Bagthorpe - A Hidden Valley
w/e 17 August 2008
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Village Sign

Ashfield District Council are proud of their links to Lord Byron and D. H. Lawrence and promote an undulating expanse of countryside under their jurisdiction to the north of Nottingham as the "Hidden Valleys". The Council says that "the area boasts a fascinating historical and literary heritage" and in one of those hidden valleys lies the village of Bagthorpe where we shall explore some of that heritage. This sign for the village is at a high point just before the road drops down into the valley.
Wansley Hall

The village is a linear settlement running in a generally west to east orientation and just inside the western boundary is the first of that historical heritage for this is the site of Wansley Hall. Although difficult to access to photograph, the ruins are all that remain of a Norman Manor House that dates from about 1200AD. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Wandeslie, as it was then known, was owned by a Saxon but it was given to one of William the Conqueror's Norman followers and was rebuilt and fortified. By 1279 the house was owned by the Norman, Sir Ranulph (or Ralph) de Wandesley. In the 1830s the hall was being used as a farm and was occupied by a Mr. E.Maltby and it was about this time (1830) that an urn full of silver coins was found nearby. From the 1940s onwards it has been left unoccupied and open to the elements but is now designated as an ancient monument. It is to be hoped that this status will prevent further deterioration.
Tithe Barn

Next to Wansley Hall stood a tithe barn that would have been used to store farm produce paid by the serfs to the Lord of the Manor in earlier times. The barn was constructed in the sixteenth or seventeenth century but was restored and sympathetically converted into two houses in 1980.

Tithe Barn

Again, like the Hall, the barn is difficult to photograph from the road and not wanting to intrude too much on the owners' privacy this was about the best shot I could get of what is now a Grade II listed building.
Manor Farmhouse

As we descend the hill towards Lower Bagthorpe, another Grade II listed building comes into view. This is the Manor Farmhouse which dates from the late eighteenth century and was once a working mill with a water wheel.
The mill was powered by Bagthorpe Brook which at this point is on the northern side of the road.
Shepherds Rest

As we reach the bottom of the valley however the brook has passed under the road and at the access gate to Manor Farm (on the left of this image) it is on the southern side. Of far more interest to most who travel this road though would be the Shepherds Rest where I am led to believe good food and real ale are on offer.

Bagthorpe BrookThe brook continues along the side the road (left) for almost all of the rest of the village and is crossed by a number of small footbridges and at least a couple of fords like this one above to Brookside Farm. The majority of the properties in this section of the village are on the other side of the road though but there are plenty of Fieldsviews between the houses to open fields (right) some of which form the Bagthorpe Meadows Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The long narrow fields are thought to have originated by the enclosure of strips allocated to tenants living in the village during the tenth or eleventh centuries but another school of thought leans towards the field patterns evolving between the fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries as early piecemeal development of enclosures.
Dixies Arms

Continuing through the village we now reach the junction with Church Lane which leads up into Underwood. Here is the second of the village's three pubs, The Dixies Arms where once again there are a variety of real ales to be tasted. Local folklore suggests D. H. Lawrence's father drank here. The third pub is the seventeenth century Red Lion (not pictured) which is on Church Lane which once again has a reputation for good food and real ale. Almost all of the village is within the Bagthorpe Conservation Area which has benefitted from a lack of modern development and the retention of grass verges without kerbs and pavements. Traditional architectural features such as original chimney stacks and sash windows among others only add to the charm of the village.
Primary School

IronworkAs we near the eastern end of the village, one of the last buildings within the Conservation Area is the Selston Bagthorpe Primary School. The name suggests that the capture area for the school now includes neighbouring Selston as the school appears to be far too big just for the children of Bagthorpe. Back in 1912 however when the school was built as evidenced by the date on the ironwork on the building (left) and families were much larger, it may have been a different story. So that's Bagthorpe and I'll let you decide whether it lives up to the Council claim that the area boasts a fascinating historical and literary heritage.

Site Navigation

"Pick A Picture"
Weekly Favourites
Latest Images
Holidays &
Days Out
Special Features
The Guest Page
Site search Web search

powered by FreeFind
Jigsaw Puzzles
Recommended Links

Terms & Conditions of Use
This website is copyright but licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
Please credit the photographer Garth Newton, or add a link to these pages.