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The Framework Knitters Cottage Homes

Independent living in beautiful Leicestershire

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Who are we?

The Framework Knitters Cottage Homes provide self-contained low-cost housing. There are 26 single storey one and two bedroomed cottages set in beautifully maintained communal grounds. They are unfurnished dwellings providing independent living for retired workers of the hosiery, knitwear or allied trades, or the partners, widows, widowers, or children of any such worker who fulfil our criteria.

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What do we do?

Residents benefit from being in a small community of people with similar backgrounds and life experience. Social activities such as coffee mornings take place in the communal lounge and outings are arranged throughout the year. The Cottage Homes are established as a separate charity, and management and overall supervision is provided by a Committee of Managers in accordance with the terms of the governing document.

Our History

Most of the Livery Companies of the City of London evolved from the medieval trade Guilds which had come into existence as a result of the natural inclination of members of the same trades and occupations to band together for good fellowship and mutual aid and protection. In furtherance of this, Guilds sought to establish and maintain high standards of business conduct and product quality from all their members, and to perpetuate these standards by helping in the education of future generations in the particular practices and techniques of their individual crafts.

From an early stage there was an emphasis on charity, with the Guilds supporting their members or their families who had fallen on hard times or were suffering poor health. Also, there was a strong religious element in the Guilds, each owning their own chapels or being attached to a local monastery or church and having their own patron saints. Although less important following the Reformation, this spiritual connection is maintained to this day through such aspects as the Livery Companies’ use of the prefix “Worshipful” in their names. On special occasions, the Guild members wore distinctive robes, or liveries, and consequently became known as “Livery Companies”. To further protect their interests, these companies sought from the Crown, and were granted, charters which gave them legal rights and stressed their responsibilities for and control of the commercial/trade standards, which they operated until centuries later.

The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters traces its origins to 1589 when William Lee of Calverton in Nottinghamshire invented a method of knitting mechanically. It was incorporated by Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, on 13th June 1657 and was re-incorporated and its privileges extended by Letters Patent of His Majesty King Charles II on 19th August 1663 with the style, “The Master, Wardens, Assistants and Society of the Art or Mystery of Framework Knitters of the Cities of London and Westminster and the Kingdom of England and the Dominion of Wales”. The Company was incorporated by order of the Court of Aldermen as a Livery Company of the City of London on 9th June 1713, being 64th in order of precedence.

The Framework Knitters, like the majority of Livery Companies, no longer controls its trades but maintains a close association with them. Many of the Company’s members, both men and women, have direct connections with the knitting and hosiery industries, and assist them with various charitable works including Student Bursaries, Scholarships, and Almshouses, thus maintaining many of the original aims of the medieval Guilds.

Recent News

The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters invited their Honorary Liveryman, Vincent Keaveny, the Lord Mayor of London in 2021-22. to unveil a plaque on 9th January in Oadby to celebrate the planting of a cherry tree as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Green Canopy.

The cottages were relocated from London in 1906 and at that time the Lord Mayor of London was also invited to Oadby to officially open the homes. He travelled by train to Leicester, where his mayoral carriage and horses awaited to transport him to Oadby.

On another occasion the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) visited the site in 1927 to plant what is now a magnificent oak tree that dominates the site.

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We’d love to hear from you.


To apply for an Application Form, for answers to all your questions or to set up a visit, contact Annette Ellis the Homes Manager

Stoughton Rd, Oadby, Leicester LE2 4EX, UK

0116 271 2171

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Framework Knitters Data Protection Policy

Please click on the link below to access our Data Protection Policy

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