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Appleby History > History Tour > Botts Lane

Botts Lane

Home of a Tinker, a War Hero and a Local Executioner

Running from Top Street to Snarestone Road, Botts Lane is one of Appleby's remaining leafy lanes - single track with grass verges and a 90 degree bend that keeps the lane free of larger vehicles.

Botts Lane was named after the village tinker Mr Bott who lived at what is now number 4.  He sold his pots and pans around the area around the turn of the last century.  His house was later occupied by Mark (Marcus) Smith and his wife.  Mark was a woodcutter on the Moore estate - his house is now known as Woodman's Cottage (number 4). In the 1841 census the lane is referred to as Bosses Lane, after another village family.

Botts Lane
Botts Lane from Snaretone Road
Click image for larger view

The house in the photograph above was the home of Tom Kendall who died fighting in the first world war.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, at Somme in France:

Additional Information supplied by Gena Baker (October 2006) :-

Just adding to Margaret Beeson's memories of Botts Lane. My grandparents were Mark and Annie Smith, who were also kind to the Army lads in the site adjoining Meadowside. Long story but my mother, Mark's daughter Dena married one of these soldiers, after Mark took pity on the plight of the conditions the soldiers endured, the wet, the cold, poor clothing etc. George Webb, my father was a Quaker, bullied into the Army after the bombing of his home in London and death of his parents Georgena Baker

In Memory of Serjeant TOM KENDALL MM

6th Bn., Leicestershire Regiment

who died on Wednesday, 27th September 1916

Son of Mrs Ada Kendall, of Appleby Magna, Burton-on-Trent

Tom's memorial also appears in the Debt of Honour Register on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's web site:


In later years a family named Layland lived in the Kendall's house. Josepth Layland bought it from the Kendall's just after the first World War.

22 Botts Lane
22 Botts Lane at the time it was sold by the Laylands in 1979
Estate agent's photograph courtesy of Lucy Layland
(Click for larger view)

The house was purchased by someone from Tamworth who sold it on, just a few month's later, to a detective. According to the Layland family, this owner claimed one of the walls was unsafe, and this wall was 'accidentally' knocked down, leading to the demolition of the entire cottage. A new house was built on the plot, which still stands.

The house on the bend just past the Kendall's/Layland's old dwelling is now the home of Joan and Albert Noble.  This was the home of the Haywood family during the 18th and 19th centuries.  The house was almost completely rebuilt about 1890.

Joan Noble writes:

"Samuel Haywood was actually a servant of the squire of the early nineteenth century, George Moore, and was probably a coachman or gardener at Appleby Hall.   The squire was responsible for the hangings in this part of the county and in Samuel Haywood he found someone who would carry out this task.  Samuel would walk from Appleby to Leicester, perform his duty and return home again.   He would probably have a lift now and again in wagon or trap.   If not, like all others who make lengthy journeys on foot, he would have to sit down and rest occasionally.   It was essential to point one’s feet in the direction one was making for, otherwise it was all too easy after waking from a nap, to be unsure whether to go to the right or the left.

The newer houses in the lane today are located on the site of older dwellings. Opposite the Haywood's was Jordan's cottage.  Margaret Beeson is the granddaughter of the late Ernie and Emma Coldicott (nee Jordan).  (There are Jordans in the church registers going back to the 1600's.)  Margaret writes

"I have many happy memories of holidays in Appleby at the home of my grandparents Ernest and Emma Coldicott.  Just past the house on the left of your photograph (above) there stood three cottages on the right.  'Ernie' and Emma lived in the middle one.  I often visited Mrs Saddington and her daughter Sybil who lived in the other house on the photo. 

"During the war there was a searchlight battery in the fields in Botts Lane and most evenings there would be lads from it sitting in Granny's cottage.  Several of the lads kept in touch for years after the war was over".

More about Botts Lane

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