Laburnum Cottages

This almost unspoilt terrace of four framework knitters’ cottages sits on the west side of Mansfield Rd in Redhill, Arnold, Nottinghamshire. In the eighteen century the thriving hosiery industry saw developers build rows of such houses incorporating workshops with long windows on the ground or upper floors(1). In this case the long windows are on the ground floor (cf. Calverton)(2). This design meant the upper floor(s) did not have to be strengthened to support the frames but still provided adequate light by which to work(1). The cottages are currently numbered 271 – 277, from left to right, as seen in this photograph. The authors plans and building details are shown in Appendices I - III.

The Inclosure Maps and Award records of 1783-1793(6,7,8) do not show or describe the cottages. Rather they show the land on which the cottages would subsequently be built. This land was owned by Sam Deverill. The land which was in two plots (no’s 199 and 200) stretched from Mansfield Road to the boundary of Bestwood Lodge. Plot 200 was adjacent to the road and Plot 199 was adjacent to Bestwood Lodge. In total, Sam Deverill owned 6acres, 0 roods and 37 perches of landwhich was called “Parkside” in the records. Land plots adjacent to this were also referred to as Parkside, Parkside Close or Parkside Bottom.

We still have no certainty as to when the cottages were constructed. But the 1842 Tithe Map & Records(4) give us a time range of 1793 to 1842. The four cottages make their first documentary appearance in the Tithe Map (see map right) and are labelled from south to north as plots 1276, 1275, 1274 and 1273 respectively. The plots were occupied by Joseph Summers, Cornelius Dunham, Mary Clayton and Abigail Lee (NB spelling Dunham). John Charge was the landowner of the cottages, Redhill Lodge with its surrounding agricultural land and cottages/land on the opposite side of Mansfield Rd (plots 1115 – 1121). The lodge and its land was rented to a John Kirk.

A Crown Survey of Sherwood Forest in 1609(3) showed a large swath of land called Parke Field which was common land for the people of Arnhall. The land was bordered on the west side by Bestwood Lodge and on the east by what would become High St, Arnold. The Nottingham to Mansfield Road ran north - south through the land. The current cottages were built on this land, adjacent to the west side of the road, in Redhill, four miles from Nottingham. More of which latter. The area in which the cottages are situated was known as Park side Close or Park Side and is referred to as such in Title Deeds to the property and the Tithe Records of 1842(4), respectively.

Precisely when the cottages were built is still open to debate. Bill Spick in his Book of Arnold(5) labelled a photograph of the cottages (above left) with “built 1725/40” but gave no supporting evidence to substantiate the statement. The current owner and this articles author was led to believe that the four cottages were built around 1750. This later date is based the brick size, bonding method and style of the building and came about after input from Freddie Davis, a lecturer in the history of buildings and architecture. Again there is no documentary evidence to support this claim.

The cottages opposite Laburnum Cottages stood on the Stanhope and are shown in this photograph(5) (left). The 4 cottages were listed as plots 1119 to 1116 (L to R) in the Tithe award and were occupied respectively by the Berford, Barrowcliffe, Northedge and Smith families. Only the right hand cottage, now number 194 Mansfield Rd is still standing.

The 1841 Census allows us to add more detail to that given above with regards the occupiers of the cottages. Note, in this census adult ages are given to the nearest 5 years.

Joseph Summers, aged 40, a Framework Knitter (FWK) occupied the first cottage with his twelve child. There is no mention of a wife. The first son George was also a FWK.

The second cottage, which is now owned by the author, was occupied by Cornelius Denham (NB spelling Denham), a FWK, his wife Mary, son John aged two years; Rebecca Gardener and Elizabeth Jarman, both FWK’s and Frances Jarman, aged eight years. Cornelius Denham had married Mary Mayfield on June 1st 1834 at St Marys Church, Arnold. Their first son John was baptised at the same church on June 16th 1839. The couple had three further children, James (b1841), Sarah (b1845) and William (b1847). Cornelius who was born c1811, died in 1888, then aged 77 (Nottm DEC 7b 173). Mary Mayfield was baptised on the 25th April 1911 at St Marys Church, Arnold. Her parents were John and Jane Mayfield.

Mary Clayton, aged 75, was the head of house in the third cottage. Under the same roof we also had Hannah Wheatley, aged 25, with her 2 week old son, John. Sarah Clayton, aged 20, William Clayton, aged 6, and Joseph Clayton, aged 2.

The final cottage was occupied by Abigail Lee (75), John Cargill (25) and his wife Mary (30). John was a shoemaker and the couple had two children, Mary (3) and Elizabeth (1). Abigail Lee was John Cargill’s mother-in-law. Having established the occupiers in the 1841 census is then possible to follow the families through subsequent records focussing on the author’s property. The occupation details for all four cottages are available (Appendix IV) to substantiate the following:

By the time of the 1851 Census, Cornelius Denham and his family had moved on to Leapool, Redhill. Cornelius and his first son, John were working as agricultural labourers. The author’s cottage was occupied by John Fisher (45) and his wife Hannah (45). John had married Hannah Twell from Papplewick on Sept 23rd 1824 at St Marys, Arnold. The couple had nine children, William (25), Elizabeth (19), Thomas (17), Samuel (15), Joseph (13), Hannah (11), Charles (9), Henry (7) and Sarah (5). John and his first five children all laboured as hose FWK’s, whilst Hannah was a seamer.

John Fisher and his family had moved to Spout Lane, Arnold when the 1861 Census was taken. He was still a FWK. The new occupiers of the cottage were Thomas Spendlove (39) from Chilwell and his wife Hannah (38) from Arnold. Thomas had married Hannah Wells on 2nd January 1859 at St Marys Church, Arnold. Both were recorded as a FWKs.

The 1871 Census is significant because it gives the first name to the row of cottages, “4 Mile Row”. This is appropriate because, as shown in contemporary OS maps, the cottages stand adjacent to the fourth mile post from Nottingham. The occupiers were still Thomas Spendlove and Hannah, his wife. Thomas is a FWK and Hannah is now recorded as a seamer.

By the time of the 1881 Census little has changed in that Thomas & Hannah Spendlove are still in residence and performing the same roles. But the cottages are now called “Burtons Row”. They were most probably named after the occupier of Redhill Lodge, a Mr Francis Burton. Francis was a solicitor and lived at the lodge with his wife Mary Ann. They had a considerable number of service staff.

The cottages are not named in the 1891 Census although Francis Burton, now a retired solicitor, was still alive (Francis died in 1892). Unfortunately Thomas Spendlove had died, aged 63, in 1884 (Basford SEP 7b 115). Hannah Spendlove, now aged 68, was recorded as a widow “Living on the Parish”.

The earliest known surviving legal document referring to the cottages dates from 1899 when a Mr Goodwin owned the Mount and the cottages. The documenmtaion consists of an agreement made between, Mr. J. T. Goodwin of the Mount, Redhill, Arnold, a baker and Confectioner, and The Bestwood coal and Iron Company Ltd for the removal of a bed or seam of coal called the main top hard coal on the Redhill Lodge Estate. At this point in time there was no property on the Mount, as verified by the 1899 revision of the OS Map.

The picture, right, is the Norwich Union Insurance Fire Plate, c1890, which was fixed high on the front wall of the cottages between numbers 273 and 275. Heavily over painted it depicts Britannia and her scales of justice with laurel leaves beneath.  Originally the highlights would have been in gold gilt.  

Hannah Spendlove, aged 78, was still the only resident of the author’s cottage as recorded in the 1901 Census. Hannah died, aged 80, in 1903 (Basford DEC 7b 142). Dr George Elder (54) and his wife Sophia L Elder (47) were occupying Redhill Lodge with their supporting staff.

The 1911 Census has a very unusual record for the cottage. It simply gives the name of the occupier as “Miss Greenhall” and states that she is “single”. Under the occupation column it read “Suffragette (No information house closed)”. This is all the information given for this individual. The Census listed all fours cottages under the name “Burton’s Cottages”

The rest of this article is compiled from the author’s collection of documents associated with the property with supporting evidence provided where available.

In August 1930, Mr Boultby sold three of the cottages (No’s 271,273 and 275) to Fredrick Evans of Highbury Lodge, Bulwell for £400. For some reason cottage No 277 formed part of The Redhill Lodge estate, owned by, Mr J. H. Hardy.

This map from 1930 was part of the above sale deeds and shows the cottages in relation to the Mount. It illustrates the division of the cottages owned by Frederick Evans (outlined in red) and the cottage/land owned by J H Hardy, the occupier of Redhill Lodge. This map is important as it our first documentary evidence of the name “Laburnum Cottages” On Jan 21st 1937, Mr J H Hardy died, aged 70 (Basford MAR 7b 127) and his house and estate was purchased by the Air Ministry. The house and remaining estate was sold off in 1958.

The National Register taken in 1939 shows a Mr George Brough residing at the Mount (map above). George was the founder of Brough Superior Motorcycles which had its works on Haydn Rd, Nottingham. Brough lived at the Mount until his death in 1970, aged 80, leaving an estate worth £101,388. The access road to The Mount, shown in the map, is now called Pendine Close. When this name came into use is not known but the Close is most likely named after the Brough Superior motorcycle model “Pendine” which broke lap records at Brooklands in 1939.

Focussing back on the author’s cottage, the 1939 Register shows a Miss Anna Greenall in residence. This is almost certainly the same Miss Greenhall, the suffragette, recorded in the 1911 Census. Anna, born 28th Oct 1859 was described as a retired secretary. She died in 1948, aged 88 (Nottm JUN 3c 258). The Register did not give the cottages a name rather they are recorded as numbers 271-277 Mansfield Rd.

In 1948, Esther Chapman sold No 273 Mansfield Rd to Mr F. B. Henson and Mrs E. T. Henson. It was not stated what Mr & Mrs Henson paid for the property. Frederick B Henson had married Edith T Johnson in 1946 (Basford JUN 7b 570).

No 273 was sold again in 1968 this time by Auction to, Mr and Mrs S. Wadsworth (advertisement left).

The property was purchased from Mr and Mrs S. Wadsworth by the author and his wife in 1986.

In 2013 we were visited by the Four times Great grandson of Cornelius Denham.

In the 1911 Census, John Thomas Goodwin is residing at the Mount, a house and land to the rear of the four cottages with an access road to Mansfield Rd. Mr Goodwin had been associated with the Mount since at least 1899 (as detailed previously) and also owned the cottages.

The 1913 OS Map, left, shows the Mount, the cottages and Redhill Lodge. Redhill Lodge was occupied by J H Hardy who was described as a farmer, born in Kimberley. Hardy was part of the Hardy brewing family which merged in 1930 with the adjoining but independent Hanson Brewery in Kimberley to form Hardy & Hanson’s.

In 1922, Mr J T Goodwin sold the properties along with the Mount to Mary Heath Whittingham for £4,000. Mary was the daughter of David Whittingham, a local solicitor and county coroner, who lived at 395 Mansfield Rd, Nottm. As was then common practice, Mary took her middle name from her mother, Mary Boyd Heath. When David died in Nov 1919 he left his daughter the then considerable sum of £106,435. Mary Heath Whittingham died in May 1928 (Basford JUN 7b 231), aged 50. The Trustees of her Estate sold the properties to George Boultby, Estate Agent of Talbot Street Nottingham for £4,500.

This article may be at an end but the research into the cottages will be forever a work in progress. There are still many gaps in our knowledge and many unanswered questions to resolve. If anyone has any additional information or corrections to add to this work we would be delighted to hear from you via this website.

Peter & Marie Hunt © ALHG 2020


1. Housing the Leicester framework knitters: History and Archaeology. Prof Marilyn Palmer. Trans. Leicestershire Archaeol. and Hist. Soc., 74 (2000)

2. The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire. Page 58. Nikolaus Pevsner (1979) ISBN 10.03000 96364

3. Sherwood Forest in 1609: a Crown survey by Richard Bankes. Edited by Steph Mastoris and Sue Groves. Thoroton Society Record Series Volume XL (1997).

4. Arnold Tithe Award & plan (1842)

5. The Book of Arnold by M.W (Bill) Spick (1990) ISBN 0 86023 467 3

6. Arnold Parish Pre-Enclosure map by J Dowland (1783), Scale 1:5000, SK 586457, Ref SPL-LS G(38) 3L.

7. Draft of the Enclosure map of Arnold by James Dowland (1789), Scale 1:4752, SK 586457, Ref SPL-LS G(38) 2R.

8. The rate of assessment of the Arnold Inclosure (1793).

General Sources - census records, probate records

Deeds and Legal documents (Authors collection)

Freddie Jones. Lecturer in the History of Architecture. History of Architecture and Building. (Theory, form and character) F. D 1993 – birth, marriage and death records – parish records

Ordnance Survey Maps

Photographs and drawings of cottage floor plan (Authors collection)

Appendix I: Authors plan of No 273 Laburnum Cottages (ground floor)

Appendix I: Authors plan of No 273 Laburnum Cottages (ground floor)

Appendix II: Authors plan of No 273 Laburnum Cottages (1st floor)

Appendix II: Authors plan of No 273 Laburnum Cottages (1st floor)

Appendix III: Building details No 273 Laburnum Cottages

Appendix III: Building details No 273 Laburnum Cottages

Appendix IV: Census Records 1841 – 1911 and National Register 1939,  271 to 277 Mansfield Rd Redhill, Arnold, Nottingham

1841 Census: No 271 – Joseph Summers and family, framework knitter, No 273 – Cornelius Denham and family, framework knitter, No 275 – Mary Clayton and family, no occupation given and No 277 – John Cargill and family, shoemaker.

1851 Census: No 271 – William Rawson and family, framework knitter, No 273 – John Fisher and family, framework knitter, No 275 – Sarah Clayton and family, charwoman and No 277 – John Cargill and family, cordwainer.

1861 Census: No 271 – William Rawson and family, framework knitter, No 273 – Thomas Spendlove and wife, framework knitter, No 275 – John Stevenson and family, framework knitter and No 277 – John Raynor and family, framework knitter.

1871 Census @ 4 Miles Row: No 271 – William Rawson and family, framework knitter, No 273 – Thomas Spendlove and wife, framework knitter, No 275 – John Stevenson and family, framework knitter and No 277 – Thomas Morley and wife, gardener

1881 Census @ Burtons Row: No 271 – William Ball and family, gardener, No 273 – Thomas Spendlove and wife, framework knitter, No 275 –Thomas Moss and family, agricultural labourer and No 277 – Thomas House and family, coachman

1891 Census: No 271 – Jesse Stevenson and family, agricultural labourer, No 273 – Hannah Spendlove, widow, living on the parish, No 275 – William Henry Hudson and family, coal miner and No 277 – John Walker and wife, gardener

1901 Census: No 271 – Harry Lane and family, wash house man at laundry, No 273 – Hannah Spendlove, widow, No 275 – William Winters and wife, gardener’s labourer and No 277 – John Smith and family, gardener

1911 Census @ Burtons Cottages: No 271 – Archibald Davies and family, market gardener, No 273 – Miss Greenhall, no details, No 275 – Sarah Winters, widow and No 277 – Sam Stevenson, Gardener

1939 Register: No 271 – Winifred Shacklock and Lillian Haywood, both single, they were respectively, a sales ledger clerk and a Burroughs machine operator*. No 273 – Anna Greenall, retired secretary, No 275 – Record blocked and No 277 – Albert E Perkins and wife, in business with wife, a milliner *A Burroughs machine was an American mechanical adding machine.


Alan William Smith

06.03.2022 13:47

Hi, I've just started to research my wife's father's birthplace on Sunnyside cottages Arnold off Coppice Road, his name was Ronald Douglas Prior, born 10th April 1924.Regards Alan Smith.

mark hibbert

20.06.2021 22:35

My G G G grandfather was William Ball living at 271 in 1881.Sadly his son William aged 14 died in 1876 giving this address. So grateful to you for such a fantastic site.

Richard Hind

05.03.2021 15:28

Thanks Lynne. Looks to be just north of Goodwood House.

Richard Hind

14.02.2021 17:32

HI, A quick query if I may. I wondered if you had heard of 'Osbourne Cottages', Redhill? I have an ancestor listed as living there in the 1891 census but have been unable to locate them

Lynne Gadd (Secretary)

05.03.2021 14:12

Hi Richard, I'm pretty sure Osborne Cottages were situated opposite Redhill Cemetery, running off up to the right. The 1899 Arnold/Daybrook map shows but doesn't name them. Lynne Gadd (Secretary)


06.09.2020 22:24

Long story short- see this Herbert Webster who's parents lived at 4 Laburnum Cottage - listed on his service record in 1919.

Sue Tivey

06.05.2020 13:57

the 1911 census shows my grandmother Susannah Hart, along with her husband Joseph Hart and 1 year old son Joseph, living in Burtons Cottages, Red Hill, Arnold. Is this the same row of cottages?

Lynne Gadd (Secretary)

07.05.2020 08:53

Hi Sue, yes I believe it is the same row of cottages. The name comes from Francis Burton, a Solicitor who lived nearby at Redhill Lodge. I hope this helps. Lynne (Secretary)

Latest comments

06.11 | 11:30

I was born and brought up on Saville Road. Our house plot was believed to have been on the site of Arnot Hill House stables and kennels as my Dad was always digging up bones in the back garden.

Sandra, we contacted Bonington House about the trophy you refer to but unfortunately have been unable to locate it, if you could provide more information, we may be able to look into it further. Lynne

03.11 | 15:32

28.10 | 19:31

Hi Sandra, we will look into this for you and post a reply on this site as soon as we have any information. Lynne

Hello Tim
A picture is now on gallery page requested pictures. The exhibition in Arnold library is about Front Street

25.10 | 13:16