Scope and Content

Consists of contracts files for glasshouses and heating apparatus erected by Messenger and Co. The collection contains records for properties in: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Merseyside, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland and County Durham, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and overseas 1880s-1950s

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Goode Messenger is recorded as having a plumber's, glazier's and glassfitter's business in High Street, Loughborough as early as 1855. In 1858 he formed his own company of Messenger and Co. and by 1863 is listed as a plumber and hydraulic engineer. By 1877 the firm is described as 'horticultural builders and hot water apparatus manufacturers'. In 1874, Walter Chapman Burder purchased the company and in 1884 the business was moved from the High Street premises to Cumberland Road, off Ashby Road. A foundry was then built and further extensions in 1895 led to the complete closure of the High Street Branch. The firm was famous, particularly in the Victorian and Edwardian period, for making greenhouses, verandahs, summer houses, cucumber frames, melon pits, mushroom beds, orchid stages, vineries and peach houses. As the demand declined from the 1930s, the company began to concentrate more on the manufacture of heating equipment and became an engineering firm. It was also known by the name Midland Horticultural Company

Conditions Governing Access

Available for consultation

Acquisition Information

Accession number T80/8, deposited via Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at the Museum of English Rural Life

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Archivist

Geographical Names