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History of the West Bridgford Hall and Park



The West Bridgford estate passed through several landed families after the Norman Conquest, some very well known , from William Peveril,  the Luterels and the Pierreponts. The Marquis of Dorchester then lost the estate in a game of cards, it is said to Millicent Munday, who then married John Musters. He was the son of Sir John Musters who bought Colwick Hall and estate in 1648. Colwick Hall was always the main family home, but for some reason Munday Musters (1712 -1770) decided to build another house on his Bridgford estate and work started on the Hall in 1768. Munday died before the building was completed, but it was finished by his son, John Musters in 1774.

The first occupiers known seem to have been the Rector William Thompson and his wife Sarah. She remained the tenant after William's death in1808. During this period Lord Byron fell in love with Mary Ann Chaworth in 1803 but she remained unimpressed  and married Jack Musters whom she had met at West Bridgford Hall in1805 . Lord Byron remained smitten and indeed wrote his poem " To Mary " in 1806. After the death of Sarah Thompson in 1820 the tenant was John Musters daughter Sophia Ann.

In 1840 the wealth lace manufacturer Lewis Heymann took up tenancy. His son subsequently decided to buy the estate in 1883. This was Albert Heymann, who enlarged the building and become a much respected local benefactor. He sold the Hall and grounds to the West Bridgford U.D.C. in 1923 for a very low price, believed to have been the same as the original cost in1883.

This opened the Park to public use, and it began to take shape as a major local amenity from this time. The Park and Hall committee of the UDC arranged for the layout of the public gardens and sports facilities, tennis courts, bowling greens, football pitches and croquet lawns. Under Albert Heymann cattle were kept on the parkland which probably explains the need for the ha-ha, much of which still exists

Dick Venne


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