Records of Castle Gate Congregational Church (from 1972 Castle Gate United Reformed Church) and its daughter churches, Nottingham, 1653-1994

Scope and Content

The records of the Castle Gate congregation cover its whole history from the building of the first meeting house in Castle Gate in 1689 to 1975, when the congregation united with St Andrew's United Reformed Church on Goldsmith Street. The records of various daughter churches within the city are also part of the Castle Gate collection. Written records of the congregation begin in around 1728, with the early history of the congregation being chronicled retrospectively.

The records mainly consist of baptism, marriage and burial registers; administrative and financial records of the churches; and papers relating to their Sunday Schools.

There are also church magazines and newsletters, service sheets, photographs and plans, and personal papers of ministers (including sermons). The Castle Gate papers also include a series of printed works on religious doctrine, dating back to the early 18th century. The Castle Gate records also include a large number of property deeds relating to property in Castle Gate and Houndsgate, Nottingham.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of Castle Gate Congregational Church, and High Pavement Chapel (see Hi), lie within the Independent congregations that gathered in the Nottingham area from around 1655, during the Protectorate. Their ministers were ejected under the Stuart Restoration in 1662-1663. The foundation of the original Meeting House in Castle Gate dates from 29 May 1789. The church was initially Presbyterian or Independent, but by the 19th century was Congregational. In 1972 (under the United Reformed Church Act 1972) most Congregational churches in England and Wales, including Castle Gate, united with English Presbyterian churches to form the United Reformed Church. In 1975, Castle Gate URC united with St Andrew's URC (formerly Presbyterian, see AU), to become St Andrew's-with-Castle Gate URC (see CAA). The united congregation decided to use the existing St Andrew's premises on Goldsmith Street and to dispose of the buildings on Castle Gate. These were sold in 1979 to the Congregational Federation, an association of those Congregational churches in England and Wales that had retained their independence from the URC. A small, but separate, fellowship of Congregationalists was continuing to meet there in 2012.

The Castle Gate congregation established daughter churches in the city at various points in its history. The records of some of these can be found in this collection. They include:

Thorneywood Mission: established 1861 and closed 1968.

Norton Street Congregational Church (formerly Bloomsgrove Mission, founded in 1836): established 1904, and closed 1979.

Park Hill Congregational Church: congregation established 1823, and in 1824 moved to a purpose-built chapel in St James' Street, Nottingham; in 1880 they bought a property on Derby Road and built Park Hill church; closed c.1979.

Clifton Congregational Church: established 1956.

The collection also includes the records of the St Ann's Well Road Congregational Church (an independent foundation established in 1870), which united with Castle Gate Congregational Church in 1971.

The collection also contains several items relating to the Paton Congregational College which met at Castle Gate during the Second World War (CU/V 4). A further item is to be found in the Friary Congregational Church collection (Fy X 2/1).


Material has been arranged according to church (CU for Castle Gate; CU/Z1 for St Ann's Well Road; CU/Z2 for Thorneywood; CU/Z3 for Norton Street; CU/Z4 for Park Hill; and CU/Z5 for Clifton), then according to form (e.g. accounts, deeds etc). There are further sub-divisions as necessary. Additional items on some of the daughter churches may be found in the Castle Gate collection at CU/D 15.

Conditions Governing Access

The bulk of the collection is accessible to all registered readers. However, access may be restricted to some files which have data protection issues.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue, 151 pp.

At the National Register of Archives, London:

3 Typescript Catalogues; 47 pp, 19 pp (pp 5-23 of consolidated list of accruals including records of related churches), 31 pp (pp 9-40 of consolidated list of accruals including records of related churches). Please note that these catalogues are out-of-date versions of the typescript catalogue in the King's Meadow Campus Reading Room and the current online catalogue.

On the World Wide Web: Catalogue accessible from the website for Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Separated Material

Pre-1837 original registers of births, baptisms and burials associated with Castle Gate Congregational Church are held at The National Archives: Birth and baptism register 1734-1816 (RG 4/1586); Baptism register 1706-1735 (RG 4/2049); Birth and baptism register 1760, 1796, 1801-1832 (RG 4/2673); Birth and baptism register 1787-1795 (RG 4/3664); Birth and baptism register 1809-1837 (RG 4/2576); Burial register 1831-1837 (RG 4/1409). Microfiche copies of these registers can be seen at The National Archives and at Nottinghamshire Archives. The website offers paid access to digital images of the registers via a subscription. It is free to search the registers on this website. Indexes to the pre-1837 birth and baptism registers are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on

One pre-1837 register from St James's Chapel is held at The National Archives: Birth and baptisms register 1823-1837 (RG 4/2843). Microfiche copies of this register can be seen at The National Archives and at Nottinghamshire Archives. The website offers paid access to digital images of the register via a subscription. It is free to search the register on this website. Indexes to the register are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on

Nottinghamshire Archives holds various original registers from St James's Chapel and Park Hill Congregational Church: Baptism register from St James's Chapel, which continued to be used at Park Hill, 1823-1917 (NC/IR13/9); Baptism register from Park Hill, 1930-1936 (NC/IR13/10); Marriage registers from Park Hill, 1899-1975 (NC/IR13/1-7)

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

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 advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The main body of records were received from the Trustees of the Church in 1976. There have been subsequent accruals up to 2002.

Related Material

Records of St Andrew's Church (AU), and of St Andrew's-with-Castle Gate (CAA)


R. Duce, 'Castle Gate Church in the Twentieth Century' (St Andrew's with Castle Gate United Reformed Church, 1977)

A.R. Henderson, 'Castle Gate Congregational Church, Nottingham, 1655-1905' (James Clarke and Co., 1905)

R.R. Turner and Ian H. Wallace, 'Materials for the History of Paton College, Nottingham' (typescript, 1969?) East Midlands Special Collection Not 3.M82 PAT