White Lodge is located about half a mile north of Goadby village, standing at the junction of the Waltham to Eastwell Road and Green Lane, an original Roman road, which continues to Goadby Marwood and joins the ancient Salt Way.
The farmhouse is a very old building and is one of the few named properties on early maps of the area. Situated in a prominent position at the crossroads it would have been an important landmark for travellers. A map of the Framland Hundred, dated 1795, clearly shows White Lodge, as well as nearby Red Lodge (now Crossroads Farm), also sited at an important crossroads.
White Lodge can be dated to the 16th Century. Mrs. Holmes, the present owner , discovered an Elizabethan clipped sixpence, dated 1578, in the wall behind a wooden panel at what would have been the original back door. Some of the stone farm buildings may also date from this time. A small building at the bottom of the farmyard, now derelict, is thought to possibly date from the 14th Century and was probably a small dwelling, as was a building adjoining the back of the farmhouse. Another feature in the farmyard is a dovecot with 31 holes, thought to be the only one of its kind in Leicestershire.
White Lodge c. 2020
Map of Framland from 1795.
An aerial view of White Lodge taken in the 1970s.
Adjoining the farmhouse are two cottages. It is thought that the front, stone-built cottage, which forms an L-shape with the farmhouse, was once part of the main house. Observing the original ‘living room’ of the main house, it appears to be out of proportion with the large inglenook fireplace at one end, which indicates that it probably extended into the stone cottage, and beneath the cottage there is an impressive vaulted cellar, more suited to a larger dwelling.
It is thought that the division of the farmhouse into two dwellings took place in the late 19th Century, as on the census returns only one family is recorded living at White Lodge until 1891, after which date two families are recorded, living in separate properties.
The second brick-built cottage was constructed sometime shortly after 1891 to house a dairy for making Stilton cheese. In the 1901 census there is the first reference to a dairy, with residents, John Wright and his wife Florence, recorded as dairyman and dairy manager.
White Lodge differs from other Goadby Marwood properties in that it does not appear to have been part of the Goadby Marwood Estate that was sold to the Duke of Rutland in 1765, following the death of then Lord of the Manor, Peter Wyche. It is unclear who owned the property prior to the 19th Century, but In 1819 it was advertised for sale by auction as a freehold estate. The sale took place in Melton at The George and Talbot Inn, owned by well-known local publican, Peter Geesing.
Stamford Mercury 1819
Estate at Goadby Marwood to be sold by auction, at the house of Mr Geesing, the George and Talbot Inn, Melton Mowbray. Tues. 6th July 1819.
A very valuable Freehold Estate called White Lodge. Consisting of a good substantial Farmhouse and Buildings.
The land lies together divided into 11 closes, well fenced and watered, is in high state of cultivation and moderately rated for the parish.
The tenant will show the premises.
Grantham Journal 2nd Jul 1819
A very valuable freehold ESTATE called the White Lodge Farm, situated at Goadby Marwood,
113 acres in the occupation of Mr. John Sadler, at the House of Mr. Geesing, The George and Talbot Inn, Melton Mowbray, Tues 6th Jul.
At the time of the sale a Mr. Sadler was the tenant at White Lodge, but there is no record of who bought the property. However, in 1829, a Mr. Michelson is recorded as having a sale of stock:
Nottingham Journal 7th Nov 1829.
To be sold by auction by Mr. C Barton.
On the premises of Mr. Michelson at the White Lodge Farm Mon 9th Nov 1829.
Live and dead stock.
There is no mention of the farm being sold at this time, but when the Tithe Survey was carried out in 1839, White Lodge was owned by Henry Corles Bingham with Samuel Walker recorded as the tenant.
Henry Corles Bingham, born in Hinkley in 1811, was described in the 1861 census as a ‘Landed Proprietor and Justice of the Peace’. He lived at Wartnaby Hall and owned properties locally in Wartnaby, Holwell and Ab Kettleby, as well as further afield in Nottingham, Derby, and Lincoln. He became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1839 and High Sheriff of Leicester in 1854. He died on November 24th, 1868.
Samuel Walker, the tenant at the time of the Tithe Survey, was born 1804 in Basford, Nottinghamshire. He lived with his first wife, Ann, for some time in Pickwoth, where their son, Daniel, was born in 1827. By 1837 the couple had moved to White Lodge where their daughter Adeliza's birth was registered. They went on to have another daughter, Ann, in 1839. Sadly, their third daughter, Lydia, born on January 30th, 1841, died just a day later. Samuel's wife, Ann, died in July 1848, she was just 44 years old.
Local newspapers reported an unfortunate incident that occurred in December 1839 when a Gentleman, Richard Cole Esq., fell off his horse outside White Lodge. He was taken into the house and a doctor summoned. Unfortunately, the poor man died; it was thought he suffered a fit.
Samuel Walker remarried in 1850. His second wife, Ann Gill, was born in 1817 and was from Nether Broughton; she and Samuel went on to have two children together, a son, Samuel, born in 1852 and a daughter, Katherine, born in 1855. Samuel’s eldest son, Daniel, lived and worked at White Lodge with his father for several years. He took part in local ploughing competitions and in 1851 he won a silver cup worth £5, presented by the Duke of Rutland at the prestigious Leicestershire and Waltham Agricultural Society Ploughing Match. He later moved to farm at Colston Basset with his sister, Adeliza, before marrying and moving to Ashby Folville with his wife, Ann, where he became a farm bailiff. Daniel died in Ashby Folville in 1908 at the age 80. Samuel's daughter, Ann, married John Waite from Goadby Marwood on February 20th, 1862, and a few months later, in June, eldest daughter, Adeliza, married John Widdowson, a widower who farmed at Willoughby on the Wolds.
In 1870, two years after the death of Henry Corles Bingham, White Lodge came up for sale. It was probably at this time that the farm was purchased by the Duke of Rutland to add to the significant area of land at Goadby Marwood already held by the Belvoir Estate.
Grantham Journal 5th Feb 1870.
A somewhat extensive sale took place at the George Hotel on Tues. last.
Auctioneer Shouler and Son.
Lot 1, well known as the White Lodge and Farm at Goadby Marwood, containing 113a 1r 7p.
£73 was bid but was bought for £75 per acre.
Following the sale, Samuel Walker continued to farm as the tenant at White Lodge together with his youngest son, Samuel jnr. As he got older he began to reduce his workload by letting out some of the land for keeping.
1871 - 80 acres of grasskeeping for auction at White Lodge.
1873 - Wheat, Oat and barley straw. Keeping with turnips for about 20 beast. Apply Mr. Walker, White Lodge.
In 1875, Samuel Walker’s shepherd dog went missing. He obviously thought a lot of the animal as he put an advertisement in the local newspaper offering a reward for its safe return.
Lost 16th Oct. a black and tan shepherd dog, answers to the name, “Rover”. Anyone bringing the same to Samuel Walker, Goadby Marwood, shall be rewarded.
The Walkers also ran a bull, the services of which were advertised in the local press:
Grantham Journal 5th Jun 1873.
S.Walker, White Lodge, Goadby Marwood, has a well bred Bull for use. Terms 5s per cow.
Samuel Walker snr. retired from farming in 1880, and he and his wife, Ann, moved to Ann’s home village of Nether Broughton. The furniture and household sundries from White Lodge were put up for sale:
3rd April 1880. White Lodge Goadby Marwood, by Shouler and Son and Walker,
Will sell by auction on Weds. 7th April at White Lodge, near Goadby Marwood, the property of Mr. Samuel Walker and Son, the whole of neat, modern and well conditioned household furniture, glass, china and household requisites and effects. Sale commences Tuesday, 10 o'clock.
Samuel Walker died on July 14th, 1883, just three years after moving to Nether Broughton.
The next tenant at White Lodge was George Jarvis Goodson. George, his wife, Elizabeth Swain, and their two eldest daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, originally came from the neighbouring village of Eastwell, but in 1845 had moved to farm at Saxelby where five more children were born, Thomas Jarvis, Annie, Sarah, Frances and George. In 1870, daughter, Annie, married local farmer John Morris of Eaton Lodge and her sister, Mary, married a few years later in 1877. Sadly, George Goodson’s eldest son, Thomas Jarvis, died on August 1st, 1880, at the relatively young age of just 34.
It was following Thomas's death that George left Saxelby to farm at Goadby Marwood. In November 1880 there was 'a sale of Keeping at Saxelby for Mr. Goodson, who is leaving', and a few months later the now widowed 75-year-old moved into White Lodge with his daughters, Sara and Frances, and his son George. George Goodson farmed the land at White Lodge with the help of his son and daughters but he also hired agricultural labourers to help on the farm. Not all were happy with their living arrangements as the following newspaper report indicates:
Leicester Journal Aug 1882. Melton Mowbray Petty Sessions.
Thomas Hands, labourer of Scalford, was summoned by his Master, George Goodson, farmer of Goadby Marwood, for absenting himself from work on the 22nd ult. and 10s was claimed as compensation.
George Goodson said defendant had gone away twice before and his parents had brought him back.
Defendant said he was willing to go back but he “objected to having to sleep with the Irish man” (Laughter) The Bench advised Mr Goodson to find the defendant another bed and awarded him 5s to be deducted from defendant's wage.
George Jarvis Goodson died on September 14th, 1884. Following his death, his son George jnr. continued to farm White Lodge with his two sisters.
Will of George Jarvis Goodson
Jun.19th 1884. Equal shares to George and Frances of all farm equipment etc. and for daughter Sara to live with them.
John Morris of Eaton Lodge joint executer
Personal Estate £750 9s 10d.
It was at this time that the railway was extended into the area. In 1884 the Eaton branch of The Great Northern Railway was constructed and a spur from the main line passed along the bottom of the farm where a bridge was built to carry the road over the railway, thus dividing the land belonging to White Lodge.
George Goodson jnr. kept a very good quality Shire horse stallion at White Lodge which was advertised at stud for several successive seasons:
Grantham Journal 30th Mar 1885
Season 1885, To Serve Mares at Home.
Young Blaze, that noted Shire Horse the property of George Goodson of White Lodge. Will serve mares at £1 10s each (nothing if barren) Grooms fee 2s 6p at time of serving.
Bred and owned by George Goodson. “Young Blaze” is a rich dark brown in colour. Stands 17 hands high. Has first rate legs and feet, is a splendid mover and has proved himself a good stock getter.
On March 7th, 1887, George Goodson married Sarah Bellamy from Goadby Marwood, the wedding took place at St. Denys’ Church in the village. George and Sarah remained at White Lodge for just two years before selling their livestock, farm equipment and household goods, and moving away.
Grantham Journal 30th March 1889.
White Lodge, Goadby Marwood.
Livestock, Agricultural implements and Household Furniture to be sold by A Shouler and Son and Walker.
On Weds 3rd April 1889 upon the premises in the occupation of Mr. George Goodson, the following livestock:
11 beasts, 3 horses, 3 geese, 3 ducks 15 couple of fowl.
Agricultural implements, Dairy and Brewing utensils and Household furniture.
After the Goodsons left White Lodge, the tenancy was taken on by Henry Morris and it was probably at this time that the farmhouse was divided to create a separate stone cottage, with an extension being built at the back of the main house.
Henry Morris was a wealthy farmer, businessman and entrepreneur. Born in the village of Wycomb, Henry moved to Saxelby with his wife, Sarah, around the mid-1870s, where he started his first dairy producing Stilton cheese. He opened further dairies in Melton Mowbray, Wymondham, Stathern and Wymeswold, as well as at White Lodge. The brick-built cottage at White Lodge was used to house the cheese dairy. Henry's stock book for 1910 shows he had 9,899 Stilton cheeses in stock of which 2,072 were stored at White Lodge.
The census return of 1891 recorded two families living at White Lodge as subtenants. In the main house, John Munters, a 52-year-old farm foreman from Old Leake in Lincolnshire, lived with his wife, Sophia, and their 16-year-old son, James. The cottage next door was occupied by farm labourer, 21-year-old Alfred Moss, his wife, Ellen, and their seven-month-old baby, William.
Ten years later, the census showed that the Munters and Moss families had both moved away from White Lodge to be replaced by the families of cattle farmer, Thomas Pizer, and dairyman, John Wright.
Thomas Pizer was born in Great Ponton in Lincolnshire, but with his wife, Elizabeth, had lived and farmed for several years at Saxelby, where three of their children, Edward, William and Ethel were born. Elder sons, John and Frederick, had been born at Great Ponton, whilst the couple’s youngest son, Arthur, was born in 1901 at White Lodge. Thomas initially worked on the farm at White Lodge together with his eldest son, John, before eventually becoming Farm Bailiff for Henry Morris, overseeing Henry’s many farms in the area.
Thomas Pizer continued to live and work at White Lodge for many years, and his sons, John, Frederick, Edward, William and Arthur all worked on the farm as soon as they left school.
John Henry Wright, originally from Wycomb, lived in the cottage next door to the Pizers with his wife, Florence, who was from the nearby village of Eaton. Their eldest son, John Robert, was born at White Lodge in 1900. John worked as a dairyman and Florence was the dairy manager. The couple only remained at White Lodge for a short time before moving to Stathern, where their second son, Oliver Henry, was born in 1904.
Ethel Pizer lived at White Lodge with her parents and brothers.
From the end of the 19th Century, ironstone was quarried all around the Eaton, Eastwell and Goadby area by the Eaton Ironstone Company and by Stanton and Staveley. The fields surrounding White Lodge were quarried extensively from the early 1900s through to the middle of the 20th Century. In 1902, the field immediately behind the farm, known as New Bridge Quarry, was opened and worked until 1938 and again in 1964-65, and in the field opposite the farm house across Green Lane, Dairy Farm Quarry, was worked, from 1907 until 1912, and again in 1966-67. Two wooden bungalows were built at the edge of the quarry on the corner of Green Lane to house employees of the ironstone company. As the owner of the land, The Duke of Rutland held the mineral rights, although the resident tenant farmers did receive some compensation for the loss of the land being quarried.
Map showing the extensive ironstone workings surrounding White Lodge in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
On the outbreak of war in 1914, rallies were held in towns and villages all around the Vale of Belvoir to encourage young men to join up and fight for King and Country. William and Edward Pizer both joined the army, along with 45 other men and boys from Goadby village. William was posted to the 8th (Service) Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, later serving with the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment, and Edward served with the Leicestershire Regiment before being transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. In all, eight young volunteers with connections to Goadby Marwood lost their lives during the conflict, one of these was William Pizer who was killed in action on August 12th, 1917.
Edward Pizer survived the conflict and returned home to Goadby, where in 1922 he married Sarah Helen (Nell) Lambert. The couple had one son, named Edward after his father, but known to his friends and family as Ted. Sadly, Edward Pizer died in 1929, he was just 37 years old. His widow, Nell, went on to run the Post Office in Goadby Marwood for 50 years.
John Pizer married Mary Elizabeth Swain from Scalford. Following their marriage, the couple left the area and went to live in Barrow upon Soar. Frederick Pizer married Hilda Alderman in 1917; the couple lived in Hilda’s home village of Buckminster for a while before moving back to Goadby to farm at Green Lodge just a short distance from White Lodge. Arthur Pizer married Hilda Peacock from Goadby, the couple lived in Stathern and Arthur worked as an engine driver at the ironstone quarry.
At the Belvoir Estate sale in 1920 White Lodge was purchased by Henry Morris, who took advantage of the opportunity that some tenants were given to buy their properties before the public auction commenced. Henry also purchased lot 254 which comprised 44 acres of land on the opposite side of the road to White Lodge, on the Eastwell side of the railway bridge. Just a few months later, on August 19th, Henry Morris died unexpectedly at his home in Saxelby; his obituary was published in the local press:
The death occurred yesterday morning of Mr. Henry Morris, Farmer Saxelbye, at age 68yrs. Deceased had been in failing health for some months but was able to perform his customary duties. He got up as usual yesterday morning and gave instructions about what cattle should be taken to Melton market. While sitting in a chair he complained of feeling unwell and completely expired. Deceased was one of the best known agriculturalists in the county and owned a number of farms and much land in the Melton district.
Following Henry's death, William Harwood organised several sales of Henry's property on behalf of his executors, including White Lodge, which now included the 44 additional acres of land. The farm was purchased by George Hutchinson, a farmer and corn dealer from Farnsfield near Southwell, Nottinghamshire. However, on April 9th, 1921, before the sale had been finalised, George Hutchinson was declared bankrupt and White Lodge came back onto the market. It was subsequently sold to William Hemphrey.
William Edward Hemphrey was born in 1893 in the village of Screveton near Bingham, to a farming family. He had married Ada Lovett Roe from Saxby in 1920, before moving to White Lodge, and the couple had two daughters, Peggy Doreen b. 1924 and Alice Mary b. 1927; both sisters joined the nursing profession.
It was at this time that Stilton cheese making ceased at White Lodge and the brick-built dairy was used as a cottage for farm workers as the following advertisements from 1945 and 1959 show:
Wanted. Waggoner. House on farm. £4 per week plus extras.
Farm worker. Able to work horses. Good house. Modern conveniences.
William Hemphrey had great success showing his livestock, winning prizes at several local shows, including the HRH Prince of Wales Cup for Cattle in 1930, the Champion Cart Gelding in 1943, which made 130 guineas, and in 1949 Reserve Shire Horse at the Leicestershire Agricultural Show. He ran a pedigree flock of Hampshire Down sheep which also took many prizes in the 1950s and 60s. He supported the local Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club and held stock judging practises for the members. From the Grantham Journal 1940:
Stock judging practise for MMYFC members at White Lodge. Hosted by Mr. Hemphrey. Lincoln Red and Shorthorn cows to be judged.
Refreshments provided by Mrs. Ada Hemphrey.
William Hemphrey retired in 1967 and he and Ada moved to Melton Mowbray. He died in July 1971 at the age of 78. Ada lived to a great age, she died in Scalford Court care home in 1993 just short of her 100th birthday.
A young Michael Holmes (right) and Barry Knapp (2nd left) working the land opposite White Lodge c. mid-20th Century.
In the distance is Manor Farm
Michael and Elaine with the racehorse, Vale Challenge.
Michael with some of his cows at White Lodge c. early 2010s.
Following William’s retirement White Lodge was bought for £55,000 by Frederick Holmes, who was known to his friends and family by his middle name, Michael. Born in Goadby Marwood in 1935, Michael farmed with his father, John, at Manor Farm in the village. Michael and his first wife, Mary Woodward, had three sons together, Paul, Martin and Stephen, who all grew up at White Lodge. However, none of the boys were interested in farming and pursued careers unconnected with agriculture. Sadly, Martin died when he was only 35 years old.
Michael enjoyed horse racing, he owned and bred several racehorses with which he had some success. One of the horses, Vale Challenge, which was owned jointly with Waltham farmer, Keith Watchorn, won several steeplechases. It was at this time that Michael was diagnosed with cancer but his interest in horses kept him going through the difficult time and helped him to overcome the disease.
For many years, Michael coached the Goadby Marwood Tug of War team which he had founded in the late 1950s after seeing the Melton Young Farmers Team practising at Spinney Farm. The Goadby team, made up of all local lads, had much success in the late 1950s and 1960s, winning cups at several County Agricultural shows. The team was a precursor of the Scalford Tug of War Team which was very successful at the 2018 World Championships in South Africa.
Michael and Mary divorced, and Michael married Elaine Easom in 1987. Elaine came from a farming background and was one of the early members of the Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club. She has supported the club throughout her life and has been Club President for many years. Elaine shared Michael's love of horse racing and together they bred more racehorses. Their most successful being Meadmore Magic, their first flat race horse, which won at York and Southwell, came 2nd at Leicester and 5th at Goodwood. From Meadmore Magic they bred Magical Times which was sold to America, and Elaine bred Hurdler, Pelican Point, which had two wins plus a 2nd and 3rd place, and produced another successful racehorse, Pelican Pig.
Both Mick and Elaine served on the local parish council for many years and Elaine has been Borough Councillor for the Waltham ward for 28 years. She has also served two terms as Mayor of Melton.
Elaine recalls many Roman artefacts being found on the land around White Lodge. She has a silver coin with the head of Caesar on it, which Mick found when ploughing and had made into a pendant for her. She has been reliably informed that the stone from which White Lodge is built could have come from the Roman settlement at Goadby, and one of farm’s stone troughs is thought to be a Roman coffin that was dug up from land at the nearby Old Lodge on Sandpit Lane.
Michael Holmes died on December 31st, 2015 at the age of 80; he is buried in the churchyard of St. Denys’ Church in Goadby Marwood. Elaine recalls “Michael never wanted to be a farmer, he wanted to be a racing driver. If you had ever driven with him you would know why.” Today , Elaine continues to live and farm at White Lodge.