Volume of hand-coloured photographs relating to Lenton Firs and Lenton Firs Farm, undated

Scope and Content

Album containing hand-coloured photographs of the exterior of Lenton Firs and of the Lenton Firs and Lenton Firs Farm estate.

1. Photograph of Lenton Firs, taken from the side. Undated [c. 1930]

2. Photograph of Highland cattle with farm buildings in the background. [Au]'gust 18 1935' is written at the side.

3. Photograph of the front of Lenton Firs, also showing the garden. Undated [c. 1930]

4. Photograph of the garden at Lenton Firs with the greenhouse in the distance. Undated [c. 1930]

5. Photograph of the front of Lenton Firs, also showing the garden. Undated [c. 1930]

6. Photograph of the garden at Lenton Firs. Undated [c. 1930]

7. Photograph of poultry on Lenton Firs Farm. Undated [c. 1930]

8. Photograph of the drive leading to Lenton Firs Lodge [West Lodge], with the lodge building partly obscured by trees. Undated [c. 1930]

9. Blank page.

10. Photograph of Lenton Firs Lodge [East Lodge]. Undated [c. 1930]

11. Photograph of a field of Highland cattle with Lenton Firs in the background. Undated [c. 1930]

12. Photograph of the coachnman's house showing the coachman cleaning a small carriage. Undated [c. 1930]

13. Photograph of fields of horses and Highland cattle with buildings visible in the far distance. Undated [c. 1930]

14. Photograph of the front of Lenton Firs. Undated [c. 1930]

15. Photograph of fields of Highland cattle and winter crops. Undated [c. 1930]

16. Photograph of Lenton Firs and garden. Undated [c. 1930]

17. Photograph of fields of horses and Highland cattle. Undated [c. 1930]

Administrative / Biographical History

Lenton Firs was built in the early 19th Century by Thomas Wright Watson, a Nottingham hosiery manufacturer. Watson lived in the house for only a short time before his death in 1802, after which it remained the home of his widow, Elizabeth, until her own death in 1813. There then followed a number of occupants including Thomas Adams, lace manufacturer of Nottingham and William Lambert of W J and T Lambert, bleachers, dyers and lace makers. It was under Adams' tenure that, in 1862, the original Georgian villa was modernised and enlarged, with the addition of a stable block at the rear as well as the remodelling of the front rooms and hallway. The East Lodge was also built at this time. Further modernisation work took place in 1888 with William Lambert employing the architects Evans and Jolley to reface the south and east fronts of the house in brick and half-timbering, rebuild the rear entrance and add a new front entrance porch.

In 1903 Lenton Firs was purchased by Sir Thomas Shipstone, who was Chairman and managing director of the brewing firm Shipstone and Sons of Basford from 1922-1940. Shipstone extended the estate, purchasing the Lenton Hall Farm (renamed Lenton Firs Farm) and Lenton Hall Lodge (renamed Lenton Firs Lodge, afterwards the West Lodge) after 1920 and Lenton Hurst Hall and Farm further down Cut Through Lane in 1930. He was also responsible for rebuilding the stables and adding a new coachman's house in 1904. Sir Thomas lived at Lenton Firs from 1903 until his death in 1940.

After Sir Thomas Shipstone's death, Lenton Firs became a convelescent home for members of the armed forces and was subsequently leased, in 1946, to the University of Nottingham who initially used it as a Hall of Residence for women. In 1950 the University purchased the Lenton Firs and Lenton Hurst estates from Shipstone's executors. Lenton Firs then became a men's hall, and was known as Wortley Hall of Residence. It continued in this use for many years before becoming part of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment in 1987.

Lenton Firs Farm, formerly Lenton Hall Farm, was at the time of Sir Thomas Shipstone's purchase of it in c. 1920, a forty acre grassland farm in the tenure of a Mr Blatherwick. Apart from pigs the major livestock were Highland Cattle. The farm provided eggs and poultry to Lenton Firs house, to which it acted as a kind of picturesque accessory. In 1940 Sir Thomas decided to reorganise the farm to operate on a commercial basis. A new tenant, William Barsby, took possession and instituted a shift towards dairy farming. From small beginnings he built up a herd of about fifty pedigree Friesians. Pigs and poultry were kept as secondary enterprises and winter feed was also grown on the land. Following Sir Thomas' death the University College acquired the farm estate. The Barsbys remained as tenants of the College and then the University until 1955 when the University decided to bring the land directly into its possession as part of the development of the campus. The Barsbys were found new premises and the Lenton Firs farmhouse was demolished.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham

Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The album was acquired by the University in August 2014 from a descendant of Sir Thomas Shipstone.

Related Material

Papers relating to Lenton Firs in University archive (UCN and UMP) and Middleton papers (Mi); papers relating to Sir Thomas Shipstone in General Hospital records (Uhg)