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Photographs of some of the buildings in Upper Broughton from the archive

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Village Buildings Tour

A brief description of some of the various styles and ages of village buildings

The oldest part of the village lies between Church Lane and the Village Hall, it is thought that with the exception of the church and the lower part of Yew Tree House there is little of any antiquity to be seen. Numerous houses have been removed from this area over the last century, partially due to the road widening circa 1927.


Main Road

The current line of the main road to Nottingham was created in the seventeenth century. Up until then the main route through the village came from Nether Broughton and followed Bottom Green to a point past where the station was, where it turned and headed towards Widmerpool. The continuation can be seen in Thurlby Lane in Widmerpool.

What is now the Main Road was originally the main village street and led to Hickling down what is now Hickling Lane.

The Village Hall of 1899 replaced a row of small cottages. Rose Cottage, now part of the Village Hall is an example of such a cottage.

The Nook and The Cranny originally had gardens in front, which were swallowed up by the road widening. They are very simple in their structure and lack embellishment. They may not have been built as a pair – they have separate roof structures.

Sunny Cottage is a good example of a vernacular design of cottage, though it has been altered and extended of late. The windows are almost all on the east side, and the west side of the house was originally on the property boundary. There used to be outbuildings and possibly other dwellings in front of it.

The Golden Fleece looks to have been rebuilt in the 19th Cent.  No trace of an earlier building can be found, though there is documentary evidence of a pub being there earlier. The windows on the front have been replaced several times.


Chapel Lane

The Pinfold, stood at the junction of the main street and Chapel Lane. Stray animals were rounded up and kept in the pinfold until their owner had paid a fine for their release. A house and two cottages have gone from what is now the pub car park. The two remaining cottages appear on old maps, but are likely to have been rebuilt in the mid 19th Century. In design they are basic one-up one-down cottages, but they lack any detailing that would suggest an early date.

Bella Vista might be an example of a post-enclosure building, though the garden would seem to be enclosed by what is probably a Saxon rounded boundary, part of which can be seen in the hedgerow between Bella Vista and The Paddock. Bella Vista was at one time three dwellings. In plan it is L-shaped and one room deep.


Rectory Drive

The church has its own section on the website.

Church Farm is a good example of the traditional farmhouse of an L-shaped plan, single pile and 2½ storeys. The windows are recent and replaced the original sash windows. Between Church Farm garden and the Golden Fleece there is a brick wall that is chequer-board patterned. This is the only example of extensive patterned brickwork in the village.

Church Farm Cottage was originally next to a much larger thatched house, and would appear to be late 19th Cent., as the structure is deeper than single pile.  An early photograph exists of the next door house, which was larger, and appears to be 16th or 17th century in date and may pre-date Church Farm.

The Old Rectory was designed by S S Teulon, who also did work at Sandringham, and was responsible for the design of buildings country-wide, many of high gothic revival style. There is some evidence that the design contains sections which Teulon also used in other buildings which he was commissioned to design (c.f. Pattern Book Buildings). The Old Rectory and the chancel of the church (also by Teulon) were constructed in 1855.

The Golden Fleece stands on a narrow scrap of land between two ‘Saxon’ enclosures, and is likely to have existed as an institution for a long time, but the present building shows no signs of any fabric pre-dating the 19th Century.


Bleaching Hill from the Stockwell (opp the pub) to Top Green

Yew Tree House presents a Georgian face towards the village, but the inner parts of the house are likely to be much older, and some, reputedly are very old indeed. The stone in the lower part of the house walls is similar to that used in the Church. Peach Tree Stables is converted from a range of late 18th or early 19th century farm buildings, dating from the time when the Brett who owned it was known as ‘Brett at the Stockwell’ as opposed to his relative, who was ‘Brett at the corner’. The whole effect is of someone, in their prosperity trying to move away from Vernacular building styles towards something more sophisticated and likely to impress. It should be noted that the stone base of the walling against Church Lane is of Blue Lias, which seems only to be used for agricultural buildings.

The former Post Office buildings are interesting. The house to the left is set back, but seems to occupy the same position as an earlier building, and evidence from internal timber-work suggests that the building is late Tudor, and was re-fronted circa 1880. The use of slate for the roof, which became economically possible with the advent of the canal to Hickling at the end of the 18th century permitted the formerly steeply pitched thatched roofs to be realigned to give full height windows on the upper floor – number 2  Bottom Green Cottages is the best example of this.


The Turnpike

The Mill House is a very interesting building, as it appears to be the only example of a double-pile building in the village, though it now has a single roof span. It has been re-faced, using the same lintels as The Post Office House and Southview – so assume a late 19th Cent date for the remodelling. Internally there seems to be a difference between the age of the front and the back section, so it is likely to have started out as a basic farmhouse of the local design of two 14’ square rooms separated by a narrow hallway, which may by analogy with Dexters Close Cottage have been the stair well.

Across the road is the site of an ancient farm which is just about detectable in favourable low light (now overgrown).

Sulney Fields was originally a farmhouse, known as Overbank. It has been extended and gentrified many times, but there is some evidence of an early structure in the north-west corner of the house.


Church Lane

The cottages in Church Lane are mid to late 19th Century. Originally there was a row of small cottages along the lane, of an earlier date, which were demolished. The existing three cottages were originally six.

Long Cottage was, for a while in the 19th Century the location of a Dame School. The schoolroom was a single story section against the churchyard. The house has been extensively altered, and it is difficult to determine whether anything of historical interest remains in it, and what the date of the original house might be.


Top Green

Westwards from Well Lane the older properties are on the north side of the road, probably because it is postulated that the Well Lane – Bottom Green – Top Green triangle was all village green from circa late 13th Century. Three of the cottages are end-on to the road, which is a feature of local village land use.

Greenhill Cottage and Holly Cottage are late 19th Cent, and have the same ornamentation of their gable ends, suggesting contemporaneous construction. It should be noted that the same ornamentation is found at Top Cottage (this may not be visible due to a recent extension) and Manor Barn Farm – all 19th cent estate cottages. Normally the gable ends of buildings in the vernacular style are plain. Greenhill Cottage is two rooms deep, and is in the style of modest suburban villas of the 1880 – 1890s, whereas Holly Cottage is still of the vernacular plan (now much extended).

Stone Cross Cottage, formerly Barrack Yard was a series of one-up one down cottages, probably 17th Cent in origin. Despite modern alterations it still displays much of the character of the archetypal vernacular cottage of the area. The roof was formerly thatched, and the original roof line has been kept.

Opposite is the Cross, the base and shaft of which survive. Note the stone used in its construction, which is not local – it appears to be Millstone Grit.  Fragments of tracery made of ironstone have been found which suggest a date in the second half of the 13th cent.  It is probably a market cross for a failed attempt to establish a market by the Sulney family, who had recently acquired the manor.


Bottom Green starting from the main road

White House has a large late 19th Cent. extension parallel with the road, but the older section of the house is end-on to the road. This was reclad at the same time as the extension was built, as it has saw-tooth pattern corbelling as opposed to the older and more traditional denticulate pattern.

Southview is probably 16th or 17th Century in origin. The recladding of the front matches that of Mill House and The Post Office House – probably circa 1880. The roof was clearly thatched, and the roof at the rear is a ‘catslide’, enclosing a lean-to kitchen. The attic windows are in the gable ends as they should be. Dormer windows are extremely rare if not non-existent as original features of the local style (planners please note).

Hill Farm, formerly ‘The Greyhound’ is on a narrow strip of roadside land, which is in part common land. It looks like a 18th Cent Pattern Book building, possibly built to serve the coaching traffic on the Turnpike, but it does contain parts of an older building within. It ceased to be a pub in 1904.

Corner House Farm does contain an old building, but nothing is visible of this from the outside.

Ivy House is interesting for its fusion of Georgian formality of appearance with a traditional L-shaped single pile layout  (c.f. Dexters Close Cottage). It is likely to have been built in the late 18th Century. The end of the outbuilding to the left of the house (now incorporated in it) shows the outline of a cruck frame, though no timber-work was found during the recent renovation.

1 & 2, Bottom Green Cottages have a date plaque on them – 1753 – though the wall in which this is incorporated is clearly not part of the oldest section of the building. A study of the brickwork shows that the original building was probably single storey with a steeply pitched thatched roof, providing sleeping space in the loft (there is a fine example of this style of building in Upton near Southwell). A later extension provided a more substantial upper floor, which may have been timber-framed originally, but is now made of bricks which appear to be 19th Cent. The ground floor bricks are of the earliest date in the village

Pear Tree Cottage is marked as a barn on the oldest maps. Some aspects of the style of the restoration are a prime example of the guidance provided by the planners of Rushcliffe B C, who fail to understand what the local vernacular style is.

Bottom Green Farm and associated buildings (now a dwelling) are a good example of the post-enclosure farmhouse. Note the decorative gable end and corbelling on the buildings.

Willow Farm contains a simple 1½ storey farmhouse with a much larger Georgian extension.

Willow Cottage is timber framed house of the ‘braced box’ type, probably of the early 17th Century. This structural type seems to have been used in this area from about 1540 to 1660, though in other parts of England it is known from a much earlier date. Note the wide separation of the studs.


Station Road from Cross Green end

The Lodge appears to be a Victorian gentleman’s residence, but as it appears on older maps with a reduced size it is at least on an old site.

Dexters Close Cottage is on an ancient site – allegedly early 17th Century, but nothing remains of this except foundations found beneath the floor. The front part of the structure dates from circa 1740, and is little altered. In particular the windows and probably the front door are original. Inside the house there is some cob walling which would seem to have originated as animal pens.

Greystone Cottage has a long and complex history. The front part, end-on to the road was an agricultural building according to the 1816 map. It was converted into four dwellings circa 1840 but is now a single house. The use of Blue Lias stone on the road end is, as at Peach Tree Stables, typical of outbuildings as opposed to houses.

Hillside Farm was not a double pile building until 15 years ago. The rear extension is in keeping. Before repointing it was evident that the eaves level had been raised on removal of a thatched roof.

The cottage behind the butchers shop is a cob building which has been clad in brick. The rear view shows how it has grown over the generations. It is a splendid example of the local vernacular style. Note the windows all on the west side – the property stands on the eastern boundary.

Holme Farm is undecorated and typical of simple farmhouses of the time, it dates from the mid 18th Century. The remaining farm buildings are somewhat later and are of great interest for being unchanged.

The Croft is allegedly built round an old cottage, but no evidence of this can be seen from the outside.

Village Farm is a good example of an 18th Century farmhouse of 2½ storeys.

Tudor Cottage was the original Pond Farm, a 17th Century timber-framed cottage, which has been very much changed in recent years.

Whitehouse Farm comprises of an older 1½ storey section end-on to the road with a later (late 18th – early 19th Cent.) extension parallel with the road giving the property the appearance of being gentrified. The plan remains vernacular.

Broughton School

Broughton School lies on the A606 between the villages of Upper Broughton and Nether Broughton. Unusually the school served two communities which lie in different counties (Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire) and as schools were funded by their counties, this came to produce adminstrative difficulties as time went by.

The 1870 Education Act heralded in compulsory education and obliged local authorities to provide primary education for all children aged 5 to 11. In 1874 'The School Board for the United Parishes of Upper and Nether Broughton' was created and it built the school and the schoolhouse for £2000. They lie halfway between the two villages.

The school opened on June 4th 1877 and during the first few months it had 100 children on its books and had three classes.

On 30th May 1877, the Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury reported that 'the splendid new school for Upper and Nether Broughton United School District was opened with tea and entertainment'. The article praised the board who 'for upwards of three years have been working with energy and have just succeeded in opening this new and spacious building'.

School logs report that attendance could be erratic; children were prone to catching the many illnesses prevalent at the time, and they were frequently required for work on the land: 'Several children absent to gather colts foot' is one entry, another records 'Bean-dropping begins'.

A major change occurred in 1940 when 41 children and 3 teachers were evacuated from Great Yarmouth and had to be instantly absorbed into the school. The most famous pupil was one of these evacuees: Kenneth MacMillan who was billetted at Willow Farm in the village, he subsequently became a choreographer and the Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet.

The school closed down on 19th January 1969 and the remaining children were transferred to other local schools. Since then the building has been used for light industry. Initially it housed a business making rowing boats and latterly it has been occupied by a company manufacturing disposable items for the health service.

In 2011 the Upper Broughton History Group was awarded a grant of £14,500 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to record village history remembered by both older and former residents. We interviewed 42 people about four main topics, one of which was Broughton School (the others being how they enjoyed themselves, the war and farming). These wide-ranging memories became the trigger for an exhibition in 2013, the production of an education resource for the local primary school, the creation of a history website and for the publication of three booklets. One of these forms is 'A History of Upper Broughton: School Days'.

Baileys the Butchers

This village institution was run by four generations of the Bailey family, starting with Fred Bailey in 1905. Their pork pies were famous, not just in the village and all the surrounding area, but the Test Match Cricket Commentary team were well known devotees when England were playing at Trent Bridge. Sadly Baileys closed their doors in 2017, this history of their pork pie business was written by Pat Bishop and published in 1992.

Bailey's pork pies in Upper Broughton and the surrounding locality have no less renown than those made in Melton Mowbray itself, being regularly supplied to butchers, caterers, pubs and satisfied customers in an area bounded by Ruddington, Radcliffe, Asfordby and Long Clawson.

The present Mrs (Lillian) Bailey surmises that pork pies have been made on the premises for well over 75 years. In 1905 Mr Fred Bailey, newly married to Jane Houghton, moved to Upper Broughton and bought the butchers’ business from Mr Woolley, the previous owner. Before this Fred Bailey had worked in the well-established Asfordby butchers’ business run by his three brothers. In those early days the pies were made by Mrs Jane Bailey and Stanley Waby, who worked for Fred Bailey and who lived in ‘Hillview’ on Top Green. The pies, when made, were taken by pony and trap, later by van, to Nether Broughton where they were baked at Whittaker’s bakery in King Street, one of the two bakeries in that village, the other being Bowler’s also on King Street.

It was not until around 1956, soon after the death of Jane Bailey, that an oven was installed by Fred’s son Sid and his wife so that the firm could cook their own pies. Jack, Sid’s brother, who had been working in the business since 1927, told the story of how he was the one who had to put the first lot of pies into the oven because Sid, who had been really keen to have the oven, was nervous that the pies wouldn’t bake properly. Since then there have been three ovens – firstly a coke oven which needed constant watching and careful stoking up, then a calor gas oven and most recently an electric oven. As Mrs Bailey remarks, it is certainly cleaner and easier than the original though probably no better in terms of the pork pies it produces. The ovens have served the village well- not only for the baking of pork pies but also for cooking the villagers’ turkeys at Christmas – often well into the teens in numbers. The ovens were turned on at 6.30 on Christmas morning by Jack Bailey and the turkeys put in by stages according to weight. All in, and the Bailey family would be off to Church and back to deliver up to delighted owners (who were usually waiting with a bottle of something festive!) perfectly cooked turkeys. Since the installation of the electric oven in recent years, the shelves are too narrow in depth to take turkeys.

Nowadays five people are employed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to make between 600 and 700 pies a week, varying in size from the small 8 oz and up through the 1lb, 1½lb, and 2 lb. At Christmas, 3lb pies are made and other large ones by request for special occasions such as the Melton Bowling Club gathering. Originally each pie was hand-raised on a wooden block but now they have the help of a machine - not by any means the latest thing in technology and probably already a museum piece in its own right- rather like a potter’s wheel on which apiece of boiled dough is ‘thrown’ and moulded. The pie-cases thus made are still free-standing as they always were, which accounts for the characteristically ‘bulging’ sides. Then these pastry cases were put outside to cool and ‘set’ before the meat could be added- the netting can still be seen which protected them from the birds and Sam Cross’s hens! Now of course they are cooled in the fridge. After being cooked they were again stood outside so the meat could cool before the liquid jelly was added to keep the meat moist and from setting into a solid block.

The pork used in the pies is from one supplier only, at Whissendine, and the pigs are now slaughtered on Mondays in Melton Mowbray, though until only 2 years ago the slaughtering was carried out on the butcher’s own premises. The meat must be well cooled before pie-making can commence. I didn’t expect to be given the Authentic Bailey Pie Recipe but Mrs Bailey confided that she thinks the best pies are made using only the best cuts of pork, seasoning and water. She feels that the temptation to add onion or herbs should be avoided as it does nothing to improve the pie, and that the custom of some manufacturers of adding salt bacon to the meat to make it pink in no way enhances either the flavour or the appearance of the pie. Occasionally would-be pie makers order two pounds or so of the meat ready prepared for their own-baked pies. Having tasted Bailey pies, I know I’m happy to leave it to the experts-whose reputation was spread even further afield by an appearance on the BBC TV “ Taste of Britain” programme a few years ago. Did anyone in the village, I wonder, own a video-recorder then and make a tape? If so we’d like to make a copy of it for the Bailey family, and for the village archives.

Jack Bailey, already a legendary figure, when I moved into the village 15 years ago, had worked as a butcher for 62 years from the time he left school in 1927 until his death in 1989. He had been President of the Nottingham Butchers Association, and National President of the Meat Traders’ Association.

Luckily, the Bailey tradition continues into another generation with Alan Bailey and his wife. Just to complete the pattern, Keith Bailey, Alan’s brother, has returned to Asfordby and taken over the butchers’ business thee, the third generation to do so.

Pat Bishop

« February 2024 »
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