Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

Woodborough Hall - 1066 onwards

Early History from 1066


A feature of the history of Woodborough Hall is that ownership of the land can be traced back to William the Conqueror and it remained in the same hands for some six hundred years up to the Civil War, and branches of one other family for another two hundred years.

The first record of land holding in Woodborough is in the Domesday Book completed in 1086. This showed that Woodborough was included in a very large estate given to William the Conqueror's son William Peveril. He built himself a castle at Castleton in Derbyshire, and one at Nottingham. In Woodborough itself, the principal inhabitants were the Prebend, for the Church property, belonging to Southwell Minster, and three Saxon thanes, Ulchel, Aluric and Aldene, who had manors. Of these it is probable that the site of Woodborough Hall would have been part of Ulchel's manor of four and one half carucates (540 acres). Soon after it seems that William dispossessed them since the land was taken over by Ralf, a Norman who took the name de Wodeburg.

The Manor stayed in the de Wodeburg family until 1336 when it passed to Richard de Strelley, son of Sampson de Strelley who built St Swithun’s church chancel. It remained in his family until 1622 when it passed to Isabel Bold, whose grandson Strelley Bold finally sold the lands to George Lacock in 1640.

In fact, Philip and his wife had at least seven children. In addition to George, Mary and Charles, there were three more sons, Philip, Henry and Francis and another daughter Anne. According to Thoroton, Philip who married Mary Cartwright, demolished the former Strelley house and built another two-storey one on the same site. When Philip died in 1668, Thoroton says that Charles succeeded him and was living with his mother at the Upper Hall in 1677, but by February 1683/4, Charles had died and his brother Philip, who had married Margaret Wright of Edingley, took over the estate. It was this Philip Lacock who built the Home Farm – now called Hall Farm in 1710. Although Hall Farm has been a Dower House, Philip’s mother, the former Mary Cartwright, died in January 1692/3.

The shield above right was most probably carved by or for Philip Lacock in or around 1660. Rev’d Buckland in his book of 1896 on page 20 refers to the shield as “Argent a Dexter gauntlet sable garnished or”. The shield is in the possession of the current owners [2022] and was photographed by John Hoyland.

The Manor of Woodborough Hall had therefore belonged to the de Wodeburg’s and de Strelley's for 600 years, but being on the Royalist side in the Civil Wars had probably ruined the last Strelleys. George Lacock was a Nottingham solicitor who probably acquired the mortgage when the family needed money.

George's third son, Philip Lacock, pulled down whatever house was on the site in the 1660's and built a two storey house with a gabled and tiled roof perhaps similar to the present Hall Farm house which has a plaque bearing the Lacock name. Philip died in 1668 and the house later passed via a daughter of the family to the Bainbridge's of whom Elizabeth (1716-1797) who never married seems to have been the best remembered. Her recipe for Fromety (Frumenty) Feast at sheep shearing time is still legendary. To view the Pedigree of the Lacocks, Bainbrigges and the Storys use this LINK

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Sampson de Strelley’s grandson Robert de Strelley, died 1284, married Hawisia, daughter of Hugh Sampson of Epperstone and his wife Clementia de Wodeburgh widow of Mathew de Vilers. Their second son was Sir Sampson de Strelley of Woodborough who married Lucia de Fourne, granddaughter of Robert de Somerville, lord of Oxton a neighbouring parish to Epperstone. Sir Sampson’s elder brother Robert [1254-1302] founded the line of Strelleys of Strelley whilst Sir Sampson and Lucia founded the line of Strelleys of Woodborough. In about 1356 their son Richard de Strelley built Woodborough Church at about the same time as his father built Strelley Church. Hugh Sampson who married Clementia was the younger brother of Sir William Sampson who was lord of Epperstone about 1290. Hugh’s son, brother of Hawisia became Sir William Sampson and inherited the lordship from his uncle.

There was a Sampson in the folde of Hazelbach in 1360, there would appear to be a family connection especially as the name Sampson continued in the family of Strelley of Woodborough, at least until the late 16th century.

Samson and Strelleys

The Sampsons and Strelleys were connected at least as early as 1176 and possibly earlier. In that year the Pipe Rolls of 22 Henry 2 show Sanson di Stradlega amerced 10 marks for the Kings Forest Sherwood, Hugh Sampson and Walter de Wudberg were fined at the same time. In 1178 Sanson di Stradlega paid 5 marks for expediting, with others, a writ against William de Heriz of Gonalstone, a parish neighbouring Epperstone. The Rev’d Charles Kerry in notes to the pedigree of the Strelleys of Strelley, Oakerthorpe and Hazelbach shows Sampson de Strelley, son of Walter de Strelley, as living in the same year, it seems certain that that he is Sanson di Stradlega.

The de Wodeburgs and Strelleys

It seems from Thoroton that Ralph de Wodeburge acquired his lands in Woodborough via William Peveril as Woodborough village was included in the ‘honour of Peveril’ and was responsible for half a knight’s fee. Ralph de Wodeburge was married to Emme and apparently had two sons, Ralph and Henry. Ralph, the elder son inherited and had a daughter Maud, his heiress, who married John Cantelupe. It would seem that Maud died childless and so the estate passed to her uncle, Henry. Henry de Wodeburge married Clementia, the daughter of Sir William de Middleton of Rosse. As she had a son Paganus de Villers of Kinoulton and another son, William Sampson of Epperstone, it would appear that Henry de Wodeburge was her third husband. Clementia received from her son William Sampson of Epperstone all his land in Woodborough and on her death Paganus de Villers, who inherited the land from his mother, passed Woodborough to Richard de Strelley. However, from a family tree provided by the late Notts historian Keith Train, it appears that Clementia’s son, William Sampson, had a daughter Phillipa who became the second wife of Sampson de Strelley, his first wife being Lucia de Foune. Richard Strelley was the son of Sampson de Strelley and Lucia – giving a connection between the Strelleys of Strelley and Woodborough.

Richard de Strelley married Elena (Eleanor) de Waldeshoffe and rebuilt the chancel of Woodborough church. He was also a knight of the shire and represented the County in Parliament from 1331-1336. He had three children, two sons William and Robert and a daughter, also Elena. William died before his father and Robert died without issue so Elena, married to Ivo Jeke of Prestwold inherited. The estate was then settled on her father’s brother, Thomas de Strelley, and then passed down through several generations to Richard de Strelley who in 1571 married Isabel, the daughter of Anthony Samon.

Richard died childless and the Woodborough estate passed to his brother Christopher who firstly married Frances, daughter of Fulc Cartwright of Ossington and secondly to Mary Wigley. During his first marriage to Frances, who was childless, a marriage settlement, dated 27th September 1602, was made between Christopher Strelley on the one part and his sister Isabel’s husband John Boulde the elder, of Willington Derbyshire, on the other part. It states that in consideration of the forthcoming marriage between Isabel’s son, also John Boulde junior and Jane Arnall, that as Christopher’s wife Frances was childless, on the death of Christopher and Frances the Woodborough estate was to be settled on John Boulde junior and Jane Arnall.

After the death of Frances, Christopher [Strelley] married Mary Wigley on 1st April 1606 and they had a son William, but the marriage settlement on John Boulde junior stood and he inherited the estate. His son Strelley Boulde then sold the estate to George Lacock, or perhaps the latter foreclosed on a mortgage.

Lacocks in Woodborough & Woodborough Hall (also known in the 1600’s as Overhall Manor and/or Strelley Manor source Philip Lacock’s will of 1710).

George Lacock, who was married to Alice Widowson of Lowdham, is said to have purchased Woodborough Hall from Strelley Bold in 1640. George had seven children, four sons Philip, Edmund, Matthew and Thomas and three daughters Anne, Dorothy and Faith. Phillip married Mary Cartwright of Ossington, Edmund married Sarah Ross and become vicar of St Mary’s Nottingham and Matthew became curate of Bulwell and died a bachelor. Philip, who inherited the Hall and Mary his wife, had, according to Buckland, three children, George who died at the age of three, Mary who died unmarried and Charles who succeeded him.

Family tree taken from pages 12 and 13 Rev’d Buckland’s

book about the ‘History of Woodborough’ published 1897’.

Above family tree bove of the early Sampsons kindly

provided by T S Sampson of Forfar Scotland.

Her sister Anne, who had married John Story, had six children but died before her father. As Philip Lacock in his will of 1710 had divided his estates between his two daughters, but lived until 1721, he had to add a codicil to his will, leaving Anne’s portion to her children.

There are interesting memorials to the Story family in the tower of Kneeton Church. Anne’s second son Philip of Lockington Hall inherited Woodborough Hall from his aunt after the death of Elizabeth Bainbrigge who was buried at Lockington.

There is a brass plaque in the chancel of Woodborough Church which reads as follows.

In memory of William Lacock, Esq., Lord of the Freehold Manor in Woodborough. He married Margaret, daughter of William Wright of Edingley, Gent, by whom he had four sons and four daughters, only one daughter survived him, Mary now wife of William Bainbrigge of Lockington in the County of Leicester, Esq., who having lived 78 years a pious life here on earth, yielded up his soul into the regions of immortality on the 25th day of February 1720.

This can only refer to Philip Lacock who, according to the Parish Register, was buried at Woodborough, on 9th February 1720/21. It seems that the original slabs or brasses were probably buried when the chancel floor was re-laid, perhaps in the early 19th century and the copy of the original is inaccurate.

Lacocks – the Upper Hall and Hall Farm

According to Dr Thoroton, writing in 1677, Philip Lacock, 1600-1668, pulled down the old Upper Hall and built a new house which had a tiled and gabled roof, like the present Hall Farm House. Buckland says he had three children, George who died at the age of three, Mary, who died unmarried and Charles who succeeded him. In fact, Philip and his wife, the former Mary Cartwright of Ossington, had at least seven children. In addition to George, Mary and Charles, there were three more sons, Philip, Henry and Francis and another daughter Anne.

Although, according to Thoroton, Charles succeeded his father and was living in 1677 with his mother at the Upper Hall, he died in February 1683/4 and his brother Philip, who had married Margaret Wright of Edingley, took over the estate. Thus Philip had at least five children, (Buckland says six), but I have been unable to trace the daughter, Margaret, that he mentions. The three boys, Robert, Charles and Philip, all died between July 1707 and December 1708, aged 24, 22 and 21 respectively, leaving the two daughters Mary and Anne. In his will made in 1710, eleven years before his death, Philip divided his quite large estate between the two daughters. However, Anne, who had married John Story after 1710, died before her father so he had to add a codicil to his will leaving her share to her children. At the time he made his will at the age of 67 he completed the building of Hall Farm House by 1710. The surviving daughter, Mary, married William Bainbrigge in 1712 and evidently took over the running of the estate whilst her father and mother occupied what is now Hall Farm as a ‘retirement home’.

Although Hall Farm is also called the Dower House in an early sale catalogue, Philip Lacock’s mother had died eighteen years earlier in 1692. Philip outlived his wife who died in February 1719/20 and he a year later in 1720/21. This suggests that it was not a Dower House as we know the term but more of a country house in which they could enjoy their remaining years.

The brass in Woodborough church sanctuary is very puzzling, because it refers to Philip 1643-1720/21 and there are several discrepancies. It is to William Lacock, who had four sons and four daughters and died on 25th February 1720. The parish register records the burial of Philip Lacock Esq. on 9th February 1720.



Philip and Margaret had at least five children. The five were three boys, Robert, Charles and Philip and two daughters, Mary and Anne. Sadly we discover from the Parish Register and memorial slabs in St Swithun’s Church, that the three sons, Robert, Charles and Philip, all died between July 1707 and December 1708 aged 24, 22 and 21 respectively, the cause of the deaths remaining a mystery. Of the two daughters, Mary married William Bainbridge in 1712 and Anne married John Story of Kneeton. Mary and William had twelve children, ten of whom died in infancy and William who died aged 16. The surviving child, Elizabeth, never married, although a marriage licence between Elizabeth Bainbrigge of Woodborough and John Parsons, vicar of Arnold was dated 26th May 1747. Her parents, William and Mary managed the estate during their lifetime and Elizabeth inherited it.She was famous for her generosity, she is reputed to have given £1000 to the City of Nottingham General Hospital and is said to have given the Poor Houses on Field Lane to the village. She died in 1798 during the enclosure of the village.   

The pedigree of the Lacocks according to Rev’d Buckland

on page 19 of his book ‘The History of Woodborough 1897’.