Originally the parish of St Mary’s Nottingham extended out to the northern boundary of Nottingham Borough, which, prior to the 1877 extension, ran along Red Lane (now Redcliffe Road), Mapperley Hills Road (now Woodborough Road) and Porchester Road.

Prior to the 1877 extension, the land to the north of Redcliffe Road and west of Woodborough Road was in the parish of Basford. The land to the east of Woodborough Road and northeast of Porchester Road was in St John’s Gedling parish.

St Leodegarius Basford originally served all of Basford parish, remote from the eastern side of the parish. In 1843 St John’s Carrington was established on the southeastern edge of the parish. In 1896 St Paul’s Daybrook opened to serve the area north of Woodthorpe Drive. (In 1936 the southern part of St Paul’s parish (the Woodthorpe area) became the separate parish of St Martin’s Woodthorpe.)

The St Ann’s area developed rapidly post Nottingham Enclosure and in September 1864 St Ann’s church opened. St Ann’s parish boundary originally stretched from Mansfield Road to Carlton Road and out to the borough boundary (Redcliffe, Woodborough and Porchester Roads) although this northern part of the parish was then only sparsely populated.

The foundation stone of St Ann’s Church was laid on 6 September 1863, the same day as that of St Saviour’s, Arkwright Street. The first Vicar at St Ann’s was Rev. H J Tebbutt (who had been Curate at St Mary’s since 1860). He promoted the building of St Andrew’s Mansfield Road, which opened in 1871, and he went to be the first Vicar there.

The first Church Wardens at St Ann’s were a Mr Taylor and Dr W B Tate, the first Medical Superintendent at the Coppice Hospital (private lunatic asylum which had opened in 1858). The second Vicar at St Ann’s was Rev. James Dawson Lewis, also formerly a Curate at St Mary’s and the Chaplain at the Coppice Hospital (and at Mapperley Hospital when it opened in 1880). Dr Tate and Rev. Lewis forged a close bond between St Ann’s Church and the Coppice Hospital, both holding important positions at both institutions. Dr Tate remained in post until his death at age 86 in 1913. It is reported (R. Mellors, Old Nottingham Suburbs: Then & Now, 1912, p178) that he cherished the close relationship between the Church and the Hospital, and his two prestigious roles, and insisted that the Hospital remain in St Ann’s parish even though geographically closer to St Jude’s when it opened in 1877. The eastern boundary of St Jude’s parish, fixed in 1930 and unchanged since, suddenly turns north, to skirt the grounds of the Coppice Hospital as Tate insisted, before continuing eastwards. (Coppice Hospital closed in 1984 and is now Hine Hall, luxury apartments.)

On 9 January 1877, eight clergy and four laymen met at St Andrew’s Vicarage to discuss the growing population and pressure in St Ann’s, St Mark’ and St Saviour’s parishes. This was the foundation of the original Nottingham Church Extension Society. This led to the creation of St Catherine’s, St George’s and Emmanuel, which was a daughter church of St Ann’s, opening in 1885.

William Windley (silk manufacturer / merchant) was present at the January 1877 meeting. He was a powerful mover in establishing St Jude’s Mapperley, which opened in 1877, originally as a chapel of ease of St Ann’s Church, achieving independent parish status in 1926. In the 1850s Mapperley was nothing more than a tiny hamlet at the northern extreme of St Mary’s parish and a lay reader from St Mary’s held services in the offices of Nottingham Patent Brick Company until St Jude’s Church Day School opened in 1860 and was used for services. In the 1870s the hamlet started to grow and a church building became necessary. The land was given by Ichabod Wright of Mapperley Hall, who had previously provided the land and funds for St John’s Carrington on the other side of his estate. The original St Jude’s consisted of the nave only, built with a disproportionately high roof and huge arch anticipating enlargement and the addition of a chancel when population necessitated and funds permitted; the chancel was added in 1892.

In the C19th the Porchester Gardens Estate part of Mapperley was farmland belonging to the fourth Earl of Caernarfon, in Gedling parish. In 1886 he sold it to a self-help-society of Nottingham working men who wanted an allotment or house with garden. The plots were only built on very gradually over several decades. At some stage it was decided to include this area in St Jude’s parish (although it remains outside Nottingham Borough/City in Gedling Borough for administrative purposes). At a later date the part of this area northeast of Whittingham Road and southeast of Moore Road became part of St James Porchester.

© Christine Drew