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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

The Old Vicarage – an introduction

They say that first impressions are lasting impressions, and one cannot help but stand back and admire the Old Vicarage. Its style, presence and character are enough to create that much talked-about ‘wow’ factor. Add to this the property’s importance within the village’s history, and the package is complete – this is a building that impresses.

The history of The Old Vicarage is fascinating. It started life as a small cottage. However, it was established as a school in 1736 by the then rector – the school was a room measuring just 18 feet x 16 feet. In 1771 the original cottage was enlarged to enable the school to take in boarders. In 1785, the school area of the building was rebuilt and the coach house and stables were added along with a bell tower which still remains and, in fact, houses the original bell which can still be rung. The bell itself is of local historical importance. Called ‘the pancake bell’ it was rung annually to signal the start of Woodborough’s village pancake race. Prior to this it was rung to herald the church service at Shrovetide.

Things changed in 1870 when the Education Act was passed. This meant that there must be a purpose built school building, and therefore a new school was built in 1878 and the former school became The Vicarage.

Later, a new vicarage and a new school (1968) were built and so both original buildings were dedicated to residential use.

Today, The Old Vicarage stands as a wonderful family home set within a sheltered formal walled garden. However, its historic and architectural significance has not been forgotten; it is noted as ‘a property of historic importance’ by Gedling Borough Council.

Accommodation within the residence includes a fine reception hall with original Minton designed tiled floor. The drawing room is just one of the rooms in which one will find clues to the property’s past. Here there is an enclosed walk-in circular store forming the base section of the original bell tower. However, the focal point of the room is an imposing period marble fireplace.

Within the garden room are French doors that open to the garden. The formal dining room with its original shuttered sash windows has exposed tongue and groove pine flooring.

In the traditional living kitchen there is a useful walk-in larder with tiled thrall and shelving, and a utility room. There are various ancillary rooms not mentioned within this feature, however one should mention the cellarage including a superb wine cellar. Ground floor continues with a study and a family room. The latter has exposed period cross beaming, a range of high grade, recessed cupboards and a central chimney breast.

There are also a number of features of note at first floor level including the original period staircase. The master bedroom has its small inner private landing are which leads into the bedroom. A recessed area connects to a walk-in wardrobe and a small dressing room. Bedrooms two, three and four are also located at this level.

Accommodation within this residence is extensive and continues upon the second floor. Here one will find bedrooms five and six, both with exposed roof purlins and ornamental period register fireplaces. Also at second floor level are two further bedrooms – numbers seven and eight, along with a large attic storeroom.

Throughout the house the views over the formal gardens are delightful. This is a garden that befits the property. The gardens include box hedging, sitting areas, mature trees – some original to the site, while there is a wide flagstone terrace that extends across the breadth of the house on the south side with a delightful aspect across a level formal lawn.

In total, The Old Vicarage is set within gardens extending to 0.84 acres and there are also outbuildings to note.

The conservation area of Woodborough is a highly regarded village set in an un spoilt undulating countryside some eight miles to the north east of Nottingham.


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