This walk will be a slightly expanded version of the Beauty in the Details walks I offered last year, looking at the architecture and history of this unique part of the city. Tickets come with the choice of cream tea or full afternoon tea. So bring your mum or come along and treat yourself!
You can book over on Debbie Bryan’s website and tickets are £15 (cream tea) and £30 (full afternoon tea). Menus are available with traditional, vegetarian or vegan options and Debbie’s cafe caters for gluten-free options if booked in advance. Meet at Debbie Bryan on St Mary’s Gate for a 1pm start, for a walk and talk of approximately one hour (under 1km on flat paved streets) then return to Debbie Bryan for tea.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the Hine Hike yesterday (17 February) It helped me to test the route and timed the walk. I hope to set more dates for this walk as well as more Watson Fothergill Walks through the Spring and Summer 2019 – watch this space or sign up for the WFW newsletter for updates.
I’ll be coming back with more walks in 2019 – I’m hoping to start around March and then do walks on Sunday mornings a least once a month. I will also be planning some early evening walks when the nights are light enough. I hope to try out a walk featuring the buildings of Nottingham’s other star Victorian Architect, Thomas Chambers Hine.
I’m planning to do some more of my short walks in the Lace Market with Debbie Bryan in December. The walk takes place at 2pm on 7th December, with a look at the architecture and history of St Mary’s Gate. These tours will be similar to the Heritage Open Days tours that took place in September but this time will include tea or coffee and a warm mince pie at Debbie Bryan. You will also receive 10% off any other tea room orders on your visit.
There will be a look at the Adams Building and other Thomas Chambers Hine work in the area, as well as Watson Fothergill’s Milbie House on Pilcher Gate. The whole thing should take around 45 minutes with time for tea and mince pies (and perhaps some creative Christmas Shopping) afterwards.
If this first one is popular we may add more dates in December.
Tickets are £10 each, available here from Debbie Bryan, or call into her shop on St Mary’s Gate.
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).
Beauty in the details: Guided Lace Market Tour in Nottingham
I’m going to be leading some short, free walks for Heritage Open Days (HODS) in September. In colaboration with Debbie Bryan, from her shop and tearoom in the Nottingham Lace Market. I’ll be introducing the history of the buildings on St Mary’s Gate in the heart of the Lace Market, there will be a bit about Fothergill too…
Explore the hidden architectural gems around St Mary’s Gate and learn about the Lace Market on this short guided walk.
A taster walk looking at Lace Market history and architecture, including buildings by T.C. Hine and Watson Fothergill.