Alfred Warbis was a noted artist who between 1950 and 1970 supplied sketches of houses in several Leicestershire villages. More recently his son created a website containing many of these sketches and these were shown in a display in Loughborough Library. The website includes 7 of the sketches of buildings in Hathern namely College Garth on the main road opposite the King's Arms, the Stone House in Wide Lane, the Manor House in Narrow Lane, a house opposite Stints farm since demolished, Monk's cottage in Wide Street, the Anchor Inn and Hathern Rectory. The website also shows a recent photo of the same site/building and contains the text that from the original article. You can link to the website hereThere were other sketches of Hathern, some of them found in Frank Savage's collection, namely the School, the Cross, The Rookery (Tanners Lane) and The Barn in Dovecote Street (again no text). And another drawing is of Hathern Church. This article has brought together all the sketches of Hathern (and one of Whatton House) along with the original text.
warbis college garth

From an Artist’s Sketchbook No. 450 12th December 1958 
A Hathern Landmark. 
If you travel from Loughborough towards Derby, you will notice the house shown in the sketch. It stands near Hathern, at the junction of the main road with the road to Long Whatton and Belton, and is known as "College Garth". Though it stands near the main thoroughfare, it has an isolated appearance; there are no houses near it on that side, and it is, in fact, a familiar landmark to all who pass. Its strong walls of old stone mingled with bricks suggest that it is the restored relic of an ancient dwelling. It is not difficult to imagine that in days gone by, when the main road was a mere cart-track and the Belton road was non-existent, it stood alone on a wild heath where foot-pad and highwayman took their toll. Today, it is the dwelling of Mr W J Merriman and Mrs Merriman, who is a ward sister at Loughborough General Hospital. Article reproduced with kind permission of The Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.

warbis stone house

From an artist's sketchbook, No. 236. 12th November 1955.
In Hathern. 
Probably the oldest house in Hathern, older even than the Parish Church, is the double-gabled building shown in the sketch, which for a quarter of a century has been in the possession of Mr and Mrs Goodacre. Now known as "The Stone House", it is, in fact, the old manor house, restored, with its ancient thatch replaced by modern slates. The heavy stone walls, however, are, in the main, original, nearly three feet thick, and painted. Inside there is considerable timbering, some of it in the original rough, which makes such houses so interesting to the modern student. One beam in particular, in the kitchen, came from the ruins of Grace Dieu at the dissolution of the monasteries; indeed a brass plaque once fixed to it bore an inscription giving details of its presentation to the Lord of the Manor. Tradesmen's books dating back to the 17th century were found in the house some years ago. Many well-known families have lived here, among them the Adams and Harriman families, and there is good reason to believe that Royalty once slept in the house. Anchor Lane, now a public thoroughfare, was at one time the coach drive to the house. A large and well-kept garden completes the picture of this very interesting residence. Article reproduced with kind permission of The Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.

 warbis manor house

A Cottage in Hathern. From an Artist’s Sketchbook No. 419 9th May 1958
Is This the Oldest House in Hathern? 
Mr C Mee was born in the year in which parish councils came into existence, and he was the last chairman of Hathern Parish Council before it was absorbed into the Borough of Loughborough. He also has the distinction of owning and living in the house shown in our sketch, believed to be the oldest of the old and beautiful buildings in the village. The colours and variety of details of its walls can only be faintly suggested in a sketch. It is a fine piece of architecture of various periods, and parts are probably 450 years old. The fiery red brickwork, dimmed and mellowed - the timbered framework, heavy stone foundation and thatch - reveal more truth to the architect than to the artist who, after all, is only concerned with appearances. The front door is at the side, reached by tiny stone steps. Inside, the timbers reinforcing ceilings indicate a durability that may outlast time. These old buildings were certainly meant to last. The rooms have been squared up and modernised, and the whole house made sound and habitable. The house, by the way, which is in Narrow Lane, stands on ground which once formed part of Garendon Estate. Article reproduced with kind permission of The Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.

 warbis top green hill

Disappearing Hathern. 
From an Artist’s Sketchbook No. 518 27th May 1960
This is a Hathern House – this was! 
A few short weeks ago the old house shown in our sketch stood in Wide Lane, Hathern. It occupied a nearly isolated position, like Mars at Perihelion, flanked by piles of rubble where others, equally old and interesting, had taken the count. It is levelled now - brought down; in its place you may expect to see presently a smart modern dwelling with the mod. cons. an up-to-date resident has the right to expect in this very utilitarian age. Useless to heave the windy sigh; ancient Hathern must take on the new look. Dwellings such as this, with their red bricks, tiles, and timbers dull with antiquity, have done their job of attracting from the ends of the earth visitors, who now, instead, will see the Leicestershire village, not as it used to be, but as some (not all) may prefer to see it. Article reproduced with kind permission of The Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.

 warbis timbered wide lane

warbis text for wide lane timbered house 001

 warbis anchor

From an Artist’s Sketchbook No. 441 14th October 1958
The Anchor Inn at Hathern. 
The old building shown standing behind the Anchor Inn at Hathern and to the left in the sketch, was once a brewery, but has not been used for that purpose since 1938, when considerable alterations to the premises took place. A relic of the brewing was a brasshound vat, which was unfortunately destroyed. On the Loughborough side of the inn, the ancient structure shown on the right will soon disappear to make room for a car park. People visit the inn from all parts of the world; a recent guest, for example, was a visitor from Ghana, who saved for several months. There are also certain aged regulars, well-known locally. Last July, when a heavy rainstorm broke over our district, the inn, due to obstruction in the culvert, was flooded to a depth of several inches. The "Anchor" is the popular fishing centre. At one time it was no doubt an old coaching inn, but the stabling which stood at the rear is no longer there. Inside it is heavily timbered. "Mine Host", Mr Austin Webb, was previously for ten years the landlord of the Clarence Hotel in Loughborough. Article reproduced with kind permission of The Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.

 warbis rectory
 warbis school
 warbis cross
 warbis rookery row
 terrys barn
 warbis whatton house
warbis church

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