Lenton Times

The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society


Nottingham University Main Campus

Photographs | Memories | Street Map

Click on each photograph below  to show the enlarged version


University Campus






Photograph courtesy of Gwen Thornhill nee Lambert







This photograph taken about 1954 features farmland belonging to Lenton Firs Farm prior to its incorporation into the campus.  The four children intent on sliding down the slope are Gwen, John and Josie Lambert and John Wesley.  The cows in the background would have been part of the Lenton Firs Farm herd. See Lenton Firs Farm - the Farmer's Tale. Also see Memories below.













Trent Building










This picture postcard carries a caption stating it is an aerial view of the Nottingham University.  What this does not make clear is that the photograph was taken on the day of the official opening by King George V in 1928 - hence the assembled crowds and convoys of motor vehicles.  An article featuring the official opening can be found in Lenton Times No.17.


This photograph was taken from a picture postcard posted in September 1936.  The caption that accompanied it read 'Highfields University, Nottingham'.  It was not yet a University in its own right  and so a more accurate caption would have been 'University College, Nottingham'.


Original film of the official opening is available from the British Pathe website.  You can view thumbnail stills taken from the actual newsreel and download a silent, thumbnail size version of the actual film free of charge by clicking here.









Cut-Through Lane






Courtesy of Stephen Zaleski


Photograph courtesy of Stephen Zaleski


Photograph courtesy of Stephen Zaleski



Cut-Through Lane used to run from the end of Spring Close over to Beeston Lane. The only portion of the original footpath still extant is the section which lies beside the perimeter fence to the grounds of Lenton House starting from its junction with Beeston Lane up to the top of the hill.  This particular picture postcard shows the section looking towards Spring Close which effectively disappeared following the reconstruction of the campus landscape which took place in the 1950s.


These three coloured images of Cut-Through Lane are all taken from 'Clumber' picture postcards produced by Albert Hindley in the early part of the twentieth century.  This particular post card was posted in Beeston on 7 July 1907 and sent to a Miss Brown, The New Inn, Market Place, Wisbech and signed by 'mother' the writer goes on to state 'We come thro' this walk on our way to Mrs Hewitt's.  It is very nice in the daytime but rather dreary at night'.


Unlike the other two images the photographer appears to have left his bicycle out of the shot this time.  Each of the three shots appears to have been taken on much the same stretch of Cut-Through Lane although clearly at different times of year, with different people posing for their photograph.







Photograph from the collection of the late Reg Meakin


Photograph by Trevor Berbank - 23rd May 1952



This is a black and white picture postcard of the same scene as the previous three images.  However if you look at the large version you will see that a fresh set of individuals have been recruited to pose for their photograph - this time two schoolboys, one sitting on the fence and the other seated on the pathway..


A portion of Cut-Through Lane as it looked in 1922.  Taken at the Spring Close end looking westward.  The end of the stretch of stone walling shown on the left of the previous set of photographs is just visible in the middle distance of this shot.


This photograph was taken by Trevor Berbank in May 1952 to show the Biology building under construction visible in the middle distance.  However what is in the foreground and goes off to the right is the section of Cut-Through Lane leading up from Clifton Boulevard.









Hugh Stewart Hall






Courtesy of Lenton Times - Issue No. 7


Courtesy of Nottingham Local Studies Library





The original part of Hugh Stewart Hall started life as 'Lenton Hall' built for John Wright in the early years of the nineteenth century.  This view of Lenton Hall was taken c.1925.


Another view of Lenton Hall from the other side of the building also taken c.1925.












An undated picture postcard showing Hugh Stewart Hall probably taken in the 1930s.


Another undated view of Hugh Stewart Hall.  Judging from the extent of the creeper covering the original building it was taken at a slightly more later date than the previous photograph.


Probably taken in the 1960s this view of Hugh Stewart Hall shows the creeper has now covered the whole of the exterior of the buildings shown in this photograph.









Lenton Hall








Photo courtesy of Kevin Lockhart - 2007



This building now incorporated into the Lenton Hall complex is 'Lenton Hurst' built in 1897-98 as the new residence of William Goodacre Player, son of John Player, founder of John Player & Sons, the cigarette manufacturers.


A drawing of what Lenton Hurst  was going to look like, along with its ground floor layout, originally appeared in the 4 December 1896 edition of The Building News.


A view of the western aspect of Lenton Hurst taken in 2007.  The photograph was taken by Kevin Lockhart.  This and some of Kevin's other photographs can be found on his flickr site where Kevin is known as tiny soprano.






Photo courtesy of Kevin Lockhart - 2007







After the house was built W.G. Player employed Gertrude Jekyl to design the gardens for him.  This photograph, also by Kevin Lockhart in 2007, shows part of the gardens attached to Lenton Hurst.


Another building in the Lenton Hall complex is 'Redcourt' built for John Lambert in 1884.  Lambert was a partner in the Nottingham firm of W.J. & T. Lambert, bleachers, dyers and lace dressers.






Bryan Barsby - Loughborough (once of Lenton Firs Farm)
Photograph courtesy of Gwen Thornhill nee LambertConcealed from view in the photograph of the children sledging is a water trough for the cattle; and on winterís day, had the temperature dropped sufficiently, it became one of my daily jobs to go and break the ice around the edge of the trough for the cattle to be able to drink should it have frozen up.  Being well lagged, the inflow seldom froze, although the water on top of the tank did.  One of the pleasures of this task was that I was permitted to use a blowlamp to gently thaw the pipe around the ball-cock if that had frozen.  We had a stopcock to turn the water off just behind the trough, and to reach it we used a very long handled 'dog'  on the end of a T-handled metalled shaft.  (The same device was part of a plumberís equipment.)  The spinney in the background is the one which someoneís dog from Spring Close once entered, and managed to kill a large number of our poultry. [See Lenton Firs Farm - The Farmer's Tale]

If you were among those who used to come onto our fields for sledging; or came up to the farm to play; I would be happy to get in touch with you.

Richard Gadsby - [Richard Gadsby was prompted to send us the following after reading the article about Lenton Firs Farm]
Lenton Firs Farm painted by Albert SchofieldI knew the Barsby boys and went to Lenton Firs farm a few times to play there but I must have come between them in ages as they were not among my regular playmates. There was a hawthorn tree growing near the cliffs which my Mum called 'hers'. We could see it from our house particularly when it was in flower. During the war a searchlight was situated in the field near our house and we would see it in operation at night. We used to pick up shrapnel on the road and the article on the farm explains how it came to be there. Strolling along Cut-through Lane, on to Beeston Lane and then back along University Boulevard was a regular walk for us when we would have occasion to pass by the farm.  Mr. Schofield, who did the paintings featured in the article, was a neighbour of ours and was a permanent feature of my childhood as he did not serve away in the War. He used to show me his paintings and when he and his wife asked me what I would like as a wedding present (1962) I chose one of his pictures which I still have. It was not a local scene however but of a Cornish fishing village. He inspired me to take up painting which I still do.  I remember him as a very gentle man who liked playing bowls and gardening.  

Part of the field to the north of Highfield Road, which belonged to the farm, was taken, presumably compulsorily, as the site for Government Offices which were occupied by staff moved out of London at the beginning of the war. The offices were single storey in H type blocks with a bunker store for fuel in the middle.  These were later taken over by the University and the site has since been redeveloped.  My earliest memories of the field are of cows and horses looking over the boundary fence at the bottom of our garden. I remember the cricket area in the middle being fenced off and the cricket club roller was left there even after the building work took place. I don't know the name of the cricket club that played there but judging by the pavilion, later used as the children's nursery, it must have been a thriving one. The presence of the offices meant that many staff used to alight off the buses from Nottingham and Beeston at the junction of Beeston Road and Montpelier Road and walk along the boulevard stopping at the shop near the crossing and at Norton's. These individuals always looked smart and always intrigued us local youngsters. We were able to see some of them at work from our dining room window. I cannot remember any specific comments we made about them but I seem to recall that we used create our own stories about what they might have been up to.

 Lenton Firs Farm - The Farmer's Tale | Lenton Firs Farm - Out With The Boys

 Let us know your memories of the Nottingham University Main Campus


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