History of Hoar Cross
Located in East Staffordshire, Hoar Cross nestles in the hills of the ancient Needwood Forest, now part of the National Forest. The name of the village was first recorded in 1230 a.d., and appeared as Horcros. It is thought to refer to grey cross or boundary cross.
Hoar Cross formed its own Ecclesiastical Parish in 1874.
Hoar Cross Hall which is situated approximately 3/4 mile from the village centre once belonged to the Talbots, Earls of Shrewsbury, but passed to the Meynell family who rebuilt it between 1862 and 1871.
(Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot, 18th Earl of Shrewsbury, pictured right)
Designed by Henry Cluton it was constructed in the Jacobean style of Temple Newsam, the seat of the Ingram family near Leeds. In 1782, Hugo Meynell married Elizabeth Ingram Shepherd, and their son took the name Hugo Charles Meynell-Ingram.
In 1863, their grandson married Emily Charlotte Wood, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Wood, 1st Vicount Halifax. They were responsible for the reconstruction of the Hall.
(Emily Charlotte Meynell-Ingram, pictured left)
The last Meynell to reside at Hoar Cross Hall was Colonel Hugo Meynell. He moved to nearby Newborough in 1952 after which the building stood empty for a number of years. It was acquired by the Bickerton Jones family in 1970, who restored much of the building.
It is claimed that William Jones once saw the ghost of a young woman dressed in Victorian style clothing, in an upstairs room. The Hall was used for medieval banquets and antiques fairs for while until the building was converted into a spa and health resort.
(Hugo Francis Meynell-Ingram, pictured right)
Along Maker Lane from Hoar Cross Hall, lies the Church of the Holy Angels.
This Anglican Parish Church was designed by George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner, and built by Emily Charlotte Meynell Ingram in memory of her late husband Hugo Francis Meynell Ingram who died in a hunting accident in 1871. Originally entombed in St. Peter's Church in nearby Yoxall, his remains were moved to Hoar Cross on completion of the Church of the Holy Angels.
The opulence of its detail is clear for all to see and includes marble floors and intricatley carved walls. The church also houses a highly elaborate set of the Stations of the Cross, carved by two woodworkers in Antwerp, Belgium. The main reason that Bodley could achieve his vision, was the fact that he was handed a blank cheque by Emily Charlotte.
Opposite the Church of the Holy Angels is a War Memorial Garden dedicated to those who lost their lives in the First World War.
The Centre of the Village is dominated by The Meynell Ingram Arms. Situated at the junction of Abbots Bromley Road and Newchurch Road, this local hostelry has provided drink and nourishment for villagers and passers-by since the 17th Century. Sadly the business closed in October 2014.
The Meynell Ingram Arms orignally formed part of a small holding and was formerly known as the Shoulder of Mutton. It enjoyed Inn status with Joseph Locker as licensee until his death in the early 1880's. Following Joseph's death, his wife Mary became licensee, helped by her son Thomas. It assumed the name, The Meynell Ingram Arms in 1860.
Some suggest that the pub was renamed after the Meynell Hunt as it was known that the Meynell family had an important link with fox hunting. Hugo Meynell is regarded as a pioneer of the sport and was appointed Master of Fox Hounds in Leicestershire in 1753.
The origins of the Meynell Hunt can be traced back to 1793. In 1813 the Meynell family took over the hounds and the name was changed to Hoar Cross Hunt.