Loddington 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.
In 1880 the estate was bought by Lord
Aberdour(1) whose 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.
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
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.
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
to enlarge these images taken in 1905. 'Charley' is Charles
William Sholto Douglas, b. 19 Jul 1881, d. 10 Oct 1960
Douglas & Son
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