Charles Noon and Lucy Noon lived at ‘The Laurels’, London Road (on the southern corner of Avenue Road) until 1879 (around the time the photo was taken) and then at 9 Lansdowne (now Sandown) Road between 1887 and 1908. Charles and Lucy were both from large families.
Charles Noon was the second eldest of twelve children and one of only two boys while Lucy was one of ten. Charles’ father was keeper and his mother matron of the borough gaol in Highcross Street in the 1840s and early 50s. Lucy’s parents were from Syston. Charles and Lucy married in 1854.
Charles’ business was the manufacture of silk stockings and initially they lived in Granby Street above the warehouse next to Thomas Cook’s Temperance Hall but by 1862 they had moved into a new home, ‘The Laurels’, which stood in over 4 acres of grounds on the Avenue Road and London Road corner and was where they brought up their own nine children.
Local physician Dr John Barclay was so taken by the Noons’ new house that, in a lecture on ‘Modern Leicester’ to the Literary & Philosophical Society in February 1864, he commended it as a model residence, consistent with modern principles of good taste and design.
That (house) belonging to Mr Noon on the London-road fulfils all the requirements in a most ample manner large, lofty, airy rooms, well lighted, handsomely windowed -plenty of light to come in, plenty of room to look out a fine entrance hall, every comfort, every luxury within; I think every one must also admit that the outside is all that could be wished. The portico, with its marble pillars, is highly ornamental and exceedingly tasteful. The style is maintained throughout the windows and doorways are in perfect keeping, and it is crowned and protected by a most happy form of roof. There is no concealment here -the roof is part of the building, as it ought to be, and the dormer windows and slightly varied patterns in the slates, remove any possibility of the accusation of heaviness and monotony. It is a most successful model for the exercise of originality of design.