The Reindeer on Kneeton Road has taken its name from the reigns used to control deer as they pulled a sledge but why I don't know. It is a late eighteenth century boozer but it has had numerous makeovers since. The most recent one was a couple of years ago when the new owners made it rather minimalistic in order to attract a younger clientelle.
STOP...HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!
Would you credit it? I wrote this opening paragraph in the morning then grabbed my camera bag and set off to East Bridgford to photograph the Reindeer...and it's closed...permanently. The owners have sold it for redevelopment. Another one bites the dust! That's now six pubs permanently closed and seven still standing. Roughly 50-50. Shocking!
To honour the passing of yet another Notts. boozer we post three photos to help you remember it.
|The defunct Reindeer Inn East Bridgford|
|Not any more it isn't!|
|A gloomy day in more than one way: the pub is closed!|
The other pub is still in business. The Royal Oak is in the centre of the village near the church. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere: serves good, locally sourced food at affordable prices with a selection of real ales and adds to the community spirit of the village by running a number of clubs .... football, darts, pool and skittles.
|The Royal Oak - Still open when this post was written!|
That community spirit reveals itself every year with the popular Village Show. People flock to Butt Field where the day is filled with marching bands, fancy dress competitions, falconry shows, acrobatic displays, dog shows, a
|Butt Field: thought to be the site of the medieval archery butts.|
|View of Trent Lane: this leads to the Wharf and Pancake Hill (on left at bottom) where a Motte & Bailey castle once stood overlooking the Trent crossing.|
East Bridgford gets a mention in the Domesday Book but it was here much further back than that. The Roman town of Margidunum was just down the road on the Fosse Way (now the A46) and the main road that connects the A46 with Gunthorpe Bridge is called Bridgford Street. This road bypasses the village to the south west but from Roman times, and for many generations after, the track came up the present road then followed what is now a footpath towards the river. Today narrow boats and cruisers are moored up where once the banks were filled with cargo boats ... the inhabitants of Margidunum made full use of this supply route and East Bridgford residents still relied on it for heavy goods like coal until quite recent times.
Next to the wharf are the remains of the iron toll bridge that spanned the river before Gunthorpe Bridge was built. The Toll House is on the Gunthorpe side of the water.
|The Wharf - this used to be a busy 'port' for transporting heavy goods to this area.|
In 'The King's England: Nottinghamshire' (1938) Arthur Mee informs us that the church was "burned by the Danes." Such a simple statement! What else did they destroy? How many lives were lost along with the church? Archaeologists have measured the burnt remains and found the chancel was only eight feet wide .... which I saw as a bit of a blessing .... there couldn't have been that many people trapped inside!
When William the Conqueror arrived in England he gave East Bridgford to Roger de Busli (along with 85 other manors in Nottinghamshire and 46 in Yorkshire .... not to mention the others in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire ... oh and one in Devon!). Roger's wife was a favourite of the Queen and Roger had accompanied King William from the beginning of the Conquest so he was richly rewarded. Unfortunately, Roger's only son died in infancy so there was no heir when Roger's time was up.
In 1375 John Caltoft's daughter, Alice, inherited from her father and married Sir William Chaworth so the property passed to the Chaworth family.
|The Haycroft: oldest house in the village|
"Mad, bad and dangerous to know" described Byron the poet but his Great Uncle obviously had the same trait. He had been challenged in public and could not let it pass. When the bill was paid Mr Chaworth attempted to leave but Lord Byron followed. They were shown into a dark room with only a small candle for illumination. A few minutes later a surgeon had to be called to attend to Mr Chaworth's stab wound. He died the next day.
Lord Byron was taken to the Tower and sent to trial on 16th April 1765. He was found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder but claimed the benefit of an Edward VI Statute that gave peers the privilege of being acquitted of a felony for which a commoner might be found guilty! He was released on paying his expenses.
|Teapot Row 1835 Main Street|
|Brunt's Farm: this 18th century house stands on the site of the Brunts' family home.|
|Statuary above the church door. Possibly St Peter judging by the bunch of keys.|
Francis was a firm follower of Cromwell. His signature is on King Charles I's death warrant. He was in charge of the King on the day of the execution. Apparently Francis was so courteous towards his prisoner King Charles wrote him a thank you letter!
Things didn't work out so well for Francis once Charles II was crowned though. Hacker was arrested for his part in the regicide. During his trial he claimed he was just a soldier obeying orders. His wife, in a desperate attempt to save him, travelled all the way home to East Bridgford to collect the King's death warrant which Hacker had kept. She hoped to prove her husband's innocence by showing the judges that Francis's name was one of the last signatories and he was, in fact, just doing what he had been told. Poor woman! Her actions gave the judges the evidence they needed to convict him. Francis was spared the horrible deaths experienced by the other regicides (hang, drawing and quartering) they just hanged him in 1660 and his body was given to his friends for burial. As a traitor his land was confiscated ... but his brother Rowland bought it back.
|Dovecote Cottage - 16th century wattle and daub construction. Originally a dovecote.|
|Kneeton Hill Mill|
There were two mills: one at each end of the village. According to old maps Kneeton Hill Mill is the oldest built in the late 1700s - it was four storey tower with four sails. In 1841 another two stories were added and the new building had six sails. This was its hayday ... it ceased working in 1891.
Both mills have been beautifully converted but it must be really difficult to find curved furniture to fit against the walls!
Whites' Directory (the Yellow Pages of 1858!) gives the impression of a bustling village. The Post Office belonged to Charles Challand. Letters arrived at 9am and dispatched at 6pm.
|The Old Post Office|
|Cedar Vale now an independent hospital for men with autism|
.... a few minutes later we were amused to find a horse with a great moustache!
Map of East Bridgford: click here.