Bulwell Hall

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The first Bulwell Hall, which was known as Bulwell Wood Hall, was situated at Hempshill. In 1540, during the reign of Henry VIII, land known as Bulwell Wood was given to Sir John Byron, Knight of the realm ,  who built a substantial manor there.


In 1765 Mr. William  Chaworth of  Annesley Hall, ventured to assert that the Manor of Bulwell was the property of Sir Charles Sedley. Lord Byron challenged Mr.  Chaworth and the pair fought a duel in a dark room at the Nottinghamshire Club in Pall-Mall, London. Mr. Chaworth was mortally wounded; Lord Byron was found guilty of manslaughter by a Jury of Peers. He was eventually let-off the charge under the statute of Edward the Sixth. This relates to the Hall at Hempshill.


In 1711 during the reign of Queen Anne, a Godfrey Wentworth was then Lord of the Manor.

The Estate then reached far beyond Bulwell as we now know it. Godfrey Wentworth died, and on April 24th. 1723, Dorothy, the Lady Wentworth and William Wentworth, became the Trustees of the Estate on the behalf of his son, Godfrey Wentworth an infant under the age of twenty-one. He eventually became Lord of the Manor and it was he who sold the land to John Newton where the Hall was later built.


John Newton built Bulwell Hall in1770 and it was first called Pye Wipe Hall. He died November 13th 1820. His son who should have acquired the Estate died twelve days later on the 25th. Upon the death of these, his Grandfather and Uncle, the Rev. Alfred Padley acquired the Estate and Hall by Will.


The Census of 1841 shows the Hall to be occupied by:


Alfred Padley aged fifty. His wife Selina aged forty-seven and son Alfred Padley aged twenty. There were also nine servants employed.


The Census of 1851 gives a little more information and shows the following details: -


Alfred Padley, aged 60yrs. Curate of Bulwell. Born Burton Joyce, Nottingham

Selina (Wife) aged 56yrs. Born Nottingham

Abraham Seaman, aged 63 yrs. Gamekeeper. Born “Unknown”

William Welbourne, aged 30yrs. Butler. Born Plungar, Leicestershire.

William Kirkham, aged 27 yrs. Groom. Born Bulcote, Nottinghamshire.

Elizabeth Hall, aged 44 yrs. Cook. Born London.

Emma Henson, aged 25yrs. Lady’s Maid, Born Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Emma Clarke, aged 27yrs. House Maid, Born Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

Jane Juke, aged l8yrs. Kitchen Girl. Born Ratcliffe, Nottinghamshire

Selina Bolton, aged 80yrs. Mother-in-law to the Rev. A. Padley. Born Ashbourne Hall Derbyshire

Ann Fowler, aged 27yrs. Maid to Selina Bolton. Born Yorkshire ???


The Census of 1861


Charles J. A. Padley, aged 39yrs. Clergyman without holding, Born Alresford, Essex

(He did not have a Parish. “Probably unemployed”)

Francis Ramsbottom, aged l9 yrs. (visitor) Medical Student. Born Middlesex. London

Abraham. Seaman, aged 74yrs. Gamekeeper. Born Westburyholt, Essex.

??????? Archer, aged 32yrs. Maid. Born Beeston. Nottinghamshire.

William. Moore aged 1 9yrs. Footman. Born Ratcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

William Kirkham, aged 45 yrs. Coachman. Born Bulcote. Nottinghamshire

Jane Richmond aged 34yrs. Cook. Born Normanton-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire.

Eliza. Fryer, aged 32yrs. Housemaid. Born Ratcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

Elizabeth. Paulson, aged l8 yrs. Housemaid. Born Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

Emma. Bailey, aged 18yrs. Kitchen Maid. Born Kinoulton, Nottinghamshire


On Tuesday 25th October 1864 the Hall went up for auction at the George Hotel, Nottingham. The auctioneers were Wilkinson & Horne, (The catalogue can be seen in the A3 file) The Hall and Estate at this time were owned by the Rev. Charles J. A. Padley, son of the Rev. Alfred Padley. It was sold to Samuel Thomas Cooper.


"BULWELL hall estate"

situate in the

parishes of BULWELL and Hucknall torkard

About Four Miles from the important Town of Nottingham, 9 Miles from Mansfield, and close to the Bulwell Station on the Midland Railway, a fine part of the


county of Nottingham,

it comprises  a

noble and elegant mansion,

with attached and detached offices, 

         Nicely Timbered Park, Beautiful Lawns, Pleasure Grounds and Gardens, Conservatory, Forcing Houses, &c.

"rigg hill," "Wilkinson's ," " far lens," & "north Hempshill,"  farms,

With good Farm-houses, Buildings and cottages, valuable Properties in the Village, consisting of numerous Dwelling Houses, Shops, and Public Houses,

cotton and corn mills, starch and bleach works,

two desirable family residences and accommodation lands,

The whole extending over about 

one thousand acres

Of fine Arable, Meadows, Pastures, and Wood Land, also

the manor and advowson of BULWELL,

With right of next presentation, and

the valuable minerals;

Which will be Sold by auction, by Messrs.

Wilkinson        &        horne

At the " George" Hotel" Nottingham, 

on Tuesday, 25th. day of  OCTOBER, 1864.

At 12 for 1 o: Clock precisely.


several dwelling houses, shops, cottages,

and enclosures of 

accommodation lands,


the  manor  of  BULWELL

with its valuable rights and appurtenances, and 

the perpetual advowson

and next presentation to the rectory of BULWELL

under the estate are

valuable and extensive seams of coal,

now being worked, and producing a very considerable income; there are also

lime and stone quarries, yielding annually a large quantity of the BULWELL stone,

for which there is great demand in Nottingham and neighborhood.

the river Leen affords excellent fishing, there is good shooting, and mr. muster,s fox hounds meet within easy reach.

the present rentals derived from the several tenants are very low, and might fairly be considerably increased.

the mansion, offices, grounds, and park, which are in hand, are in the most perfect order, and present a most enjoyable occupation for the immediate reception of family of the first respectability, and the various properties offer

sound and permanent investments

the mode of sub-dividing this important estate as follows viz.:--




Lot One

       the      elegant      mansion,

known as

"BULWELL hall"

with is beautiful grounds, park, plantations, & lands.

the mansion, which is placed so as to command the finest views, is approached from the high road by a drive of nearly a mile, winding through the park, which is ornamented by some old oaks and sheets of water, and terminating with an avenue of young limes.

It is most substantially built of stone, has two wings, clock tower, and a noble portico entrance which forms a very prominent feature in front, and the interior of the building generally is fitted in accordance with its commanding exterior

the accommodation consists of 

0n the upper floor-

large day and night nurseries, four good bed rooms, and staircase to the roof. 

on the first floor-

spacious landing 16 feet by 14feet 6, six large bed chambers, dressing room, morning room, bath room, housemaid's room, water closet, and in the left wing, a well lighted billiard room 27 feet 6 by 17 feet 12 feet high, with lavatory and water closet adjoining.

on the ground or principal floor-

noble entrance hall 41 feet 8 long by 14 feet 6 in which is placed the principal staircase with carved oak and spiral balusters and two marbled columns, noble dining room 28 feet by 19 feet 6, with carved mantle-piece and enriched cornices, library 19 feet by 15 feet, elegant drawing room 19 feet square communicating by a pair of richly gilded maple and pollard oak folding doors, with-

a magnificent drawing room 37 feet by 20 feet and 15 feet high,

with bay windows, opening on to the pleasure grounds, handsome statuary marble and gilded mantle-piece, the ceiling, cornices, and walls beautifully decorated and finished with great taste, the whole forming,

a suite of very handsome reception rooms.

the domestic offices--

which are well arranged , comprise a large kitchen, scullery, servants hall, housekeeper's room, butler's pantry, cool larder, cook's room, china closet, boot-house, secondary staircase to the upper floors, a staircase leading to a good laundry, man's bed room and store room, a large coal place with room over, and extensive wine and beer cellars in the basement.

the out offices

which are partly attached to the main building, consist of a brew-house, yard, and water closet, capital paved carriage yard with folding entrance gates, stabling for four horses , double coach-house, harness room with loft and storage over, coal place, water closet, enclosed dung pit, and pump giving a good supply of water; and at a short distance is additional stabling for six horses, coach-house, harness room and loft, range of dog kennels, other buildings, and paddock.



in front of the residence are lawns, and an elegant balustrade with ornamental iron entrance gates, leading to a carriage drive and park.

the beautiful pleasure grounds

are laid out with great taste in


lawns, flower gardens, shrubberies, and plantations,

filled with a profusion of choice young American and ornamental shrubs, and intersected by delightful gravel walks, 

   a handsome conservatory 42 feet in length. 



 the Census of 1871


Ada Beatrice Cooper, aged 5 yrs. (Daughter). Scholar. Born London.

Annie Cooper aged 37 yrs. Widow. Annuitant. Born Edinburgh.

Rosamund Ann Barber, aged 40 yrs. (Married). Visitor. Annuitant. Born Edinburgh

Sarah Barber, aged 37 yrs. Unmarried. Visitor. Annuitant. Born Edinburgh.

Mary Antonia Collinson, aged l0 yrs. Scholar. Visitor. Born Doncaster, Yorkshire

Rachael Marr aged 36 yrs. Unmarried. Housekeeper. Born Thwaite, Yorkshire.

Mary Anton, aged 38 yrs. Unmarried. Ladies  Maid. Born Ripon, Yorkshire

Elizabeth Faucett, aged 28 yrs. Unmarried. Upper Housemaid. Born Marston, Derbyshire

Hannah Douthwaite, aged 25 yrs. Unmarried. Kitchen maid. Born Tollerton, Nottinghamshire.

Jane Woolf, aged 25 yrs. Unmarried. Housemaid. Born Kingstone, Hereford

Ellen Kirkham, aged 25 yrs. Unmarried. Nursemaid. Born Hucknall, Nottinghamshire

Annie Bowler, aged l9 yrs. Unmarried. Housemaid Born Stavely, Derbyshire

Caroline Jenkins, aged l9 yrs. Unmarried. Scullery-maid. Born Middlesex

Samuel Simmonds, aged 39 yrs. Married. Butler. Born Middlesex.


On the l9th November 1877 there was a mass protest of some 4-5000 people on the Village Green claiming that the land between the Midland Station and the River Leen had been illegally taken from the public by S.T. Cooper Esq., Lord of the Manor. This land (known locally as the Bogs) had been unen­closed common land for 50 years.


The then site of the village green was where the National School now stands and across to the site where the Adelphi Cinema stood and to the banks of the River Leen beyond. The road which ran around the back of where the school stands, from Ragdale Road on to Hucknall Lane was known as Bulwell Green.


The Census of 1881

Ada Beatrice Cooper, aged 15 yrs. (Head of Family) Born London

Rosamund Ann Barber, aged 48 yrs. (Aunt) Landowner. Born Edinburgh.

Helen Tehoek, aged 2l yrs. (???) Born Germain, France.

George Paige, aged 36 yrs. Unmarried. Butler. Born Tamerton, Devon

Thomas Spring, aged 21 yrs. Unmarried. Footman. Born Redbourn, Hertfortshire

Frederick Clarke, aged 1 8 yrs. Unmarried. Footman. Born London

Annie Keen, aged 37 yrs. Married. Housekeeper, Born Cauldwell, Derbyshire

Ellen Holland, aged 32 yrs. Unmarried. Cook. Born Great Malvern, Worcestershire

Elsie Cupit, aged 22 yrs. Unmarried. Kitchen maid. Born Duffield, Derbyshire

Selina Fauke, aged 23 yrs. Unmarried. Scullery maid. Born Tarrington, Herefordshire

Mary Anne McAvoy, aged 26 yrs. Unmarried. Housemaid. Born Cockermouth, Cumberland

Mary Agnes Ashmore, aged 32 yrs. Unmarried. Housemaid. Born Nottinghamshire

Celestine LeMaice, aged 28 yrs. Unmarried. School-room Maid. Born, Orleans, France.  

Bulwell Hall Stables

Thomas NISBETT (Head) Aged 31 Married Occ. Gardener Born Papplewick Notts. England

Elizabeth NISBETT (Wife) Aged 28 Married Born Ryoxall Stafford England.

Margaret Anne NISBETT (daur) Aged 7m Born Bulwell Nottingham England


Charles WILLEY ( Head) Aged 43 Occ. Farm Foreman (Bailiff) Born Mumby Lincoln England.

Sarah WILLEY (Wife) Aged 43 Born Flagsthorpe Lincoln England.


John WIFFIN (Head) Aged 42 Married Occ. Coachman Born Lincoln England

Jane WIFFIN (Wife) Aged 37 Born Lincoln England.

Mary Ann WIFFIN Daur,) Aged 10 Born Lincoln England.


William HENSTOCK Head U Aged 25 Occ. Groom Born Cotgrave Nottingham England.

Joseph BAGALEY Boarder  U Aged 19 Occ. Groom Born Edingley England.

John CLEMENCE Boarder  U Aged 21 Occ. Groom Born Radford Nottingham England.


Bulwell Hall Lodge.

William ELLIOTT (Head) Aged 66 Occ. Night Watchman Born Bulwell Nottingham England

Ann ELLIOTT (Wife) Aged 67 Occ. House Work (Domestic Servant) Born Bulwell Nottingham.



The Census of 1891

William Kemp, aged 47 yrs. Caretaker Labourer. Born Heydon, Norfolk

Hannah M. Kemp, aged 41 yrs. (Wife) Born Latchthorpe, Norfolk


It appears the Hall was unoccupied at the time of the census. This would be around the period between the Cooper’ s ownership and the Hardy’ s.




Extract from



John Newton Esq. of Bulwell House

There is a stone tablet in St. Mary’s Church which records that he died on November 13th. 1820 aged 84 yrs. and of his son Colonel Robert Sacheveral Newton who died on the 25th day of the same month aged 58yrs. Their mortal remains were deposited in a vault on the North West side of the old Church. The internment’ s being on November 2 5th. 1820 and December 1st. respectively The Rev. Alfred Padley was Lord of the Manor, Patron of the Living, one of the Curates, but not the Rector. On January 11th. 1828 there was conveyed to him by Godfrey Wentworth Esq., the Manor and Avowson, (that is the right to present the Rector), together with Hempshill Hall and certain farm lands forming the Hempshill Estate containing 395 acres, 2 roods, and 26 perches for the sum of £19,253. The Southern boundary of this land was Alfreton Road and the Eastern boundary the road from the Cinderhill Toll-gate to Bulwell. Hempshill Hall and Farm, were afterwards resold to Mr. Holden.

The Rev. Alfred Padley, upon the death of his Grandfather, John Newton and of his Uncle, Colonel Robert Sacheveral Newton, acquired by will and codicil the Hall Estate Other lands he purchased or ac­quired by exchange from various persons.

He was a man of kindly heart and broad sympathies; When members of the New Methodists went to him about 1835 and asked him to sell to them some land upon which to build a Chapel ,he replied “No I will not sell you any land” and then added, “I will give it to you”. The Primitive Methodists have a similar story, "Measure as much land as you like, and be sure you take enough.”

In 1833 he had made a donation of £200 to the Highway Account and the thanks of the Easter Vestry were accorded to him. It is thought that the £200 was used for the building of the bridge over the River Leen, (the Stone Bridge from the Market Place to the Horse Shoe Inn and the Railway Station.)

He had a shell placed in the wall of his Entrance Hall to serve the uses of a font, where he baptized infants taken to him. This was not regarded as unusual at the time, for the Vicar of Hucknall went round to farm-houses and baptized the children there. Reverend Padley also gave £600 towards the re-building work of St. Mary’s Church. He died on May l1th 1856.

As many people think the Rev. Alfred Padley was Rector, I give you a copy of an epitaph from the churchyard of Hickleton (near Doncaster). "Sacred to the memory of the Rev. John Wentworth Armytage B.A. For 48 years Perpetual Curate of this parish, and 47 years Rector of Bulwell in Nottinghamshire. Died the 12th day of April 1865 in the 72nd year of his age”.

The Rev. John Dalton in forwarding the above copy adds, “Between the dates 1814-1816, I think he baptized every child in the Register”. Under an Act of Parliament, Perpetual Curates and Incumbents are now called Vicars.

In 1873, Mrs. Annie Cooper (widow of Samuel Thomas Cooper) spent £600 to put a better organ into the Parish Church. She was still alive in 1814 aged about 82 years. Samuel Thomas Cooper bought by auction the Bulwell Hall Estate in 1864 as mentioned in a previous paragraph, he built the National School at a cost of £3000 providing for the education of 518 children. He died in 1871 aged 39 years.

The next family to occupy the Hall was the family of Thomas Hardy of Kimberley, who was the founder of the Hardy-Hanson Brewery. He lived there until his death in 1897 aged 64. At the time of the 1891 census the Hall was only occupied by a caretaker, so the Hardy’ s were not then in residence. Little is known about this period until 1908 when Alderman Albert Ball purchased the Hall and 575 acres with min­eral rights for £35,000 (It is said that one of the Jennisons, who started the Bellevue Zoo at Manchester, missed  the sale because the train was hall-an-hour late. It was his  intention  to buy the Hall and start the zoo at Bulwell instead of Manchester).  In later years he sold off 225 acres to Nottingham Corporation, which was used to build Bulwell Hall Housing Estate. The Hall and the rest of the Estate was given to become a Public Park.

During the 1930’s the Hall became a sanatorium. In 1937 a proposal to adapt the Hall as an Approved School for 90 boys was accepted without comment by the Education Committee. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II the Hall was taken over by the Army. First by the South Notts. Hussars Field Artillery, followed by the local Regiment of the Sherwood Foresters. About 1943-44 it became an Italian POW camp Much damage was done and it was further damaged by mining subsidence. It was demolished in1958.  




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