Netherfield Church, St. George's.
Netherfield Church, St. George's.

NETHERFIELD, formerly called Carlton Netherfield, forms part of the civil parish of Carlton under the Carlton Urban District Council.

In an Address to the Inhabitants of Netherfield printed in the "Parish Magazine" for July 1883, Canon Forester, Rector of Gedling, in referring to the efforts which were being made to erect a church at Netherfield, said:—"Since 1873 great changes have occurred in the parish, the G.N.R. Company and the L. & N.W.R. Company have taken up positions of great importance in one part of the parish, and the Corporation of Nottingham has become an important tenant occupier in another part of the parish. A new town has sprung up, a large cotton mill has been built, and an interesting printing -works has been erected, both in Netherfield, and are creating new trades. I find myself, therefore, confronted with not only a Carlton senior, but a Carlton Junior, requiring oversight and attention, so adding to my responsibilities and duties, at an age when I am less able to give attention to them. There is not only a swarm from the old stock, but a cast as well, to be hived." The formation of the ecclesiastical parish of Carlton has already been referred to.

Netherfield is now an ecclesiastical parish, formed 21 August, 1885, from Gedling parish, extending half a mile south-east from Carlton and Netherfield station on the Nottingham and Newark section of the Midland Railway, and about one mile south-east from the Great Northern station at Gedling.

St. George's Church, the foundation stone of which was laid 29 July 1886 by Lady Forester, is an edifice of red brick, with stone dressings, consisting of chancel, nave, vestry, north aisle, south porch, organ chamber, and a western turret containing one bell. The church was consecrated by the Archbishop of York, by commission from the Bishop of Southwell, on May 23rd 1887. It will seat 400 persons, was built by subscription, and cost £2,610. A Vicarage house was also built during the latter year at a cost of £1,500, given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The site for the Church and Vicarage, nearly one acre in extent, was given by the Earl of Carnarvon.

The benefice is a perpetual curacy. The first incumbent, the Rev. John Greenlaw, appointed in 1885, resigned 17 November 1898, and exchanged for the Vicarage of Owersby-with-Kirkby Osgodby, Lincolnshire, with the Rev. Charles Moon, who, in 1902, exchanged for the Rectory of Bow Brickhill, with the Rev. John Frederick Groves, M.A., who was licensed to Netherfield, 27 November 1902, on the presentation of the Earl of Carnarvon.

There are various Nonconformist places of worship in Netherfield:—Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, built in 1882; United Methodist Chapel, built in 1885; Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1886; Baptist Chapel, built in 1892; also Gospel Hall, in Victoria Road; and Christians' Meeting House, in Forester Street.

Messrs. S. Bourne & Co., have large cotton doubling Mills here; and Messrs. Stafford & Co's. lithographic and printing works also employ a large number of hands.

Netherfield, in addition to possessing a (junction) railway station, is a very important railway centre, about a thousand men being employed at the "sidings" which cover about 50 acres of ground, and are the largest on the Great Northern Railway system.

The Railway Club, erected in 1885, contains reading and recreation rooms, billiard rooms, and skittle alley, and has a bowling green attached. There are now (1908) 150 members.

The Council Schools in Chandos Street, erected in 1906, provide for 420 boys; the Public Elementary School, Ashwell Street, erected in 1894, and enlarged in 1901, accommodates 970 girls and infants; and the National School (mixed and infants) provides for 320 children.

The population in 1901 was 4,646.


We find the following gifts of money for the Poor among the Archives of the Parish, in the safe of the Rectory (Gedling).

14 Nov. 1679. An account of what money belongs to the Poore of Gedling, first given by Mr. Walton Parson of Gedling ll20 0 0. Given by Mr. Richard Truman ll5 0 0. Given by Edward Parker ll5 0 0. Given by John Foster ll1 14, being as many Shillings as he was yeares old wch was made up to 40 by Mr. Palmer mmr of Gedling=ll2 0 0, of this sum there is 40s lost wch was lent to Simon Pickard, and Wm. Pickard was bound for it, but both proved not able to pay it.

21 Dec. 1698. Memorandum.—Thomas Oldney and Thomas Knight being overseers for ye Poor of Gedling in ye yeare 1697 had of James Jolliffe Rector of Gedling Four pound, ten Shillings of the Poor People's money of Gedling, to place out Job Caunt, they promised to give Bond for it, & ye bond was made by Richard Sleight, but they would not Seal it, But the succeeding Overseers of ye Poor of Gedling have yearly paid the use (2 S.D.) for it, ever since the year 1697, at the usual time being St. Thomas Day.

Given by Thomas Melton of Gedling for the Poor of ye said towne ll5. Given by Bryan Melton of Arnold to ye poor of Gedling ll3. Given by Joseph Greenfield to the Poor of Gedling 1 10s.

21 Dec. 1714. The whole sum given to the Poor of Gedling amounted to ll41 10. The 40s. mentioned to be lost on the other side (overleaf) was made up by the Towne.

The following statement relative to Gedling Charities appears in Curtis's "Topographical History of Nottinghamshire," p. 108.—"In 1775 Montague Wood gave to the poor 7a. or. 17p. of land in the Parish of Arnold, let at £14 15s. per annum, the share of this rent belonging to Gedling amounts to £7 0s. 10½d., and is distributed amongst the poor. In 1779 Richard Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, gave £16 10s. 2d. which £550 9s. 2d. three per cent, consols were purchased, the dividend of which, amounting to £16 10s. 2d. is distributed in small sums of money or coals amongst the poor of the three townships." In the account of Carlton in the same work (p. 51) we find "Twenty shillings are annually distributed to the poor of Carlton, the bequest of John Aslin, who died in 1803."

We find in White's Directory for Notts. 1853, the following statement:—Poor's Land in Gedling consists of 7a. or. 17p. in Arnold, let in 1853 for £14 15 0 per annum & was purchased in 1735 with £122 10 0o which had been bequeathed to the Poor of the whole of the Parish; who have also the dividends of £550 9 2 consolidated 3 per cents, left in 1779 by Bp. Chenevix who was Rector of Gedling.

We are told on good authority that the whole of the foregoing legacies have been dealt with by the Charity Commissioners.

Constable's Accounts.

The Constable's* Accounts contain many curious entries, of which the following are early samples:—

1685/6. It. p'd to John Baguley for making a
new paire of Stockes 0 7 0
1704. for the Stocks mending & 9 hedghogs
killing† 0 1 7
1705. Pd for 8 hedghogs killing to Willm
Richardson 0 0 8
------ Pd to Mr Hoyt for two badgers killing 0 1 0
------ Pd to John Breffitt for a ullimord
catching 0 0 2
1706. It p'd for 3 warrants from Buney about Dear stealers & for goeing to Buney
about them‡ 0 4 10

* Referring to the multifarious duties performed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by these officials, a local historian has remarked that "the office is one of great antiquity, and its full importance can scarcely be realized in these days. The Parish, or Petty Constable, united in his person most of the functions of a police force, public prosecutor, exciseman, custom-house officer, collector and assessor of taxes, sanitary and building inspector, overseer, and a fully armed nineteenth century local board."—Leigh in the Eighteenth Century, by J. Rose.
† The war against the harmless hedgehog arose from a stupid superstition that they deprived cows of their milk. As recently as November 1908, a letter from the Board of Agriculture on the hedgehog was read at the meeting of the Ash Parish Council, in reply to an inquiry whether hedgehogs take the milk of the cows while the latter are lying down. The Board state that the question was referred to their zoological adviser, and that they are informed that the statement is "unfounded in fact." " It is an old fallacy," says the Board, "which was mentioned in the 'New Catalogue of Vulgar Errors,' published 120 years ago by Stephen Fovargue, M.A.''
‡ Refers to deer stealers in that portion of Thorneywood Chase included in the Parish of Gedling.

Thorney Wood Chace.

Extracts from "A General View of the Agriculture ot the County of Nottingham," by Robert Lowe, Esq., 1798:—

"Thorney Wood Chace.—A branch of the forest of Sherwood, of which the Earl of Chesterfield is hereditary keeper, by grant of 42 Eliz. comprehends most of the towns mentioned in the southern part of the survey of 1609. It is well stocked with fallow deer, as the rest of the forest was formerly with red deer, which appear not to have intermixed. It has been hitherto well wooded ; but the recent enclosures of Lambley and Gedling, when completed, will reduce it to very little. In point of soil, only the towns of Carlton, Gedling, Burton, and Bulcote, Lowdham, Lambley, Woodborough, and part of Arnold and Calverton, fall within this district. The deer since the late inclosures are all destroyed."

"WOODS in Thorney Wood Chace, allotted.
In Gedling. A. R. p.
{ Podder Coppice 55 3 20
{ Leeson, ditto, 42 0 15
Allotted { Ouscah, ditto, 20 1 30
in farms, { Park Well, ditto 61 0 15
and cul- { Stone Pitt, ditto 65 3 10
tivated { Harbor Hill, ditto 34 2 5
{ Pismire Hill, ditto 65 3 20
{ Old ditto, 51 0 0 A. R. P.
396 2 35
Plains 53 2 5
East Haw,—Earl Chesterfield 47 {Allotted, but re-
Marshall Hill,—C. Pierrepont, Esq. 100 { main in wood

The Marshall-hills, above referred to, adjoined the Nottingham Coppice, and in former days was a place of popular resort, as appears from the following note, under the year 1772, in "The Nottingham Date-Book":— "September 3.—Upwards of three hundred persons employed in Mr Arkwright's cotton mill, in Hockley, walked in procession through the town, with streamers flying, preceded by the head workman, who was clothed from head to foot in white cotton. After parading the streets, they marched to the Marshall-bills to gather nuts, and on their return in the evening were regaled with a plentiful supper."

The following extract from the same work, under the year 1792, relates to the inclosure of lands in Thorney Wood Chace:—

"Basford inclosure was effected this year by a special Act of Parliament The Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Chesterfield, and other land owners, obtained by it large accessions to their property, but not a single acre of land was reserved for the use of the public, though nearly 1,500 acres had up to this time been enjoyed in common by all the inhabitants, either for profit or pleasure.

The Commissioners of Woods and Forests demanded a fortieth part of the value of the lands inclosed, and instituted a valuation, not only of Basford, but also of all the Forest lands lying within the bounds of Thorneywood.

The return was as follows:—

In Basford township 1,700 acres, 6s. per acre

Gedling 750 acres, 7s.
Lenton and Radford 200 acres, 5s.
Lambley 600 acres, 5s.
Wood borough 440 acres, 7s.
Sneinton 80 acres, 12s.

Thus was the nation defrauded of its claim on the inclosure, as well as the parish of its grounds for recreation. The Crown got just nine pounds sterling as one-fortieth share of the value of the land on which Mapperley-place, Sherwood, Carrington, and Cavendish villas now stand; while the other claimants received their proportions in solid acres. Up to this period the Forest lands, in their wild luxuriance, used to be visited in the summer months by the merry-hearted tradesmen and mechanics of Nottingham, with their wives and sweethearts, in what were popularly known as 'nutting parties.' They took with them provisions and liquors for the day, and also a fiddler, to whose enlivening strains they danced till evening. These happy sports, which resembled in rural simplicity days of yore, were speedily brought to a close by the rapid march of inclosure."


The following extract from Court Roll, Notts., 24 Henry VII., (Bundle 227, No. 100.) was found too late to be inserted in its proper place. It is the only Court Roll concerning Gedling to be traced at the Record Office. It consists but of a very tattered, dilapidated sheet of paper, the writing very bad and much abbreviated. The following, with the exception of its first two or three words, constitutes the first entry, and is the only one on the sheet containing thedate:—

". . . . . . cur past dm Reg ducat Launcaster tent apd hokerton die Sabi videlt xvmo die Apriell a° r.r. henr vij xxiiij [. . . . Court at Easter ot our Lord the King of his duchy of Lancaster held at Hockerton on Saturday to wit 15th April in the 24th year of the reign of King Henry VII. (1559)]." Then follow names and particulars of several places until, as it happens, that relating to Gedling is reached on the back of the foregoing heading:

Gedling Rafferld myln ffranc' ibm p'o qd Henry Walloke' myl Briaund vjd Stapolton myl Th' Stapolton iiijd ar' Th Perata Joh'es leylande ijs Debt Sect &c. It p'o qd vxor alexandr Smyth bras [? brewer] & Will'o Kyrkebe pist' pane' [baker of bread]. In this Roll all the entries against the various villages begin with practically the same wording and appear to that extent to have been written beforehand and then the particulars filled in. Above the names of Walloke and Perat the s signifies a shilling in each case. "Debt Sect" means owe Suit of Court (were not there).