Woodthorpe Grange

Photo:1921 Auctioneers Plan to sell off Woodthorpe Estate

1921 Auctioneers Plan to sell off Woodthorpe Estate

Nottinghamshire Archives

Photo:Sir Jesse Boot

Sir Jesse Boot

University of Nottingham

Photo:Trent Building, University of Nottingham

Trent Building, University of Nottingham

Paul R. Swift

Photo:Gates to the Memorial Gardens

Gates to the Memorial Gardens

Paul R. Swift

Photo:1st June, 1922 the official opening of Woodthorpe Park

1st June, 1922 the official opening of Woodthorpe Park

Picture the Past

Woodthorpe Grange Park

1921 Woodthorpe Grange is purchased by the Nottingham Corporation

By Paul Swift

With a £10,000 donation from Sir Jesse Boot the Nottingham Corporation purchased the whole of the 52-acre Woodthorpe Estate in 1921 for £15,000, which included Woodthorpe Grange with carriage drives, which are still there to this day, conservatory, glasshouses, garage, stabling, and a gardener and chauffeurs cottages.

The sale documentation shows that the auctioneer, J. H. Bradwell, and Sons, anticipated selling the estate as five separate lots, separating the house and pleasure gardens from the farm, the market garden, and the meadows to be sold for housebuilding. However, it was purchased as one by Nottingham Corporation, facilitated by the donation from Sir Jesse Boot on the condition that the whole site becomes a public recreation area.

As reported in the Nottingham Guardian on the 23rd of July, 1921: "The Council has not had time as yet to deliberate on the best purposes to which the place can be put, but as we understand the idea is to use it as a park and recreation ground, and not for housebuilding." The report goes on to say: "There is no lack of uses to which the house can be devoted. It might be used as refreshment rooms, as a home for the Natural History Museum, or as a health resort."

The report is concluded by saying: "All these questions will have to be thrashed out later. In view of the insistent demand for more spaces for tennis, bowls, cricket, and football, the grounds will prove an immense boon to that part of the city."

 In celebration of the purchase of the site, a month later on the 22nd of July the Mayor, Alderman H. Bowles, and Mayoress Mr. Bowles gave a garden party, which was held outside the Grange and amongst the invited guests was Sir Jesse Boot who in all gave £350,000 (£14.1m), which enabled the Nottingham Corporation to purchase not only the Woodthorpe Estate but also the Highfields Estate, the home of the University of Nottingham, and the parkland adjacent to what became the Victoria Embankment and Memorial Gardens.

It was a year later on Tuesday the 1st of June 1921 that Woodthorpe Grange Park was officially declared open at 3pm by the Mayor of Nottingham Mr. Frederick Berryman.

Nottingham Evening Post 2nd June 1922,  The Mayor and Sir Jesse Boot's Munificence 

At yesterday's opening of Woodthorpe Grange Park, Sherwood the Mayor read the following message received from Sir Jesse Boot.

"I very much regret that under the circumstances it will be quite impossible for me to be present at the official opening on the 1st of June. I hope you have a very successful function. it seems to me that this new park will be extremely useful and widely appreciated. I think it will be a most suitable place for the annual gathering of Sunday Schools and day schools as well as those who do not wish to go to the expense of traveling further afield."

A condition attached by Sir Jesse Boot to the gift of £10,000 explained the Mayor was that the grounds which they were now opening would remain unbuilt on and should be used for recreative purposes. Mr. Frederick Berryman reminded his hearers, both young and old of what they owed to the munificence of Sir Jesse who he said was with them in spirit.

On the call of the Mayor, resounding cheers were given to Sir Jesse.

For more information visit the Friends of Woodthorpe Grange Park's website on www.woodthorpefriends.co.uk


This page was added by Paul Swift on 02/06/2023.

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