The Free School. Robert Mellers, son of Dame Agnes Mellers, following his mother's example, in 1515, gave a close lying in Basford Wong, and a house situate in Bridlesmith Gate to the Free School. His wife was Julian Mapurley, and she afterwards married Nicholas Querneby. He was M.P. for Nottingham Thomas Mellers, another son of Agnes, in 1535 gave his lands in the town and fields of Basford to the use of the School. He was Mayor in 1523, when he and others, "lovyngly advanced unto the Kyngs Grace [Henry VIII.] by way of Loone" [loan] £147 13s. 4d.

The story of Mapperley has been told by Mr. A. Stapleton, in his work "Old Mapperley," in 234 pages, dealing with the foregoing, and with the ownerships of the Byrons, Staples, Quernebys, Blythes, Staples again, and Thoroton (1677) say that Staples hath "built a little brick house at this Mapurley," and again "Since there being a cottage-house or two, and some odd barns erected, it goes for a small hamlet called Mapurley," p. 230.

In the Nottingham Journal of 14th Nov. 1772, appeared the following advertisement:—"To be sold to the best bidder, together, or in several lots, at the house of Mr. Semes, the Blackmoor's Head, in Nottingham, on Thursday, the 7th day of January next, between the hours of eleven and four, subject to such conditions as shall be then produced, unless sold in the meantime by private contract, of which timely notice will be given in this paper: A compact freehold estate called Mapperley. situate in the parish of Basford, within one mile of Nottingham, consisting of two messuage houses, and 18 closes of rich meadow and pasture land adjoining thereto, and lying within a ring fence, containing 88 acres and upwards There are also 12 acres of arable land to the said estate, as its proportion of Break from the Forest. Mapperley is a very pleasant situation, near Sherwood Forest, in a fine sporting country, and is entitled to common right, without stint, on the said Forest." (Stapleton).

It is believed that John Smith, the banker, bought the estate. He died in 1776, leaving three daughters, one of whom, Mary, married Thomas Wright, and so brought the estate to the latter family. By a deed of partition, dated 20th May, 1777, the Mapperley and Basford estates were apportioned to Thomas Wright, or Mary his wife. Of this marriage Ichabod Wright was the eldest son. He was born in 1707, and his father died in 1790.

Under the Inclosure Act of 1792, not merely the old central portion of the Park, but all the land from Red Lane to the Private Road estate, and from Mansfield Road to the boundary against where St. Jude's Church stands, was allotted to Ichabod Wright.

Throsby in 1795 notes that Mr. Wright "has lately taken in an extensive portion of the forest, as a proprietor of some old enclosure here, on which he has just built a good house, which by the appearance of the new plantations about it promises in a few years to become a pleasing embellishment," etc. Some of the fine trees — oak, ash, elm, beech, etc. — that Mr. Wright then planted are still standing, and command our admiration.

About 1880 the Magdala Road district was apportioned off, and was gradually sold, and built on. In 1903 the hall, and 130 acres of land, were sold to Messrs. Derbyshire Bros., W. B. Starr, and J. Ash worth, for £74,500, and by them apportioned, roads formed, and many houses erected. The hall has been sold to the Corporation; the High School Trustees have purchased the Recreation ground ; some fine trees are preserved, and the rooks continue It is a pity the belt of trees adjoining to Mansfield Road was not retained.

Woods. The hills were in the olden time covered with woods. In 1336 Robert de Crophill sold to William de Amyas "half an acre which lies in the Wodefield,""and it extends on either side of Lameley gate." In 1335 Red lane was described as leading from the Forest to the Coppice, which was the wood of Nottingham, and from which the fuel used had largely to be drawn—lawfully or unlawfully— in the days before coal was commonly used. The Coppice was well stored with oaks, which were cut down, and the land of the upper one turned to pasture. The wood of Basford, and Algarthorpe wood, apparently covered the larger part of the north western slope of Mapperley. North of this was the wood of Arnold, from which Hugh de Neville about 1221 gave two cart loads of wood in each week to the Hospital House of Saint John. Thorney-wood covered the plains from Mapperley to Woodborough, and on the southern slope was the Gedling wood, and the Marshall hills, where at holiday times Nottingham people went nutting and blackberrying. Add to this the bold declivities of the Royal Chase, and the traditions of St. Ann's Well, with Sneinton Common on the south, and Basford Lings on the west, and we have presented to us a scene of wildness in marked contrast with present conditions.

Thoroton has an apt sentence:— "The soil is generally of the most fertile in England, except a great part of the Forest of Sherwood, which was the most pleasant, but by the abominable destruction of woods is now much otherwise."

Roads. There was probably from time immemorial a road or way to Lambley through the great wood which covered the Plains, and in the Inclosures of the several parishes 1792-1797, a joint arrangement was made for a road over the plains, to be 60 feet wide, but it was not properly mettalled, the result being that in winter time bricks could not be carted on it, but were according to good old Alderman Burgass, who had a brick-yard, say in the forties, carted in summer time down to the foot of Red Lane, and stacked there, near to where Carrington Police Station now is, for winter use.

There was great distress in 1837, when a sum of £5000 was raised and spent in levelling and repairing St. Ann's Lane, lied Lane, Wood Lane, (the lower part of Wells Road) but chiefly in the formation of a new road through the coppice to Mapperley Common. The trees at the side of Coppice Road were planted in 1845. About 1850 Woodborough Road, from the top of York Street to Mapperley Road, until then a foot and bridle road, was made to its present width, and was afterwards several times lowered, and the latter road from St. Andrew's Church was also made, but not paved, till many years afterwards. There is an old boundary stone in the hedge bottom opposite to No. 375 Woodborough Road, which the Mickletorn Jury jealously guarded. Scout Lane is defined by Dr. Mutschmann as "the precipice lane," having formerly two steep projecting ridges.

A Fight. A hundred years ago Mapperley was an outlandish discrict, and a place for lawless acts. In 1835 there was on the Plains a pugilistic encounter between two young men, Austin and Lupton, in which Lupton was killed. The prize was the servant at a public house in Woolpack Lane, who would view favourably as a suitor whichever was victor.

Chartist Riots. The Chartist Riots were a disturbing influence in 1842. The idea was to promote a general strike, or cessation of labour, until the People's Charter became the law of the land. An unsuccessful attempt was made to oust the workmen from Messrs Biddle & Birkin's factory: 2000 men assembled at Sherwood, and were dispersed by the military; several thousand assembled on Mapperley Hills, and 400 of them were captured by the Dragoons and marched off to the House of Correction, but most of them were afterwards discharged, a few being sentenced from two to six months imprisonment. The old Coltsfoot beerhouse was a favourite calling place for pedestrians.

Brickmaking. Brickmaking has for centuries been the staple industry of Mapperley, for in 1682-3 several persons were charged with digging clay upon "the Playnes," and the Council ordered that their kills (kilns) and hovels should be pulled down, and although in 1688 Thos. Elliott supplied bricks to the Corporation, yet the year following he was fined 5/- "for a brick kilne upon the Plaines." These kilns were probably on the south-eastern side of the road. It is usually thought that the lost art of brickmaking became considerably developed through the great fire of London in 1666 showing the danger of timbered buildings, but it had been used locally earlier than this. In any case for centuries bricks have been made at Mapperley, justifying the saying that "Nottingham once stood on Mapperley Hills," and from that range of hills more than a thousand million bricks have been made, and many millions have gone to London, to build among other places St. Pancras Station. The bricks in the olden time were made of top clay only, trodden by children, or beaten with clubs by men; then came a grinding between rollers, turned by a horse going round a mill-race; then followed steam power, and revolving pan, and iron grinding mills, mixers, pug mills, wire cutting machines, heated floors, continuous kilns, etc. The Suburban Railway (1877) has been helpful to the trade.

There was formerly a very good bed of stone got at Mapperley, which had the quality of hardening with time. As the bed proceeds north-eastwardly it becomes inferior. Stone from Mapperley Hill, Mr. Stapleton suggests, was used in the Town Wall.

St. Jude's Church. St. Jude's Church was built in 1877, the foundation stone being laid by Mr. Wm. Windley, the acting spirit being the Rev. H Lonsdale, M.A., curate to Canon Lewis, who married Mr Windley's daughter, and is Vicar of Corbridge-on-Tyne. The land was given  by the Wright family. The Chancel was added in 1892, and the Church is about to be enlarged, by the addition of side aisles, vestries, etc., at a cost of £4000. The Rev. A. Thornley, M.A., was an early worker here.

The Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1903, and has an active band of workers, with a Sick Society, Band of Hope, etc. Services were for some years conducted in the Brick Co.'s office.

The Bonfires at Queen Victoria's Jubilee, and the King's Coronation, were on the highest point in the yards of the Nottingham Patent Brick Co. Their office was used in evenings as a reading room, and on Sundays for religious services until the Wesleyan Chapel was built.

There is an Institute (1906), and also a rifle range. In the Institute is an adult, Sunday morning school for men.

There is also an embroidery factory, and a manufactory for washing powders, a laundry, etc.

The Corporation Reservoir has a storage capacity of nearly two million gallons.

Extension. A page must be given to that part of modern Mapperley which is not in the parish of Basford, but is in St. Mary's, or Carlton, Gedling, or Arnold. Alexandra Park probably was for generations used for brickyard purposes, and 300 years ago the valleys below sheltered the unfortunate victims of the plague, which had through neglect of sanitary precautions infested our town. In 1853 John Green Hine and Benj. H. Hine, who owned the land, began to open it out for building purposes, the first house being built by them on the site of Springfield, which was built by Sir John Turney (who was Sheriff 1878, Mayor 1886-8). and is now the residence of Mr. A. W. Black, M.P., who was Mayor in 1902. The next house was Fernleigh, and was built by Mr. W. Windley, now Mr. J. D Player's, and the third was Sunnyholme, in 1863 conveyed to Thos. Woodhouse, now belonging to Mr. Arthur Durose. A Rifle Range on the site of an old brick yard, on Coppice Boad, was opened in 1859, and closed because of danger, and the land was in 1905 converted into a recreation ground. At the foot of these grounds are the delightful Hunger Hill Gardens.

The Coppice.
The Coppice.

The Coppice. On a bold projection stands "The Lunatic Hospital," usually called "The Coppice," its grounds occupying 17 acres. It was opened in 1859, for 100 patients of what are called the upper and middle classes, into which patients are received, who, not being paupers are unable to pay the whole expense of their care and maintenance. It is an older charity than the date given indicates, for the donations, legacies, and collections commenced in 1789, and have to some extent continued. It has investments amounting to £55,000, and is controlled by Trustees, and a Committee of gentlemen of the city and county.

The City Asylum was opened in 1880, and has an area of 125 acres, including the land on the west side of Wells Road up to "The Coppice." It was built for 300 patients, the late Alderman Barber being the chairman. It has been repeatedly enlarged, and now has accommodation for 860 patients, and is full. The cost of land, buildings, furnishing, etc., has been £156,142. Previous to 1880 both Town and County patients were accommodated at Sneinton.

The National School was built for school and mission purposes in 1860, and has been four times enlarged. At this school Mr. Dodson has done a useful work for 29 years. The Church Hall was built in 1909.

The Porchester Estate, with its 800 gardens, subscribed for by instalments paid over 10 years, with the patronage of Ald. Bennett, Sir John Robinson, and Messrs. Whittingham, Haywood, and others, is a valuable institution, showing the power of self-help, of co-operation, of thrift, of the desire to live in quietness with healthy garden surroundings. These gardens were inspected by Lord Salisbury, the prime minister, when in 1889 he on a visit to Nottingham took occasion to announce free education.

Adjoining the Porchester Estates are several other garden estates, and in Gedling parish are the schools built by the Notts. County Council, 1918, for three parishes. In Arnold parish on the Breck Hill Estate, are a number of detached residences.