St Bartholomew


The church records do not provide any information regarding the origins of St Bartholomew’s Church. The site chosen was located on a narrow finger of land within St Mary’s parish which projected eastwards, with the parish St Ann’s in the valley to the north and the parish of St Matthew’s falling away to the south.

In 1886, the year the site was designated, both were comparatively new parishes, dating from 1864 and 1868 respectively. Whilst they both served well populated areas, the new church site was located in semi-rural land with few dwellings and a sparse population. In 1886 an iron building was erected on the site.

The iron church had originally been erected on Bullivant Street, St Ann’s, in 1861 by the Weslyan Methodists. They used it until 1879 when they moved to a new chapel on Alfred Street Central. It was then used as a Mission Hall attached to St Ann’s between 1880 and 1885, pending the building of Emmanuel Church, Woodborough Road. In January 1887 St Bartholomew’s iron church was dedicated by the Bishop of Southwell, Dr George Ridding. The first incumbent was the Rev Richard Davies who remained in post only three years before resigning to become a missionary in Africa.

A building fund for a permanent church was started and by 1889 totalled £342. Designs for the new church were submitted by the architect John Loughborough Pearson, and the cost was estimated at £5200. The original plans included a tower near the north-west corner, which was never built. Similarly, the plans included a chancel, and this was also abandoned at some point. The intention that one should be built is clear from pictures of the church which show a roughly finished exterior east wall with brickwork toothed to receive the north and south walls of a chancel. A small sanctuary extension was built, presumably intended as a temporary measure.

In January 1900 the foundation stone was laid by Edward Stone MP and the architect Sir Frank Pearson, son of the original designer. The church was built in just two years, and in January 1902 the nave was dedicated by Bishop Ridding. A service of consecration followed on 24 June 1902. The final cost of the church was £5340.

The actual parish was not formed until 1903 with areas being allocated from the parishes of St Mary’s and St Ann’s. In 1905 part of the parish was transferred to the adjoining parish of St Matthew’s. To meet the requirements of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on becoming a Parish Church a chancel needed to be built, but the building was never extended to form the planned chancel.

The final building provision for St. Bartholomew’s was a vicarage, a double-fronted house with land nearly opposite the church, purchased and gifted by a parishioner. It cost £1950 and was dedicated by Bishop Edward Hoskyns on 24 April 1921. The building survives but the surrounding land has been developed. Little else is recorded during the lifetime of the building.

The registers of the church are lodged in the Nottinghamshire Archives Office and include baptisms 1886-1960 and marriages 1905-1957. During its lifetime the church was the centre of many activities including youth groups, Youth Fellowship, Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies. For the adults there was Mothers’ Union and a Men’s Institute. Most of these groups were still active until shortly before the church was closed, albeit with fewer participants.

During the 1960s the former St Ann’s part of the parish and the lower part of the Bluebell Hill was subject to selective demolition. Electoral roll figures reveal the importance of non-resident church members, but of a general decline in numbers:

Date   Parish Residents   Non-residents
1961   28   58
1963   30   50
1968   14   23
1969   13   19

There are no entries in the vestry books after 1964, so the later years of the church are obscure. It was closed and demolished in 1971. Interior figues from the church were donated to St Swithun's Church, Wellow. No records have been found to indicated the fate of the other interior fittings or the church bell.

The site was developed with social housing leaving no trace of St Bartholomew’s Church.