Sunday, 20 November 2016


2, and 4 and 6, Wheeler Gate, The Feathers Inn, Nottingham Timeline.

This group of buildings is situated on the corner of what is now Wheeler Gate (street) and Friar Lane in Castle Ward, Parish of St Peter, Nottingham.

Renamed Wheeler Gate from the mid 18th century.  It was formerly known as Wheelwright Gate , also Weelrightgate (1653), WhelwrightLane (1610) Qwellewrightgate (1396) also Whelwryghtgate (1331),  formerly called Baxter Gate, Latin Vicus Pistorum (1306). (baker) The Kings Furnus or bakehouse was in this street in 1310. Friar Lane was formerly called Moot Hall Gate (various spellings).

These buildings  occupied  two separate adjoining,  burgage plots on Wheeler Gate and the corner of Friar Lane. Several adjoining properties on Friar Lane appear to have once been attached to these properties,  forming stables and outbuildings.

They were perhaps of post restoration construction of circa 1670 - 80, replacing earlier timber framed buildings and built in two stages. Whilst the six gables are very  similar those three on the corner house were slightly lower.

The Moot Hall - the town Hall for the French borough of Nottingham was formerly on the corner site
1313 - Wheeler Gate was referred to as Baxter Gate see - J. Holland Walker, An Itinerary of Nottingham:  Beastmarket Hill and Wheeler Gate, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 36 (1932)
1313 -14, February 6. Grant from John, son of William de Novo Loco (Newstead), of Nottingham, chaplain, to Henry Darel, of Nottingham, of a tenement which he had of the feoffment of  Stephen de Whatton, in the Bakers' Street (' in Vico Pistorum '), between the tenement of William le Cupper and the bake house (' furnus ') of the Lord King ; and also a plot of land together with a vine (' vitis ') growing upon it in the same street.

1396 - 5 April  - Robert Squire was blocking the end of Qwelewrighgate  with ordure and wood to the serious detriment of the whole town. see - Records of the Borough of Nottingham.

1410 - Messuage situate in the street called Whelwryghtgate at the corner of the lane called Mothalgate  - mentioned in the will of Robert Squire - see - Records of the Borough of Nottingham, Page 77 (98)

1524 - 4 September - Thomas Willoughby leaves two gardens in Moltoll Gate ( Moothall Gate - Friar Lane) in trust for his Almshouses to the Churchwardens of St Marys see - History and Antiquities... Orange
These gardens were built over and were used by the property as stables (7 Friar Lane).

1539 - 5 Feb - The Carmelite Priory of White Friars was suppressed. The surrender of the house of the Nottingham Carmelites was made on 5 February 1539 and signed by Roger Cappe, prior, and six of the brothers, namely William Smithson, William Frost, Robert Wilson, William Cooke, John Roberts, and William Thorpe. Ambrose Clarke and John Redyng were appointed their attorneys to deliver possession to John London and Edward Baskerfield, clerks, for the king's use. (fn. 54) see

1541 - November the Crown granted the late priory of White Friars in Nottingham, with a garden and other lands in the parish of St. Nicholas and certain lands in the parish of St. Mary, to James Sturley of Nottingham. (fn. 55) see

1576 - Richard Moreton and his wife pass a large house situated in Wheelwright Gate and abutting on Moothall Gate North, by deed of feoffment to  John Byron Esq of Newstead (Abbey). Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts.  Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. 1870 page - 105.

1609 - First detailed map of Nottingham -  Map in Banke's Survey of Sherwood Forest shows the area fronting  Wheeler Gate and Friar Lane as built up with gardens behind.

1610 - Speed's map  refers to Whelwright Gate.

1635 - King Charles I stayed at the great house on the Market place - either the Crown or the Feathers.

1660 - 90 - Sometime in this period the building is rebuilt in brick with stone enrichments in the Dutch baroque style with Dutch Gables - it appears to have been built in two stages.

1669 - 1673 - Lawrence Athorpe (Town Clerk) see references below from  Nottingham Archives.
1669 - Feoffment by Joseph and Alice Salmon to Lawrence Athorpe of messuage in Fryer Rowe, (M/2152  Nott Arch).

1671 - Deed poll (quitclaim) by Alvery Pepper and John Dale to Lawrence Athorpe of the same, (M/2153 Nott Arch).

1671 - Feoffment by Lawrence Athorpe to John Sherwyn of messuage on Fryer Rowe,. M/2154
1673 - Feoffment by John Sherwyn to Samuel Richards and J Tuffyn of the same (corner house), (M/2155. Nott Archives).

1674 - Nottingham Archives - Lawrence Athorpe assessed for 12 hearths in the Nottingham hearth tax of 1674 (for which he was a collector).  Lawrence Athorpe was Town Clerk in 1701. In 1998 Adrian Henstock suggested that a possible occupier in the late 17th century might have been the lawyer Lawrence Athorpe. Mr Henstock stated that property on Wheeler Gate near Friars Lane was in the Athorpe family from c.1700.

1688 -  November - (The Glorious Revolution) - Lord Delemere declared for William and Mary at the Feathers  - "The Feathers Inn" reached the climax of its importance in 1688, for it was within its walls that the meeting of the nobility and gentry of the district was held which decided to throw in its lot with William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of James II, and so settled for ever the fate of the Stuarts in Nottingham. It was from this meeting that the gentry proceeded to the Malt Cross and made the proclamation which we have already considered. see   J. Holland Walker, An itinerary of Nottingham:  Beastmarket Hill and Wheeler Gate, Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 36 (1932).

"that the duke of Devonshire, (he was then only earl of Devonshire, but was created a duke in 1694,) the earl of Stamford, lord Howe, and other noblemen, and abundance of gentry of the county of Nottingham, coming to the town, and going to meet one another at their inns, daily increasing in numbers, till the arrival of lord Delamere with about 500 horse, at the Feathers Inn, whither all the rest of the noblemen and gentry went to meet him, the people of the town were unacquainted with the result of all their consultations", Page 792 /3 - Blackner - 1815

1688 -  The Princess Anne came to Nottingham and was entertained in the "Feathers Inn" before her final settlement in Nottingham Castle. Upon that occasion as the waiting staff of the inn was found to be inadequate the great Colley Cibber then a very young man, acted in the capacity of a voluntary waiter and was so much impressed with the beauty and wit of the Princess as to be almost overcome. When asked afterwards what his impressions of the gracious lady were, he replied that he was too confused by the honour of waiting upon her to have any clear idea of what she looked like nor could he concentrate himself sufficiently to hear what her conversation was about, in fact all that he remembered of the proceedings was that she turned to him and in a very sweet voice said "a little more wine and water".

This is certainly possible - Cibber was in Nottingham meeting his father at the time.

17th/18th Century - Nottingham branch of  The Company of Framework Knitters met at the Feathers.

1703 - 19 April - Churchwardens of Nottingham St Peter presented “Anne Adams and the hosteler [name inserted: Edward Row] at The Feathers Inn for having a bastard child” (reference: AN/PB 308/276 Nott University Archives).

1714  - Uniting of the French and English boroughs of Nottingham - no further need for the Moot Hall.

1715 - November 30 - in meeting of the deputy  assembled at the Feathers to regulate  the militia for the security of the country and to defend it from the Pretender "The Political State of Great Britain".

1727 - Will of Thomas Willoughby of 1525 mentions two gardens in Moot Hall Gate - a lease dated May 10 1727 of one of the gardens converted into stables let to William Cook gent. Churchwardens of St Mary's Church to administer rents for his Alms Houses upon Mail Hill. Nottinghamia.... page 138.

1733 - Commission for Bankruptcy at the House of James Robinson at the Sign of the Feathers - London Gazette -  8 September 1733, page 2.

1733 - The Gazette - 1 Dec 1733. Whereas a Commission of Bankrupt is awarded against George Eaton, of the Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, Hosier and Wine Merchant, and he being declared a Bankrupt, is hereby required to surrender himself to the Commissioners on the iotb and 17th Instance, and on the nth of January next, at Ten in the Forenoon, at the Home of James Robinson, being the Sign of the Feathers in Nottingham aforefaid, and make a full Discovery of his Estate and Effects s when and where the Creditors are to come prepared to prove their Debts, and at the first Sitting will Allignees, and at the last Sitting the said Bankrupt is required to finisli ins Examination. All Perfons indebted to the said Bankrupt, or that have any 01" his Effects, are not to pay or deliver the lame but to whom the Commissioners shall appoint, but to give Notice to Mr Richard Smith, Attorney, at Nottingham aforesaid,

1735 - Sign of the Feathers in the possession of Mr Pilkinton - Records of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham, 1556-1942, Nottingham University - AN/A 74 - Fair copy of register of office (correction) causes September 1734 - May 1740. (ff 33r-34v).     Tuesday 23 September 1735. St Peter's Church, Nottingham; the same day, at Mr Charles Sulley's house in Nottingham; 1 October, in the dwelling house of Mr William Pilkinton at the sign of the Feathers in Nottingham; and 6 October, at Mr Sulley's house.   Office causes, all deaneries.

1736 - 29 January - The London Gazette - at the house of Mr William Pilkington at the Sign of Feathers - Commission of Bankruptcy  meeting for second dividend of James Brown, hawker and peddler.

1736 - 10th August  The Gazette  - T'he Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt awarded againft George Eaton, late of the Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, Hosier and Wine Merchant, intend to meet on tbe iotb of September next,Jat Ten in tbe Forenoon, at tbe Sign of the Feathers in Nottingham, to make a lecond Dividend of the said Bankrupt's Estate, when and wbere tbe Creditors who have not already proved their Debts, are to come prepared to do tbe fame, or they will be excluded tbe Benefic of the said Dividend.

1736 - 4 September  - in The Gazette - The Commissioners in a Commisson of Bankrupt awarded againft John Franks, late of Loughborough in the County of Leicester, Mercer and Grocer, intend to meet on Tuesday the nth Day of October next by Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, at the House of Master Pilkington, being the Sign of the Feathers in Nottingham in order* to make a final Dividend of the said Bankrupt's Eftate and Efects.

1743 - Auction Catalogue - A Catalogue of Books. In Divinity, History, Law, Physick, Mathematicks, Poetry, Classicks: &c. Being ... Libraries ; the One of a Young Clergyman, Lately Deceas'd ; and the Other of a Gentleman To be Sold Very Cheap, the Lowest Prices Being Incerted in the Catalogue ; at the Sign of the Feathers in Wheeler-Gate, Nottingham. The Sale to Begin on Monday the 22d of August 1743 Catalogue of Matthew Unwin's - Library British Museum.

1755 - 9 Sep. - An ecclesiastical court appeal took place at The Feathers and the publican was named as Richard Ross (reference: AN/LB 242/5/25 Nott. Uni Archives).

1761 - Mary Broadhurst, Spinster, at the Feathers in Wheeler Gate - Alehouse Keepers Recognisances - Records of the Borough of Nottingham (1882).

 1765 - 10 Jul  - Assignment by (1) - (4) in trust for (2) of Mr Cooke's mortgage for the public house 'The Sign of the Feathers', Wheelwright Gate:  ----- (1) Langley Gace of Panton, Lincolnshire, gentleman; (2) Abel Smith of Nottingham, gentleman; (3) William Cooke of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, gentleman; (4) William Partridge of Nottingham, gentleman, M/24,434 (Nott Arch).

1766 - 10 Jan. - The Prince Palatine, Charles Theodore Crown Prince of Sulzbach is staying at the Feather

see -

1772  Saturday 11 January Creswell's Nottingham & Newark Journal. 

James Clark From the Feathers Inn, in Nottingham.Has taken and entered upon the Saracen's Head Inn, and Post-Office, in Newark - upon - Trent, in the County of Nottingham, and purchased the choice Wines and Spiritious Liquors of Mr. Ridgill, who has left off Business.

He has bought a fresh and sufficent Number of very able Horses, and neat Chaises, and engaged careful Drivers : Such Noblemen and Gentlemen who please to favour him, shall meet with every Accommodation, suitable to their Dignity, upon Travel; and no Pains, Care, or Expences shall be spared, for the Purpose of conducting Business genteelly.
He returns sincere and grateful Thanks to all his Friends and Customers, who have
favoured him at Nottingham, and hopes for a further Continuance of them at
By their most obliged,
And very humble Servant,

Frederick Jerrom, Friar Lane Livery Stables c. 1840, noted inWhites History and Gazateer ...1832  Nottingham Annual Register 1840.

1775 - 28th Jan - 4th Feb.  Nottingham  New Journal - The principal hosiers at Nottingham met at the Feathers and adopted a petition in favour of the Americans.

1778 - Abel Smith proposed as candidate for MP for Nottingham - celebrated with a procession from the Feathers. see - Datebook p. 115/6.

1779 July 6 man of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards are billeted at the Feathers.

see -

1799 - Feathers, Wheeler Gate in the possession of Robert Crane see - The Date-Book of Remarkable... 1852 p.226.

1799 - The licence of the Feathers is moved to the Punchbowl, which is renamed The Feathers and is located under the Exchange (now Town Hall) in the Market Square.

1800 - It appears that the house on the corner of Wheelergate and Friar Lane was perhaps modernised and  refenestrated at about this time.

For the plans of these houses at this time see my post

From Deeds at Nottingham Archives -

1801 - 20 Aug - Feoffment of a messuage and tenement on corner of Wheelergate and Friar Lane, Nottingham. Formerly 'The Sign of the Feathers' from (1) to (2) -----(1) Right Honourable Lord Carrington (Robert Smith, son of Abel Smith); (2) John Ashwell of Nottingham, ironmonger; (3) Samuel Heard of Nottingham, hozier; (4) William Stretton of Nottingham, builder,. M/24,435

Note - Thomas Smith of Reyworth married Fortune Collin, daughter of Laurence Collin, Banker, at Nottingham, and had issue: Thomas (Collin) Smith, who served the office of high sheriff for the county of Leicester. He married Mary Manle. His son, Abel (Manle) Smith, of Nottingham, Banker, married Jane Beaumont, daughter of George Beaumont of Chapelthorpe in Yorkshire, and had issue, George (Beaumont) Smith, created a baronet in 1757, whose son, Sir George Smith, the second baronet, assumed the surname of "Bromley". 

John Smith, of London, merchant. and Abel Smith, whose son, Robert Smith, was elevated to the peerage, 16 Jul 1796, as Lord Carrington. 

According to Burke(Peerage) - "Sir Thomas Carrington married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Roos, and was father of John Carrington, who in the beginning of the reign of Richard II was forced to expatriate himself, and after residing sometime abroad, to assume for security the very general surname of Smyth. "

1804 - 22 Oct - Feoffment by (1) to (3) of estate in Friar Lane. ----- (a) (1) John Ashwell; (2) Samuel Heard; (3) John Bigsby of Nottingham, surgeon; (4) Robert Bigsby of Nottingham, gentleman; (5) John Parr; (6) William Doubleday Crofts: ----- Assignment of Mortgage (b); (1) John Parr; (2) William Doubleday Crofts, (M/24,437 Nott Arch).

1804 - 15 Aug - Mortgage by (1) to (2) of premises on corner of Wheelergate and Friar Lane, with plan and schedule. -----  (1) John Ashwell of Nottingham, ironmonger; (2) John Fellows of Nottingham, Silkman; (3) Joseph Oldknow of Nottingham, grocer; (4) Samuel Statham of Arnold, Nottinghamshire, gentleman; (5) Francis Wakefield, hosier; (6) Thomas Carpenter Smith, hosier; Consideration: £2000.  (M/24,438 Nott Arch).

 1807 - 20 Aug  - Mortgage of premises on corner of Wheelergate and Friar Lane, Nottingham (formerly the 'Feathers') ----- (1) John Ashwell; (2) John Parr junior of Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire; Consideration: £800, (M/24,436 Nott Arch).

1815 -  see Blackner (page 378). The Feathers Inn is now a private house and stands near the top and on the west side of Wheeler Gate - he goes on to says where now stands the house of Alderman Ashwell at the N.W. corner of Wheeler Gate. 

John Ashwell Esq, Mayor,  Iron founder, Nottingham Directory 1815.

1818 - Robert Crane and the Feathers are now at the Exchange Building - Commercial Directory,

1820 (circa) - Trade Card (above) for the Moot Hall Wine Vaults  - Thomas Bailey (1785-1856). in 1853 Thomas Bailey published the "Annals of Notts." and history of both County and Borough. In 1845 he became the proprietor of the "Nottingham Mercury,"

1827. Baileys Moot Hall Wine Vaults referred to in - The Stranger's Guide through the Town of Nottingham.

1828 - Pigot's Directory of Nottingham  - Thomas Bailey - Wheelergate.

1839 - 41/2 - Gen. Sir Charles Napier lodged above Cheesemonger, Mr King, at Wheeler Gate.
"In consequence of the excitement produced by the Chartist movement, the authorities found it necessary this year to take extraordinary precautionary measures for the preservation of the public peace. Troops were under arms every evening, under the command of Sir Charles Napier, who was ' appointed to this military district. While in Nottingham, Sir Charles had lodgings in Wheeler Gate.* from Nottingham, its castle,....

1840 - Thomas  Bailey at Moot Hall Vaults (Orange).

Clipping from the Midland Railways Companion of 1840.

1843 - Gallery of Art established in Friar Lane by Thomas Bailey (Directory of Nottingham 1844).

1844 - House, Yard and Livery Stable in Friar Lane belonging to Willoughby's Charity let for £67 /year and a house and joiners workshop in Friar Lane let for £30 / year (No 7?) Directory of Nott. 1844.

1852 - Old Moot Hall Wine Vaults (Feathers building) now occupied by Mr John Brown (the son in law of Thomas Bailey).

1868 - A directory lists at 2 - 6 Wheelergate
- 2. Brown (John) and Co. Old Moot Hall Wine and spirits vaults
- 4. Martin - E & Son Boot and Shoe Mkrs
- 6. Bowers and Sale Grocers
Bowers JW of Bowers and Sale
Browne and Son Solicitors.
Town Coroners Office
Wood James Soicitors.

The Old Moot Hall Wine Vaults on the corner of Wheelergate and Friar Lane - Centre Left

1875 - first mention Brougham Chamber at the rear of 4 - 6 Wheeler Gate (Goads insurance map of 1888). Professional chambers - Architects, solicitors. (first mention 1875). There was also Midland Chambers and Eldon Chambers  in courts off the western side of Wheeler Gate. Suggesting that much of the street was given over to professional offices by the mid - late 19th century.

1877. Fire at the premises of Mr J.W Bowers Wheeler - Gate in the occupation of Mr Sully architect and Mr EH Fraser solicitor, Damage estimated at £200. Probably at the rear of the building in Brougham Chambers. (Datebook of Remarkable......).

1879, 19 May - Letter, Philip H Stevenson, Brougham Chambers, Wheelergate, to John Hodgson, Low Pavement  (DD/MI/296/1 - Nottingham Archives).

1880 - 29 July -  Nottingham Evening Post. Wheelergate,  Bowers and Son, Wine and Spirit Merchant, at 6 Wheelergate - 
1885 - Widening of Wheelergate by demolitions on the East side, opposite 2 - 6 Wheelergate.

1892 - 4 July, Fri 12 August - 5 Sept  and 14 Dec  - Nottingham Evening Post  - John Armitage. (Late Bowers and Sons) - advertising the opening of Oriental Cafe, at 6 Wheelergate.

An early photograph of the top of Wheelergate c.1880. nb. policeman in the middle of the road.

Policeman keeping an eye on things.

1892 - Further road widening on the east side of Wheelergate.

Friar Lane and the end Gable of the Moot Hall Wine Vaults looking North to the Market Square.

The two drawings above by Tom Hammond.

1900 - The Old Moot Hall Wine Vaults is rebuilt in a mock Tudor style.

Note Policeman

The Oriental Cafe, Jones Sewing Machine Shop and the Moot Hall Wine Vaults
Nb policeman in the usual position.

1913. 10 October - Armitage supply Plans for a theatre at their Wheelergate premises with the City Building Plan Register. - not put forward A narrow escape for the ceiling!

1914, May 9.  obituary - Mr. Samuel Fox Armitage, aged 83. of Claremont, Waverley-street, Nottingham, of Messrs. Armitage Bros. (Limited), wholesale and retail grocers, a prominent member of the Society of Friends (net personalty* £29,296)—£31,116. London Standard.

1941 - 8th / 9th May - Moot Hall Wine Vaults - substantial damage received when hit  by German bombs in the Nottingham Blitz.

Bibliography - (not exhaustive).

Thoroton -  History of Nottingham1677.

Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire, Republished, with Large Additions," by John Throsby, 1790
Bibliography - Nottinghamia vetus et nova: or, An historical account of the ancient and ... 1750 - By Charles Deering, Rupert Cecil Chicken.

Blackner - History of Nottingham pub. 1815

History and Antiquities of Nottingham - By James Orange - 1840

Annals of Nottinghamshire: History of the County of Nottingham. By Thomas Bailey.

The Date Book of Remarkable and Memorable Events Connected with Nottingham ...

By John Frost Sutton - 1852.

Records of the Borough of Nottingham. pub. 1947 Corp of Nottingham.

Place Names of Nottinghamshire pub. University Press 1940.

Web Resources
For 14th Century References -
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