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As part of the national Heritage Open Days event in September we’re opening our own Thoroton Dovecote between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, 14th September.

A leaflet “Welcome to the Nottinghamshire Dovecote Triangle” will be available at Flintham Museum, Thoroton Dovecote and Sibthorpe Dovecote. A quiz for children entitled “Pupton, Pulpatoon or Pie” has been produced, and this offers a small prize for the best submission. All the answers are available if all the dovecotes are visited. A 4 mile journey takes in all three locations.


Work progressed in earnest during April and early May 2012 as the date for the Historic Crafts Fair approached. This unique one day event at Southwell Minster, sponsored by the NBPT and generously supported by the Dean and Chapter of Southwell Minster and by Woodhead Heritage, demonstrated many of the traditional building crafts which are needed to conserve and enhance our historic buildings.

Architect Alan Wahlers together with Master Glass Painter Michael Stokes gave an enormous amount of time on behalf of the Trust to stage this one day event which was well attended. Many visitors spoke of their fascination at the breadth of crafts displayed. These included stonemasonry, lead roofing, stained glass work, timber and plaster conservation, sculpture and painting conservation, calligraphy, book binding and the work of a bell foundry.

Entries for the Harry Johnson Award 2012 which were judged in the summer were of usual high standard and the winners were Healy’s Wharf in Newark and the Old Pumphouse, The Ropewalk, Nottingham. Bramcote Old Church Tower was Highly Commended. This had been restored and made available as a community resource.

The Trust has continued to support local groups attempting to preserve and give new life to the Manor House in Bingham and the Robin Hood Hotel site in Newark.

In Bingham, a local group, the Friends of the Manor House, have worked hard together with Alan Wahlers whose painstaking assessment, recommendations and drawings have been made available to the Group as they deal with the owner, the local authority and English Heritage. This work was funded by a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council and together with a business case worked up by the “Friends” should see a use for this fine building in the future.

In Newark attempts have been made to save at least the facade of the Robin Hood Hotel. The Trust would dearly love to see this corner enhanced, providing a welcoming indication of the abundance of Historic Buildings in Newark.

The Trust has expressed concerns about Rolleston Water Mill and continues to press for information of Colwick Manor Farm.

The County Council also provided funding for a scheme to be worked up to convert what remains of Blidworth Windmill. The Projects team visited the site, meeting with representatives of the Friends of thee Windmill and afterwards had a very pleasant meeting in a garden nearby which overlooked one of the best views in the County. Carl Andrews had produced a condition survey, and proposals for the future of the Windmill were drawn up by Barker Langham. This work was to be used by the Friends in the initial stages of an application for funding.

The Trust was pleasantly surprised to receive a donation from the Osberton Trust but generally financial support from local Councils is much reduced in these stringent economic times.

Work continued on Thoroton Dovecote, beginning with a new thatch, after a radar survey to establish the state of the walls. Walls were restored by Richard Morley, and internal alterations enabled a view to the rafters. The Trust is extremely thankful to the owners of the nearby house, the Ellis family, for all their encouragement and support, and for LIS funding provided by Nottinghamshire County Council.

A local history group in Lenton asked the Trust to intercede over the demolition of cottages on the route of the tram extension. We were able to arrange access for them to record as much as possible. As a result of this, many stones, almost certainly from Lenton Abbey (destroyed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries) were discovered and later removed by Trent and Peak Archaeology.

In September, a small number of members enjoyed a “dovecote tour” – visiting the mud dovecote in Flintham which was being restored and the stone-built ones at Thoroton and Sibthorpe. Jason Mordan, Senior Practitioner, Historic Buildings, at Nottinghamshire County Council kindly led this event. the Trust greatly values the knowledge and assistance which Jason provides.

At the Annual General Meeting last year we were enthralled by an account of the purchase and restoration of Hempshill Hall by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hunt.

Members were saddened at the resignation of Cecily Atkins after many years of service to the Trust, and Deidre McGowan stepped down from the post of Treasurer after several years of ably performing this role. Cllr. Peter Duncan kindly offered to assist with the finances for a period of one year from December 2012.

The Thoroton Society changed their representation and we have been able to work more closely with the Campaign to Preserve Rural England with the support of Dr Peter Holland who has joined our Council of Management.

It is not possible to mention by name all those who give assistance to the Trust and to those who have not been mentioned my thanks is nevertheless most sincere. The Trust could not continue the valuable work it undertakes to watch over our historic built heritage without this voluntary support.

My thanks go to David Atkins who is my Deputy and the Secretary of the Trust and whose missives to councils in particular are much appreciated together with an enormous amount of work a watching over planning applications. Graham Beaumont benefits the Trust with invaluable knowledge of buildings in Nottinghamshire and former Chairman Sue Summers is extremely helpful in past and present procedure and workings of the Trust.

Finally, the Administrative Assistant Marion Edwards works tirelessly and with much enthusiasm to support the aims and aspirations of the Trust.

Maureen Stockwood Chairman



There has been very little change to the list of buildings which the Trust has addressed since the last annual report. However, although slow progress has been made, we continue to challenge or approve of plans for buildings at risk in Nottinghamshire.

The future strategy of the NBPT has been addressed by a “Futures Committee” which initially is looking to increase membership and give a higher profile to the work we undertake. This will be reviewed in the early months of 2013. Membership continues to cause concern as our core of founder and long serving members depletes. Younger members are not so eager to join us as we would wish but this would appear to be the case with many other organisations also today.

New to the Trust is architect Carl Andrews from the Worksop area. Carl introduced us to having a stand at the Tuxford Building Conservation Fair in May 2011. Following on from that we were enthused to give support to Alan Wahlers, a long standing architect with us, and his plans to hold a fair in Southwell Minster. We are extremely grateful to Alan for the huge amount of time and preparation for this event which takes place in May 2012.

It has taken a long time to restore Thoroton Dovecote and it was nearing completion in the spring of this year. Alan Wahlers was again the driving force to get this project off the ground and oversee the works. This dovecote, which is owned by the Trust, is a shining example of what can be achieved and our thanks will be rightly expressed in the next annual report as the final touches are still being made at present.

Periodically we produce a newsletter and our latest for the Winter 2011/Spring 2012 was well received. An enlarged print run gave us an opportunity to send out the newsletter to Councils, Libraries and at events which members thought may give us some publicity. Colour photos of the previous year’s Harry Johnson Award winning entries made the newsletter very attractive.

There was tremendous input from Alan again for this plus much from the previous Chairman, Sue Summers and snippets of information from the past by the ever resourceful graham Beaumont who assists us in many ways.

Financially we are swimming against the tide of low interest rates and reduced support from Councils. We have, however, claimed back payment of Gift Aid contributions. There is additional work to be completed in this area which may produce further funding.

The Treasurer, Mrs. Deirdre McGowan, invested some monies on behalf of the Trust to achieve a higher return. Deirdre has been a superb Hon Treasurer since coming forward at out 40th Celebrations, giving freely of her time to enable the finances to be kept accurately and up to date.

The Trust continues to be a member of the UK Association of Preservation Trusts. The East Midlands group held a meeting in Newark in March 2012 which some members were able to attend and enjoy the guided tour led by Mr Chris Healy. Our links with CPRE have been maintained and we value their input for the Harry Johnson Award and their support for the built environment.

There is a varying degree of interest from councils who ask for our opinion for planning applications involving conservation areas, listed buildings and specific buildings of special interest.

With support from English Heritage, we have strongly opposed the demolition of ‘The Robin Hood Cottages’ in Newark.

Apart from those already mentioned, buildings which have come to our attention include:- St Helen’s Church, South Wheatley, the Saracen’s Head at Southwell, Colwick Manor Farm, Mansfield Maltings, The Old Ship, Manor Lodge, The Old Library and the Priory Gatehouse at Worksop, Church Lane School at Arnold, 41 Pilcher Gate in Nottingham, the Old Post Office at Bingham and the Hill at East Bridgford.

The Trust employs Marion Edwards as the Administrative Assistant who is the first port of call for enquiries and who ensures the smooth running of the activities at our office which is situated in the Minster Chamber rooms. Marion is always eager to help, generous with her time and follows the projects enthusiastically and I wish to express my personal thanks for her support.

I have not mentioned the enormous effort which David Atkins gives to our organisation. He is both my Vice Chairman and the Hon Secretary and also one of the architects who comments to councils on their proposals. David was the speaker at the 2010 AGM when he gave a very informative talk which introduced and gave a brief insight into Church Architecture. There was not enough time to cover such a vast subject but it was delightful to hear David and his occasional touches of dry humour.

May I conclude by thanking all the members of the Council of Management? We are a small group determined to attempt to protect and preserve our local buildings. By supporting and following the crafts of yesteryear it is possible to keep what will undoubtedly be of interest to future generations.

Maureen Stockwood Chairman April 2012

April 2012


We welcome Councillor Peter Duncan as our new Hon. Treasurer and thank him for stepping into this role. We wish him well as he continues the sterling work carried out to date.

The Trust have been extremely grateful to Mrs. Deirdre McGowan who has carried out the duties of treasurer for the past five years but, having completed a period of notice, has reluctantly retired to help out within her husband’s business venture. We all wish Deirdre well for the future.


Clipstone Colliery Headstocks


Clipstone Headstocks

Newark and Sherwood DC and English Heritage have commissioned independent consultants to advise on the information submitted in support of an application to demolish this iconic landmark, which is a listed building.A listed building application for demolition was submitted in 2003 and since then an outline planning application for 500 homes and other development was submitted but refused following objections by English Heritage and a second application submitted but withdrawn in 2004.

Reportedly the second tallest such structure in Europe, the views from the top must be stunning and despite comments that the structure is on its last legs an imaginative scheme could make this an attractive tourist destination.

Forest Lodge, Nottingham

If you have travelled into Nottingham from the Mansfield side you will have noticed scaffolding around Forest Lodge on the Forest.


Forest Lodge

It was not too long ago in 1984/85 that the NBPT as owners were responsible for the restoration of the building under the direction of the late architect John Severn. The cost of the work at the time was about £26000. Click on the picture to the left to link to an original article about the Lodge first published in the Cromwell Press publication Nottinghamshire Heritage. The NBPT are not involved with the present work which is being carried out to bring the building, owned by the City Council, back into use.

Fliss Hogg, Parks Development Officer for Nottingham City Council, tells us that the restoration works, costing around £300k, are part of £5m+ package partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Forest Recreation Ground which also includes restoration of the Pavilion building. The main contractor is Carillion and further details can be found at the following link. The lower floor will be used by the gardening staff and negotiations are proceeding for a charitable organisation to occupy the main floor of the Lodge. Works are due for completion by September this year.

Thoroton Dovecote

The refurbishment work on the dovecote is nearing completion, with the thatching completely replaced, the inserted rotten timber floor removed and repointing of the stonework taking place.

nbpt Thoroton Dovecote

Thoroton Dovecote Restoration

Negotiations are continuing to establish public access despite problems encountered amid lengthy negotiations. Although the Trust own the building, access is only possible across land in private ownership. The works have only been possible with the help of Nottinghamshire County Council through the Local Initiative Scheme.

The dovecote featured briefly in the BBC programme Countryfile during a short piece on dovecotes which also included the dovecotes at Sibthorpe and Flintham.The photograph on the left shows the dovecote during the rethatching works, being carried out by Roger Scanlan Thatching Limited of Spratton, Northamptonshire.

In addition to the main projects, negotiations on over a dozen other buildings of possible interest have taken place.

Blidworth Windmill

Awaiting picture and text

Bingham Manor House

Awaiting picture and text

JACK LOWE OBE 1922 – 2012

Landscape Architect, Town Planner, Chartered Surveyor and one of the founder members of the NBPT. The obituary of Jack Lowe has been reported in Landscape, the Journal of the Landscape Institute.

Jack Lowe was a former County Director of Planning initially at Lincolnshire and then Nottinghamshire County Council (1964 to 1974) before moving south to Bristol to join the private sector in 1974.


Council of Management: Audio-Visual Room, Minster Chambers, Southwell. 2.00pm Wed 6th March, 5th June, 4th September and 4th December.

Projects Committee:NBPT Office, Minster Chambers, Southwell. 2.00pm. Wed 6th February – other dates to be confirmed.



The Old Pumphouse Nottingham

The Old Pumphouse Nottingham

A most unusual project undertaken by Nottingham architects, Franklin Ellis, has gained a 2012 Harry Johnson Award, jointly sponsored by the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust and CPRE Nottinghamshire. The Award certificate was presented on Tuesday, 6th November 2012, to Andrew Ellis, Denise Ellis & Paul Godfrey.

Franklin Ellis partners had, since the 1990’s, lamented the steady deterioration of The Old Pumphouse opposite their offices in The Ropewalk. A Gothic building designed in 1850 by Victorian engineer Thomas Hawksley to supply water to the new Park development, it was on the county’s “Buildings at Risk Register”.

In 2008 the partnership finally negotiated the purchase of the abandoned Grade II Listed Beam Engine House. A complex and challenging restoration, skilfully managed by Denise Ellis, has conserved the building and produced new offices for the partnership, with additional letting space.

Neglected for most of the 20th century, its massive, but rotten beam ends were replaced and the roof reconstructed with timber chosen from Midlands woodland; new floors were inserted to provide suitable accommodation. Changes in floor level and requirements for disabled access necessitated extensions of stone mouldings, new window surrounds and doors, pointing, roof covering and brick cleaning. All this and the joinery work and restoration of original steel window frames, re-glazed with cylinder glass, were completed to the highest standards using traditional skills and materials.

The judges were impressed by the depth and detail of the sympathetic restoration and, although the original 19th century structure was an extraordinary intrusion into the street scene, they considered that its restoration and extension has produced a more integrated building.
Left to right: Andrew Ellis (partner), Cllr Maureen Stockwood (Chairman, NBPT), Denise Ellis (holding the certificate) and Paul Godfrey (partner).


Presentation of the Harry Johnson Award


The range of buildings entered this year was unusually wide, but all entries showed dedication to high standards in the built environment.

nbpt-Healys Wharf

Healys Wharf

For Chris Healy, as owner and builder, the Award is the culmination of several decades of careful planning and meticulous building work. The historic site was set out in mediaeval times to include a frontage onto the Roman road and also onto the river. It is one of a very few in Newark to remain in single ownership.

Working as a team, Chris and his architect, Bernard Martin of Newark, developed the details for the building, using the planning permission obtained several years before by architect Brian Allebon. Chris was determined to construct a building which not only performed efficiently and effectively, but was also attractive to passers by. It is within the curtilage of a listed building and also the Millgate Conservation Area.

Using traditional materials and techniques, the process demanded an unusual degree of care and skill along with a willingness to learn on the part of the tradesmen. Their efforts have been rewarded by the quality of the finished work which attracts favourable comments on a daily basis.

Traditional techniques include the use of lime plaster reinforced with horse hair, hand-tools to prepare the mouldings on the skirting boards, hand-trimming of the roof tiles to ensure a correct fit and painting of not only the outside, but also the inside of the cast iron rainwater goods prior to installation.

Modern standards of insulation and the use of a ground source heat pump ensure the building exceeds current environmental standards.

The Harry Johnson judges were Maureen Stockwood (Chairman of the NBPT), David Atkins (Hon. Sec. NBPT), Peter Holland (Chairman of CPRE Nottinghamshire) and Cecily Atkins (CPRE Nottinghamshire representative since 1989).


Southwell craft fairrestoration-in-action

This was held on a fine day in May both in and around the magnificent Southwell Minster and was organised by the NBPT supported by the Southwell Cathedral Chapter and Woodhead Conservation. The day was well attended and featured over 50 craftsmen exhibiting a variety of traditional building and church crafts.

A report with photographs was published in the July copy of Church Building magazine. Church Building is the magazine of ecclesiastical architecture and art.


restoration-in-actionThe latest copy of Restoration in Action can be viewed by clicking on the image to the left.

Plans have been progressed to add a list of the old NBPT annual reports and newsletters on this website. These contain a wealth of information, both historical and informative and much is considered still relevant to anyone contemplating altering their listed building to-day or indeed anyone researching the history of their house.

A selection of the first newsletters can be viewed at the following links:
NBPT 1967-1968 First Annual Report
NBPT 1969-1970 Third Annual Report
NBPT 1970-1971 Fourth Annual Report
NBPT 1971-1972 Fifth Annual Report
NBPT 1972-1973 Sixth Annual Report
NBPT First Newsletter
NBPT Newsletter 1985 05 Vol 8 No 1. Note, this is a 15MB file that may be slow to open on some mobile phones and on slower internet connections.

It is hoped to include some form of index to enable a quick search to be made and it may be possible to include particular subject or topic matter in full in the future.