Power Flushing Bulwell

Power flush in Bulwell

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Bulwell is a market town in Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, England. It is 3 miles (5 kilometres) south of Hucknall and 4.5 miles (7 kilometres) north of Nottingham. Bulwell’s population was 29,771 according to the United Kingdom Census 2011, accounting for more than 10% of Nottingham’s total population. The Bulwell ward of Nottingham City Council had a population of 16,157 according to the 2011 census. Bulwell Forest, which includes Highbury Vale, Rise Park, and the west of Top Valley, has a population of 13,614 according to the same census.

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The first settlers
Bulwell’s first documented settlements appeared around 800 AD, and were most likely built around the same time as the first local bridge across the River Leen. The river was significantly narrower, shallower, and slower-moving in Bulwell than in other potential locations along its length, and the threat of highwaymen posed a risk on existing cross-country routes; thus, a toll bridge was built in Bulwell to allow legitimate travellers a faster and safer passage from north to south while impeding others.

The bridge provided a rare direct route to Nottingham from the north-west, bringing regular traffic from across the country for the first time to the area. A gatehouse was built for toll collectors; it also provided protection for travellers and resulted in the establishment of the new settlement. The travellers were a nearly captive market, and the abundance of sandstone made it simple to construct dwellings. Bulwell grew in size and population as the volume of traffic on the road increased.

Bulwell is recorded as “Buleuuelle” in the Domesday Book (1086) and is classified as a village. By this time, Bulwell had become a small trading post for all kinds of goods and services, both for those living and working in the surrounding area and for those travelling further afield, and this encouraged many others to settle in the surrounding area.

Locals, particularly poorer newcomers, frequently offered travellers needing overnight accommodations space in their homes. It was a safer and possibly more social arrangement for them than continuing to Nottingham. Beer was produced locally using river water, which may have led to some guests unintentionally staying overnight.

By 1200, Bulwell had grown to provide all of the facilities for animals and their drovers, providing full service on what was quickly becoming a relatively major road. Trade flourished, and a steady stream of newcomers took advantage of the better living conditions that Bulwell could provide.

Despite the fact that the trade was beneficial to the local economy, the influx of new salespeople and tradespeople divided the town: the established business owners, who had invested heavily in building and maintaining their premises, complained of a growing number of roaming competitors undercutting their prices and taking their trade. They believed they had a right to a monopoly because they were also paying rates to the local landowner. In response to the complaints, a local law was enacted (around 1320) that prohibited anyone without “fixed… and at least partially covered premises” from selling goods or services near the original businesses.

The statute was poorly written: salesmen simply erected posts in the ground, eerily similar to their modern counterparts. These were covered when in use and left uncovered when not, thus complying with the law and forming a permanent sales venue. Customers of these fought back against the wealthier businessmen, defending marketeers’ right to operate. The Market Place’s location has remained nearly unchanged. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it is still busy.

The population grew steadily over the period, but the town itself did not expand much in size: opportunities for advancement and the desire of many to live further away from presumed unhealthy town centres ensured a relatively even flow of traffic in and out of Bulwell.

The magnesium limestone and the Bulwell sandstone, on which Bulwell is built, were quarried at some point. The strong, easily worked, and durable rock, a dull yellow-orange magnesium limestone similar to the Bunter sandstone beneath Nottingham Castle, provided an easy-to-quarry building material. Many houses, schools, churches, and garden walls made of Bulwell sandstone can still be found for miles around the town.

An early example can be found in sections of the wall surrounding Wollaton Hall, which was built in the late 16th century with Bulwell stone. The sheer volume of materials used there and elsewhere in the city indicate that a professional mining operation must have been in operation by this time. Bulwell stone was later used to repair the damage done to the palaces of Westminster during WWII.

Coal can also be found in abundance near Bulwell. The coal lies beneath the layers of sandstone and is only a few feet beneath the surface in places, as part of much larger seams that crisscross the region. Coalmines in the Bulwell area were thus among the first in the county to operate on a commercial basis, with large-scale mining beginning around 1500.

Men like Sir Francis Willoughby made a fortune from coal extraction. This enabled Willoughby to construct the opulent Wollaton Hall. Willoughby’s heir built one of the world’s first railway lines, between nearby Strelley and Wollaton, in 1604 to aid in the transportation of coal from his mines. Horses and other beasts of burden would pull rows of coal-filled trucks, with the rails acting as a guide and providing a smoother surface than the roads of the time.

The church on the hill overlooking Bulwell was built in 1849–1850 on the site of an original Bulwell church from the 13th century or earlier. Bulwell Saint Mary the Virgin and All Souls Church, which towers over most of North-East Nottingham, can be seen from afar, and its bells ring out across the area every weekend.

In 1667, George Strelley “built a school for the educating and teaching young children of the said Parish,” a structure that still stands today, along with many other houses built at the time. It is now a private residence, but many original features remain. An act of Parliament passed in 1852 authorised the extension of a gas pipeline from Basford and the south to provide street lighting and commercial and domestic services, which revolutionised life in the town. The first mains water supply did not arrive until 1877, to replace many local springs, wells, and the river, which served the needs of business and domestic use. Prior to 1877, water-borne diseases were common, and the river water was heavily polluted by industry and sewage, resulting in high infant mortality rates in the region. Between 1870 and 1890, the proportion of children dying before their fifth birthday decreased by more than 75 percentage points in Bulwell, despite increased overcrowding and demand for overstressed services such as housing. Insanitary living conditions harmed health care once more, but the population continued to grow rapidly.

Bad weather in 1843 caused irreparable damage to the older St Mary’s Church. Henry Isaac Stevens designed the current structure. In 1885, a new church dedicated to St John the Divine in Quarry Road was dedicated.

Bulwell Hall
Bulwell Hall (see image) was a mansion built in 1770 by landowner John Newton, set in grounds to the north of Bulwell town centre and originally known as Pye Wipe Hall, a name that stuck until the building was demolished in 1958. Bulwell Hall, which passed to Newton’s descendants, was auctioned off to Samuel Thomas Cooper in 1864, along with over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land. Before being demolished, it was used as a sanatorium, an approved school for boys, and an Italian prisoner of war camp.

Cooper, S. T., and the National School
Samuel Thomas Cooper became lord of the manor in and around Bulwell after purchasing Bulwell Hall. Cooper was a philanthropist who donated £3000 to build another school for local children in 1866. This national school had a capacity of 518 students, which was an impressive feat given the size of the building. It is now listed and serves far fewer students than when it was built. It is still in use as the old building of St Mary’s C of E Primary and Nursery School primary school.

Cooper’s widow, Annie Cooper, donated £600 to Bulwell St Mary’s for a new organ after his death. The organ, which is still in use but has been electrified, has a plaque commemorating her donation in memory of her husband. According to some sources, this was the same S. T. Cooper who later enclosed Bulwell Bogs as his own private land. Cooper died in 1871, at the age of 39, and the Bogs protest took place in 1872, but this does not preclude a protest taking place after his death for actions taken while he was still alive. There is no other S. T. Cooper listed as lord of Bulwell.

Changes in boundaries
The Deanery of Bulwell was established in 1888, four years after the Diocese of Southwell was established. Bulwell remained a separate town until a boundary change in the 1890s incorporated it into the City of Nottingham. As a result, the 18th-century Old Town Hall is now a fireplace retail outlet. The long-disused dance floor on the top floor was recently converted into a clothing garment factory, but it has now been reopened as a dance school for children and adults.


The “Greater” Bulwell district, which borders the Ashfield and Broxtowe districts, has an area of about 3.5 square miles, though many argue that its catchment area still includes the Bestwood, Bestwood Park, Heathfield, and Leen Valley estates of the past, bringing the total area to about 5 square miles. Top Valley, Heron Ridge, Crabtree Farm, Bulwell Hall, Snape Wood, Sellers Wood, Highbury Vale, Hempshill Vale, Bulwell Forest, Bulwell Central, Moorbridge, the Bulwell Village area, and much of Rise Park are all part of it, according to the City Council.

Despite the fact that the Bestwood estates were originally suffixed Bulwell, ward and local-area boundaries have been changed to connect the entire Greater Bestwood area with Basford and Sherwood. The seven fields between Bulwell and Bestwood have been developed to a large extent, but the historic links between the two areas remain. The satellite list has recently been updated to include the newer estates covering the fields.

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