Events, Lace Market

Lightest Night Heritage Tour

On June 21 Nottingham’s Creative Quarter are celebrating the longest day of the year with their Lightest Night summer party. There will be some later than usual opening for businesses around the Lace Market area, as part of these events I will be running my Beauty in the Details Lace Market Heritage tour, a short walk around the history of St Mary’s Gate in conjunction with Debbie Bryan’s shop.

Lightest Night 2019

Beauty in the Details is a shorter walk, on even terrain that is suitable for those who don’t want to walk too far or for too long. This tour will be about 45 minutes in total with time for refreshments at Debbie Bryan before and after and then chance to attend the Lightest Night event at St Mary’s Church afterwards. Starts at 5pm, Friday 21 June, 2019 at Debbie Bryan Shop.

I will also be running the same tour for Father’s Day on Sunday 16 June, 2019 (with added afternoon tea).

Explore the Adams Building on the Beauty in the Details tour.

The next dates for the Watson Fothergill Walk are 21 July 2019. Tickets are available here Eventbrite (2pm) and here (6pm).

Events, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

Dates for July 2019

July sees the 178th anniversary of Fothergill’s birth, so it seems fitting to offer more chances to explore his Nottingham buildings on The Watson Fothergill Walk.

The next dates will be two walks on 21 July 2019:

Join Lucy to explore Watson Fothergill’s Nottingham, includes tea or coffee and cake at Debbie Bryan. Tickets here.

The first will be in the afternoon at 2pm, ending at Debbie Bryan with drinks and cake. Tickets here.

The evening walk will finish at Fothergill’s pub. Tickets here.

The second will be an evening walk, to finish at Fothergill’s pub. Tickets available here.

(Watson Fothergill’s birthday is actually 12th July but I can’t do a walk that day!)

If you can’t make either of these but are still interested in joining the guided tour you can either arrange a private walk for you and your group (minimum 6, maximum 20 people) contact Lucy for details. Or sign up to the mailing list to get the latest dates sent to your inbox.

Events, Lace Market

Father’s Day Heritage Tour: The Lace Market

I am working with Debbie Bryan again to offer my Lace Market Heritage Tour for Father’s Day on 16 June starting at 1pm. We will take a look at the unique industrial architecture of the Lace Market, including buildings by Watson Fothergill and Thomas Chambers Hine.

The beauty is in the details.

Then there are two options for teas after the short guided walk: A full afternoon tea with a choice of three luxurious menus or a simple and delicious cream tea with scones and jam.

Tickets for Afternoon Tea

The tour will explore the architectural gems of St Mary’s Gate in Nottingham’s Lace Market including buildings by Watson Fothergill and Thomas Chambers Hine, it’s a short tour of about 45 minutes with walking on flat ground. So chose your tea and get your tickets!

Tickets for Cream Tea.
Treat your dad to a fine afternoon tea from the Debbie Bryan Menu!

Tickets are available here on Eventbrite or via Debbie Bryan Shop (online or in person).


A Wander Around York

Took a day to go to York, principally to visit York Art Gallery’s Ruskin, Turner & The Storm Cloud exhibition after reading Suzanne Fagence Cooper’s excellent summary of the work of John Ruskin: To See Clearly.

York Art Gallery – well worth a visit (photo: Lucy Brouwer)

2019 marks 200 years since the birth of Ruskin, this exhibition looks at his way of seeing the world through drawing and writing about what he could see and how that made him appreciate the qualities of landscape, weather, buildings and artworks.

His thoughts on looking at nature, art and buildings were very influential in their day, both Watson Fothergill and Thomas Chambers Hine would have been aware of his writings on architecture and must surely have read The Stones of Venice, which shaped how Gothic architecture was seen in the 19th century. (Hine even had Ruskin’s autograph in his scrapbook.)

In the spirit of Ruskin, I have been encouraging people to “look up” and to notice the buildings that they might otherwise miss, with particular focus on the Victorian architecture in Nottingham. Since learning more about the Gothic Revivial and influences on Fothergill’s work, I find myself noticing buildings and spotting the style when out and about, thus it was in York.

York Magistrates Court, Clifford Street, York. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Spotting these towers on the skyline I ventured to investigate. This is the York Magistrates Court (1890-92).

York Institute, Clifford Street, York (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Next door, York Institute (1883-85), mixing Gothic Revival with an eastern influence.

I particularly liked these faintly byzantine kiosk finials. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Barclays Bank, (1901) had some really striking terracotta with the colour marvellously preserved.

A little further on, came upon Barclays bank with some fantastic terracotta work. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

To shelter from the rain, we popped into the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, a timber framed medieval hall, now a museum.

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

When we reached York Art Gallery, to a look round the Ruskin, Turner & The Storm Cloud exhibition, I was delighted to find that Annie Creswick Dawson’s book about Benjamin Creswick (blogs passim) was on sale in the shop.

I was particularly struck by this quote from John Ruskin, which can be applied as much to myself as to Medieval stonemasons! (Photo: Lucy Brouwer
York Minster from York Art Gallery. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)
York station, built on a curve. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

The more you start to look, the more you see the shapes of nature, the wonders of engineering and the beauty in the details.

Events, Lace Market, TC Hine, Thomas Chambers Hine

The Hine Hike: Evening Walk

I’m running another chance to join me for The Hine Hike: The buildings of Thomas Chambers Hine on Wednesday 5th June 2019, starting at 6pm. Tickets here.

The Hine Hike 5 June 2019

Thomas Chambers Hine, 1813-1899, was possbly Nottingham’s most prolific architect of the Victorian Age. His work across the 19th Century ranges from overseeing the development of The Park Estate, to building the biggest lace warehouses in the Lace Market, and includes the conversion of Nottingham Castle to England’s first provincial art gallery outside London.

The Adams Building, Lace Market, Nottingham (photo: Lucy Brouwer).
The Birkin Building, Lace Market, Nottingham (photo: Lucy Brouwer).

Explore the buildings of Thomas Chambers Hine “the father of the Midlands Architects” and his impact on the built environment of Nottingham city centre. This evening walk will take in a overview of the Park Estate, progress via Hine’s home and office on Regent Street towards Nottingham Castle. The walk will continue across the city centre to investigate some of Thomas Chambers Hine’s lesser known buildings and finish up with some of his large scale projects in the Lace Market.

This is a walk of 3km (1.9 miles) approximately 2 hours. The walk starts at Nottingham Playhouse and finishes in the Lace Market.

Next Hine Hike is 5 June, 2019, 6pm Tickets here.

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.

Events, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

BBC Radio Nottingham

I (Lucy Brouwer) was invited on to BBC Radio Nottingham to talk about the Watson Fothergill Walk to DJ Dean Jackson (standing in for Alan Clifford) on the afternoon show and you can listen again here at about 3:08 (after Cher!).

I talked about Watson Fothergill’s office, the Gothic Revival, and what to expect on the Watson Fothergill Walk…

Detail of Benjamin Creswick’s Terracotta Panel on 15 & 17 George Street, Nottingham.

The latest dates for my walks can be found here on Eventbrite.

Events, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

Dates for June 2019

More dates for my walks are now booking as follows:

The Hine Hike, an evening walk exploring some of the Nottingham buildings of the Victorian architect Thomas Chambers Hine, will take place on Wednesday 5th June 2019, starting at 6pm. Tickets are £12, available here.

The Hine Hike: 5 June 2019, tickets here.

There will be another chance to join me for The Watson Fothergill Walk on Wednesday 12th June 2019, starting at 6pm. On this walk we will see some of Nottingham’s most striking Victorian buildings, designed by the architect Watson Fothergill (a.k.a. Fothergill Watson). Tickets are £12, available here.

Watson Fothergill Walk Evening Edition: 12 June 2019, tickets here.

The next opportunity to join me for the Debbie Bryan Edition of the Watson Fothergill Walk (including drinks and cake) will be 30th June 2019, 1pm. Tickets are £12 and can be found on Eventbrite: here.

30 June 2019: Afternoon walk, tickets here.

All those dates are in one place on Eventbrite here.

Tickets for my talk on Watson Fothergill and Thomas Cecil Howitt (architect of Nottingham’s Council House) at Nottinghamshire Archives, 10 May, 2019 2.30pm are available here.

My talk on TC Hine at West Bridgford Library on 25 June 2019 is now sold out. If you would like me to talk to your group about Watson Fothergill or TC Hine (similar format to the walking tours, but with photos and without the walking!) then please get in touch.

I am also available to take small parties (between 6 and 20 people) on walks to suit your group. Interested? Email me to discuss your needs.

Lucy on Broadway! Photo: Stavros Pouricas

Events, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

New Evening Walk, 16 May 2019

As the walks have been selling out (thanks everyone!) I’ve added a new date for the evening edition of the Watson Fothergill Walk. This one will begin at 6pm on 16 May 2019. Tickets are available here.

Tickets available here.

Join me to explore the distinctive buildings of this most singular Nottingham architect. The walk starts at Nottingham Tourism Office by the Council House and concludes at Fothergill’s pub, itself one of Watson Fothergill’s buildings, by Nottingham Castle. Tickets are £12.

A couple of tickets left for The Hine Hike.

There are still just one ticket left for The Hine Hike on 14 April, starting at 10am. Join me to discover some of the Nottingham buildings of architect Thomas Chambers Hine.Tickets are £12 and include a drink and a cake at Debbie Bryan at the conclusion of the walk (approx 2 hours).

I’m giving a talk about Fothergill and Thomas Cecil Howitt, architect of The Council House. Tickets £5

Finally, Nottinghamshire Archives have invited me to talk about Watson Fothergill and another great Nottingham architect, Thomas Cecil Howitt on 10 May at 2.30pm. I will be looking at Fothergill’s buildings that are close to Slab Square and also The Council House and Exchange, which celebrates its 90th birthday, having opened on 22 May 1929. Tickets are £5 and include an opportunity to examine archive materials relating to both architects.

Can’t make any of these dates but still interested? Sign up for my mailing list to receive news of new walk dates as soon as they are confirmed.

Events, T Cecil Howitt, talk, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

Watson Fothergill and Thomas Cecil Howitt: Nottinghamshire Archives

Nottinghamshire Archives Talk

I’ve been asked to give a talk at Nottinghamshire Archives. To mark 90 years since the opening of the Council House, that impressive symbol of civic pride at the centre of Nottingham, I’m going to be talking about two of Nottingham’s favourite architects, Watson Fothergill and Thomas Cecil Howitt and looking for links between them.

I will be giving an illustrated talk mostly looking at Fothergill’s buildings around the Market Square and T. Cecil Howitt’s Council House and Exchange Arcade which opened in 1929.

There will also be chance to examine archive materials relating to the two architects and their buildings.

The event is on 10 May 2019, 2.30pm. Tickets are £5 each, available from the archives via Eventbrite. There are a limited number of free tickets for FONA (Friends of Nottinghamshire Archives) members.

The Hine Hike

Meanwhile there are still a few tickets left for my Thomas Chambers Hine walk, The Hine Hike, on 14 April 2019. Tickets are £12 each and include a hot drink and a cake at Debbie Bryan at the end of the walk.

Mother’s Day Heritage Tour

There is still time to join me as part of Debbie Bryan’s special Mother’s Day programme of events (31 March 2019. I will be leading a short tour of the architecture of The Lace Market, and your ticket includes a cream tea or afternoon tea (vegan and gluten free options available on request) at Debbie Bryan. Tickets here.

I will be adding more dates for The Watson Fothergill Walk soon, so sign up to the mailing list to get them as soon as they are announced.