It’s been a place of worship for a King before going into battle, a popular haunt for visitors to its pubs in Victorian times and a love nest for Edward VIII and his mistress.
Now the colourful history of Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire is being brought back to life once again.
A series of 14 new history and wildlife information boards are to be installed around the village, together with an accompanying walking trail leaflet, illustrative map and other related signage, thanks to a £10,000 grant from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme.
The £16,800 scheme has been led by Radcliffe-on-Trent Parish Council, with support from the local history society, conservation volunteers and World War I commemoration group.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and local councillor for Radcliffe-on-Trent said: “There are interesting stories and fascinating history linked to every part of Nottinghamshire – and Radcliffe-on-Trent is no different.
“We really need to do more to celebrate our heritage, both for people who live here to take pride in where they live and to attract tourists to support our economy. Initiatives like this fit perfectly with our new visitor economy strategy, which we hope can generate an extra £240m for our economy by the end of the next decade.”
Councillor David Barton, Chairman of Radcliffe-on-Trent Parish Council said: “The project seeks to inform residents and visitors about the history and wildlife of our village.
“It is a collaborative project involving the Parish Council and three of the village’s community groups: The Local History Society, the Conservation Volunteers and the WW1 group. Especial thanks go to Marion Caunt who provided the text and images for the History Boards and Nigel Cook, who designed the layout for all the Boards and Graham Fowell who designed the ‘cartoon’ village map. We are so grateful for the grant from the County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme, without which this project could not have taken place.
“It is so encouraging that residents have reacted so positively. People are fascinated by the history of the place where they live. We also hope that the displays will encourage more visitors to our village.”
Amongst the hundreds of historical facts and features celebrated on the new Radcliffe-on-Trent information boards are:
- On 16 June 1487 Henry VII celebrated two masses in the church at Radcliffe-on-Trent prior to the Battle of East Stoke, considered to be the bloodiest battles ever fought on English soil and the decisive conflict in the Wars of the Roses.
- In 1881 a police station was built, not for the law-abiding villagers but to control the rising number of visitors that travelled here to enjoy the scenery and the public houses!
- Rockley Memorial Park – A gift to the village by Lisle Rockley in 1927, it was a memorial to his son William and the Radcliffe men who died in the Great War.
- The 1920s were enlivened by the frequent presence of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) during his relationship with Freda Dudley-Ward, whose parents lived at Lamcote House. She was reputedly Edward’s mistress until 1934, prior to his relationship with Wallis Simpson, which ultimately led to his abdication in December 1936.
- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert passed through the village, en route to Belvoir Castle in 1843 and a church clock was purchased the following year to commemorate the visit.
Councillors Cutts and Barton officially launched the new information boards and history trail on Wednesday 17 April.
The locations for the new boards are:
Local History Boards:
St. Mary’s Church and Radcliffe Hall (British Legion) on wall between the two
Main Road (East) by Walker’s Yard
The Grange and former Church Rooms at bottom of The Grange’s drive
Manor House and Manvers Arms on wall between the two
Main Road (West) at junction with Hunt Close, by village sign
Railway Station at Shelford Road entrance
Harlequin at junction of Bingham Road and A52
Canadian Estate by totem pole in Grange grounds
Rockley Park in pavilion
Wharf Lane by car park
Upper Saxondale near church
Cemetery by entrance:
Cliff Top and Lilyponds by entrance to Rockley Park
Dewberry Hill at top of path up from Woodside Close