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The Old Rectory

One of Goadby Marwood’s most beautiful houses, the grade II listed Old Rectory, stands at the west end of the village next to St. Denys’s Church. Built from local iornstone, the current façade dates from around 1750, however, clergy records in the Church of England Database suggest there may have been a house associated with the living of Goadby Marwood from at least 1575. Extensive alterations were undertaken around 1810 including the addition of a half storey. The separate coach house was a later addition built sometime after 1839, as it does not appear on the Tithe Survey of that year.

The famous antiquarian, Francis Peck, was Rector at Goadby Marwood from 1723 until his death in 1743 at the relatively young age of 51. He carried out extensive research throughout his time in the village, publishing in 1732 his Desiderata Curiosa which transcribed for the first time many important medieval manuscripts. He wrote many further works including The History and Antiquities of the Town and Soke of Grantham and The Histories and Antiquities of Rutland, and much of the information in the more famous works of the Nicols family is credited to Peck. Francis Peck was buried at Goadby and his memorial is located in the south aisle of St. Denys’s Church.

Perhaps Goadby’s most famous resident was the Reverend Edmund Cartwright. Born in 1743, Cartwright, the son of a Nottinghamshire landowner, was educated at Oxford University and began a career in the church, becoming Rector at Goadby in 1779. He and his wife, Alice Whitaker, had five children; the two eldest daughters, Elizabeth and Frances, were both born at the Rectory.

In 1784, Cartwright visited Richard Arkwright's cotton-mills at Cromford, which housed the famous spinning frames, and was inspired to construct a similar machine for weaving. His idea was scorned by many who thought that such a complicated process would be impossible to automate. Undeterred, and despite his complete inexperience in the field, he began work. The first power loom, patented in 1785, was extremely crude but improvements were made in subsequent versions. Cartwright left Goadby in 1787 in order to devote himself to his invention. He established a factory in Doncaster for his looms, but his ignorance of industry and commerce meant that the factory never became much more than a testing site for new inventions. In 1793 he went bankrupt and closed the factory which was surrendered to his creditors.

In 1796, deeply in debt, Cartwright moved to London, where he worked on other invention ideas, but none proved workable. In 1809, however, the House of Commons voted Cartwright £10,000 in recognition of the national benefits of his power loom. Cartwright died on October 30th, 1823, in Hastings.

Edward Manners became Rector at Goadby Marwood in 1825. He was born in Knightsbridge in 1786, but spent his childhood and adolescence at Goadby Marwood Hall. He was the son of Captain Edward Manners and his life-long mistress, Ann Stafford. Captain Manners was the illegitimate son of John, 3rd Duke of Rutland, who on his death bequeathed all his Yorkshire estates together with the Leicestershire Manor of Goadby Marwood, and the Rectory and patronage, to his son.

Edward was already married when he became Rector, he and his wife, Elizabeth Hill, had three daughters, Eliza Caroline b. 1814, Louisa Julia b. 1816 and Ann b. 1823. It is likely that the family lived at the Rectory in Goadby Marwood in the first couple of years of Edward’s position as Rector.

Captain Manners died in 1811 and Goadby Hall continued to be the home of Ann Stafford; she lived there on occasion with her youngest son, Otho, until her death in 1827. Following Ann’s death, the substantial estate of Captain Manners, to which Ann had added several significant properties during the 16 years she survived her husband, was divided among their many children, with the Manor of Goadby Marwood falling to Reverend Edward. As Lord of the Manor, Edward chose to reside at the larger and grander Goadby Hall, and the Rectory was occupied by his daughter, Louisa, and her husband, George Norman.

George Norman was born in Melton Mowbray in 1811, the son of Richard Norman a Leicestershire squire and Member of Parliament, and Lady Elizabeth Manners, daughter of Charles, 4th Duke of Rutland. George and Louisa were therefore second cousins. The Normans were one of the most prominent families in Melton and lived at The Elms on Sherrard Street. George’s father, Richard, was a keen horseman who regularly rode with the Belvoir Hunt. The following poem about him was published in Memoirs of the Belvoir Hounds:

Full gallop through Goadby there came,

A red coat on a grey mare,

So eager that halt, blind and lame,

Ran out to see who could be there,

Have you seen the hounds here he cried?

And spurring, flanked on the old nag,

It is Squire Norman so wild,

And fairly worn out to a rag.


George and Louisa were married at St. Denys’ Church in Goadby Marwood on August 4th, 1834. The wedding was reported in the Leicester Herald:

On Monday at Goadby Marwood, George Norman Esq. of Melton Mowbray, to Louisa Julia, eldest daughter of the Revd. Edward Manners of Goadby Hall.

The Leicester Chronicle reported details of the honeymoon:

Mr. and Mrs. George Norman are spending the honeymoon at the residence of the bridegroom’s sister in Derbyshire whence they will pay Lady Elizabeth Norman a visit at her summer sojourn, “the Woodhouse nr. Bakewell”.


Around 1850, Reverend Edward Manners sold the Goadby estate to his cousin, John, 5th Duke of Rutland but was gifted the right to live at the property for his lifetime. In failing health, Edward chose to move back to the smaller Rectory with his youngest daughter, Ann. George and Louisa Norman moved into the Hall. Relations between the Reverend and his daughters were somewhat strained at times, this resulted in an incident that had serious consequences for three servants at the Rectory, and was the talk of the entire county.

George Norman held the position of Receiver and Administrator of the Rutland Estates over which he held almost complete control for more than 50 years. He was gifted Goadby Hall for his lifetime by his first cousin, the 6th Duke. George and Louisa had seven children, one of whom died in infancy, all were born at the Rectory in Goadby Marwood before the family’s move to the Hall. In 1868, eldest daughter, Florence Elizabeth, married Stephenson Gilbert Bellairs, who had become Rector of Goadby Marwood following the retirement of Edward Manners. The couple lived at the Rectory, where their three children, Laura Florence, Rachel Elizabeth and Gilbert Nigel, were born. On the death of Reverend Bellairs in 1882, his widow and two spinster daughters moved to Hunstanton in Norfolk, where they lived for the remainder of their lives.

Following Stevenson’s death, his nephew, Charles Bellairs, became Rector at Goadby and it was under his tenure that the substantial alterations and renovations to St. Denys’s Church were undertaken.

The census returns of 1891 recorded the Reverend John Peckleton Power living at the Rectory with his wife, Harriet. Born in 1819 in Hinkley, the son of a surgeon, John graduated from Queen’s College, Cambridge. He married Harriet Dicker in Brighton in the summer of 1843, and the couple went on to have ten children. By the time John moved from the Vicarage at nearby Barkestone to the Rectory at Goadby Marwood in 1889, just two daughters, Florence and Edith, remained at home, both were in their 30s and unmarried. John died at the Rectory in December 1891, having been ill for some time. His death was reported in The Grantham Journal on Christmas Eve:

Death of the Rector – We regret to have to announce the death of Rev. J. P. Power, Rector of Goadby Marwood, which took place at the Rectory, on Friday evening last, after a painful illness. The deceased gentleman underwent an operation about ten weeks ago, since which time he continued in a very weak condition. Last week, it was found necessary for him to undergo a second operation, which was not successful, and he gradually sank from the effects.

The rev. gentleman, who was seventy-three years of age, and who leaves a widow and family, had held the living of Goadby for a little over three years, succeeding the late Rev. Charles Bellairs, on his retirement therefrom. He formerly held the Vicarage of Barkestone. Mr Power had endeared himself to the hearts of his parishioners by his kindly disposition, and his loss will be greatly felt by those living in the village. The remains of the late Rector were interred in Goadby Marwood churchyard yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Following John’s death, his wife and daughters moved to Leamington Spar where they lived for the remainder of their lives.

Samuel George Rees was the next incumbent of the Rectory. Born in North Walsham, Norfolk, in 1826, Samuel was the son of George Rees, Master of The Paston Grammer School. Paston was a free school, founded in North Walsham by local magistrate and land owner, Sir William Paston, in 1605. Although its last Paston family connection died out following the Civil War, the school continued to grow and still exists today as Paston College. The school boasts several famous pupils including Horatio Nelson.

Samuel’s life was affected by a number of family tragedies. His mother died when he was only seven years old, and his father died just two years later. Samuel remained at Paston School under the guardianship of his paternal uncle, also called Samuel, who like his brother before him, was Master of Paston.

After graduating from Jesus College, Oxford, Samuel married Anne Arnott in Brighton in September 1849, and the couple moved to their first parish, Wasing, in Berkshire, where their two daughters were born. Eldest daughter, Constance, married William Jones, a British civil servant with a senior position in India. She travelled to India with her husband, where she gave birth to three children, all of whom died in infancy. Constance herself died in India in 1874, just days after her third child. Her mother, Anne, died in Wasing just a few months later, and following her death, Samuel moved to the Vicarage at Ab Kettleby with his youngest daughter, Anne.

By the time Samuel came to Goadby as Rector in 1892, he was living alone, Anne having married Robert Bagnell, Rector of Barkestone. She too died young, in the summer of 1896. Samuel remained in Goadby Marwood for the rest of his life, he died at the Rectory in February 1912 at the age of 85.

Goadby’s longest serving Rector was Hubert Hardy Collyer, who was installed in 1935. Hubert was born in Buckden, Huntingdonshire, in 1903, the son of a flour miller’s agent. He married Phyllis Harker from Balderton in Nottinghamshire in the summer of 1934, and the couple had two daughters, Eve and Susan.

The 1939 National Register recorded the Collyers living at the Rectory together with a large number of children who were from several Sheffield families. We tend to associate wartime evacuees with London, but Operation Pied Piper involved the evacuation of children from many of the country’s industrial centres, including Sheffield. On September 1st, 1939, 20 special trains were commissioned to take children from Victoria Station in Sheffield to rural destinations, including Melton Mowbray, where they were billeted in suitable houses in the surrounding villages. Mothers with children under five and school teachers were also evacuated, and the children at the Rectory were accompanied by Emily Hague, one of the mothers, and a Sheffield school teacher, Muriel Charlton.

Hubert Collyer was well-liked by Goadby’s parishioners, and several of our current and ex residents have fond memories of him, including Nancy Needham and Cathy Lawrance, who shared their recollections with the Goadby Marwood History Group. Hubert served the parish of Goadby for 33 years, and also served as Hon. Canon of Leicester Cathedral from 1958 to 1968. Following his retirement, he moved to West Bridgeford, where he died in May 1974.

Around 2010, Hubert’s daughter, Susan, contacted the parochial church council to ask if she could plant a tree in the churchyard in memory of her late father. At the ceremony a small yew tree was planted in front of the church to the right of the pathway, and today, the little tree is faring well.

The beautiful Rectory continued to be the home of Goadby’s vicars until the mid-1970s, at which time the church decided to sell the property as a private residence. In 1978, after standing empty for 18 months, the house was purchased by Ray Cook, an architect from nearby Stathern, and his wife, Wendy. Ray spent some time cleaning up the exterior of the property and making repairs to the interior, but he was passionate about maintaining the historical integrity of the house and made very few alterations that would detract from this. For example, he refused to install any form of central heating and the house relied on heat provided by its many fireplaces until well into the the first decade of the 21st Century. Wendy Cook died in the summer of 2012, and the following year Ray left Goadby after 35 years as a resident. As churchwarden, Ray was the driving force behind fundraising for repairs to St. Denys’s Church roof and continued to support this cause even after he left the village. Ray died in February 2019 but was able to oversee the roof repairs before his death.

Today, the Rectory is a much-loved family home and continues to provide one of the main focus points for the village’s annual Goadby Day.

Edmund Cartwright Victorian postcard.png

A Victorian postcard depicting Edmund Cartwright and his power loom.

Francis Peck
Rev Edmund Cartwright and his children b

Rev. Edmund Cartwright and his children

painted by Hawes at Mirfield Hall, c. 1786.

Aerial view Rectory and Church

An aerial view of St. Denys' Church and The Old Rectory c. mid-1970s.

The Elms c. 1955

The Elms that once stood on Sherrard Street in Melton Mowbray, home of the Norman Family.

Francis Peck

Francis Peck, a print by John Faber the Younger after Joseph Highmore.

From the British Museum Online Collection.

The Rectory c. 2019.JPG

The Old Rectory c. 2018.

Well at the Rectory 2012.JPG

The well in the courtyard at the back of the

Rectory. Taken in 2013 just before the most

recent renovations.

The Rectory c 2017.jpg

The Old Rectory c. 2018.

The occupants of The Rectory from census records

Rectors of Goadby Marwood 

Letter of appointment for Rev. Charles Bellairs written by Florence Norman

The Elms on Sherrard Street by John McQuaid

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