St Bartholomew


The land on which St Bartholomew’s Church was to be erected was originally part of the glebe land of St Mary’s Church, Nottingham. It was a comparatively small plot near the top of a hill leading from the centre of the town to Mapperley Plains. It had a west boundary overlooking St Ann’s Valley. It also commanded views to the south and north. Likewise it stood out on the skyline particularly from the west.

In 1886 the immediate surrounding areas to the east, south and north were predominantly open fields and small-holdings with a few scattered dwellings, which were shortly afterwards developed into new streets and roads filled by terraced housing, corner shops and a few small commercial buildings. The exact position of the church lay on land which in 1882 was used for small-holdings or allotments. To the west the land was set well below the site level, initially by a vertical clay cliff face rising from the sloping banks of the valley floor naturally formed by the River Beck. The Beck was not fully culverted until the 1880s. This poor, frequently flooded land, had been developed for several years providing low cost basic housing.

In 1887 an iron church which had previously been used elsewhere was erected on the site serving as a chapel. It was not until 1900 that the foundation stone for the new church was laid.

Images of the exterior, along with the original plans, show that the building had a nave with north and south aisles, plus a south porch housing the main entrance and another door through the west wall leading onto the central aisle. The west wall had square buttresses at its corners and another buttress projected from the south and north walls forming the start of the west walls of the aisles. Construction was of local sandstone with limestone trimmings and copings.

On the apex of the west gable was a limestone cross enclosed by a circle with the east gable being completed by a stone bellcote, housing the single bell. Both of the low walls of the south and north aisles were supported by four buttresses set between the windows and in line with the internal pillars supporting the clerestory. All the narrow low arched lights were set within limestone frames. The roof was Welsh slate.

The east wall, showing
the planned chancel
arch and the
sanctuary extension
with thanks to
Picture the Past

Significantly this church did not have a chancel projecting from the east wall of the nave. The original plans show two short projected wall stubs which were left toothed to receive the chancel at a later time, sadly that time never came, consequently an exterior arched area of the east wall was filled with unfinished brickwork through the life of the building. A small brick extension was built to house a sanctuary, presumably intended as a temporary measure. This is visible on the map of 1916, so must have been built with the rest of the church.

It was also planned to have a tower on the north wall close to the west end. This detail is only just visible on the copy of the plan.

Internally there was a central nave and north and south aisles divided by four arches on each side. At the east end of the nave the chancel was formed by choir stalls, with the small sanctuary raised on two steps. It filled the full width of the nave.

As it was planned to build a traditional chancel, there was no east window. A Lady Chapel was located at the east end of the south aisle.

Of the internal archaeology we have little record, former parishioners remember the walls being painted with cement rendering and the aisle floors part coloured tiles, with the chancel and sanctuary part tiles part carpet. There is no record of burials within the church or in the small churchyard.

Technical Summary

Former building

NaveA central nave, with south porch, and north and south aisles divided by four arches, on each side. At the east end of the nave the chancel was formed by choir stalls, with the small sanctuary raised on two steps, with north and south chapels. All of 1900-02.

ChancelPlanned but not built

TowerPlanned N.W. tower, not built.

Timbers and roofs

  Nave Chancel Tower
Main Not known n/a n/a
S.Aisle Not known n/a n/a
N.Aisle Not known n/a n/a
Other principal      
Other timbers      


Stone bell-cote on east gable of nave, Elphick type 'A', Pickford Group 9.A. Probably 1902.



  Nave Chancel Tower
Plaster covering & date Cement rendered, and painted. Probably 1902. n/a n/a
Potential for wall paintings None known previously n/a  

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

No known archaeological excavation has been undertaken on the site of this church.

The entire building was constructed anew in 1900-02 on the site of small-holdings / allotments. The churchyard was rectangular NE-SW without any other apparent buildings and with no burials. The first, temporary iron church was located in a roughly rectangular N-S churchyard, again with no other buildings and no burials.The church and parish rooms (site of first church) have now been demolished and their sites are in use for housing and car parking.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology on the former church site(s) and former churchyard(s), is considered to be LOW comprising mainly destruction layers from the 1900-02 church and below this perhaps evidence of previous horticultural use on the site. There is an UNKNOWN potential for earlier stratigraphy relating to the sites prior to their use as allotments in the late 19th century.