Stapleford - Part 5 - Lace Connections
w/e 23 November 2008
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Stapleford Town Trail title image

This walk at Stapleford involves quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, retracing our steps over previously covered ground. This fifth part is no exception but it also includes two extremes - the easternmost point and the highest point of the walk. Much of this part also has some connection with the lace-making trade that was prominent in the area in the nineteenth century.

Lace Makers' Cottages

The furthest point east is marked by these cottages that were originally built in the eighteenth century on Nottingham Road for framework knitters and their stocking machines. The Nottingham area of which Stapleford is a part, later built up a fine reputation in the lace trade and many people worked at home manufacturing lace in cottages like these.

Top Floor Windows

The machines that the stocking workers and lace makers used were installed on the top floor of the cottages in large windowed workrooms to maximise the daylight in those pre-electric light days.
St John's School

As we make our way back towards the town centre, we pass the St John's Church of England Primary School which would also have had a connection with the lace trade. The children of the lace workers would have been educated here as it was built in 1837. Now shielded by a high brick wall, the school which cost £3,200 benefited from an endowment by Lady Caroline Warren in memory of her late husband, Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren. It is the oldest school building still currently in use in the county of Nottinghamshire.
Stapleford Cemetery

I have already mentioned how much of this walk involves going back and forth along the same roads and we have now reached a point on Nottingham Road (opposite the Wesley Place Chapel we saw in the previous part) where we must embark on another octopus-like tentacle by climbing Cemetery Road to the highest point on the walk.

Commemorative Stonework

The land for the cemetery was donated to the people of Stapleford of all denominations in 1880 by a respected lace manufacturer Joseph Fearfield. His gift is commemorated in the stonework above an archway between two mortuary chapels.
Mortuary Chapels

Joseph Fairfield also paid for the construction of the chapels and no doubt many of his lace workers found their last resting place in the consecrated ground at the top of the hill.
Cemetery Road

ChapelsNag's Head & PloughOnce again our route now means we must retrace our steps down Cemetery Road but the high point does give us an impression of how much Stapleford has grown over the years. On regaining Nottingham Road a left turn takes us past the Nag's Head and Plough pub (right) and despite its black and white cladding the building is not as old as it would appear as it replaced an earlier Nag's Head on the same site which can be seen here and here on the Picture The Past site.
Church Walk

A little further along Nottingham Road and where we will conclude this part is the junction with Church Walk, now little more than a narrow footpath. The lace connection is a little tenuous here but surely some of those nineteenth century workers would have used the Parish Pump that stood here even though there were several more pumps and wells in the village. Once again Picture The Past can be relied upon to provide an image of the Parish Pump in situ.
Back To Part 4
 Stapleford Index
Forward to Part 6

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