(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The morning walk on 28th April 2019 is very nearly sold out so I have added an afternoon session startng at 1pm. Tickets are available on Eventbrite price £12 each, tickets include hot drinks and cake at Debbie Bryan after the walk.
Tickets are now available for two new dates for the Debbie Bryan Edition of the Watson Fothergill Walk. The new dates are both Sunday mornings, with a 10am start on 28th April 2019 and 26th May 2019. Tickets are £12 each and include tea or coffee and cake at Debbie Bryan in the Lace Market at the conclusion of the walk.
I hope to add more dates and try out some other walks in the coming year, please sign up to the mailing list for the latest news.
After a good look around in Sherwood, I went for a further wander and caught a bus to Carlton to see if I could find the Brewery at Mar Hill (A71). Away from the bus route, deep into Carlton, I found the building. It was originally built for Mr Vickers, in 1899. It was convereted to residential use around 2005.
From what I can find online, the Carlton Brewery was a relatively short lived enterprised. The Vickers family held the licence at The Black’s Head pub close by in Carlton in the late 1800s.
“Brewing in Nottinghamshire” has an older picture of the building and states that the Carlton Brewery was short lived. With Mrs Vickers there in 1902 and Willam (her son?) there between 1904-1906. It was sold in 1904, 1906 and 1909. It became a laundry, then a print works and then it was used as a dye works owned by the Ilkeston Hosiery Finishing Company. The sequence of these changes is not entirely clear.
Along Primrose Street are also a series of 16 terraced houses built for brewery workers. It has been suggested that Fothergill also designed these but Darren Turner refutes this: The drawings survive in Nottinghamshire Archives but there is no stylistic evidence in the design, not documentary evidence on the surviving drawings to substansiate this rumour.
For more about buildings around Carlton, there is a U3A trail to follow, with some pictures of the other buildings.
The other industrial building of Fothergill’s that survives in Nottingham is down on Castle Boulevard. I was down that way a few weeks ago, but because of the road it’s quite tricky to photograph. The Paper Warehouse (A59), on what was then Lenton Boulevard was built for Simons and Pickard, in 1893-94, the date stone reads 1894.
The rear of the building is on the canal side and has a more conventional warehouse look. This was one of the buildings for which Fothergill commissioned photographs from Bedford Lemere, and some of these can be found on Historic England’s website. There is another photo, taken from above, attached to the listing.
My next walk will be a little look around the Lace Market on 7 December 2018. Tickets are available here on Eventbrite.
If you’d like to keep in touch and hear about future walks, starting again in 2019, please sign up to my email mailing list.
Mainly, I took a few more photos of Fothergill’s work on the house he built for Mr Doubleday (as mentioned in my earlier blog about Carrington.)
Inside was rather busy and has been significantly altered, the two downstairs rooms were full of crafy goings on so a bit difficult to see, but apart from the windows there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of original features. The house has been significantly extended and converted so, as with so many of these buildings, it remains the exterior that retains its original character.
Heading back towards Sherwood shops, I took the chance to photograph the terrace of four, three-storey houses on the corner of Bingham Road (A77). These are virtually the last project that Fothergill put his name to before he retired. They were built in 1906 with Fothergill as the client as he had previously bought up the land (next to some earlier houses he built on Mansfield Road. A46)
The timber clad gables are quite different to the earlier houses and look at lot more like the work that assistant architect Lawrence George Summers would continue to work on after Fothergill had left the office (see his later work in New Basford which is erroneously credited to Fothergill on Picture The Past etc.)
Back in Sherwood, I went down Burlington Road to look for some slightly elusive, domestic Fothergills. This part of Nottingham is refered to as Cavendish Hill in the planning applications. The earlier Elberton House (A53) was built for Mr Gallimore, a clerk to Smith and Co’s Bank in 1890. Fothergill had worked on a branch of the bank in Long Eaton in 1889. Additions were made to the villa dated 1911, and these are the last known (minor) works for a private client to be signed off under Fothergill’s own name.
Close by is the Burlington Towers built in 1892 as a three-storey villa for Mr Lindley (A54) it has now been made into flats. UPDATE 18/11/18: I just received an email from the present owner of Burlington Towers, who has turned it back into one whole house. Apparently they were able to work from Fothergill’s drawings to get back to the original layout. There is a photo in the Bedford Lemere archive* from 1897 on Historic England’s website. (Elberton House also makes an appearance.)
*It turns out this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of period photos of Fothergill buildings on the Historic England site, I will keep digging for more, but so far Fothergill’s own family home at Mapperely Road and the Sherwood Rise properties have been identified.
Fothergill Watson was born in Mansfield in 1841. Until the death of his father, he lived at a house called The Linden on Chesterfield Road. (I believe it was situated somewhere close to where the big Tesco is now). His half-brother, Robert Mackie Watson lived at the Linden until his own death in 1906.
Fothergill and his mother left Mansfield for Nottingham on the death of his father in 1852, and Fothergill trained to become an architect. He had his own office in Nottingham by the early 1860s. Fothergill’s work in Mansfield was mainly for The Mansfield Improvement Commission (a forerunner of the Borough Council) of which Robert Mackie Watson was the chairman…
I took a wander round Mansfield with my trusty copy of Darren Turner’s Fothergill Catalogue to find which buildings are still standing. The bank on Church Street (A7) has long since been absorbed into the adjacent Swan Inn.
Next, I went up to the other side of the Market Place (past T.C. Hine’s Bentinck Memorial) to the other Fothergill commission of 1874, some shops and offices at the back of the Town Hall. Where Exchange Row meets Queens Walk (A8), these presently look empty. The twin gable and the pillar mullions in the windows seem to be a signature of Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings of this period.
Following the map in the book, I headed for Albert Street and almost missed the next building. I must have passed this hundreds of times but only when I looked closely did I spot the telltale hints of Gothic on no. 11. It is now a solicitor’s office but was built as a house and shop in 1875 (A11).
As it was lunchtime, we had a moment of inspiration! The Cattle Market built between 1876-78 (A15), the best known and most distinctive of Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings is now an Italian Restaurant – Ciao Bella –so off we went to Nottingham Road for il menu del giorno (FYI the Pollo Sicilliana was first rate snap and very good value!).
The toilets in the restaurant are upstairs, so you get to accend the spiral staircase in the turret. (I think the waitress thought I was a bit strange when I came back rather exited about this…) The Cattle Market stopped in 1987 (I can just about remember what the yard looked like before Water Meadows was built on the site). The building that is retained was the Market Keeper’s residence… this was the last job Fothergill did for the Improvement Commission.
There is one more building on Nottingham Road, and again we had to look closely to find it. The Villa (A18) is described as being two storey with attic rooms and at first we were distracted by the gloomy gothic vicarage across from the disused church on Nottingham Road, but a closer look at the map sent me back over the road and we realised that the Fothergill villa was this much plainer house, converted first into a Ukrainian Institute then used as a Family Centre, there was a removal van outside, so it looks like it is now being used as flats.
Finally, I decided to try to beat the rain and walk a little further out of town to find a pub that Fothergill had built for Mansfield Brewery (his Father in Law’s business) in 1876. The Kings Arms (A13) is a rebuilding of the pub previously on the site demolished at the widening of Newgate Lane. Darren Turner presents overwhelming evidence that this is indeed a Fothergill building and looking at the details around the entrance, I would have to agree.
There are a couple of other buildings of Fothergill’s still standing in Mansfield, three houses on St John’s Street (A14) built in 1876, and a house on Crow Hill Drive built in 1880 (A28) both of which he built for his half-sister Mrs Frances Page Wilson. This last is now used by the NHS and is called Heatherdene, it seems to have been Fothergill’s last Mansfield building, as the majority of his work was then done in Nottingham.
I am looking at devising a walk or a talk about Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings… but meanwhile I am conducting another edition of the Watson Fothergill Walk in Nottingham on 21st October 2018. Get your tickets here: EVENTBRITE.