The 17th Great Nottingham Inclosure Walk
Sunday 30th June 2019, start 1.30 pm.
Meet at the Meadows Embankment tram stop, Clifton line, near Wilford Bridge, Queens Walk.
The Walk will be led by Eddie Curry, the City’s officer in charge of our parks.
This annual free Walk celebrates the 130 acres of Recreation Ground given to the people of Nottingham, forever, by the Inclosure Act of 1845. It consisted of 3 miles of Walks and 5 Parks, (now 4) running round what was then the edge of the medieval town, now part of the inner city.
The route starts at what was the stile leading to the Wilford Ferry and finishes on the Forest, by the Inclosure Oaks, one planted in 1865 to celebrate the 1845 Act, and one planted 150 years later to commemorate its continuing benefits.
Short talks about the history are given at points of interest. The walk can be joined at the Station, St. Mary’s Church, the bottom of Robin Hood Chase or the Arboretum.
The 5 miles of smooth surface are suitable for powered wheelchairs or scooters, but there are some hills. A bus or tram can take you back to the city centre and the café on the Forest is a favourite place as the final destination.
A certificate is given at the Inclosure Oaks
Contact number 0115 960 9221
The pieces of “Allotted Recreation Ground” as they are called, are more or less linked up already, except for Queens Walk, which is separated from most of the remainder which are on a northern semicircle of the old town. Queens Walk has been eroded by, first, the rebuilding of the Meadows which involved cutting off about a quarter of its length at the station end, and then the extension of the tram taking the centre of the walk for its tracks.
So the fine view from the station to the riverside as the first glimpse for travellers to Nottingham was removed, and the view back to the church of St. Mary’s made more difficult.
After Queens Walk Park, which is next to the Walk, the old town must be crossed to reach the next A.R.G. This one is Victoria Park, which had started life as Meadow Platt Cricket Ground, but later in the century it was refashioned as Victoria Park with attractions for the numerous children roundabout, trees and a drinking fountain. It is next door to an old cemetery, known as the cholera cemetery, where Bendigo’s monument can be seen.
This last, however is not part of the A.R.G.s but the wall between has now been opened, the tombstones removed to create additional green space.
After following St. Anns Well Road to the bottom of Robin Hood Chase, the route is almost continuous. From The Chase to Corporation Oaks, St. Ann’s Hill, Elm Avenue, the Arboretum, The General Cemetery, Waterloo Promenade and the Forest the only break is from the top of the cemetery at Canning Circus to Forest Road West, and the backstreets between these have their own historic and visual interest.
We decided to finish the Inclosure Walk at the Inclosure Oak, which commemorates the final Award of the Act, partly because it seems an appropriate place to do so and partly because the Rock Cemetery, just beyond, is one step too far for most walkers. In 2015 a second Inclosure Oak was planted ceremoniously by the secretary of the Open Spaces Society, to celebrate the passing of 150 years since the planting of the first oak, with a visit from the “Sheffield Giants” and a Morris Team.
Both cemeteries are part of the A.R.G.s because each had an extra 4 acres added from the 130 acres, and both are laid out as park cemeteries with the Victorian idea that they would be used for pleasurable walks, much as the Parks themselves are.
The two cemeteries have many interesting interments and their own histories to tell, so that a couple of hours is not too long for a visit. There are specific visits with historical talks arranged over the summer for each cemetery, so we can recommend these to those whose appetites are whetted by our quick visit.
Those who would like to do this walk by themselves will find an informative and picturesque guide on sale at the Five Leaves Bookshop, north of the Council House.