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.
The last part of this search for some of Watson Fothergill’s buildings in Nottingham lead me to Mapperley Road (after a brief stop for much needed tea at Homemade Cafe in the Pavillion on The Forest Rec.)
Up on the corner of Mansfield Road and Mapperley Road is St Andrew’s House. (A48 in the Fothergill Catalogue.) Here Fothergill designed a three storey addition to the existing dwelling, plus a single storey waiting room and consulting room on the Mapperley Road side for a Dr Stewart in 1886. Fothergill had previously noted in his diary in July 1885 that the
“stucco house corner Mapperley Road Mansfield Road sold by auction to Stewart £2,600.”
As Fothergill himself lived a little further up Mapperley Road he would have been keeping a close eye on the developments in the neighbourhood. In 1886, Dr Stewart engaged Fothergill to add ‘Three Carriage Houses with hay loft over and harness room to the rear’ (MW23). The date stone bares the owner’s initials ‘IS’.
In Fothergill’s work on the house you can see several features that he was to use in his buildings – brick nogging patterns, turrets, black woodwork and bargeboards (there’s a slight Arts and Crafts feel to the porch) and large chimneys. There’s no trace of the “stucco” he mentions in his diary.
A few inconsistencies arise: The Historic England listing for the building has the owner as Dr Smart (per Ken Brand) and “St Andrews House” is now the name for a sheltered housing project close by. After Dr Stewart (I’m going to stick with the name quoted in Fothergill’s diary by Darren Turner), this building was used as an office (from circa 1929) by Thomas Cecil Howitt (1889–1968) the Hucknall-born architect responsible for the design of Nottingham’s Council House, the Raleigh head office on Lenton Boulevard and the Home Brewery building in Daybrook. (Perhaps another blog about him later!).
Back to Mapperley Road and to the site of Fothergill’s own family home. 7 Mapperley Road (A3) was the first house Fothergill built, almost as the foundation of his architectural practice. The first brick was laid in 1871. Fothergill had carefully selected the site:
“This Autumn (1870) after searching all over town for a site we liked I bought a piece of land on the northern side of Mapperley Road in Mr Patchitt’s estate.”
The Watson Family, as they still were, moved in on 26th March 1872, though the workmen were not yet out of the house. Fothergill purchased adjacent land from Thomas Birkin in 1901, to extend as far as Chestnut Grove, where they laid out an ornamental garden and a tennis court.
Now the only trace of Fothergill here is his name and some rather ugly maisonettes with faux-classical porches.
Round the corner into Elm Bank we can find one of Fothergill’s assistant Lawrence George Summers’ surviving projects. Alterations and additions to a villa, which was for a time Elm Bank Lodge Guest House (LGS9). Work was done in 1893 for a Mr Thomas Jopling. Summers added a breakfast room, kitchen and scullery with a bedroom over. Of all Summers’ sole works, says Darren Turner, this design is the closest in style to the other work coming out of Fothergill’s office. (More on Summers in future blogs.)
The hand of Summers can also be seen in the next house I looked at, back on Mapperley Road. ‘Beechwood’ 30A Mapperley Road (A76/ LGS20) was built for Mrs HA Wilkinson in 1905. Fothergill and Summers are listed as joint architects on the project and it is one of the last projects Fothergill would have worked on before he retired.
The three storey house employs recognisable Fothergill motifs, the turret, the nogging and black woodwork, but feels more domestic in scale than some of the early villas.
And there I started to get a blister on my foot… so this portion of the Fothergill safari is over for now. I hope to explore some other parts of Nottingham and bring you some more buildings soon.
Meanwhile the walks on 30 September are now full… Sign up to my mailing list or follow the Watson Fothergill Walk Facebook page for news of more events.
The next leg of my exploration of Nottingham’s lesser spotted Watson Fothergill buildings took me to Sherwood Rise, up from the roundabout where the Goose Fair goose is now installed for its annual roost.
The first houses you come to walking up from the roundabout are a pair of semi-detached villas at 1 & 3 Sherwood Rise, between what is now Third Avenue and Wiverton Road. Fothergill designed these for Mr John Lindley in 1894, the plans being submitted in March, (A61 in Darren Turner’s Fothergill Catalogue).
The houses are well sheltered by their gardens but are distinctively in Fothergill’s late style (his next project was his office on George Street). They were built by Messrs Bennet and Williamson between May 1894 and April 1895. The date stone reads 1894. Fothergill recorded in his diary in 1895:
“March 27. Death of John Lindley, Sherwood Rise for whom I was building 2 villas aged 62.” Then in May: “May 29th. The pair of villas (freehold) I have just built at Sherwood Rise sold by auction by John Lindley exors (executors) for £1,750. The total rental is £103.”
The properties were up for auction again in November 1898, with the advertisements making reference to Fothergill as the architect.
Further up Sherwood Rise, on the end of Berridge Road, we come to The Norris Homes (A56). Described in the catalogue as “Eight Ladies’ Homes”, these almshouses were built by Miss Mary Smith in memory of her brother John Norris in 1893. There are eight one bedroom homes in the development.
The Norris Homes are still in use as Almshouses for single women or couples aged over 60 who have lived in Nottingham. The houses were restored in 1991, with the addition of the weathercock, a sundial and a carved dragon.
The building is inscribed “Watson Fothergill, Architect”, the first time that his reversed name appears on a structure.
The client, Miss Mary Smith, of Bluecoat Street, remained a spinster and died in 1909. Fothergill was her executor.
A short walk into the streets off Sherwood Rise leads to Foxhall Road. Here are sixteen houses (A74), for Mr J H Willatt Esq. The planning application was submitted in 1901 and inspections were noted in 1902. The houses are in small terraces of 4 houses each.
The houses stand out from the other terraces nearby, with their stepped gables and a polychrome diamond pattern in the brickwork.
One more installment of this Safari still to come… Meanwhile join me for the latest city centre Watson Fothergill Walks in Nottingham on 30 September 2018 at 10am & 1pm (still a couple of tickets available for 10am).