Newark Town Band performing at a summer fete

Image ID: 07953

Newark Town Band performing at a summer fete

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Balderton Hospital
Balderton
England

Balderton Hall was built in 1840 by a prosperous local banker, Thomas Spragging Godfrey (1801-1859) and subsequently became home to some of the area's most important and, influential, figures. Balderton Hall (or Balderton New Hall as it was sometimes described to distinguish, it from the Old Hall on Main' Street) with its seven bedrooms, three dressing rooms and nine servants rooms, was described as 'a comfortable family residence' while the surrounding 135 acres of parkland was considered to be among the most favourable in the district. The hall continued as a private house for almost 100 years until, in the mid-1930s . the site was developed to form Balderton Hospital - a hospital for the care of people with learning disabilities. When Balderton Hall was first built in 1840 it represented the ultimate status symbol for its owner Thomas Spragging Godfrey. The Godfrey family had been involved in banking in Newark since the late 18th Century and by the early 1800s had also entered business with the Tallents family of solicitors. T. S. Godfrey, meanwhile, had become a partner in the town's foremost financial institution, the Newark Bank. This was located in the Market Place between Chain Lane and the Queen's Head (it subsequently moved to the site presently occupied by the NatWest Bank). With success in business came civic recognition and in 1836 Godfrey was elected Mayor of Newark and subsequently an alderman, in which office he continued until his death in July 1859. At that point Balderton Hall, which he had enjoyed for 19 years, was taken over by his son, also called Thomas Spragging. He, like his father, was involved in banking in Newark and had become a senior partner in the firm of Godfrey & Riddell, successors to the Newark Bank. He also followed his father in becoming a Mayor of Newark (in 1865) and was a magistrate for both the borough and for Nottinghamshire. He was also treasurer of the Newark Board of Guardians, chairman of the Balderton School Board and, between 1863 and 1874, librarian at Newark's old Stock Library in the Market Place. Thomas Spragging Godfrey Jnr. died most unexpectedly at the early age of 44 in September 1877. His widow, Emily, continued to live at Balderton Hall for some time, although in November 1880 the house and grounds were put up for sale in an auction held at the Town Hall in Newark. On the day, however, the property failed to reach its reserve price of

Date: 1960

Organisation Reference: NCCE001759

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