Wilford, September 10th 1086
Entry in the Doomsday Book William Peverels Lands
In Wilford, jurisdiction, 3 c, of land taxable, land for 6 ploughs, 23 freemen have 7 ploughs, A priest: meadow, 18 acres; half a fishery.
Saint Wilfred’s church is of medieval structure with a low tower, a fine chancel which was built in the fifteenth century, the porch and nave were of the fourteenth century with the chancel arch. There are old stairs that climb to the loft and roof, a beautiful chancel screen and screen of the tower. Stained glass windows one with twelve minstrel angels and a vivid window with the wise men. The latter was designed in memory of Henry Kirke White.
Looking around the church yard we find a railed tomb which is the tomb of John Deane (Captain). He was born in the village and his occupation was a butchers boy. He ended up as British Consul, he spent the last years of his life living in the village where he built two houses which still survive today.
In 1870 the Wilford which Henry Kirke-White would have known changed forever when the meadows and woodlands on the opposite river bank were industrialised by the Clifton Colliery. The area was well known for its cherry orchards and a regular cherry eating competition used to be held.
In 1846 the poet Spencer Hall wrote ‘Who ever saw Wilford without wishing to become an inmate of one of its peaceful woodbined homes.’
In verse he wrote of Wilford,Wilford! Whichever way to thee
We come from thy surrounding plains;
Wether by Clifton’s wood-walks dim
Or Bridgefords gipsy-haunted lanes,
Or From yon spired and castled town
Over Meadows where flowers in matraids blow,
Thy scenes so beatify the rest,
That all, although thee, most lovely grow
Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website.