Wilford Church

UNTIL 1870 the direct access to Wilford from Nottingham was by means of a ferry, and even until quite recent times a completely rustic atmosphere has been preserved to the village by the very modest toll which is exacted for permission to cross the privately owned bridge which was constructed about that time.

Wilford is a place of great antiquity, and of much antiquarian interest. Its Church is a roomy building dating from the 13th century, but largely remodelled in the fifteenth century when the Perpendicular style of architecture was in vogue. It groups pleasantly with the rectory, reminiscent of the spacious days of the 18th century, and with the ancient Ferry Inn, with its memories of cherry feasts and other rural delights. Alas ! that this tranquility should be dominated by the colliery and the power station on the other bank of the river, but let us be thankful for what is left!

Wilford churchyard is immortalised by Henry Kirke White in a poem which includes these words—and it must have been a very different prospect to which he refers than the one to which we are accustomed !

" Here would I wish to sleep. This is the spot
Which I have long marked out to lay my bones in ;
Tired out and wearied with this riotous world
Beneath this yew I would be sepulchred
It is a lovely spot ! The sultry sun
From his meridian height, endeavours vainly
To pierce the shadowy foliage, while the zephyr
Comes wafting gently o’er the rippling Trent
And plays about my wan cheek, ‘Tis a nook
Most pleasant."

Perhaps so, but Kirke White died young in 1806, and it is as well to remember that he enriched our hymnology with the hymn beginning " Oft in danger, oft in woe," and with other poems which have comforted and refreshed many a weary soul since his day.