1960, April, 12th: Looking Around at Wilford’s Old Buildings

Wilford, April 12th 1960:

On talking to George Garment the Strelley estate woodsman, we discussed where he was born and where he walked every morning. He describes Wilford as “a little village that seemed to just sit on the border of the city; on the river flood plain”. Here many poets used to come and write their poetry and verse. The Ferry Inn used to be a coffee house and before that a Farmstead. It sits facing the river near to where the ferry crossing was before the construction of the bridge. 


The Old Cottages- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

This village in its delightful settings sits on the bank of the River Trent. It  is about 1.5 miles to the south of Nottingham by the ferry route and about 3 miles by road.  At one time quite a few of the dwellings that belonged to some of the opulent families of Nottingham that had their trades in the center of the town.


The Poets House- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

The name Wilford possibly derives from Willas’s Ford, as there was both a ford and a ferry close by. The church tower is low, but the nave and the two side aisles are very spacious, the chancel has a altarpiece of a handsome proportion. The living is a rectory, valued in the King’s books at £18 7s 6d, and received at the enclosure, in 1766, an allotment of 227 acres in lieu of tithes.


Farmstead- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Sir J. G. J. Clifton, Bart was lord of the manor and owner.  There was also Mr Henry Smith Esq, of Wilford House, the seat of Henry Smith Esq. They owned a large handsome brick mansion, with extensive pleasure grounds tastefully laid out.

The Free School was built in 1736. The village regularly suffered from flooding until experts from Holland built the “B” bank at the rivers edge. It is said by some that the name “B” bank was gained from the many bees that could be seen on the wild flowers that grew on the top of the bank.


The Village Green- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Many people from Nottingham, in the summer months, would come to Wilford village, as a day out. Wilford had four tea rooms/gardens, where visitors could obtain pots of tea and light snacks. Some visitors would bring a ‘vacuum flask’ which the tea rooms would fill with boiling water. Many of the visitors would walk through Wilford to Clifton grove and the village. The more energetic walkers would continue on to Barton-in-Fabis (Barton in the Beans) where a ferry across the Trent to Beeston would return home.


Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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