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History of Mapperley,



At various periods the terms 'Mapperley' and 'Mapperley Plains' have been applied to lands, on either side of Woodborough Road (B684), from a point at the junction of Mapperley Road, north-east for a distance of some 3¾ miles (6.0 km), to that point where the road forks towards Woodborough village. The stretch of Woodborough Road from Mapperley Road to Porchester Road is called Mapperley Plains' on Jackson's map of 1851–66, for Example. This section considers the history of the suburb within the present day city boundary.

The origins of the city of Nottingham suburb called Mapperley seem to be found in the fourteenth century. Writing in the 1670's about lands in the lordship of Basford, (i.e. west of present-day Woodborough Road) which were called cornerswong, Dr Robert Thoroton, notes:

In the time of Richard the second (reigned 1377-99), Thomas Mapurley was a considerable man at Nottingham. He, or his posterity, became Mapperley possessed of the chiefest part of these grounds, which was the occasion of them being called Maperley's Closes; and since there being a cottage-house or two, and some odd barns erected, it goes for a small Hamlet called Mapurley.

Early in his career Thomas Mapurley had been known by the name Thomas Holt of Mapperley, Derbyshire, but he changed his surname to the place of his origin, and it was after him that the suburb was subsequently named. He was under-sheriff of Nottinghamshire from about 1387 to 1391, during which time he was returned as MP for Nottingham in 1388 and 1391. He was mayor of the town in 1402-3 and recorder 1407–10.

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Thoroton mentions lands in 'Maperley Closes' being in the possession of members of families called Staples, Querneby and Blyth. Bankes' Crown Survey of 1609 has 'Five closes of pasture called Mapperley lying between Basford Waste and Nottingham Lordship in the occupation of Thomas Blithe, freeholder' and ‘two other closes of pasture next thereunto adjoining the one called Mapperley in the occupation of Robert Staples, freeholder'. By the early

seventeenth century it seems that what was known as 'Mapperley' was Mapperley Hills Common, a narrow strip of land, shown on Bankes' map, all to the east of Mapperley Hills Road (present day Woodborough Road), which began about where Alexandra Court now stands and continued northeast, ending close to the top of present-day Porchester Road. It measured about 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) long and from only 80 metres (260 ft) to 200 metres (660 ft) wide.

An advertisement of 1772 in the Nottingham Journal announced:

To be sold to the highest bidder… A compact freehold estate called Mapperley situated 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 [36 hectares] and upwards. There are also 12 acres [4.9 hectares] 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 a common right, without stint on the said Forest.

To judge from the land awarded as a result of the Basford Enclosure Act of 1792, ‘Mapperley’, at this time, meant all that area bounded by Redcliffe Road, Mansfield Road, Private Road and Woodborough Road. It is thought that the banker, John Smith, bought the advertised Mapperley estate. He died in 1776, leaving three daughters, one of whom, Mary, married Thomas Wright, and so the estate became the property of the Wright family. In the 1790s Ichabod Wright (1767-1862) built Mapperley Hall at the heart of the estate. In 1873 Ichabod's grandson, Colonel Charles Ichabod Wright began to sell land due south of the Hall and grounds; a plot bounded by Woodborough Road, the upper portion of Magdala Road and Lucknow Drive, ntended for six houses. The greater part of the Mapperley estate was only released for development in 1903. On 20 March of that year, the northern side of the estate was put up for auction, its 130 acres being described as a 'picturesque and finely timbered park'. At the auction the Wrights sold it for £74,500 to a group that included a well known local architect, William Beedham Starr, who wasted no time in submitting a detailed development plan to Nottingham Corporation for a series of streets to be set out on the land. Between 1906 and 1914 around 163 houses received planning consent in Mapperley Park, mostly in the northern area.

Mapperley Hall

Lucknow Drive

Magdala Road

The land on which the area of Alexandra Park now stands was originally a part of Mapperley Hills Common (q.v. above). Following the Enclosure Act of 1845 the land in this area was sold into private ownership, eventually falling into the possession of Jonathan and Benjamin Hine in the 1850s. They engaged their brother, the celebrated local architect Thomas Chambers. Hine to lay out the area and design the substantial houses that now define the character of the area. Enderleigh was one of the four earliest developed of these houses, the others being Fernleigh (now Forest Dene), Springfield House and Sunnyholme (now Trent House). These houses were built for some of the wealthiest figures within Nottingham at the time. Following the construction of these early houses Alexandra Park continued to develop as an exclusive residential area and does still retain something of this reputation.

Forest Dene (Nottinghamshire Hospice) originally designed by T. C. Hine was later redesigned by Arthur Marshall in the Baroque style of the later Victorian period. Originally built for John Dane Player of John Player and Sons Tobacco it was known as Fernleigh House.

One of two examples of ornate the Inglenook fire places to be found inside Forest Dene.

Two examples of stained glass windows installed by J. D. Player.

Developments further north, along the east side of Woodborough Road started later and by 1881 there were about forty buildings, beyond Alexandra Park, stretching as far as the city's new boundary. Two new public houses appear around this time, the Duke of Cambridge and the Belle Vue, and there were two new streets, Blyth Street and Querneby Road, with houses beginning to be built from about 1900. Over the next twenty years there was more building with new streets and houses as far as Porchester Road.

In 1837 a new thoroughfare, Coppice Road (now Ransom Road), was made through the coppice from St Ann's to Mapperley Common. The trees at the side of the road were planted in 1845. The Coppice Hospital on Ransom Drive, was designed by Thomas C. Hine.and built between 1857 and 1859. It was the second asylum to be built in Nottingham, the General Lunatic Asylum being the first, having been constructed at Sneinton Fields, off Carlton Road, in 1812. Mapperley Hospital (the Nottingham Borough Asylum) on Porchester Road was designed by George Thomas Hine, son of Thomas Chambers Hine, and built between 1875 and 1880.

Looking down Coppice Road (Ransom Road)

Looking up Coppice Road (Ransom Road) from the junction of Wells Road

Coppice Hospital. Sine its closure in 1985, and was converted into luxury apartments, it was renamed Hine House after the building’s architect Thomas Chambers Hine.

Thomas Chambers Hine 1813 - 1899

George Thomas Hine 1842 - 1916

Mapperley Hospital built between 1875 to 1880. After its closure in 1995 the whole complex was split into two. The north side became known as Duncan Macmillan House after the pioneering consultant psychiatrist Duncan Macmillan. Whereas the south side became luxury apartments and became known as City Heights.

St. Jude's Church was built in 1877, the foundation stone being laid by Mr. William Windley. The land that St. Jude’s Church is built on was given  by the Wright family who lived in Mapperley Hall. The Chancel was added in 1892. The Church was eventually enlarged with the addition of side aisles, vestries, which came at a cost of £4000. St. Jude's became a separate parish on the 9th of November 1926.

Lands alongside the B684, beyond the city boundary as far as the turning for Woodborough, are now commonly called the Mapperley Plains. As the area was once woodland, it may be that the term ‘plains’ is used here in its sense of an area that has been cleared of trees.

The Borough Extension Act 1877, which expanded the area of Nottingham from 1,996 acres to 10,935 acres, had the effect of bringing a number of settlements in Basford parish into the area of the town; these included Mapperley together with neighbouring Carrington and Sherwood. Before the Act Redcliffe Road (then Red Lane) was the northern extent of the town. After the Act, the new boundary ran along Porchester Road to Woodborough Road, north for several hundred yards and then west down Woodthorpe Drive.

St. Jude’s Church

Foundation Stone

Central Isle looking towards the alter

Stained Glass window above the altar


Stained Glass window above the font

Mapperley Tram Terminus

Westdale Lane, Mapperley

Mapperley Methodist Church: At a cost of around £3,191 (equivalent to £364,544 in 2021) and on land given by Charles Bennett (1832- 1909) who became, amongst his many achievements, the managing director of the Nottingham Patent Brick Company, and to a design by the Victorian architect Albert Edward Lambert, Mapperley Methodist Church was built in 1903. However, before that date the offices of the Nottingham Patent Brick Company were used in the evenings as a reading room, and on Sundays for religious services.

As Mapperley is the highest geographical point in Nottingham at a little over 400 feet (120 metres) above sea level,on ground belong to the Nottingham Patient Brick Company in 1897 during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and again in 1911, during King George V coronation celebrations, a huge bonfire or beacon was lit to mark both occasions.

1911: Bonfire/Beacon that was lit in celebration of the coronation of King George V

2022: In contrast, the beacon that was lit on Woodthorpe Park for Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Boundary Marker, Woodthorpe Drive

Circa 1900: Woodthorpe Drive

Circa 1900: Plains Road, Mapperley

Mapperley Methodist Church

Church Organ

Mapperley Schools, Woodborough Road