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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future
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Nottinghamshire Archives is currently temporarily closed to the public.

Our enquiry service is still available to answer your questions and copies of many documents can be made.

Our research service can also carry out searches in the archives and provide information for you.

The Archives will be re-opening in Spring 2015.

Latest news from Nottinghamshire Archives

Not such a 'Secret Hospital'

User AvatarPosted by Peter Lester at 30/01/2015 15:37:19
Photograph showing entrance to Rampton Hospital
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.






Temporary closure from Saturday 18 October

Posted by Nottinghamshire County Council at 08/10/2014 09:44:25

Nottinghamshire Archives temporarily closed to the public on Saturday 18 October.

This closure forms part of a £2.5m investment project to extend the archives' building and preserve the county’s rich documentary heritage for future generations.

The building is expected to open again in spring 2015. Until then, you can contact the archives service via telephone, email and post. A reprographics service will be available so staff can reproduce copies of documents for the public.  Nottinghamshire Archives' Research Service is still available to carry out searches in the Archives.

You can use the reduced service by calling 0115 9581634, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or by emailing archives@nottscc.gov.uk.

Written requests can also be accepted at Nottinghamshire Archives, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, NG2 1AG.

You can also continue to explore local history collections in local libraries which host parish registers and other local history sources.

The archives’ current building in Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, was opened by the Princess Royal in 1993 and is almost at full storage capacity.

The county council’s extension project will increase storage capacity and secure a further 20 years of extra space for historical archives. It will be built to meet new national archives building standards, and the modernised facilities will have an enhanced focus on digital archives.

There will be a new refreshments area, two meeting rooms and exhibition spaces in the new-look building. There will be opportunities to support further the Friends Group and increase volunteering opportunities as part of the refurbished centre.

We apologise for the inconvenience this closure may cause.


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.


Explore our new Royal Exhibition

Posted by Peter Lester at 14/08/2013 15:48:27

Celebrating jubilees, coronations and visits

In 2012 and 2013 the country celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the anniversary of her coronation. 

Our new exhibition showcases pictures and images which show how the people of Nottinghamshire have celebrated previous royal jubilees, coronations and visits to Nottinghamshire.

Find out more on our Online Exhibitions page.


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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