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  • Markfield Local History Group

Streets of days gone by - London Road

London Road runs from the junction at the bottom of Main Street and Forest Road up to Ratby Lane. Why is it called London Road you may ask, when the main road in and out of the village was the old turnpike Ashby Road at the top end of Main Street? The main theory is that many years ago, London Road continued across Ratby Lane and along the route of what is now a public footpath to Bradgate Hill on the A50 near Groby.

There are few old properties on London Road; building seems to have got underway in Edwardian times, with the terrace pictured below.  The nearest house in view is Alma Villa, built in 1901. Working towards the back and left of the photo, is Spring Villas (1901 - see auction poster further below), Rose Cottages (1901), Cope Cottages (1903) and Thorold Villa (1903).

Almost the same view in this next picture, around the 1960's, judging by the card. Note the more recent introduction of the pair of bungalows.

A number of Council houses on the other side of the road were added in the 1930s, followed by other houses over the years and currently by the new Jelson development.

This poster is a fascinating piece of local history, the sale in 1904 of the two newly erected 'Spring Villas' complete with turn of the century mod-cons, piggeries, a well and sitting tenants paying just under £1 per month - buy to let over a century ago!

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