Where was it and is it still there?

The name BAGTHORPE was in normal use to describe the part of Basford south of the ring road and bordered by Hucknall, Hadyn and Radford Roads, especially after the Basford Enclosure Act, 1792. Terry Fry wrote an article about the name in the “Basford Bystander” in issue 37, May/June 1992. Much information is also derived from Anon (1856) “Rambles round Nottingham”. However, after the 1st World War, other names replaced it, for example “Sherwood” on the eastern side.

Why was this and when did it happen?

“Thorpe” is an Old Danish name indicating a secondary area within a main settlement, i.e. Basford in this case, which is an Anglo Saxon name for a settlement around the lowest ford point over the Leen. So we can surmise a Danish “Viking” group, perhaps having followed the Leen, settling in the parish of Basford, led by [or naming their settlement after] Beagga.

Despite the pre- Norman use of the name in the area, after the conquest there is sporadic evidence of its use. Other large properties were built in the area but few used the name. Probably in the 11th century Gerard de Algarthorpe inherited the estate of Algarthorpe, which appears to have been a part of what we now know as Basford, but larger than just Bagthorpe. After him, the Moreton family of Wollaton, who gave alms to the monks of Lenton, held the estate. However, William de Eland was given Algarthorpe Hall by Edward III, c1330, in recognition of the part he had played as keeper of the castle, in ensnaring the Earl of Mortimer. The Eland family changed the name of their property back to Eland Hall. Anon (1856) believes that this was sited where the gas works were later built near the rail bridge over the ring road; this was close to Old Basford but on the Nottingham town side.


On the 1609 Sherwood Forest map, Bagthorpe field & moor are named. The river Leen is clear, partly forming the boundary between Basford and Radford. Bagthorpe moor is shown, alongside the Leen and alongside what must be the lane through the Closes and Crofts (see map), which is now Radford Rd. This includes one which is still used today, Bobbers Mill. Bagthorpe field is named between Haydn Rod and the C20 ring road. The line of the Day Brook can be seen, so the approximate line of the ring road is apparent. The lane which acts as the south-western boundary of Bagthorpe field is Nottingham Road.


Mellors reports that a farm was built shortly after the Enclosure Act, c 1780 – 1800 called Bagthorpe House. The house was on today’s Perry Road and the farm extended to Hucknall Road and the Day Brook. In 1864 the last known tenant moved into the farm, John Houghton, and it was then said to be “a neat residence, pleasantly situated” Sanderson’s Map “20 miles around Mansfield” of 1835 shows only Bagthorpe House with no other references to Bagthorpe. This map shows the outlines of other roads are becoming established. The house gardens appear to come down to what is now Haydn Rd. The lines of Nottingham Rd and Radford Rd are established.

So there were very few references to the name Bagthorpe over a long period.


It was the railways and the new public services, such as water, which needed specific local names and used Bagthorpe as one of them. Bacon’s map 1910 (Basford Bystander, issue 37 of 1992) shows the peak of use of the name. In 1857 Bagthorpe pumping station was built on the corner of Hucknall and Haydn roads, and the nearby gardens, cottages, and grounds all bear the name Bagthorpe. These names are duplicated on the Basford side of the boundary, with more cottages and allotments off Nottingham Rd. As a different Local Authority in C19, there was no need to avoid duplication. The railways named Bagthorpe Junction at the crossing of the GCR (c1890) and GNR (c1860).

However the name Bagthorpe became distasteful when the GCR demolished several public buildings in the middle of the city to build the Victoria station in the last decade of the C19. Three major public institutions were moved to the area and all renamed. They were Bagthorpe prison, Bagthorpe hospital for infectious diseases and Bagthorpe workhouse. The latter two were united in the C20 and now form part of the City hospital. However the name did not stay significant for long because after the first world war, parts of the area were designated for residential use and people did not wish to live in an area with Bagthorpe’s associations. So the eastern part of the area became the most westerly part of Sherwood and New Basford grew to include the area near Radford Road.


This means that a modern map such as Nottingham A-Z has very few references to Bagthorpe. The allotments between Hucknall & Devonshire Roads survive and so does one street name off Haydn Road, but that is about all that survives of an ancient name.

© Paul Watts