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Loddington Hall



***I have been advised that this article confuses two Loddington Halls.  Care is required using this data til things are corrected***



Loddington HallLoddington is a small village and civil parish north of Market Harborough and east of Leicester in the county of Leicestershire. It has a population of 77.

In 1125, the village was granted to Launde Priory by Richard Basset and his wife, as part of the original endowment of the priory.  The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust is based at Loddington House, where it has run the Allerton Project since 1992 to demonstrate the integration of game and wildlife conservation with profitable farming.


We know from the Doomsday Book that at least a part of the Loddington Estate was being farmed in the 11th century, although it is likely to have had a larger area of pasture than now. Before the plague, the population of the village was probably higher than at present and, with very much lower-yielding crops, a large area would be required to provide for the community. Loddington was enclosed between 1607 and 1640, changing the landscape and forcing many to seek work elsewhere.


Lord Aberdour purchased Loddington Hall in 1877. It had been advertised for sale in May 1877. Lord Aderdour was offering the Hill House Estate, Cold Newton, Leicestershire for sale in June 1877 because he had bought Loddington Hall. A large north wing was added to Loddington in 1893.


Lord Aberdour's(1) interest was mainly in hunting. This was the main area for fox hunting in England and many estates were bought by aristocrats for shooting and hunting. The railways enabled others to travel from London for such pursuits. At this time the population of Loddington was higher than before or since with grooms, coachmen and gardeners as well as a blacksmith, a miller and farmers.


The family were running a Loddington Hall polo team before the 1st World war. In 1905 the team was Hon R Douglas, Lord Aberdour, Hon C Douglas & JF Flemimg.

After the First World War the decline in farming continued as elsewhere. However one consolation for farmers were the shooting opportunities as grey partridge numbers thrived on almost abandoned farmland.

Loddington Hall became run down but was bought by Lord Allerton and substantially refurbished in 1934. This was then requisitioned by paratroops in the Second World War and left unfit to live in, Lord and Lady Allerton moved to Loddington House which is now the headquarters for the Allerton Project.


1. Some reports say that the estate was acquired by the Douglas family in the mid-20th century.  However, photographic evidence shows them there in 1905.  In 1880, Lord Aberdour was Sholto George Douglas, later the 19th Earl of Morton.  In 1905, Lord Aberdour gave Loddington Hall as an address on a membership application for the Roehampton Club.


  • Hon. Archibald Roderick Sholto Douglas, who was born on 11 September 1883, the son of Sholto George Douglas, 19th Earl of Morton, gave his address as Loddington, Leicestershire, England.

  • I ??? have recently been looking into my family tree and found that my great great grandfather, William Woodroffe, was a groom for G W Douglas at his home, Loddington Hall, Leics.

  • In the Middle Ages the Douglas family owned extensive estates in Fife (Aberdour), Midlothian (Dalkeith), Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and elsewhere, and were created Earls of Morton in 1458. The 3rd Earl of Morton (d. 1550) was succeeded in his estates and title by his son-in-law James Douglas of Pittendriech, Regent of Scotland 1572-78, but in 1558 they reverted to the Douglases of Loch Leven (Kinross-shire). Considerable sales of land took place in the 17th century, including Dalkeith to the Earl of Buccleuch in 1642 and Loch Leven to Sir William Bruce of Balcaskie (Fife), c.1670. The islands of Orkney and Shetland, however, were granted to the family in 1643. They were annexed by the Crown in 1669, regranted in 1707 and finally sold to the Dundas family in 1766 . The Dalmahoy (Midlothian) estate was acquired in the mid 18th century and the Conaglen (Argyllshire) and Loddington (Leicestershire) estates probably for sporting purposes in the later 19th century. Earlier but temporary accessions of property had come through marriages with the Hay family of Smithfield (Peeblesshire) in 1649 and the Halyburton family of Pitcur (Forfarshire) c.1730. Estates in 1883: 49,814 acres in Argyllshire; 10,411 acres in Midlothian

  • House. c 1300, extended and remodelled c 1615, with additions in matching style, 1893. Coursed and squared ironstone with limestone dressings, Collyweston and Welsh slate roofs. Plinth to front wings and porch, string courses to front wings, coped gables throughout, parapet to central 3 bays. Mullioned and mullioned and transomed windows throughout with flat hood moulds. Grouped gable and off-centre ridge stacks, plus smaller ridge stack, all stone. 2 storeys plus garrets, 5 bays. E-plan, originally an open hall. Near-symmetrical west front has a central 2-storey gabled porch with corniced Classical ashlar doorcase and 2-leaf panelled doors. Above it, a 3-light window. Beyond, on either side, a 3-light window and above them, single cross-eaves dormers with 3-light windows. Beyond again, single wings. Cross-gabled south wing has a 4-light window and above it a smaller 4-light window. In the return angle, a blocked 2-light window to the first floor and to the dormer above it. South side has 2 C19 casements flanked by single blocked windows. Above, central 4-light window flanked by single 3-light windows. Above again, in dormer to left and gable to right, a 3-light window. Gabled north wing has a 4-light window to west and above it, a larger 4-light window. Above again, a smaller 3-light window. Return angle has a C19 roll moulded 4-light Gothic casement and above it, a similar 3-light window. Above again, a dormer with a 2-light window. North side has a large external chimney breast and to its left a 2-light cellar window and above it, 3 C19 casements. Above again, a C19 cross casement and a dormer with a C17 cross casement. Multi-gabled C19 rear addition has irregular plan with wings to north and south and to north east, an L-plan single storey service range enclosing a service courtyard.

    Interior has a noteworthy smoke blackened principal rafter roof, c 1300, with double tie-beams, passing brace and part of a central base cruck. North end has an early C17 3-flight dogleg staircase, restored C19, with moulded handrail and shaped splat balusters to stairs and landing.

    Fielded panelled dado, C18. Central hall has framed panelling with chip-carved frieze, mainly C17, restored late C19. C17 fluted and carved oak pilasters to doorcase, with mock capitals. On the long side, an off-centre early C17 ashlar fireplace with strapwork,restored C19. South wing first floor has a mid C18 oak staircase with moulded handrail and vase and stem balusters. First floor bedroom has C18 moulded wood Classical fireplace with ornamental panel. Dressing room above porch has full height moulded panelling. North wing basement has a C17 moulded cross-beamed ceiling and a segmental pointed fireplace opening with diamond keystone dated 1615. North and south wing garrets have each a 4-centred arched stone fireplace. Other rooms have mainly C19 fireplaces, fielded 2-panel and 5-panel doors. Loddington Hall was constructed by Robert Le Baud, then in charge of Royal works at Geddington, c 1290-1300.

    It was remodelled by the Syers family c 1615 and passed in 1660 to the Kynnesman family. In the mid C20 it was used as a school and as a training centre. There are plans to convert it to flats, 1987.
    Source: RCHM unpublished survey notes.

    Loddington HallClick to enlarge these images taken in 1905.  'Charley' is Charles William Sholto Douglas, b. 19 Jul 1881, d. 10 Oct 1960


    See also:
    •  William Douglas & Son


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