The Museum

Irish Menswear Building

The demolition of the old 'Irish Menswear' shop at the corner of Churchgate and Warner's Lane in Loughborough in July 1975 revealed an unexpected glimpse of ancient Loughborough. Although the building showed nothing of obvious architectural interest when viewed from the street it proved on close examination to incorporate the remains of two timber framed wings; one dated perhaps from the 14th century and had been a lofty hall open to the roof, erected for a person of some wealth: in its time it must have been a significant building in the town.

The attention of the Society was drawn to the building early in 1974 when a row of cottages adjoining the building in Warner's Lane were demolished to make way for the first stage of the redevelopment of the site.This revealed an extensive area of timber framed construction of 15th century appearance on the end wall facing the Bus Station and led to speculation as to what else might be concealed behind the modern shop frontage.

Contact was made with the shop owners and arrangements were made for a limited number of persons to view the inside of the building. Such timbers as could be seen from the inside seemed to confirm that the building incorporated the remains of one, or more, timber framed buildings. It was obvious that the timber framing had been almost completely removed from the ground floor when the modern shop frontage was inserted and that much of the rest of the building was modern. The structure was in a very decayed state and no reasonable case could be made for its preservation. Arrangements however, were made with the owners for further access for a few weeks once the stock had been removed, to produce a record of the building.