while letting his son, who living at another farm, manage the land.  William was supported by four people which suggests a large house:

  • Ann Baker, 47, housekeeper, born Earl Shilton
  • Charles Lee, 56, Chelsea Pensioner, described as an attendant, born Chatham, Kent
  • John Potter, 19, servant, born Thringstone – could be a relative
  • Elizabeth Ayre, 15, servant, born Lilleworth.


1861-1877 John Potter

The 1861 census lists John as a farmer and horse dealer.   John was living in what is now Main Street in a sequence:

  • William Gray, colliery manager – it is believed that this was the building that became the Fountain Inn.
  • John Potter
  • Henry Trinder, horse farrier – also a farmer
  • Thomas Harwood, assistant curate at Whitwick
  • Elizabeth Grundy, landed proprietor – this is The Grove, the orange/brown house opposite the now village hall.

John could have been managing his father’s farming interests.  He probably moved to Talbot farm after the death of William on the 14th May 1861.

After John died in 1877 his wife Eliza Jane Potter (nee Knight) lived in Swannington House for a period before moving to Middlesex, probably to move closer to their daughter.   Constance Eliza Potter 1859-1945 married Hamilton Luard Begbie and is the Constance Eliza Begbie who owned The Grove after Elizabeth Grundy.


Approx 1884-1893 George James Gough

In 1881 former cordwainer (boot maker) George James Gough was still an innkeeper in Main Street, Thringstone.  It is believed he moved to Talbot Farm in the mid 1880s.  George James’s wife Catherine (nee Hodgkinson) died in 1886 and in 1889 George married Frances Jenner who had a 10 year old son Leo.   George James died on the 10th December 1893 aged 53.


1893-1896 Arthur James Gough and William Jesson Gough

George James left two sons who took over the farm:

  • Arthur James Gough was 22
  • William Jesson Gough was 19


1896-1915 William Jesson Gough

When Arthur George moved to Red Hill Farm in 1896 or early 1897  William Jesson continued to farm in Talbot Lane.  In the 1911 census his aunt Sarah Ann Jesson and sister Mabel Annie Gough were living with him.  In 1911 he was devoid of family until he married Adelina Annie Tait Caldwell during the autumn of 1911 in Brentford Middlesex.  Why a Brentford wedding is not known,  as Adelina was a Loughborough lady.  They had two daughters who never really knew their father as William Jesson died in July 1915:

  • Catherine Mildred Caldwell Gough, born 25th August 1912, died Leicester 1993.
  • Isobel Agnes Caldwell Gough, born 22nd March 1915, married Roland Dudley Herbert Draper at Barrow upon Soar in 1949 and died 2006.

William Jesson’s death in 1915 would have been disastrous for Adelina Annie Tait who would have lost husband, income and farm in one fell swoop.  As a farmer the time would have been particularly difficult as July was just before the harvest, although they probably had help on the farm (in 1901 William Jesson employed William Coulson as a carter and in 1911 Harry Grimsdell a cowman).


1941 J W White

Appears on the national farming survey (see below).

World War Two Farm Survey

Farmer J W White tenant of Wyggeston Hospital and Whitbread.   Had recently taken over the farm which was in poor condition.

Farm had piped water, pond and stream.

Farm size = 126 acres

  • Grain – 32 acres
  • Roots – 9 acres
  • Fodder – 1 acre
  • Grass for mowing – 23 acres
  • Grass for grazing – 61 acres


Farm animals

  • Cattle – 44
  • Sheep – 40
  • Pigs – 1
  • Fowls – 95
  • Turkeys – 4
  • Ducks – 8
  • Horses – 6