Alfred Court

Ordnance Survey Map | Reproduced from the 1917 O/S Map
Ordnance Survey Map
Reproduced from the 1917 O/S Map

Mansfield town centre was once riddled with over 60 yards, courts and alleys; only a few survive. One of those surviving courts is “ Alfred Court ” which is located at the side of Marks and Spencer and is accessed from either the ancient entrance off Westgate or the 20th century entrance on Regent Street . However an ancient Clumber Street access has long since been closed off. Up to this new entrance the court has retained its original shape although little survives of the early buildings.

These courts were once the centre of Mansfield life and contained residential properties, warehouses, retailers, maltings and public houses. At the beginning of the Victorian era up to 70 percent of Mansfield ’s population lived within 300 metres of the market place; a good portion of them living within those yards and courts.

During the Victorian era Alfred Court contained several cottages, gardens, yards, warehouses, stables, toilets, a carriage house, workshops and even a coffee house. Sadly all that remains are a few walls with their blocked up windows and doors and the original West Gate entrance, although this has been patched up. As you go through the Westgate entrance you will be able to see many grooves carved into the stone walls, which were created as the old wagon wheels scraped against the sides as they passed through the narrow entrance. To give you an idea of life in Alfred Court following is a list of the residents in 1887:

1) Mary Jackson Dean; widow of William Jackson Dean, outfitter. She primarily traded in hosiery and hats: Cottage, garden (4,923 square feet (455 square metres)) and business premise   2) Mrs. Swift; wholesale and retail grocer operating as Messer’s Allen & Swift & Joseph Austin: Cottage, warehouse and yard   3) Charles Eyles; Manager of Coffee Tavern: Cottage, Coffee Tavern, warehouse, carriage house and yard   4) Savage & Sons; Wine, spirit, ale & stout merchants and dealer in clover seeds: Business premises   5) Henry Lindfield; aged 46, Railway labourer: Rented cottage   6) Sidney Halifax; aged 38, Carter: Rented Cottage   7) George L Hare; aged 79, cordwainer: Rented house & Garden   8) Henry Powell; Aerated water manufacturer, ale porter and cigar merchant: Business premise whose frontage was onto Clumber Street . He lived at 41 West Gate

You can see that there was indeed a very varied life within this court, which would have been typical of most of the courts throughout the town centre in years gone by.

This article was originally written for the Chad in 1992, who have given their permission for its reproduction on this website.

Comments about this page

  • Would love to know where Foundry Yard was situated off Clumber St.  Also does any one know when the houses were built on Norbury Drive. Thanks Val.

    By Val Mason (28/05/2015)
  • My Grt, Grt Grandparents lived in Greenwoods Yard, Sherwood Court and Walkers Yard from the middle of the 1800s till 1900s. I would love to find any information on what sorts of dwellings there were and how much rent the conditions of these houses who owned them? my family was called Eaves. Thomas and Ann came from Sutton I believe Thomas’s wife came from Southshields in County Durham. Joseph and Ann were my Nanna’s parents and were born at 133 Ratcliffe Gate in 1901 and would love to see a map of mansfield with these yards on and read your fascinating article on Alfred Yard and any information would be greatly received thank you.

    By janice matthewman (24/05/2011)
  • Is this the one that you got to if you went out the back entrance to Woolworths? Up the stairs, past the weighing scales and the photo booth………..

    By Caz Harris (20/02/2011)
  • I would like to see information, or old photographs of Wood Court, was this situated at the bottom of Newgate Lane, at the rear of the Kings Arms? Many thanks.

    By alcurtis (01/02/2011)
  • If you can provide any more information, such as when born, parent’s names or even the name of the yard, I can have a good try at locating the relevant yard? The editors of the site are unable to answer enquiries but I might be able to help in this case.

    By Denis Hill (20/08/2010)
  • Do you know anything about the different yards up Leeming St. As my mother Ada Turton was born in one of these I believe it began with a W. Thomas aka Tim Turton

    By thomas jeffrey turton (14/07/2010)
  • Brilliant site, excellent bit of nostalgia, I will be sending some old photographs of Mansfield in to see.

    By Susan Brown (30/05/2010)

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