Nottingham (Mapperley)
St Jude


Mapperley St Jude’s, the-so-called ‘Church on the Hill’, is in the main a red-brick and stone Victorian church on the edge of Mapperley Park, located at the corner of Woodborough Road and Lucknow Drive. St Jude’s was conceived as a chapel-of-ease to St Ann, Nottingham. It was extended numerous times during its first hundred years, culminating in the addition of the adjacent church hall in 1970.

The origins of Mapperley are thought to date back to the fourteenth century. According to Robert Thoroton, during the reign of Richard II (1377-99), Thomas Mapurley, an under-sheriff and MP for Nottinghamshire c1387-1391 and later mayor, came in to possession of a large part of an enclosure in the Parish of Basford. The area was known as Cornerwong or Mapurley’s Closes and as Thoroton states, ‘since there being a cottage-house or two, and some odd barns erected, it goes for a small Hamlet called Mapurley.’

By the early seventeenth century it appears that land in Maperley Closes had changed hands repeatedly, from the ownership of the Staples, Querneby, and Blyth families. It is believed that in 1773, the banker John Smith, purchased the Mapperley estate, the auction of which had been advertised in the Nottingham Journal on 14 November 1772:

To be sold to the best bidder, together, or in several lots, at the house of Mr. Semes, the Blackmoor's Head, in Nottingham, on Thursday, the 7th day of January next, between the hours of eleven and four, subject to such conditions as shall be then produced, unless sold in the meantime by private contract, of which timely notice will be given in this paper: A compact freehold estate called Mapperley situate in the parish of Basford, within one mile of Nottingham, consisting of two messuage houses, and 18 closes of rich meadow and pasture land adjoining thereto, and lying within a ring fence, containing 88 acres and upwards. There are also 12 acres of arable land to the said estate, as its proportion of Break from the Forest. Mapperley is a very pleasant situation, near Sherwood Forest, in a fine sporting country, and is entitled to common right, without stint, on the said Forest.

Upon Smith's death in 1776, the Mapperley estate passed into the ownership of the Wright family of bankers, for Smith’s daughter, Mary, was married to Thomas Wright. Ichabod Wright, the son of Thomas Wright and Mary Smith, ordered the building of Mapperley Hall in 1792, the ‘pleasing embellishment’ as mentioned by Throsby in 1795. The Wright family acquired the area that now comprises much of Mapperley Park, all land from Red Lane (latterly Redcliffe Road) to Private Road, and from Mansfield Road to the boundary on which St Jude’s Church stands on Woodborough Road, following the Inclosure Act of 1792.

The 1870s, the decade in which Mapperely St Jude’s began life, was a period of expansion for Nottingham, with the population increasing from 86,621 in 1871, to approximately 157,000 in 1881. The Borough Extension Act of 1877 resulted in a substantial increase in the size of Nottingham covering an area of 1,996 acres and three parishes (St Mary, St Nicholas and St Peter), to covering 10,935 acres and consisting of parishes including: Basford (which included Mapperley), Bulwell, Lenton, Radford, Sneinton, and Wilford. Prior to the Act, Redcliffe Road was the northern extent of Nottingham, however, following the Act, satellite villages such as Mapperley, Carrington and Sherwood were brought within the radius of the town. The growth of Nottingham resulted in an increased need for new churches and chapels as was demonstrated by the 1851 Religious Census which had helped spur on a programme of church and chapel building in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

An issue of St Jude’s Bazaar Handbook from 1948, states that in 1857 Rev Canon Brooks, the then Vicar of St Mary’s, took steps to provide services for the isolated village of Mapperley. The first services at what would eventually become St Jude’s were conducted by a Scripture Reader from St Mary’s and held at the office of the Mapperley Brick Company, an office which was also used for services for the local Wesleyan Church. In ‘Nottingham and its Churches: 1449-1949’, Nevile Truman refers to church services having moved in 1860 from the Mapperley Brick Company Office to the new Church Day School in 1860. Seemingly, the Church Day School refers to the Nottingham All Saints’ Church School, which was funded by the Nottingham silk merchant, Mr William Windley.

Canon James Dawson Lewis was Vicar of St Ann’s (served 1871 until 1901), when it was decided that a district church was required to serve the requirements of the parish. The need for a suitable plot was met by Colonel Charles Ichabod Wright (1828-1905), the grandson of Ichabod Wright of Mapperley Hall. Charles Ichabod Wright, banker, former Conservative Member of Parliament for Nottingham and Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st Nottinghamshire Rifles, inherited the Mapperley Hall estate. In the 1870s, Wright began to sell off land south of Mapperley Hall for high-quality residential development; a plot bounded by Woodborough Road, the upper portion of Magdala Road and Lucknow Drive. During this period, Wright, who previously had acted as the main benefactor of Carrington St John, donated the land for the Mapperley St Jude.

St Jude’s was first opened in November 1877 to a design, redolent of the Early English Decorated style, by the architects Evans and Jolly of Eldon Chambers, Wheeler Gate, Nottingham. The foundation stone was laid on 10 April 1877, by William Windley. Windley, who had previously funded Nottingham All Saints, was one of the principal promoters of St Jude’s. St Jude’s was dedicated and consecrated by Right Rev Henry Mackenzie DD, first Suffragan Bishop of Nottingham, on 29 November 1877. The new church was described in 1883 as standing on the highest site of any Nottingham church.

St Jude’s was extended many times over the following the half century, before becoming a church in its own parish in 1926. On 15 September 1892, the Mayor of Nottingham, Richard Fitzhugh, laid a corner stone for the chancel. This was followed on 11 May 1893, by the re-opening of St Jude’s by the Bishop of Derby, who consecrated the new chancel, which had been added by the Nottingham architect William Arthur Heazell, and dedicated the new east window. The Southwell Diocesan Magazine records that the extension, which included the thirty-eight feet by twenty-four feet chancel, built from red brick and stone with a Broseley tiled roof and a Minton tile floor, cost £1,420 to build. This included the cost of installing a hot water heating system in the nave and chancel. A carved oak reredos and pulpit was supplied by the cabinet makers Foster and Cooper of Nottingham, whilst a font of carved Hollington stone, with alabaster shafts was donated by the family of the late Miss Welby. A five-light stained glass east window, depicting the Ascension and the eleven apostles, was donated by the Chairman of the Building Committee, Mr Robert Halford. A lectern, donated by Mr and Mrs C E Baker of Sherwood, was dedicated on Whit-Sunday in 1899 by the Rev Andrew Ping.

The 1912 Visitation details record that the church could seat 250 people. There were 244 children on the roll of the Church School and 240 on the Sunday School roll. There were 75 baptisms and 158 Confirmations over the past year.

St Jude’s was extended again in 1914. On 25 July 1914, only a matter of days before the outbreak of the First World War, the Duchess of Newcastle performed the sod-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of building works. Through the addition of two new aisles, to the North and South, the seating capacity of the nave was to be increased to three-hundred and sixty people. The cornerstone for the new aisles was laid by the Duke of Portland on 5 June 1915 and the completed work was consecrated by the Bishop of Southwell, Edwyn Hoskins on 26 February 1916.

On 25 May 1922, a new Memorial Chapel, commemorating those who died in the First World War, was consecrated. Three years later a new choir vestry was added. In 1926 St Jude’s became a church in its own parish. The following year, Rev Ernest Arnold Dunn (previously Vicar of All Souls' parish church, Harlesden, London) was appointed Vicar of St Jude’s. During his tenure, St Jude’s was extended once more. 1928 saw the commencement of building work for a new extension, which would increase the seating capacity by a further one-hundred and fifty people. The original west wall of the church had to be demolished in order to facilitate the extension, which involved the removal of the foundation stone laid by William Windley. It was decided that the duty of relaying the foundation stone in the wall of the new porch, should be handed to William Windley's son, J W Windley, who performed the task on 15 July in front of a large congregation.

The Southwell Diocesan Magazine for 1935 reports that the parish boundaries of St Jude were extended that year to include an area bounded by Woodborough and Porchester Roads, including parts of: Whittingham Road, Robinson Road, Haywood Road, Sandford Road, Hilton Road, Kent Road, Moore Road and also Porchester Road.

The adjacent octagonal church hall was added by the Nottingham architects Eberlin & Partners in 1970. The hall was criticised by Elizabeth Williamson in her 1979 revision of Pevsner's Nottinghamshire as: ‘an incongrous neo-Georgian church hall [...] and not even in the right colour brick.’

In 2002, St Jude’s had a congregation of two-hundred and fifty people. The current Vicar of St Jude’s, Rev. John Allister, was appointed in July 2012.