On the same day I visited Green’s Windmill I headed to the William Booth Birthplace Museum which is nearby; until I spotted it on Google maps when I was checking the directions to the Mill I had no idea the place even existed. William Booth was of course the founder of the Salvation Army, an organisation I don’t support, but it is still an important part of Nottingham’s history and a chance to see inside a lower middle class house from the 1820s.
I’d noted on the museum’s rather sparse website (since updated) that entry was by appointment but since I didn’t have time for that I thought I’d at least go down and take a photo of the outside, where indeed I found the above statue and the below plaque.
Whilst taking these photos though I spotted a sign in the window that indicated I could ask at the office to see if anyone was available to open up the building. Luckily someone was free and after a very friendly welcome and a run-down of the history of William Booth, I was allowed to roam on my own throughout the building.
It is actually three buildings that had been knocked through, with the middle one being the one in which William Booth was born on April 10th 1829. It has been revamped recently and was very clean and well laid out, as well as being free to enter.
The museum includes the bedroom where Booth was born,
a parlour and kitchen, where sounds can be heard of the chopping of vegetables – for which I was glad the curator had given me warning, because even then the sounds made me jump! – and a nursery. (None of the items decorating these rooms are directly linked to the Booth family, but are examples of Regency furniture).
It also had various artefacts on display such as William Booth’s hair,
and the white silk and cotton waistcoat worn by William Booth on his wedding day in 1855.
Booth only lived in this house for a few years, until 1831. His father Samuel seems to have been financially lax to say the least – speculating and losing more money than he gained. This is why the family left Notintone Place and moved to the village of Bleasby, before returning to the area, but not the same house in 1935.
The museum does explore the development of Booth’s beliefs, though not in a preachy manner, but also explores his family and what life would have been like during the Regency period. As such it is an interesting place to visit and I’m glad I made the trip.
As ever, more photos can be found here.