Abbots Oak is a Grade II listed brick and stone build house, which has had a number of extensions and changes over the years. Abbots Oak started life as a small chapel and formed part of the Garendon Abbey estate near Loughborough.
The original site also had a small school in one of the walled garden enclosures where the monks taught the local children.
In the 1850’s a gentleman called Thomas Nevinson, who was a solicitor and architect bought the property. He converted the chapel and added Gothic revival style features to the front wing. He also built the striking square tower in order to house an ornately carved, oak staircase which was reputedly taken from a house at 58 Pall Mall, in London. This was apparently the house where Nell Gwynn lived as a mistress for Charles 11.
Later, Sir Mathew Ingle Joyce, who was a friend and colleague of Thomas Nevinson at the archeological society, at the Guildhall at Leicester, bought the property in 1909 and decided to rebuild it with further extensions.
Sir Matthew Joyce completed a major renovation and large arts and crafts extension to the house, which was designed by a firm of Leicester based architects, Keites and Fosbrooke. He worked as a barrister in London and regularly entertained friends and colleagues in his country house retreat at the weekends.
He died in 1929 and there is a small gap in the history of the house until 1945, when the White family bought the house to bring up their family and they and owned it until 2013.