The incredible regal history and heritage of ‘Royal’ Hornsey Rise has been revealed by a local Leicestershire historian.
Nigel Palmer, from the Market Bosworth Society, has uncovered ancient records which show that a property called Temple Hall existed here, even before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
Henry del Temple – third son of Leofric, the Earl of Mercia, and his wife, Countess Godiva – is listed as the owner “of the manor called Temple in the parish of Sibberson” during the reign of William The Conqueror.
Later, in the 13th Century, the Harcourt Lords of the Manor of Bosworth granted the land to The Knights Templar, a Christian charity famous for their Crusades in the Holy Land.
Two centuries later Sir Robert Harcourt fought successfully on the side of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485.
The famous battle, which took place just a few miles away, saw Henry seize the crown from King Richard III, who remains the last English monarch to die in combat. It signalled the beginning of the Tudor dynasty, one of the most influential in English history.
The death of another King is also linked to Temple Hall, which by the end of the 16th Century was an impressive moated, manor house with Wellsborough, now established as a small hamlet.
Judge Peter Temple, who was born at the hall in 1599 and eventually inherited the estate, sat as one of the judges at the trial of King Charles I in 1649 and was a signatory of the execution order.
The Judge himself went on trial when the Monarchy was restored in 1660 but, although condemned to death, the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment and he died in the Tower of London in 1663. His estate was forfeited and given to James, Duke of York who later became King James II.
Thankfully those turbulent times are long gone now and for the past 100 years the site has been a focus for peace and tranquility, compassion and care.
The land was acquired by the Natsopa Printers’ Union at the start of the 20th Century and in 1919 they began construction of a Convalescent and Retirement Home for Members and Members’ Wives. It opened in 1921.
Soon afterwards, a visit from the Duke of York, later King George VI and father of our Queen Elizabeth II, extended the site’s royal heritage. The Duke mingled with officials and staff on a tour of the Home.
In 1973 the premises and grounds were bought by the Aged Pilgrims Friends Society and was used to care for Protestant Evangelists. There were 40 residents when the home was officially opened on the 27th July 1974 and re-titled ‘The Hornsey Rise Memorial Home’.
The Home finally closed for the last time in 2012 and Springbourne Homes acquired the ten acre plot shortly afterwards, beginning yet another chapter of its the rich and colourful history.