This was the home of the Wilcox family who, I understand, came from a house adjoining Brandon Hall, which has since been demolished to make room for the hotel car park. The Manor was a lovely large house. They employed quite a large staff of men and women. There were servants of all kinds in the house including cooks and butlers; and outside were grooms, gardeners, farm hands and keepers. The kitchen gardens were on the site where the Infants’ School and playing area now are.
Near the church
The house was on the ground near the church. Some of the buildings are still to be seen adjoining the churchyard. These were the coach houses and grooms quarters, and the chimneys still stand as they were when it was a going concern, but most of this part, the stables etc., has gone and become overgrown. I remember the beautiful lawns and lovely gardens. The front of the house looked towards the park known as the ‘Grove’, therefore the back of the house faced Bluemel’s. It was lovely to see the carriage and pair travelling in and out of the Manor House grounds. I think they were quite wealthy at one time because they owned most of the farms in the village. The one near the Manor, which is now farmed by Mr. Goldstraw, was much bigger then as Manor Estate, and Paddocks Close has been built on part of it.
Mrs. Wilcox was, I understand, interested in the old people of the village. She supplied soup in the winter and helped a little towards a Clothing Club fund. This was saved for 12 months at a shilling a month by the old people, and Mrs. Wilcox would add a shilling on to that total for the year. It was then spent in a Coventry shop on sheeting, shirting, wool, and towelling. The Manor House was demolished in 1928 and the furniture sold the year before, in 1927, and that was the end of that era.
I would say, that besides the factory (Bluemel’s), the Manor House was the first place to have electric lights; they had their own plant installed.
This was originally published in the folder Tales and Images of Brandon, Bretford and Wolston, compiled by Geoff Henman and Nick Wongsam. A copy is available to consult at Warwickshire County Record Office, reference PH1213. This was published by the Brandon, Bretford & Wolston History Group, and is used with their permission.