A Second Fothergill Safari : Mansfield

Fothergill Watson was born in Mansfield in 1841. Until the death of his father he lived at a house called The Linden on Chesterfield Road (I believe it was situated somewhere close to where the big Tesco is now). His half-brother, Robert Mackie Watson lived at the Linden until his own death in 1906.

Fothergill and his mother left Mansfield for Nottingham on the death of his father in 1852, and Fothergill trained to become an architect. He had his own office in Nottingham by the early 1860s. Fothergill’s work in Mansfield was mainly for The Mansfield Improvement Commission (a forerunner of the Borough Council) of which Robert Mackie Watson was the chairman…

The earliest of the these buildings was the 1874 rebuilding of the Mansfield branch of the Nottingham and Notts Bank. Fothergill was to built their Thurland Street headquarters in Nottingham (seen on the Watson Fothergill Walk).

I took a wander round Mansfield with my trusty copy of Darren Turner’s Fothergill Catalogue to find which buildings are still standing. The bank on Church Street (A7) has long since been absorbed into the adjacent Swan Inn.

WFM 008 The Swan
The Swan, Church Street, Mansfield
WFM 009 Bank Church street
The site of the Nottingham & Notts Bank. Ground floor altered. Photos: Lucy Brouwer

Next, I went up to the other side of the Market Place (past T.C. Hine’s Bentinck Memorial) to the other Fothergill commission of 1874, some shops and offices at the back of the Town Hall. Where Exchange Row meets Queens Walk (A8), these presently look empty. The twin gable and the pillar mullions in the windows seem to be a signature of Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings of this period.

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Queens Walk, Mansfield
WFM 0011 Queens Walk top
The capitals on the mullions are the only hint of Fothergill’s later flambouyance. Photos: Lucy Brouwer

Following the map in the book, I headed for Albert Street and almost missed the next building. I must have passed this hundreds of times but only when I looked closely did I spot the telltale hints of Gothic on no. 11. It is now a solicitor’s office but was built as a house and shop in 1875 (A11).

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11 Albert Street, Mansfield. Hiding in plain sight.
WFM 0017 Albert St ballflowers
Telltale ballflowers – This is a Fothergill! Photos: Lucy Brouwer

As it was lunchtime, we had a moment of inspiration! The Cattle Market built between 1876-78 (A15), the best known and most distinctive of Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings is now an Italian Restaurant – Ciao Bella –so off we went to Nottingham Road for il menu del giorno (FYI the Pollo Sicilliana was first rate snap and very good value!).

WFM 0026 Cattle Market from road
Mansfield Cattle Market, now an Italian Restaurant.
WFM 0021 Cattle Market far side
The Cattle Market building from the opposite side. Photos: Lucy Brouwer

The toilets in the restaurant are upstairs, so you get to accend the spiral staircase in the turret. (I think the waitress thought I was a bit strange when I came back rather exited about this…) The Cattle Market stopped in 1987 (I can just about remember what the yard looked like before Water Meadows was built on the site). The building that is retained was the Market Keeper’s residence… this was the last job Fothergill did for the Improvement Commission.

There is one more building on Nottingham Road, and again we had to look closely to find it. The Villa (A18) is described as being two storey with attic rooms and at first we were distracted by the gloomy gothic vicarage across from the disused church on Nottingham Road, but a closer look at the map sent me back over the road and we realised that the Fothergill villa was this much plainer house, converted first into a Ukrainian Institute then used as a Family Centre, there was a removal van outside, so it looks like it is now being used as flats.

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The Villa on Nottingham Road, porch not original!
WFM 0029 Villa Nottm Rd window
Again the window detail seems to be the best sign of the hand of Fothergill. Photos: Lucy Brouwer

Finally, I decided to try to beat the rain and walk a little further out of town to find a pub that Fothergill had built for Mansfield Brewery (his Father in Law’s business) in 1876. The Kings Arms (A13) is a rebuilding of the pub previously on the site demolished at the widening of Newgate Lane. Darren Turner presents overwhelming evidence that this is indeed a Fothergill building and looking at the details around the entrance, I would have to agree.

WFM 0033 Kings Arms
The Kings Arms, Mansfield
WFM 0034 Kings Arms door
The entrance to The Kings Arms, photos: Lucy Brouwer

There are a couple of other buildings of Fothergill’s still standing in Mansfield, three houses on St John’s Street (A14) built in 1876, and a house on Crow Hill Drive built in 1880 (A28) both of which he built for his half-sister Mrs Frances Page Wilson. This last is now used by the NHS and is called Heatherdene, it seems to have been Fothergill’s last Mansfield building, as the majority of his work was then done in Nottingham.

WFM 002 Crow Hill Light
Villa on Crow Hill Drive

I am looking at devising a walk or a talk about Fothergill’s Mansfield buildings… but meanwhile I am conducting another edition of the Watson Fothergill Walk in Nottingham on 21st October 2018. Get your tickets here: EVENTBRITE.

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Watson Fothergill Walk 21 October 2018

Thank you to everyone who came out to walk with me on Sunday (30 September 2018). The next walk will be on 21 October 2018 at 10am.

Get your tickets here: EVENTBRITE

DB 5 cover

Once again the walk will conclude at Debbie Bryan with tea or coffee and cake included in your ticket. Debbie’s tea room also offers light lunches and other refreshments plus a wonderful gift emporium stocked with local crafts and unique homewares.

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I am also going to be presenting an illustrated talk at Beeston Library, on 21 November at 2pm. The Watson Fothergill Virtual Guided Tour will be some highlights from the walk presented with photos in the library’s meeting room – so you can see Fothergill’s work without leaving your seat.

Tickets are £3 and available from EVENTBRITE or from Beeston Library.

Watson Fothergill Safari Part Three: Mapperley Road

The last part of this search for some of Watson Fothergill’s buildings in Nottingham lead me to Mapperley Road (after a brief stop for much needed tea at Homemade Cafe in the Pavillion on The Forest Rec.)

Up on the corner of Mansfield Road and Mapperley Road is St Andrew’s House. (A48 in the Fothergill Catalogue.) Here Fothergill designed a three storey addition to the existing dwelling, plus a single storey waiting room and consulting room on the Mapperley Road side for a Dr Stewart in 1886. Fothergill had previously noted in his diary in July 1885 that the

“stucco house corner Mapperley Road Mansfield Road sold by auction to Stewart £2,600.”

As Fothergill himself lived a little further up Mapperley Road he would have been keeping a close eye on the developments in the neighbourhood. In 1886, Dr Stewart engaged Fothergill to add ‘Three Carriage Houses with hay loft over and harness room to the rear’ (MW23). The date stone bares the owner’s initials ‘IS’.

 

 

In Fothergill’s work on the house you can see several features that he was to use in his buildings – brick nogging patterns, turrets, black woodwork and bargeboards (there’s a slight Arts and Crafts feel to the porch) and large chimneys. There’s no trace of the “stucco” he mentions in his diary.

A few inconsistencies arise: The Historic England listing for the building has the owner as Dr Smart (per Ken Brand) and “St Andrews House” is now the name for a sheltered housing project close by. After Dr Stewart (I’m going to stick with the name quoted in Fothergill’s diary by Darren Turner), this building was used as an office (from circa 1929) by Thomas Cecil Howitt (1889–1968) the Hucknall-born architect responsible for the design of Nottingham’s Council House, the Raleigh head office on Lenton Boulevard and the Home Brewery building in Daybrook. (Perhaps another blog about him later!).

Back to Mapperley Road and to the site of Fothergill’s own family home. 7 Mapperley Road (A3) was the first house Fothergill built, almost as the foundation of his architectural practice. The first brick was laid in 1871. Fothergill had carefully selected the site:

“This Autumn (1870) after searching all over town for a site we liked I bought a piece of land on the northern side of Mapperley Road in Mr Patchitt’s estate.”

The Watson Family, as they still were, moved in on 26th March 1872, though the workmen were not yet out of the house. Fothergill purchased adjacent land from Thomas Birkin in 1901, to extend as far as Chestnut Grove, where they laid out an ornamental garden and a tennis court.

7 Mapp Rd 2 wf house
Picture of 7 Mapperley Road from http://www.watsonfothergill.co.uk/demolish.htm

Now the only trace of Fothergill here is his name and some rather ugly maisonettes with faux-classical porches.

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Fothergill Court. Somewhat less Gothic than Fothergill might have liked. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Round the corner into Elm Bank we can find one of Fothergill’s assistant Lawrence George Summers’ surviving projects. Alterations and additions to a villa, which was for a time Elm Bank Lodge Guest House (LGS9). Work was done in 1893 for a Mr Thomas Jopling. Summers added a breakfast room, kitchen and scullery with a bedroom over. Of all Summers’ sole works, says Darren Turner, this design is the closest in style to the other work coming out of Fothergill’s office. (More on Summers in future blogs.)

 

The hand of Summers can also be seen in the next house I looked at, back on Mapperley Road. ‘Beechwood’ 30A Mapperley Road (A76/ LGS20) was built for Mrs HA Wilkinson in 1905. Fothergill and Summers are listed as joint architects on the project and it is one of the last projects Fothergill would have worked on before he retired.

0054 30A Mapperley Rd
Beechwood, Mapperley Road – the joint work of LG Summers and WF.

The three storey house employs recognisable Fothergill motifs, the turret, the nogging and black woodwork, but feels more domestic in scale than some of the early villas.

0055 30A Mapperley Rd corner tower
Turret, brick nogging, dormers, tall chimneys – signature elements of Fothergill’s late style. Park Avenue view of 40A Mapperley Road. (Photos: Lucy Brouwer)

And there I started to get a blister on my foot… so this portion of the Fothergill safari is over for now. I hope to explore some other parts of Nottingham and bring you some more buildings soon.

Meanwhile the walks on 30 September are now full… Sign up to my mailing list or follow the Watson Fothergill Walk Facebook page for news of more events.

Watson Fothergill Safari Part Two: Sherwood Rise

The next leg of my exploration of Nottingham’s lesser spotted Watson Fothergill buildings took me to Sherwood Rise, up from the roundabout where the Goose Fair goose is now installed for its annual roost.

The first houses you come to walking up from the roundabout are a pair of semi-detached villas at 1 & 3 Sherwood Rise, between what is now Third Avenue and Wiverton Road. Fothergill designed these for Mr John Lindley in 1894, the plans being submitted in March, (A61 in Darren Turner’s Fothergill Catalogue).

1 Sherwood Rise
1 Sherwood Rise (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

The houses are well sheltered by their gardens but are distinctively in Fothergill’s late style (his next project was his office on George Street). They were built by Messrs Bennet and Williamson between May 1894 and April 1895. The date stone reads 1894.  Fothergill recorded in his diary in 1895:

“March 27. Death of John Lindley, Sherwood Rise for whom I was building 2 villas aged 62.” Then in May: “May 29th. The pair of villas (freehold) I have just built at Sherwood Rise sold by auction by John Lindley exors (executors) for £1,750. The total rental is £103.”

The properties were up for auction again in November 1898, with the advertisements making reference to Fothergill as the architect.

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3 Sherwood Rise from Wiverton Road. (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)
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Date stone, 3 Sherwood Rise (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Further up Sherwood Rise, on the end of Berridge Road, we come to The Norris Homes (A56). Described in the catalogue as “Eight Ladies’ Homes”, these almshouses were built by Miss Mary Smith in memory of her brother John Norris in 1893. There are eight one bedroom homes in the development.

0019 Norris Homes wide
The Norris Almshouses (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

 

The Norris Homes are still in use as Almshouses for single women or couples aged over 60 who have lived in Nottingham. The houses were restored in 1991, with the addition of the weathercock, a sundial and a carved dragon.

 

The building is inscribed “Watson Fothergill, Architect”, the first time that his reversed name appears on a structure.

0032 Norris Homes WF name focus
The first time Watson Fothergill’s reversed name was inscribed on one of his buildings.

The client, Miss Mary Smith, of Bluecoat Street, remained a spinster and died in 1909. Fothergill was her executor.

A short walk into the streets off Sherwood Rise leads to Foxhall Road. Here are sixteen houses (A74), for Mr J H Willatt Esq. The planning application was submitted in 1901 and inspections were noted in 1902. The houses are in small terraces of 4 houses each.

 

The houses stand out from the other terraces nearby, with their stepped gables and a polychrome diamond pattern in the brickwork.

One more installment of this Safari still to come… Meanwhile join me for the latest city centre Watson Fothergill Walks in Nottingham on 30 September 2018 at 10am & 1pm (still a couple of tickets available for 10am).

 

Watson Fothergill Safari Part One: Carrington

Starting from Sherwood I decided to explore a few of Fothergill’s buildings on foot… it turned into something of an urban safari. Using Darren Turner’s excellent catalogue of Fothergill’s works as my guide, I wandered down Mansfield Road to get a little closer to some of the houses that remain in the area. (I’ll give the catalogue numbers assigned in the book so you can read along at home…)

Firstly, what are thought to be be the final works to come out of Fothergill’s office before his retirement in 1906, a terrace of 4 three storey houses on the corner of Mansfield Road and Bingham Road (A77). The date stones are clearly marked but otherwise these aren’t in great condition.

Further down at 409 & 411 Mansfield Road, (A46) is the earlier pair of three storey villas built for Mr JJ Adams in 1886, these are more recognisably Fothergill in look and one has been nicely cleaned. The polychrome brick patterns and the black wooden details are the giveaway. There are a few tiny gothic touches in the windows too that mark them out.

001 411 Mansfield Rd
411 Mansfield Road (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)
002 409 Mansfield Rd
409 Mansfield Road (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Next on this trail is the impressive Clawson Lodge, now the Ukrainian Centre (A43). A gentleman who was having a tea break out on the drive invited me in for a closer look, and I nervously snapped a couple of photos of the front of the house. Clawson Lodge was built for Mr Francis Adams Doubleday, the lace manufacturer for whom Fothergill also built Milbie House on Pilcher Gate (as visited on the Watson Fothergill Walk).

Clawson Lodge was built in 1885, when Fothergill was still Fothergill Watson, working out of his office on Clinton Street. The lych gate and garden wall are also included on the grade II listing of the property. This house already shows some features that would become instantly recognisable as Fothergill touches, including striking black wooden gables with barge boards and brick nogging.

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Clawson Lodge through the lych gate
008 Clawson Lodge gate
Lych gate and house name on wall
0011 Clawson Lodge 1885
F. A. Doubleday’s initials and date on porch
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Porch at Clawson Lodge (Photos: Lucy Brouwer)

A little further into Carrington, we find Yew Tree Avenue, now a rough track leading to two pairs of semi-detached villas built in 1881, possibly the earliest Fothergill houses still standing in Nottingham (A33). These four houses now seem to have been made into flats. They were originally built for Mr Luke Scatergood. There are some Fothergill hints, the brick patterns and the gabled dormers, but his style isn’t yet quite fully formed.

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Yew Tree Avenue (Photo: Lucy Brouwer)

Previously on the other side of Yew Tree Avenue, Fothergill had built another pair of villas (A31, 1881) for Mr Thomas Guy. But these have been demolished and the site is now a carpark/ car dealership.

More Fothergill’s of Nottingham in the next installment!

Meanwhile the next walks, touring the Watson Fothergill buildings of Nottingham city centre, take place on 30 Septmber 2018. There are the last couple of tickets left for the 10am here: EVENTBRITE