After visiting the Sophie Ryder exhibition I decided to walk up through the University of Nottingham campus and enter Wollaton Park by the Derby Road gate of Beeston Lodge which I’ve never actually entered through before, despite having visited Wollaton Park since childhood. The lodge is Grade II listed and dates from 1832 – it was built by the then owner of Wollaton Hall, Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton and, along with other gatehouses around the park, was built after the Nottingham Reform Riots in October 1831.
The Reform Bill, which would eventually pass in June 1832, was an attempt to provide fair electoral representation for all men of voting age. At the time only 5% of the population could vote in a general election. The riots came after the second attempt at the bill was defeated – Wollaton Hall itself wasn’t threatened but other buildings in Nottingham were and Nottingham Castle was set on fire and left as a burnt out shell for years afterwards, so Willoughby was keen to keep the general public off his lands.
Entering the park from this direction meant I was able to walk up Arbour Hill but you can only go so far because it then leads into the fenced off part of the golf course which bisects the park.
From there I walked around the lake and part of Thompson’s Wood, making sure to say hello to some of the swans.
From here it was up to the Hall, which as one of Nottingham’s most beautiful buildings I can never resist photographing.
Then I headed down Lime Tree Avenue where I came across some deer (I pretty much always have some success seeing them here).
As ever it’s a lovely place to walk around and at over 500 acres there’s plenty to explore. You can fnd more photos here.
The Lodge is just one of the listed structures in the park.
You can find out about the others on the Friends of Wollaton Park website: