The Wesley Family: an Everyday
Story of Woodhouse Eaves Folk
Since 1845, there have been three generations of the Wesley family living in Woodhouse Eaves. Oliver Wesley (b. 1845) took over and developed his step-father’s local building firm in 1870 and also offered an apartment for overnight accommodation in the village, taking advantage of Woodhouse Eaves increasing tourism in the late Victorian period. Oliver’s son Walter assumed control over the family business in 1899 and went on to build the village War Memorial. The business continued to operate until the end of the Second World War. Walter’s brother, Leonard was a bricklayer and in 1911, he met Ellen Parry from Anglesey, North Wales. The two were married at St Paul’s in 1912, beginning the enduring family connection to Wales.
Walter’s donation to the bell fundraising appeal
Eileen Mary Wesley
Eileen Mary Wesley was born in Woodhouse Eaves at a house on Maplewell Road in 1924 and lived in the same house until her death aged 89 in 2013. This qualifies her to be called a ‘Woodhouse Crow’ – a traditional title given to girls actually born in the village. For many years Eileen was personal assistant to the Chief Executive and to the Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood. She was affectionately known as ‘Wes’ at work. Eileen was very sociable and travelled widely, but maintained the strong family attachment to St Paul’s and Woodhouse Eaves was always her home.
The Wesley’s have a long standing and active connection to St Paul’s:
Oliver made alterations to St Paul’s in 1894, including building a new organ chamber and altering the windows
Walter made a donation towards the peal of bells, installed in 1904
Walter built the village War Memorial, erected in 1920
Memorials to family members in the churchyard, the latest being to Eileen which contains the Welsh inscription ‘HEDD PERFFAITH HEDD’, which translates as ‘Peace Perfect Peace’
Bequest made by Eileen enabled St Paul’s to purchase a stainless steel bowl for the font in 2014
Font bowl, dedicated in memory of Eileen
Woodhouse Eaves war memorial