Gilcroft House

Gilcroft House
coach house of Gilcroft looking down Stitch Row (Brunt street now)
abstract of title to piece of land in Brunt St, formerly a portion of Gilcroft House grounds
parcel of land belonging to Gilcroft House

In the summer of 1960 I moved with my family to a house on Brunt Street, opposite the Grove House, yet another fine old building lost to developemnet.

Being a child with an appetite for adventure and exploring it wasn’t long before I was finding my way around all the little alleyways and surrounding area.

But I came across, what appeared to be a forbidden place, on the corner of Gilcfoft Street and Brunt Street. There were towering walls and a tall wooden gate, which not just a small child, but an adult of considerable height would have proven difficult to peer over.

My determination found a way to seek the view over that wall. I climbed a tree, whose branches overlooked the high wall.

What I witnessed from the top of that tree was a large abandoned house, which at some time in it’s life would have demanded spectacular views. But it was now imprisoned inside those walls.

Not long after the house was demolished, along with other buildings close by, to make way for the by-pass road of St Peter’s Way.

I felt very privileged to have witnessed the very presence of this house before it was lost forever, for many people never knew of it’s existence.

Having researched the histroy of Gilcroft House, the earliest reference I have found is that it was built about 1790, with later additions to the property.

I don’t know who the house was originally built for, but the earliest family I have found living there are the Brodhurst’s.

William Brodhurst was born in 1756 and died in 1846. he once laid claim to being the largest malster in England. He owned the maltings on Blind Lane (now known as Midworth Street), as well as maltings at Newark.

Following his death in 1846, his son William took over the family business, but he moved to Newark where he retired, and Gilcroft House was sold to James Salmond.

James Salmond was a Magistrate at Mansfield, he was born in 1806 in Middlesex. He resided at Gilcroft from 1846 to 1853 before moving to Langton Hall at Pinxton, where he became a prospector of coal.

In 1853 Gilcroft was sold to William Midworth, who was the son of Samuel Midworth, ironfounder of Leeming Street.

William never married, and on his death in 1866, Gilcroft was passed on to his siblings, Thomas, Robert, Mary, Dorothy, Sarah and Lucy. Lucy being the only sibling who married. And on her death in 1903, Gilcroft and all it’s land was sold to James Henry Blake (of Blake and Beeley ironmongers).

James Henry Blake bought Gilcroft House and all it’s land for a sum of £5,600.

He bought the dwelling house, several gardens, hothouses, greenhouses, orchard, stables, coach house, outbuildings, yards and gardeners cottage at the bottom of Stitch Row (now Brunt Street). Frank Clay was the resident gardener at the time.

Gilcroft House remained untouched, but the parcel of land was all sold off for the building of houses in 1905.

I do not know if Gilcroft House was ever used between the years of 1903 to it’s death in the late 1960’s, which would seem a shame for such an elegant house.

James Henry Blake never lived at Gilcroft, it appears, as his home was at Crow Hill Drive until his death in 1909.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for all of this amazing information and history of this place. How great is that story that the young boy who climbed those railings and has described what he saw? Today it would’ve been phone out and photo taken, but then maybe there wouldn’t have been this richness of describing its history from being built to being demolished.
    I may just have been a few years shy of seeing this for myself. Thanks for all of the above comments too.

    By Helen (14/06/2023)
  • According to the 1851 Census, my 2x Great Uncle, Richard Henry Millington was a pupil at Grove House Academy, age 9. The address would have been 78, Brunt St, Mansfield.
    Does anyone have any information on this school? Can’t find much about it online except the headmaster was William Espin.
    Thank you

    By Cindy Shelley (03/01/2020)
  • Wasn’t Grove House where the 2nd Mansfield Scouts and Guides met? I remember it less well than I thought I would having spent every Friday evening there from 1958 til 1964ish…It had a large overgrown garden space at the back ,with entrance to the cellar or undercroft, and I seem to remember a long hall room running on the west side of Brunts St from Grove House to the shops at the top .. I came across a mention of Grove House during some family history search today and found it in 1851 as a School .. the Grove House Academy, with Schoolmaster William Espin , his wife Mary and son John, 23 pupils from 10 to 17 years of age, an assistant school master, and 3 female servants. The pupils must have been boarders and they came from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire, and only 10 from Notts.

    By Tony & Dorothy Mellors (24/04/2018)
  • Yes Addison Titley was one of the partners at Mansfield Brewery. The brewery was founded on Littleworth in 1855 by William Bailey, a gentleman of Mansfield, Samuel Hage, an Ollerton farmer with a small malting and brewing business, and John Watson, a brewer from Sheffield. Watson left the partnership in 1856, but the other two carried on, setting up an associated malting partnership in 1863. Samuel Hage’s nephew Addison Titley joined to form another malting business in 1868, and five years later Addison Titley also gained a share in the brewery. About 1877 Addison Titley opened a brand-new maltings in Grove street, which survived until wrecked by fire in 1930

    By Angela Roche (05/03/2014)
  • Addison Titley was one of the partners of Mansfield Brewery from the 1870s. If you can track down a copy of The Mansfield Brew it covers the Titley family in some detail.

    By Darren Turner (04/03/2014)
  • Gilcroft House c 1901 Whilst doing some book research I came across this property. It appears to have been occupied by Addison & Matilda Titley with their 19 year old son Basil (Uppingham school). Father seems to have been a Maltster? (employer) – can you throw any more light on this?

    By John Dann (25/01/2014)

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