All Saints Church and Main Street Strelley, c 1900s-20s?

Image ID: 25921

All Saints Church and Main Street Strelley, c 1900s-20s?

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Main Street

The following information is extracted from the excellent Genuki web-site, contained in an article by Rod Neep :- 'Strelley remains an anachronism. A quiet, unassuming village of red sandstone and old red brick, now a stone's throw from the north-west boundary of the city of Nottingham and the huge post war council housing estate which engulfed neighbouring Bilborough, and yet totally unspoilt by modern housing and development, thanks to it's rich historical background and ownership by just two families STRELLEY and EDGE continuously from the reign of Henry 1 (1100-1135) to the 1980's. Strelley gave its name to a remarkable family starting around 1100 with Walter de Strelley, followed by twelve generations of knights. Walter de Strelley was the owner of the village, and from him descended the most distinguished of the family, Sampson de Strelley in the early 1300's, whose reclining effigy in white alabaster lies holding the hand of his wife in the church. Visitors to the church could not fail to be impressed by its beauty. It is one of only two alabasters in the country where the couple are holding hands. It remains one of my everlasting childhood memories from the late 1940's and early 1950's when I would run my hands over the cool stone of the figures. The oldest part of the church is the tower, with a 12th century lower stage, and continued upwards at different dates. The rest of the church has been entirely rebuilt in the 14th century. Strelley church always had an unlocked door. It is recorded that in 1356 Sir Sampson de Strelley and his parishioners had licence that for a year they could hear sermons in the chapel in the manor house because the parish church was not yet then fully built. At the same time that Sir Sampson was building the church at Strelley, his son was erecting the church at Woodborough. George Strelley was Mayor of Plymouth in 1667, but obviously had home roots, as he endowed a Free Grammar School at Bulwell, a few miles east of Strelley village. The ancient family of Strelley were hit by expensive law suits in this period, and in 1678 the estates were purchased by Mr. Ralph Edge. The Strelley family, it would appear, moved to live in Nottingham, where baptisms are recorded at St. Mary's church. Records of the Strelley family baptisms cease at St. Mary's after 1714. Ralph Edge, the new owner of the Estate, was the town clerk of Nottingham for twenty six years, for twenty years an alderman of the town, three times its Mayor, and at the same time a Justice of the Peace for the county of Nottinghamshire. The church contains many treasures including old stained glass windows, coats of arms, ancient memorial brasses of the Strelley family, an ancient oak screen, a Jacobean pulpit and finely sculptured tombs. As children we would visit the church armed with a cobbler's wax crayon and a roll of paper and make rubbings of the brasses, one of which was particularly fascinating with the small dogs resting by the feet of the engraved brass figures. Although the church is now kept locked, a key can be obtained from a house in the village, and also from the vicarage of Bilborough church, at Wigman Road, Bilborough. Details are posted on the church door. It could be safely assumed that almost all of the burials in the church were of the parishioners who were servants of the STRELLEY and EDGE families. Even as late as the 1970's they were 'owned' by the Estate under the formidable presence of one 'Miss Edge'. The village parkland is notable for its apparent lack of field hedges. In fact, there are sandstone walls set in wide ditches, so that fields were divided, but the views were not compromised. There are many ancient small coal pits in the parish. These are 'bell pits', named because of their shape, with a small short vertical shaft and a bell end, where coal was removed. It is recorded that the coal from the parish was used to finance the building of Wollaton Hall in the 1500s. In later years, sand was quarried at a small hill which is an outlier of the Bunter Sandstone commonly associated with the cliffs and hills of Nottingham itself. The village itself is an enigma, with the houses quite some distance from the manor house and the church, almost as if someone didn't want the houses to be seen from the manor house. There also exists a medieval moat mid way between the village and the church, which was the site of more ancient occupation at Strelley. The old pub, the Broad Oak, still stands, albeit somewhat modernised. Probably the main reason for the village's secluded atmosphere is that it is not on a through road for traffic, although there did exist bridleways from the village to Cossall to the west, and Kimberley to the north. In the 1960's much of the western part of the parish was decimated by a huge opencast coal mine, thankfully now 'restored' to a more natural looking landscape, although it will never be the same. After the opencast mining, the M1 motorway was constructed over the lower, western fields of the parish, and the village church can now easily be seen from the motorway just north of the Trowell services area. Unfortunately, the quiet tranquillity of the village is now spoilt by the constant noise of traffic from the motorway.' see

Date: 1900-1930

Organisation Reference: NCCC001931


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