White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853



Ruddington, 5 miles south of Nottingham, is a large and well built village and parish, containing a population of 2,182 souls, many of whom are employed in the lace and hosiery manufactures. Its parish comprised 2,900 acres of fertile land, chiefly of a gravelly loam, with a marl sub-soil, the rateable value of which is £5,659 5s 8d. Sir Thomas George Augustus Parkyns, Bart is the principal owner, and lord of the manor, but Charles Paget, R.B. Barker, Thomas Moor and W.G. Boden Esqrs have estates here, the former of whom in 1832 erected Ruddington Grange, a commodious mansion situated on a gentle eminence about a mile north of the village. At the enclosure in 1768, the vicar received 52 acres, and Sir Charles Cavendish 466 in lieu of tithes. Of the latter 400 acres has been bought by Charles Paget Esq, the impropriator. The church was repaired in 1718, and was rebuilt upon a large scale in 1824 at a cost of £1,100, except the chancel and steeple, which are the only remaining parts of the ancient fabric. It was, however, a chapel of ease until 1773, when its burial ground was consecrated, and enclosed with part of the materials of the original mother church that stood in an open field, one mile east of Ruddington, where there had formerly been a village called Flawford. This church of Flawford was a Saxon edifice, dedicated to St Peter, and had a lofty spire steeple, and many curious monuments with cross-legged figures; but having been deserted by the parishioners it bacame ruinous, and a licence was obtained from the archbishop in 1773 to take it down. Its ancient tombs and other ornaments were all destroyed or mutilated by "colliers" employed in the work of demolition, and Throsby says, many of them were taken to build bridges, and to mend the roads. The chancel belonged to the Devonshire family, and was not destroyed till 1799, when the workmen employed in taking up the floor discovered three marble statues of the most exquisite workmanship. One is supposed to be a striking representation of the Virgin Mary, with a crown on her head, and the child Jesus in her right arm, clothed in robes of various colours, sculptured with great art, which strikes the beholder with wonder and admiration. The hair of her head (as also that of the child) is richly ornamented with gold. The next is a representation of St Peter, habited in robes of various colours, having a triple crown upon his, and the model of a church in his left hand. The other figure plainly indicates the representation of a bishop. They were doubtless hidden at or about the Reformation by some pious catholic, to prevent their destruction by the fanatics of the day. These beautiful relics were in the possession of Dr Throsby in 1797. The vicarage is valued in the King's books at £6 13s 4d, and is in the gift of the Rev. C. Simeon and the Society for Purchasing Small Livings. The Rev. Henry Bell is the incumbent. The Wesleyans erected a neat chapel in 1835, adjoining the old one, which is now used as a school. The General Baptists and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel in the village. Ruddington School was founded in 1641 by James Peacock, who endowed it with 40a 2r 14p of land, now let for £86 for which (and a house and garden) the master teached all the poor children in the parish. The school house was rebuilt in 1827 at the cost of £400. The infant school is supported by Sir Thos. Parkyns, who is erecting new schools on a large scale. The children pay one penny weekly. Ten acres of land at Bulwell was purchased with several benefactions, but 2½ acres were sold to the Railway Company, and 6 acres bought at Ruddington in lieu thereof, which is let for about £30 a year which, with a yearly rent charge of £3 18s left by the founder of the school, is distributed in weekly doles of bread every Sunday at the church. White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]