Beeston, four miles west south west of Nottingham, is a populous village and parish, upon the road to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and near the Trent Canal, having the Nottingham and Derby railway crossing the parish, and a station. It comprises 3,016 inhabitants, and 1,440 acres of land, of the rateable value of £4,570 5s. P.S. Broughton Esq., Tunstall Hall, is lord of the manor and impropriator, but Lord Middleton, Rev. John Wolley, T. Fellows Esq., and others, have also estates here. An extensive silk mill has been erected on the site of the old one burnt down in the Reform Riots of 1831, which employs 250 workmen. There are also in the village many stocking frames and lace machines. A village library was established in 1837 by shares and contributions of fourpence per month, and it now contains 800 volumes, and is conducted by a committee of 12 gentlemen. The feast is on the Sunday before St Peter, or on that day if it falls on a Sunday.
The ancient church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, and appropriated to Lenton Priory, was taken down in 1842, and a handsome structure, dedicated to St Peter, was erected on its site in 1844 at a cost of upwards of £3,500. It is in the early English style, with a beautiful tower 74 feet high, which is to contain six bells,and was consecrated on Thursday, September 5th 1844, by the Bishop of Lincoln. The interior is neatly fitted up with open seats, and will accommodate about 800 people. The Duke of Devonshire is the patron, and the Rev. John Wolley M.A. is the incumbent. The vicarage has 32a 3r 23p os ancient glebe, besides an allotment of 75 a 2r 23p apportioned to it at the enclosure in 1809. The Wesleyans, Kilhamites, Primitive Methodists and Baptists have each a chapel in the village.
A National School was built in 1834. The centre part of the building is the residence of the master, and the wings are appropriated to the schools, which now contain about 70 scholars. Hassock Close, and two allotments received at the enclosure, belonging to the poor, was purchased in 1727 with £70 left by Mary Charlton and others. This land (7a 3r 12p) is now let for £19 18s 6d per annum which, with 11s, the interest of timber money, £1 from Handley's charity, and £2 6s out of the Horse-Dole Meadow, is distributed by the churchwardens and overseers amongst the poor parishioners at Christmas.
[Transcribed by Clive Henly]