About this image
Colwick Hall stands on a site which has been occupied ever since Saxon times. In the time of the Domesday survey it was held by a certain Waleraum. The first use of the name Colwick as a surname occurs when Reginald de Colwick witnessed a charter on 17 November, 1225. At this time rent seems to have been paid in weapons of war, for in 1280 'Sir Reginald de Colwyck' died (who had lived to be a centenarian). It was declared that he held his lands 'of the fee of Peveril by twelve barbed arrows when he came to Nottingham,' a tradition that continued so late as 1504 the when The Byrons held Colwick 'by the service of twelve crossbows yearly if asked for.' On the death of William de Colwick in 1362, the estate passed by the marriage of his daughter Joan, into the Byron family. The Byrons inhabited Colwick for more than 150 years before they moved to Newstead Abbey. They held it until about 1660, when it came into the possession of the Musters. All the older buildings disappeared when the present Hall was erected in 1775-6, soon after the coming-of-age of John Musters, (father of the husband of Byron's 'Mary.') There is a famous painting by George Stubbs of John and Sophia Musters riding at Colwick (which can be seen on the Internet), showing the newly built hall in 1777. The house consisted of an elegant centre, crowned with a pediment, resting on four well proportioned Ionic pillars, and joined by two wings of one lofty storey with an entablature, supported by square pilasters, with plain capitols, and lightened much in its effect by a handsome balustraded parapet. It was built in 1776 by Samuel Stretton of Nottingham, from an architectural design of John Carr of York, and was originally enclosed with a deep moat, and had a draw bridge on the north side of the hall. There was a reed-grown lakelet in the grounds which was a remnant of an artificial water course, conducting the waters of the Trent to turn a mill. This had existed just below the hall since the Saxon period, and was the cause of constant disputes between the owners of Colwick and their neighbours concerning the amount of water that it was allowable to divert from the main river. At one time so much water was taken that the navigation of the river was impeded. In 1805 Mary Chaworth, Byron's childhood love-interest from Annesley Hall, married Jack Musters of Colwick, creating the name Chaworth-Musters by which the family is still known today. In 1831, during the Second Reform Bill riots, Colwick Hall was sacked by an excited mob. Mary Chaworth Musters spent the night shivering in pouring rain with her daughter Sophia, crouched beneath the shrubbery, while the Hall was looted and partially set on fire. She died a few months later from the shock at Wiverton Hall some four months after the riot. In 1896 the Hall was sold to the Nottingham Racecourse Company - the racecourse opened in 1892, the Hall became a public house and the rest of the building were used to accommodate grooms and jockeys. Nottingham Corporation acquired the Hall from the Racecourse Company in 1965. The house had magnificent Spanish mahogany doors, its moulded architraves, elegant staircase, and fireplaces carried out in multi-coloured marbles and enriched with decoration in the style of the Adam brothers. The building (a grade two listed building) required substantial repair and renovation work and this was done by the Home Brewery Company who took on the lease in 1972. It was re-opened as a non-residential hotel in 1976 but again closed in 1997 and was left empty and soon deteriorated, the victim of vandalism and theft. In 2003 the Hall, restored by Tim Jones and Chek White, reopened as a restaurant, bar and events venue. This is a view of the Round House in a derelict condition. The Round House was built into the wall of Colwick Hall's kitchen garden. It was demolished in 1967.