lost_the_plots

Catstone Hill Farm, Strelley

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Does anyone have any information or photo of Catstone Hill Farm please?  I am currently mapping the route of the 1911 Census in the Strelley area (more details of this project if it gets closer to fruition), and the Farm was one of the recorder's calls.  At that time is was recorded as a 10-room building housing four occupants on the day of the Census visit,  being the head of the household William Carrington Horner aged 53 (born in Kettering, Northants), his wife Fanny aged 42 (born Bekcingham, Lincs), and John Philip aged 18 (b. London) and Thomas Oagelen [?transcription error] aged 17 (b Nottingham); the latter two are described as servants and their occupation 'farm hand milking cows and selling milk'. The farm  is marked on a 1921 map I have, and presumably on much earlier ones too.  It seems to have been in the location of the Reservoir, which I believe was built in around 1981? 

 

Catstone Hill Farm was the fifth visit on the census recorder's route, and was preceded by the recording of four cottages on Strelley Lane, probably between the junction with Main Street and the lane off to the farm.  Their addresses on the Census are all merely 'Strelley Lane' (I expect the postman new the whole village in those days), so difficult to get more detail other than that on the census records.   I would appreciate any info on these cottages also; the rooms are recorded as 3 (with 4 occupants), 3 (5 occupants), 7[?transcription error] (2 occupants). and 4 (5 occupants).  As a teenager I do recall sitting on the left-hand fence by the junction and noticing a large amount of bricks and building debris on the other side of the fence; this would be about 1957-60 as I remember I was at Bilborough Grammar School at the time.  Presumably when the cottages were demolished the debris was pushed to the field edge to free up more agricultural land.  Unless it was the debris of other farm buildings.  I hope someone has a recollection of the cottages on this lane.  One of the current elder Strelley village residents tells me that Miss Edge of Strelley Hall always had vacated properties demolished rather than leave them prone to vandalism; they recall these cottages were vacated as the cost of updating to probably electricity?mains water was too great for the purse of the Edge family!   As Miss Edge, the last of the Edge dynasty, died in 1978 it is probable that these cottages were demolished much earlier than this and obviously earlier than the 1950-60s when the rubble was still about.  I hope the families were re-housed.  

 

Any info or reminiscences must appreciated.  

 

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lost_the_plots, I assume you've looked at the maps on Old Maps, which show the area in some detail at various times from 1880 onwards. They could answer some of your queries. Looking at them, there were only a few cottages on Strelley Lane, at the southern end, so you can probably work out which census description fits each cottage.

 

And if you haven't already found it, this is fairly relevant. 

 

https://nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/1830-september-15th-thomas-woodwards-walk-through-strelley-village/

 

 

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Cliff Ton, thanks so much for your post.  Yes, I have various maps from OldMaps and am familiar with the nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam site, viz Thomas Woodward's walk through Strelley in 1830.   What I am trying to work out is when Catstone Hill Farm met it's demise post 1911, and also any reminiscences of the Strelley Lane cottages which the 1911 census recorder visited prior to the farm.   In fact I've been in the vicinity this p.m. and the owner of Old Rectory Farm opposite All Saints church pointed out to me the exact location of the farm in relation to the reservoir; they said that there is still evidence of the footprint of the buildings in place.  So I am about to venture forth soon and see if I can find any groundworks, and also to photo the location as viewed from Main Street.  I am surprised at the lack of photos of the farm; it certainly wasn't reported upon in the Nottingham City Council's Article 4 Direction dated 14 Aug 1981, which contains images of many of the Strelley village residences - including those over the Main Street boundary netween Nottingham and Notts by Boundary Cottage and St. Martin's House.   Most residences in the vicinity are well documented and can be accurately located.   I just can't find a photo of Catstone Hill Farm, or details of it's first recording and final demise.  If you Google Catstone Hill Strelley and take the satellite view, you can follow Strelley Lane from the junction of Main Street, and after the sharp left-hand bend there is a small access road on the right up to the reservoir.  The right-hand hedge boundary terminates in a small triangular copse (where the track continues to veer off to the reservoir on the left), and this is where the local resident says the remains the farm are visible, which does seem to match the location shown on the older maps I have checked.  Thanks so much for your reply, which is much appreciated.  

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Hi, I have some scant information about Catstone Hill Farm. I'm unsure whether it will help but here goes... I have lived in the area all my life and still to this day walk my Weimaraner past the location of the farm twice a day. My recollection of the actual farm was way back in the mid-1960s. My father was a long-distance lorry driver for a furniture company called Gimson & Slater and one of his fellow drivers, called Norman, retired and went to live at Catstone Hill Farm with his wife and disabled daughter. I presume it must have been a 'tied cottage' because he definitely didn't own the farm. I'm guessing I must have was about 10 years old at the time so every trip my Dad made to visit his old friend was an adventure for me. I always took a mate and a football and we used to take the short walk to the M1 which was built (but not yet in use) to have a kick around on the tarmac. Anyway, back to the farm, I remember it being an old scruffy ramshackle building surrounded by dirty disheveled barns. I'm not even sure it had electricity (which may have been the reason he got the place because he certainly didn't have a lot of money). He didn't keep any livestock other than chickens which were wandering all around the yard in front of the farmhouse. I remember him always complaining that the local fox was always taking more of his share of the chickens. In the back of my mind I have a feeling that he may have been looking after the farm up to the point it was to be demolished. I'm guessing it was demolished to make way for the Catstone Hill reservoir built next to the farm on top of the hill. A lot was going on in this area around this time including the removal of the quarry (about 200 yards to the South). We called this 'Sandy banks' and had hours of fun as schoolchildren there. I believe it was filled in with tons old bricks taken from the demolition of the terraced houses in St Anne's. Some of the bricks are coming back up to the surface if you walk along Strelley Lane bridleway (from Bilborough Road to Strelley Main Street). These can be serious trip hazards, especially in the dark. One of the sad parts of the groundwork is that the actual 'catstone' from the druids bowl on the hill was supposed to have been knocked down and accidentally buried amongst the rubble. Whether this is fact or hearsay I'm afraid I don't know. Hope this helps.

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I have fond memories of the hours of fun with friends in the sandy banks! In about 1956 my grandfather was out walking with his friends. They went up the lane towards Strelley and then across a field. Grandfather had a massive heart attack. His friend had to go to a farm to phone for an ambulance and the ambulance had difficulty getting across the field. They had to carry grandfather. I am guessing that it may have been Catstone Hill Farm. From your description Steve I wonder if they had a phone at that time. 

When it was getting close to bonfire night my friends and I used to go up Sandy Lane to collect wood from hedge bottoms for our bonfire. We were always told to be very careful because farmers had guns.  Interesting times!

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Interesting times indeed Shirley. Catstone Hill Farm would definitely not have had a phone in the mid 60s. As I said, I would be surprised if they had electricity (or even mains water). I think you may be referring to Spring Farm (off Trowell Road) owned by the Haynes family but recently sold at the end of 2018. Strelley and the surrounding areas was such a great adventureland for us as children back then. Even finding and entering all the old mine shaft openings (so dangerous and now all filled and covered up). There are still old reminders of an age long gone out there still but you have to know where to look. I'm walking my dog for over two hours a day through the area so feel I know the place really well. It's so entrenched in history.

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Thanks Steve. This is very helpful. On this site we learn so much from discussions with members. I have found out so many things about Nottingham that I had no idea about before I joined.

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