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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

William Ward Senior came from London to be a huntsman at Colwick Hall and later moved to Calverton to keep ‘The Rodney’ public house. He is thought to have died at Calverton and his widow Elizabeth then came to Woodborough with her second son (third child) between 1841 and 1851 to join her eldest son William (second child) who was a wheelwright. They lived in two houses at The Bank. In the marriage registers William Senior is said to be a huntsman in the entries for his three eldest and a licensed victualler in the entries for his three youngest children although he died before any of them married.

Elizabeth Ward Junior married John Bagulay in 1852. She was not in the 1851 Census, said to be a servant at the time of her marriage and thus was likely to have been employed ‘in service’ outside Woodborough. At the time of his marriage John Bagulay was a shoemaker and the newly married couple lived at ‘Chimneys’, Main Street, where he carried on his business. Their two eldest sons William and Richard started the business of Bagulay Bros of Sherwood now a well-known undertakers and motor hire firm. They began as horse-hirers with a ‘job-yard’ and bought their first hearse in 1923 to begin undertaking. At the time of writing (1974) William Bagulay’s youngest son Leonard lives in Woodborough in retirement and his three sons and two nephews still carry on the business in Sherwood.


In the 1841 Census William Ward Junior (the first of the Wards to come to Woodborough) was a fifteen year old apprentice wheelwright to Benjamin Rose. By the 1851 Census he was a wheelwright, married, living at The Bank. His widowed mother and brother lived next door having moved from ‘The Rodney’ at Calverton. He is not in the 1871 Census although his wife Ellen and two sons are and he is said to have left his family and business (in debt) in Woodborough and disappeared abroad. There is no record of his death in the Parish registers. His first daughter died aged 1 year and his second daughter Ann was looked after by his youngest brother James’ family in London after his disappearance.

Richard Ward came to Woodborough with his widowed mother between 1841 and 1851 and was a wheelwright with his elder brother William. The present-day Wards in the village descend from Richard. In the 1871 Census he is referred to as a joiner and became well-known in his craft. He is mentioned twice in the Rev’d. Walter Buckland’s ‘History of Woodborough’ 1897.

Firstly page 37 “in 1891…….the choir stalls were designed and carved by Mr Mansfield Parkyns at The Hall assisted by Richard Ward and another joiner.”


Secondly page 80 “the Rev’d. F G Slight (in about 1876) applied the grant of £1500 for a Vicarage to the purchase of the Endowed School House and grounds, which were purchased of the Governors and Mr J B Taylor for £925 13s. The,balance being paid to Mr Richard Ward and others for alterations and improvements.”

Richard Ward was also a church-warden in 1875 to 1907 and part of the front left-hand window in the nave of the Paris Church is to his memory. Examples of his talent for carving are still in the family, most notably stools and chairs.


He married Elizabeth Reavill in 1861. Her father was licensee of ‘The Gleaners’ at Calverton and then moved to the ‘Four Bells’ at Woodborough (approximately. 1869-1885) and is buried in the churchyard.

James Ward (a coachman at the time of his marriage in 1863) married Ann Winterburn who in the 1851 Census was a nine year old house servant with James’ brother William and Ellen Ward. The Parish show Ann to be tragically orphaned in 1846 after her father William died in November 1845 aged 44 years, her brother William died in February 1846 aged 2 months, and her mother Ann died in March aged 45 years all within four months. James Ward and Ann are thought to have moved to Islington where he was a cabinet-maker. They had one son and two daughters and looked after William Ward’s daughter Ann after William disappeared.

There is doubt about when James died. There is an entry in the burial register for a James Ward dying 7.8.1885 aged 50 and these dates and ages correspond to our James. But Nellie Peacock (née Ward) born in 1891 remembers as a child, him dying.

Herbert Ward followed in his father’s footsteps and was said to be a joiner and wheelwright up to the baptism of his sixth child Elsie, but at the baptism of his seventh and last child, was a market gardener. He married Elizabeth Black whose family kept Rempstone Post Office. Their eldest child Lily born at Brooklands Cottage, Foxwood Lane, and all their other 6 children were born at 54 Main Street where Nellie, their third child, still lives (1974) with her husband and her sister.

Herbert, market gardened 2 acres of land behind his house, and approximately 18 acres (rented) on Bank Hill which is now owned and gardened by his grandson Thomas Ward. Herbert’s son-in-law Charles Peacock & Redvers Baden Hall carried on the market garden business and Thomas Ward took over from them. (One of the small side nave-frontals in St Swithun’s Church is to the memory of “Reg” Hall.)

Nevil Ward carried on the Ward line by having four sons. He married Annie Baggaley of Old Manor Farm whose family had moved from a farm at Long Bennington. Their two eldest sons Arthur and Harry were born at Brookside Cottage, 160 Main Street, Woodborough, their third son Thomas at Brooklands Cottage, Foxwood Lane and their fourth son Eric next door at Foxdene, Foxwood Lane.

Elsie, Herbert Ward’s sixth child married Charles Poole who for many years farmed Park Farm. Their only child, Hilda, married ‘Billy’ Burton of the old Woodborough and market gardening families, their only child Roger is, at the time of writing, a Parish Councillor.


Nevil Ward’s eldest son Arthur was killed in action in World War II. He was in the RAF as a wireless operator and air gunner when his aeroplane was shot down over the Rhine in Germany and he was drowned. His grave is in Belgium.

Harry, Nevil Ward’s second son, is an electrician and at the present time lives in Calverton, and he has two daughters. Eric, the youngest son, married Enid Hallam of the old Woodborough market-gardening family. He is an architect living in Woodborough.

Thomas Ward carried on the family market-gardening business started by his grandfather Herbert, taking over from his two uncles, Charles Peacock and “Reg” Hall. He married Margaret Greaves a farmer’s daughter from Lowdham and had three children the eldest of whom is the writer, Jean.

Jean’s husband Christopher Hobbs works with Thomas Ward, running the greengrocer’s business at Calverton Shopping Centre which is run in conjunction with the market gardening business at Woodborough.

Thomas’s only son Richard was tragically killed in a motor accident on the road between Oxton and Southwell at the age of 17½ in March 1969. The large right-hand nave frontal in St Swithun’s Church is dedicated in his memory.



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Ward family in Woodborough