White's Directory 1853



Wilford is a delightful village and parish situated on the south bank of the Trent, 1½ miles south of Nottingham by the ferry, and three miles by the turnpike. It has several neat villas belonging to opulent families, engaged in the trade and commerce of Nottingham. It contains 570 inhabitants and 1,700 acres of land, of the rateable value of £3,400. Sir J.G.J. Clifton, Bart, is lord of the manor and owner of the soil, except the glebe, and about 70 acres belonging to Henry Smith Esq. The church is a fine old structure, occupying a situation close to the Trent, and commands a most pleasing view of Nottingham and its vicinity, and of the river which is here lined by a long row of lofty elms. It is dedicated to St Wilfrid, and the name of the village is evidently a contraction of Wilfrid's Ford, as there is both a ford and a ferry close by. The tower is low, but the nave and the two side aisles are spacious, and the chancel has a handsome altarpiece. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £18 7s 6d, and received at the enclosure, in 1766, an allotment of 227 acres in lieu of tithes. The Rev. Thomas Thorpe is the incumbent, and resides at the rectory house, a neat mansion at the south-east corner of the churchyard. Sir J.G.J. Clifton, Bart, is the patron of the living. Wilford seems to have been anciently a Roman station, as many Roman coins were dug up here about 50 years ago, most of which were of the latter emperors. Wilford House, the seat of Henry Smith Esq., is a large handsome brick mansion, with extensive pleasure grounds tastefully laid out. The Free School was built in 1736, pursuant to the will of Mr Benjamin Carter who, in 1732, left £200 for that purpose, and bequeathed for its support and for other charitable uses, property which now produces about £220 per annum, of which £60 is paid to the master, £5 for school books, £10 to the poor of Wilford, and £20 to St Giles and St George's charity schools in London. The residue is expended in apprenticing poor boys, in repairing the building &c, &c. Sir J.G.J. Clifton is one of the trustees. The same donor rebuilt the rectory house, and repaired and beautified the church at considerable expense. In 1828, Henry Smith Esq. erected an infant school in the village, and continues to pay a salary to the teacher. The poor have £5 a year from Henry Handley's charity. Gervase Handley endowed two Bede Houses with property which has been partly changed for £260 1s 9d three per cent consols, the yearly proceeds (£8 2s) are given to two poor widows. In 1810, Joseph Felton left a yearly rent charge of £2 10s out of four houses in Spaniel Row, Nottingham, to Wilford. The feast is on the Sunday before St Luke's, or on that day if it falls on a Sunday.

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]