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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Nottinghamshire Archives has now reopened following its closure as part of a £2.5m investment project to extend the building.

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Latest news from Nottinghamshire Archives

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Not such a 'Secret Hospital'

Posted by Peter Lester at 30/01/2015 15:37:19
Following generous grants from the Wellcome Trust, the historic records of Rampton Secure Hospital have now been catalogued

Rampton Criminal Lunatic Asylum opened in 1912 as an annex to Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire. In 1920 it closed as an annex and re-opened as a separate State Institution admitting those who were classed under the Mental Deficiency Acts as having 'dangerous, violent or criminal propensities'.  Following the Mental Health Act 1959, Rampton became a Special Hospital and continued to admit patients with learning difficulties and mental health problems who could not be managed in other institutions. The broadcast of 'The Secret Hospital' in 1979 led to a major review of hospital practice and events at the third secure hospital, Ashworth, near Liverpool, in the 1990s led to an increase in security at all three hospitals, Ashworth, Rampton and Broadmoor. Rampton Secure Hospital now provides high security psychiatric care to people with learning disabilities, the deaf, women and patients with personality disorders.

A grant from the Wellcome Trust in 2008 enabled a survey of the existing records to be undertaken at Rampton by a member of the Archives' staff.  Having identified surviving documents of historic value, a total of 364 boxes were then transferred to the Archives.

A further grant was made by the Wellcome Trust in 2012 for the employment of a temporary archivist to catalogue the collection.  That work has now been completed and the catalogue is available online.

Because of the sensitive nature of the archives many of them are placed on restricted access.  However if you do wish to look at any particular item or would like information from the archive, please refer to our restricted access records leaflet for details on how to do this.

Read our new blog on World War I

Posted by Peter Lester at 16/09/2013 10:32:11

Read our new blog on Nottinghamshire Archives' project From Home to Battlefields of World War I: Nottinghamshire Memorials Project.

In the 1980s Patricia and Maurice Wakefield visited the 
battlefields and cemeteries of Northern France, and this inspired Patricia Wakefield to start researching into local soldiers who fell in World War I.  Over the following years she and her husband made repeated trips to France and Belgium and her research grew into an amazing resource about local soldiers who fought and died in 'Flanders Fields'.

A few years ago Nottinghamshire Archives was fortunate to be offered the documents as a deposit, and with the generous help of the Heritage Lottery Fund we are now able to catalogue and preserve this unique collection of documents and photographs.  Our project involves a team of young volunteers who will not only work with the records but will also learn more about the war and its affects.

Our blog provides the latest updates on this project.

Wills and Inventories at Nottinghamshire Archives

Posted by Peter Lester at 06/08/2013 12:29:39

Wills and inventories are useful resources for researchers.

  • Family historians can find out details of descendants and kin
  • Local historians can find information on status, property and wealth
  • Inventories can provide details of furniture, goods and possessions, including crops and animals
  • Wills can provide glimpses of religious belief and attitudes to death
  • Wills were proved in church courts and provide evidence of their activities.

Nottinghamshire Archives holds a huge number of wills proved before 1858. The catalogues for many of these can now be searched on our online catalogue. These include wills proved in the following church courts:

  • Exchequer Court of York: Nottingham Archdeaconry Court, 1589 - 1858 (PR/NW)  Over 32,000 people are included in these records
  • Southwell Peculiar Court, 1506 - 1857 (PR/SW) and probate registers, 1530 - 1839 (PR/SR)
  • Mansfield Peculiar Court, 1640 - 1857 (PR/MW)
  • Manorial Court of Dale Abbey, 1753 - 1896 (PR/D)
  • Manorial Court of Gringley on the Hill, 1761 - 1855 (PR/GW) with 98 wills included on the manorial court rolls of Gringley, 1659 - 1775 (DD/P/14)
  • Manorial Court of St John of Jerusalem (Shelford St John's), 1646 - 1791 (PR/JW)
  • Ossington Manorial Court (copies), 1607 - 1792 (PR/OS).

If you find details of a will from our catalogue, please email us at archives@nottscc.gov.uk and we can provide a quote for a copy.  You will need to tell us the name of the person whose will you want, the date it was proved, and where they lived.  All of this information is included in the catalogue.  Please note that many wills have seals attached to them, and can therefore only be photographed.  You can find out more about our reprographics services online.

Looking for a will proved after 1858? Get in touch and we can provide advice on the National Probate Index and obtaining copies of more recent wills.

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