Recently re-visiting my rapidly increasing and creaking collection of photographs, I came across the above family image which brought back memories for me from some 50 years ago. My attention was arrested though, not by the people in the foreground (my wife with her father), but by the presence behind them of the rather grand looking, Georgian styled Framland House, as this old building was always known but is sadly now, just that memory. This once grand, three-storey residence stood elegantly for over a century with its ornate front door abutting Burton End at the foot of the 'new' railway bridge as it begins its rise on the main road to Oakham; immediately opposite and across the road, stands the old building now known as Cardigan House. The now vanished 'footprint' of Framland today relates pretty well with the entrance to the town Railway Station and the new Borough Council offices.
Seen on the Ordnance Survey map of 1895, the substantial dwelling is shown to be in three separate sections, all adjoined to a sizeable garden contiguous with a small public path which still leads pedestrians and small vehicles to the joys of the Play Close further on. I have memories of the decaying and abandoned home, which in its final years provided a haven for young children who seemed to have been free to wander about its spooky innards in a search for the reported 'ghost' which was alleged to haunt the crumbling rooms, peeling wallpaper, cracked paint, broken windows and all. Deterioration rapidly set in as the rain and weather permeated the structure via a roof now robbed of its leaden waterproofing and rotting windows. The abandoned gardens would later provide valuable space for a few rented allotment plots, eagerly utilised by an older generation of gardeners from which, no doubt, bountiful harvests were produced over the years.
Framland House on the left. Circa 1965.
"A substantially constructed family residence, with yard, stabling and garden - comprising 2,800 square yards - in Burton Street near the Melton railway station. Contains 3 reception rooms, 11 bedrooms and a kitchen."