Events, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

Demolished Fothergill Buildings: The Black Boy Hotel

One of the best known building associated with Watson Fothergill in Nottingham is one that is no longer standing, The Black Boy Hotel on Long Row, which was demolished in 1970. As a few folks on the Watson Fothergill Walk have asked for pictures, I thought I’d collect together some images and thoughts on the building here.

Fothergill worked on The Black Boy Hotel throughout his career, beginning with buildings in the yard to the rear in 1869, while he was still in the employ of Issac Gilbert. The land on which the hotel was built belonged to the Brunts’ Charity. Fothergill’s association with the Black Boy would last until his retirement as the charity’s surveyor in 1910. In 1874 Fothergill worked on a carriage house or stock room, again in the yard.

The Black Boy Hotel before the central tower was built in the 1890s. Nottingham Post.

In 1878 he rebuilt part of the premises on the eastern side of the yard (Jessops shop), these were in turn demolished in 1897 when the hotel was reconstructed and Fothergill built a large department store for Jessops on King Street. In 1886 there was a more major rebuilding of the Long Row frontage and shops, as the top part of the old building had become uninhabitable. Fothergill opted to rebuild rather than restore the 200 year old building, planning 5 floors.

In 1892 he rebuilt the back wing of this part of the hotel adding a bar, a luggage room, a smoking room, a billiard room and 13 more bedrooms. The first major project to witness the reversal of Fothergill’s name to Watson Fothergill was an additional story on the stable block in 1893.

Plans for the extension and Tower circa 1898-9. More pictures via Nottstalgia Forum.

Finally, the last major addition to the bulding was in 1897 when balconies and bay windows as well as the tower were added. (See Darren Turner, Fothergill: A Catalogue of the Works of Watson Fothergill, Architect for more details.)

Advert for the Black Boy Hotel circa 1950s.
Model of the Black Boy Hotel from Richard Upton’s exhibition, The Black Boy Hotel: Gone But Not Forgotten, at the Nottingham Industrial Museum. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer).
Back view of the model, showing many additions and alterations. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer.)

Find out more about The Black Boy Hotel and the buildings of Watson Fothergill that are still standing in Nottingham on The Watson Fothergill Walk, tickets available for 12 June, 6pm and 30 June, 1pm.