Origins of Gotham Street Names

Here you can discover the background to the existence of Gotham’s street names and a little of Gotham village history. Some of the Gotham street background information is of a brief nature, purely to make our pages more web user friendly. The Society is proposing to publish soon a document with more comprehensive information of the village streets and of Gotham’s history. When the publication is available it will be included on our Publications web page.

Should you have information additional to that appearing in the following pages, the Gotham and District History Society would be pleased to hear from you. Also photographs recording any period of village and family life are most welcome.

Use this map to locate positions of the Street Names mentioned below, or just to find your way around.

Bidwell Crescent

The Reverend Reginald Alfred Bidwell was born during 1885, the youngest son of the late Charles Bidwell of Ely. The rector was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained an MA. He was ordained deacon in 1908 and priest in 1910 and his earlier positions were at the Parish of Tottenham and at St George’s, Camberwell in London. He accepted the living of Gotham Church in 1915 and stayed as rector until 1925. After ten years in Gotham he was appointed vicar of Gainsford in the diocese of Durham, returning to Nottinghamshire in 1942 taking a living at Barton and Thrumpton.
He died at Barton Rectory in February, 1947. He had never married but undertook the role of Godfather to a number of village children.

Bidwell Crescent was part of the first major council building programme after the Second World War and was substantially completed during 1948-9 with the construction of 24 two-storey council houses shortly after the former rector died.

Chadborn Avenue

Gotham Properties Ltd built 16 bungalows in the late 1960s on Chadborn Avenue as part of the Curzon Street development. The avenue being named after William Cyril Chadborn [1899-1956].

William Cyril Chadborn was a clerical worker at Morris’s in Loughborough and later at J W Sheppard Ltd, Gotham. During his lifetime, he served as a parish councillor, as chairman to the parish council and chairman of the school governors. He was also the superintendent of the Gotham Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School and a Methodist circuit secretary for South Nottinghamshire, besides running the Boy’s Club at the Youth Fellowship.

After the death of his first wife, he married Anne Elizabeth Baguley living on Leake Road. William Chadborn died at the City Hospital in November, 1956 and the funeral service took place at the Nottingham Road Methodist Church.

Chapel Close

The Nottingham Road Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1881. It replaced a previous smaller Wesleyan Chapel on Curzon Street. After initial great popularity, congregation numbers began to decline and the Nottingham Road building ceased to be used as a place of worship in 1965. After various commercial uses it was demolished in May 2001 in preparation for the subsequent housing development.

Five houses were constructed by the property developers Blue Track of Loughborough during 2002-3. Four houses having the Chapel Close address, leaving a fifth property with access from Curzon Street.

Church Street

Opposite the parish church on Leake Road is the smallest street in Gotham just 42 yards long [38m] and consists of three houses.

At the far end of Church Street presently is Foredrift Close, a compact, private estate. Previously this was the site of Talbot’s Farm.

Church Street is first mentioned in the electoral register of 1843. Reference to earlier electoral roles suggest that the area was known as Cox’s Yard from 1839 to 1843 when the address changed to Church Street.

From 1851 until later in the next century there is no mention of electors living on Church Street and yet in the 1881 census, where streets are recorded for the first time, we find 36 dwellings on this street, including the Cuckoo Bush Inn the inference being that Church Street was then the name of that part of the main [Leake] road. The census also highlights a polarity in Victorian Gotham between church and chapel for we find 32 dwellings on Chapel Street.

However in the next census of 1891 all this changes. Neither Chapel nor Church Street exists.

Curzon Street

Curzon Street was known as Bag Lane until 1936. As early as 1838 George Harrison living in Nottingham had a freehold house and land in Bag Lane. This name most probably came from the hessian type bags made by framework knitters for use by farmers and others. The demand increased with the expansion of gypsum mining in Gotham during Victorian times. Bags were used to hold crushed gypsum products before the advent of the multi-ply paper sacks employed today.

A period map shows Bag Lane starting from Town Street, now Leake Road, running down to open fields and Curzon House probably built around 1850. The census indicates that this land was part of Meadow End Farm. Leading off Bag Lane was Hallam’s Yard and Holland’s Yard.

An earlier Wesleyan Chapel is nearby to the Hallam’s Yard, which has now been divided into two houses.

The Curzon family connection with Gotham dares back to the ancestors of Sir Nathaniel Curzon, the 4th Baronet of Kedleston in Derbyshire who died in 1758. The Curzon family and The Earl Howe connection, have been lords of the Gotham manor until the majority of their Estate was sold in 1918.

Since the Second World War Curzon Street has been extended eastwards with the building of houses and bungalows erected during the 1960s. A number of small roads and estates were built on either side the extended Curzon Street.

East Street

Formerly Jacket Close Street, East Street was built sometime after 1857 off Meadow End. It followed the sale of the Redfern brothers’ land to John Hart, a framework knitter. Then, East Street was just 61 yards long [56m] and divided into ten plots, five on either side.

The first house to be built on East Street was in 1871. In 1900, East Street was extended a further 70 yards [64m], to join Wallace Street which was by then substantially built up.

During the First World War there was a butchers, a fish and chip, and sweet shops, besides a glove factory [now private dwellings] along East Street.

Why was it called East Street? As far as is known no one named East was involved, so one must speculate that it comes from the compass direction of the street although its direction is nearer to north-east than east.

Eyres Lane

Eyres Lane is a private road that meets Leake Road just to the north of Hill Road. Formerly it provided access across fields in a south-westerly direction to two gypsum adits which were last worked in the 19th century but now abandoned.

A narrow gauge line used to follow the route of Eyres Lane to Leake Road. A short distance up the mineral line there was an access track parallel with Leake Road that came out at the rear of the present bus garage.

The road was known as Eyres Lane from the thirties after Ben Eyre bought the first brick built house named Oaklands and the adjacent land for a smallholding. There are now seven properties on the lane. Newhaven, the last dwelling to be constructed was built on scrub land cleared by Second World War PoWs. Originally it was intended for Lord Belper’s gamekeeper as a smallholding but the keeper died. The land was then sold and the present bungalow built.

Of the seven properties on the lane, three of the earlier ones built before the war were of wooden construction. Subsequently they have been rebuilt in brick.

It should be mentioned that Eyres Lane has been cut in two by the construction in 1997 of a relief road called Gypsum Way built to enable heavy traffic to by-pass the village.

Fairham Avenue

Fairham Avenue was completed during 1968-9 by Gotham Properties with the building of 14 houses.

Fairham Brook, from which the avenue takes its name, rises close to the Fosse Way near Widmerpool. From here it flows to Bunny before joining the most eastern point of Gotham’s parish boundary. It then wends its way north-west forming a boundary with Ruddington with the brook draining, eventually, into the Trent.

Foredrift Close

Foredrift Close is a private estate of five bungalows built c.1977-8 at the end of Church Street on the Talbot Farm site that formerly stood there.

A drift or drove way is a road along which horses or cattle are driven and one of the many meanings of fore is ‘a track’. A close is a small parcel of land or an enclosure of open fields. Hence foredrift is a track along which farm animals may be driven. These roads were not subject to toll and used mainly for long distance driving. They were not usually required to be kept in repair by the parishes through which the track passed.

Gilbert Avenue

John Gilbert was born in East Leake in 1868. He came to Gotham in 1921 where he started a cycle repair business c.1924. His son Sam, subsequently took over this business. John Gilbert served as chairman of the parish council for many years and was very much involved in obtaining the installation of sewers in Gotham. John was also superintendent of the Methodist Chapel Sunday-school. His main work was that of an insurance agent. He lived to be 73.

Six houses were built on Gilbert Avenue and occupied during 1965-6.

Gladstone Avenue

Gladstone Street, off East Street was built by the builder Mr Duffty in 1903. It began on a plot of land 40 feet wide by 77 feet long [12m x 23.5m]. At the far side of the plot there was access through a five-barred gate to a rough track that later became Gladstone Avenue. At the end of this track on the right were two semi-detached houses called Gladstone Cottages that are still there today [2008]. In the 1891 census we find the first cottage occupied by a ‘plaster’ miner with his family. In the second cottage lived a bricklayer with his family.

Gladstone Street was renamed Gladstone Avenue, probably when the postal district for Gotham was changed from Kegworth, Derby to Nottingham during the ’thirties. According to the electoral registers this took place during 1935. The street was of course named after the great liberal prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone [1809-98], who served four terms as Prime Minister between 1868 and 1894.

Grassmere Gardens

The site of Grassmere Gardens, which is just over an acre in extent is shown as plots 144 and 145 on the 1900 Ordnance Survey map [2.5 inch = 1 mile]. Plot 145 was an orchard. In 1921 a small hut is shown on the west side of the site with a well next to the orchard. On the south, the site was bounded by a disused flour mill.

In 1933 a bungalow was built with a garage at the side facing Nottingham Road, numbered 100 in 1938. Later, Tom Urry, a well-known local artist, lived in the bungalow which was named ‘Grasmere’. Sometime after his death the bungalow was demolished and during 1975-6 ten semi-detached houses were erected on the land.

Gypsum Way

Gypsum way is the name given to a by-pass that takes heavy traffic around the west side of Gotham between the Leake and Kegworth roads giving access to the motorway. The village community welcomed the opening of this road after many years of negotiation.

It was opened on 14th October 1996 by the Mayor of Rushcliffe accompanied by the Chairman of Gotham Parish Council and representatives of the contractors. It utilised part of the former railway branch line, and freed the village of many heavy goods vehicles particularly those transporting gypsum between Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station and the British Plaster Board site at East Leake.

Construction of Gypsum Way has spilt the houses on Eyres Lane in the village.

Hall Drive

Hall Drive was named in memory of Canon Bernard Parker Hall who was the rector of the parish church in Gotham from 1931 until he retired in 1954. Born in Sheffield in 1885 of a poor family, he started work in the steel industry. Later he trained for holy orders at St. Aidan’s College, Birkenhead, being ordained in 1913. Licensed to his first curacy at St Paul’s, Hyson Green, Nottingham, remaining there until 1916 when he became a chaplain in the army, serving in Egypt during the First World War [1914-1918]. He remained in the forces until 1920. Getting married in 1919.

Following three years as curate at St. Helen’s, Darley Dale, he moved to the mission church at Lady Bay, West Bridgford. A year later he became the incumbent at St. Stephen’s, Bobbers Mill, near Nottingham, until 1931 when he was appointed Gotham’s rector.

Retiring in 1954 to Loughborough he died two years later.

Hall Drive consisting of 14 houses was built in 1960s as part of the Kegworth Road estate.

Hill Road

Hill Road was originally a drovers’ road, then a bridlepath from Gotham village, via Cuckoo Bush Hill to Court Hill, the site of the Anglo-Saxon meeting place for the Rushcliffe Wapentake. The bridleway continued to West Leake, Zouch and Hathern.

With the opening of the gypsum workings on and under Cuckoo Bush Hill in 1870 the pathway became extremely busy. In the early days of the Gypsum mine the ashes from the boilers were used to strengthen and repair the path, subsequently it became known as the cinder track.

Gypsum rock was transported by horse and cart down the track to Kegworth for processing. The carts returned loaded with coal for the mines. With the coming of the railway branch line in the 1900s this method of transportation ceased. About this time houses were built alongside the track and it became known as Hill Road.

Subsequently J A King & Co from London built a factory alongside the track to produce plaster slabs for the building industry.

Holland Close

Arthur Holland [1862-1948] was the second son of seven children. He left the National School, now the Church Hall, at the age of nine. Due to his father’s early death Arthur worked to support the family. He married in 1902. His wife subsequently bore him a son.

Arthur worked at the Kingston gypsum mine but also had a number of other responsible and demanding jobs in the village, one of which was to look after the street lighting.

For 40 years he served on the Parish Council as clerk. He was the rate collector for the village. This involved collecting the rates from the householders and then taking the money to the Urban District Council at Basford. Another task he undertook was secretaryship of the Rechabite Society in Nottingham.

In the late 1960s Gotham Properties Ltd built a small development of six bungalows now called Holland Close now leading off The Rushes to join Naylor Avenue.

Home Farm Close

A small estate, built on the northern side of Kegworth Road in 1987, consists of two houses and four bungalows. These were built on the original Home Farm stockyard site. Several barns and cowsheds were demolished in 1977 to make way for the estate. The original farmhouse adjacent to the new development has been converted to a private dwelling while the farmland itself has been incorporated with one of the village farms.

Kegworth Road

Kegworth Road used to be a narrow lane leading to Gotham School and Kegworth beyond. It was often fouled daily by cows being driven from Home Farm to the grazing fields beyond the school.

The south corner of Kegworth Road and Leake Road originally known as Mings Orchard was the site used for the annual wakes. It was also a natural meeting place for villagers who gathered there on Sunday mornings to discuss the previous day’s football matches and other matters. Also on this corner was one of the five village water-taps surrounded by railings where the gate was normally locked and where householders had to wait to gain access to the water supply at prescribed times.

The field between Home Farm and the old Board School built in 1879, was used for school sports’ days and boys’ football. In 1966 a new school annexe to Gotham Primary SchooI, was built on the south side of Kegworth Road. This annexe was subsequently replaced in 2006 by a larger school building now housing all primary school children.

Leake Road

Originally called Crab Tree Lane then later part of Town Street it became Leake Road in about 1922. It takes its name from the fact that it leads to East Leake village.

From Curzon Street junction various types of dwellings have been built on either side of Leake Road. Notable properties along the route on the left-hand side include a pair of 18th century cottages, the out-buildings of one being used as a fire station during the WWII. Between here and the junction with The Square various small businesses were carried out in the houses over the years including butchers, antiques dentistry, fish and chips, groceries, newsagents, hairdressers, tea shop.

Beyond the village pump is the Parish Church of St Lawrence, built in the 12th century with subsequent repairs and renovations over the years.

The first reference to the Rectory was in 1743 when in was in a dilapidated state. Subsequently a replacement commodious mansion was built in 1853. Over the years the size of the building has been reduced and modified until its sale as a private residence in 1959. This Rectory had large grounds which were used as the venue for many events and celebrations. A new purpose built Rectory was built in 1959 in the garden of the old rectory being the first post WWII Rectory in the Southwell diocese.

On the right-hand side of Leake Road is notably the famous Cuckoo Bush pub built in 1858. Next is the cemetery opened in 1878 followed by the Church Hall, originally the National School built in 1829. A cottage, alongside, was built for the headmaster.

At the junction of Monks Lane is number 36, a fine Victorian house, built in 1863 and known as the Curate’s House. It was considered worthy for an inclusion in a book ‘Villa and Cottage Architecture’, 1868. On the opposite corner is an original farmhouse and farm outbuildings right up to original tithe barn. Besides houses a mixture of small businesses has existed on this land. These have included cobblers, bicycle shop, butchers, hardware, florist and petrol station.

Further along opposite the new Rectory is the bus garage, originally the South Notts Bus Company formed in 1926, but since owned by Nottingham City Transport from 1991. Still present on the site is a listed tithe barn.

A quarter of a mile out of the village on the right-hand side at the junction of Gypsum Way is the site of the original Glebe Gypsum Mine. Opened for mining before 1900, production continued until final closure in 1994.

About one mile from the village a small ribbon development of twenty dwellings on the left-hand side of Leake Road including Highthorn Farm is known as the Ridgeway. These dwellings all face the Rushcliffe Golf Course on the opposite side of the road.

Malt Street

Malt Street runs in a northerly direction from the church square to join Curzon Street [formally Bag Lane] which until the housing development in the 1970s ended at this junction. Gotham’s first post office was on Malt Street and The Square corner. On the opposite side of the road was the village bakery.

Along the street on the left there was a small row of cottages with the front doors opening directly on to the pavement and with a communal yard to the rear, with other cottages having access to their rear, some still remain in use today.

On the right-hand side just after the junction with The Rushes there are cottages known as the Malting Rooms that go back to the 18th century. It is from these cottages that the street obtains its name. Indeed an advertisement dated 14 October 1808 in a Nottingham newspaper describes “malting rooms in Gotham to be let . . . with all necessary Utensils for instant use”.

Approaching the junction with Curzon Street the road narrowed considerably and was known as Narrow Marsh where a row of small cottages had a yard at the back and the side. Gotham had a number of these yards usually named after the owner or tradesmen who worked there.

From the corner of Curzon Street and Malt Street a gate and driveway led to Curzon House situated in its splendidly wooded grounds.

Malt Street is now a mixture of the old and the new properties and apart from the Scout hall at the rear of Curzon House it is entirely residential.

In June 1897, that part of Malt Street between The Square and The Rushes was called Queen Street in recognition of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. However after a period of a few years the name reverted back to the original Malt Street.

Meadow End

Plot 6 of the 1806 enclosure map of Gotham formed part of the Near Meadow with Jacket Leys Close to the west. Indeed when this Close was sold in 1857 the road that became Meadow End was called Jacket Close Street. In the 1891 census there were 19 households listed. The heads of two-thirds of these households were employed in the gypsum works, some as labourers others as miners.

Meadow End is first mentioned in the electoral registers for 1887. At that time there were two main classes of voters, the occupation voters and the ownership voters who had freehold property and land. John Haywood had a freehold property and land in Jacket’s Leys. It is his name given to two cottages, numbers 3 and 5, called Haywood Cottages.

It is most likely that the name Meadow End came from its proximity to the Near Meadow when houses were first built on this narrow road, just seven feet six inches wide.

Meadow End gives access from the Nottingham Road to the Primitive Methodist Chapel built in 1870. It also gives access to The Gas, a footpath through to Curzon Street originally Bag Lane.

Monks Lane

The Gotham enclosure map of 1806 clearly shows Monks Lane.

The origins of Monks Lane are not documented, despite having been densely populated in the early 1900s. However a number of explanations have been advanced. One explanation is that monks from Lenton Abbey lived here during the construction of the present church in the 12th century. Alternatively Durham Monastery had land in Rushcliffe, which a charter from King John confirms. There may well have been a dwelling house in Monks Lane from which the property was managed for the monastery.

A large farmhouse originally built 1815 by Robert Wheatley was demolished to make way for six old peoples’ bungalows erected in 1982. Monks Lane remains a private road and the present sixteen property owners maintain its condition.

Moor Lane

Moor Lane begins at The Square by the Manor and reaches out eastwards across Gotham Moor, almost to Fairham Brook at the parish boundary with Ruddington and Bunny.

Moor Lane is found on the 1806 enclosure map for the village. One passes Manor Farm on the right with the entrance to The Rushes on the left. During the 19th century a small Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1848. Where the lane turns slightly it was called Little London on the 1900 ordnance survey map. It was also the site of the village pinfold where stray farm animals were kept until reclaimed, usually on payment of a fine.

By the pinfold two footpaths begin, one to Ruddington and the other to East Leake crossing old enclosures known as the Little and Great Ash Croft respectively. Just past the pinfold there was a small row of thatched cottages. Moor Lane then continued to fields on either side. In the main they were owned by Earl Howe with smaller holdings held by other local residents.

Little changed along Moor Lane until after the sale of the Earl Howe estate in 1918. Thereafter ribbon building of houses and bungalows occurred along part of the north side, including council houses, consisting of sixteen semi-detached properties the first to be built in Gotham. Building of these houses in 1937 precipitated the construction of the sewage works further along Moor Lane.

Naylor Avenue

Most of the nine houses on Naylor Avenue were built in 1967. The avenue was named after Ernest Naylor who was appointed headmaster of Gotham School on 3 November 1930. He came from Eastwood and told us D H Lawrence had once taught him, while Lawrence was a pupil teacher there. He soon introduced the ‘house system’ with pupils balloting for the captains of the houses that were called St Lawrence [green] and Rushcliffe [blue].

The headmaster was very fond of music. He wrote the school song, Play the Game and formed the Gotham school choir as well as being the Primitive Methodist Chapel’s choirmaster.

Ernest Naylor was a member of the parish council from 1933 and its chairman on many occasions. He was the principal of the Evening Institute for more than 12 years. During the war he was the commandant of the ATC [Air Training Corps] in Gotham and was a member of the Comforts Fund Committee. He edited a fortnightly newsletter to scholars who were on war service.

After retirement he went to live in West Bridgford. Sadly he died three years later on 22 November 1962, aged 63 and was buried in Gotham Cemetery.

Nottingham Road

Presently Nottingham Road starts at its junction with Kegworth Road but at the turn of the 19th/20th century if you had walked along what was then part of Town Street towards Nottingham you would have seen the Blacksmiths Shop with George Stocker’s gypsum plaster mill behind it. Originally horse draw traffic was used for the transport of gypsum, but in the 1900s a daily goods train left the mill, pulled wagons loaded with gypsum on the Gotham branch line to the Great Central Railway.

As the road turned to the right, allotments stood on a small strip of land on the north side of the road whilst the Weldon Hills reached up to the skyline. Opposite, low, thatched cottages stood.

Passing a fine Wesleyan Methodist chapel, replaced by Chapel Close a row of houses and shops was reached built in Victorian and Edwardian times. They were served in their midst by the Star and Windmill Inns. Farther on, after Wallace Street, a lane led to a large four storey building, then a disused flourmill. Flour having been ground there since 1870s, after the windmill on Cheese Hill had fallen into disrepair. As the road leaves the village more allotments could be seen, some still in use today.

Between the two World Wars, houses and the Memorial Hall were built along the north side of the road blotting out the views of the hills and the fields. After the Second World War major housing developments took place further along the north side of Nottingham Road at its junction with Bidwell Crescent.

Orchard Street

Orchard Street is to be found at the side of the Cuckoo Bush Inn built in 1858. Former names for Orchard Street were Cuckoo Bush Lane, Talbots Lane, etc depending on who lived at the top of the lane at that time. It runs alongside the north wall of the cemetery. At the end of the Lane there were four cottages around a courtyard. A large orchard is to the rear of three of the cottages, after which the street receives its name.

In the 1891 census the publican at the Cuckoo Bush was Joseph Talbot, a 71 year old farmer and widower. Orchard Street was known then as Talbot’s Yard. When he died the inn was let to his son Thomas, who was paying £20 a year in rent to the Earl Howe estate in 1918. Frederick Yeomans lived in one of the cottages, a retired brick-maker, according to 1891 census. Frederick had only one arm caused by an accident down a gypsum mine, however it did not prevent him from playing the church organ on occasions.

When there was a water shortage Mrs Yeomans sold water from the well in her garden at 1d [0.42p] a bucket, filtering the water in a cream glazed pot. The Yeomans provided a laundry service for the church by washing the surplices.

Each of the cottages had a pigsty and rubbish tip. One property additionally had a stable. They were tenants of the Gotham Estate of Earl Howe. At the sale in 1918 their yearly rent was £7 17s [£7.85].

Pygall Avenue

Herbert Pygall was born in Yarmouth during 1882. After his marriage to Hannah, he moved to Chesterfield to work on the railway as a platelayer. He then transferred to Gotham with responsibility for the maintenance of the branch mineral line that serviced the village gypsum works and mines.

He was extremely busy in village affairs. All his leisure time was taken up with various activities. He was an organiser of the carnival band, trainer and secretary to the Gotham St Lawrence Football Club and he started both a boys’ club and a boxing club.

He was very much involved with the Labour Party and was a parish councillor and school governor. During the last Second World War he was a warden of the ARP [Air Raid Precautions]. He died in 1955 at the age of 73.

St Andrew Close

A few properties required to be demolished at the far end of Wallace Street to provide access to the new St Andrew Close estate which was built in 1976. It consisted of seventeen houses.

The name is derived from the St Andrew family who were lords of the manor in Gotham for over 400 years. The manor had been held for the king by one of the Pigots when he was Sheriff of Nottingham and then the de Divas under the Earls of Leicester until the last male heir, Hugh de Diva, died in 1210, leaving three daughters as co-heiresses. The eldest daughter, Matilda, married Sir Saier de St Andrew, the name taken from St Andrews in Scotland, where his grandmother held estates. At first the St Andrew family lived in East Haddon, Northamptonshire where they had a manor but in time transferred their residence to Gotham.

Matilda’s grandson, Roger de St Andrew, c.1279 obtained a further third of the manorial rights in Gotham in exchange for land elsewhere, while the St Maurs or Seymours had the remaining third. Around 1370 the St Andrews lived in the Manor House, and the Seymours in the West Hall. The records for this family are few, but in the mid fourteenth century, an Edward de St Andrew, a monk, worked on the king’s palace at Westminster, being made master of works by Edward Ill.

In January 1626 John St Andrew died leaving three daughters as his heirs, as had happened 400 years before. Again the property were divided equally between them. The eldest daughter, Mary, married Gervase Pigot of Thrumpton. Her sisters had sold her the greater part of their shares.

Eventually, the property, which included the majority of Gotham and all of Ratcliffe on Soar, passed in trust for the use of Penn Assheton Curzon, only son of Assheton Curzon. Earl Howe, the son of Penn Assheton Curzon and a descendant of the female line of John St Andrew thus became lord of the manor of Gotham.

The youngest daughter of John St Andrew, Barbara, married Sir Oliver St John. Her great great granddaughter the Hon. Augusta St John married the Right Hon. Sir John Vaughan whose eldest son the Rev. J J Vaughan became the rector of Gotham. The rector and his son Captain Henry Vaughan were the last of the St Andrew family to live and own property in Gotham.

St Lawrence Close

St Lawrence Close development of twelve dwellings commenced in 2012 on land that had been Manor Farm stockyard. The properties on either side at the entrance to the close were two of the many farm buildings which are now in use as a private dwellings. On cessation of farming by Manor Farm, the land was used and occupied by stables and a livery business until the new development took place. The name, St Lawrence recognises the Gotham Parish Church, which is nearby.

The Rushes

The Rushes is an ‘L’ shaped road linking Malt Street and Moor Lane. It is one of the oldest streets in Gotham appearing on early maps of the village. The name derives from the reed beds and rushes that bordered the low lying areas of Gotham Moor before proper drainage was introduced.

Records for 1851 refer to a Mr. Barker purchasing rushes from the Earl Howe estate. There was also a company of basket makers called Barker at that time in Nottingham. Rushes were commonly used to strew over floors, to make rush lights and mixed together with gypsum make floors and ceilings. In the census of 1891 nine families were living on The Rushes most of whom were old Gotham family names.

On The Rushes is Paradise Farm and is of considerable age. Parts of the present farmhouse, which incorporates a dovecote, are considered to be 16-17th century.

Currently, property on The Rushes comprises ten modern houses and bungalows, two Victorian cottages and a barn conversion.

The Square

The Square, sometimes known as Church Square, was always considered the centre of the village. It was originally a village green with a majestic old elm standing in the middle with a seat around its girth. Here in the autumn evenings the village youth played games and courted the lasses. It was to here too that the village carrier returned from his weekly trips to Nottingham.

The Sun on the north corner of the Square dates from before 1840 and used to be a coaching inn. Stephen Sharpe was the victualler of the Sun Inn from 1851 to 1882. As the owner of a freehold house and land he was one of a few villagers entitled to vote.

On the east side of the Square is Clifton House and Farm. On the south side is St Lawrence churchyard and the west side is the village pump originally a hand pump. Earl Howe, then lord of the manor, first brought piped water to the village square from the Weldon Spring. Because this spring tended to dry up in summer another supply was subsequently piped from the present golf course. At this time a pump shelter was built in 1885 at a total work cost of £500.

Although no longer operating as a water supply point after 1932 when mains water was supplied it still retains the Pump identity as a meeting place.

Tomlinson Avenue

Harry Tomlinson was born into a family of seven children in the year 1879. He was educated at the Gotham Board School. By profession he was a saddler and harness maker having a workshop attached to his house. His work covered a large local area and often involved travelling to local farms and houses in other villages to effect repairs on site.

Although a man of very small stature he was tireless in his work for the community. Being a magistrate in Nottingham, a district councillor for Basford, a member of the board of school guardians, a superintendent of the Primitive Methodists and Sunday School, trustee of the chapel, clerk of the parish council, and sickness benevolent fund treasurer. He died, May 1952, aged 73.

Tomlinson Avenue consisting of twelve bungalows is part of the estate built along Kegworth Road opposite the old school that were erected in 1960s.

Wallace Street

In the year 1711, John Wallis, a yeoman of Barton in Fabis, married Mary Harkinson. Mary brought as her marriage portion “one half part of three cottages situated in Gotham, with appurtenances”.

John Wallis died in 1770. Mary died in 1722, their son Francis married Sarah Stevenson in 1746 and they had two sons John and Francis and a daughter Mary, who married William Redfern of Gotham.

With the Enclosure Act 1806, both the Wallis and the Redfern families were allotted plots in Gotham including the Weldon Fields, the Moor Pasture and Jacket Lees Close.

John Wallis’ inherited land in Gotham passed to his brother Francis that on his death passed to his nephew Thomas Redfern. Thomas died in 1848 leaving his estates in Gotham to his four sons.

Building of houses began on Wallis Street in the late 1870s on land belonging to the Wallis family. By the 1891 census, we find 24 houses on Wallis Street, many of the householders, were employed at the gypsum works, mainly as miners, in addition there was a works’ engine driver, a carter, and a ‘plaster’ boiler, with four framework knitters, a medical practitioner and a corn miller. Interestingly Albert Chadborn, a bricklayer, father to William Chadborn was also living on Wallis Street.

The exact date when Wallis Street changed its name to Wallace Street is uncertain. However it is understood that this took place in the period 1901 to 1911.

Wodehouse Avenue

Frederick Armine Wodehouse, after whom the avenue was named, was born at Wribbenhall, Worcestershire in 1842. He obtained his degree at Cambridge and was ordained priest in 1866 where he became curate of All Saints Nottingham. In 1868 he became vicar of St Matthias in Sneinton until 1882. Whilst there he married Alice Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. and Rev A L Powys, in 1880. Afterwards he became the rector of Gotham and vicar of Ratcliffe on Soar from 1882 until 1915. On retirement he went to live in Southborough, Kent and undertook war work chiefly at Weymouth as chaplain. He subsequently died in 1921.

His public duties included those of Rural Dean, Editor of the Deanery Magazine, Chairman of the Gotham Parish Council, Member of the Basford Rural District Council and School Management Committee and Board of Guardians.

Wodehouse Avenue, like Bidwell Crescent was the first post WWII house building programme in Gotham starting in 1948. Further development took place in 1969 when the avenue was extended to give a total of 66 dwellings in all.

Wood Lane

Wood Lane is an unadopted by-road, with its junction some two-thirds of a mile from the village on the south side of Kegworth Road. The course of this road goes past Gotham and Cuckoo Bush woods and beyond in a south-westerly direction. Wood Lane forms part of the bridle and walking routes to West Leake and East Leake. It also provides access to Hillside and Cuckoo Bush farms. The route passes close to an iron age tumulus and what is believed to be the site of the Cuckoo Bush referred to in the famed Tales of Gotham.

The course of Wood Lane rising up the ridge of East Leake Hills could possibly have been an ancient route that packmen and travellers followed many years ago, using the hill heights to avoid lurking vagabonds.

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