Originally a farmhouse constructed during the reign of William and Mary, the buildings had been converted at some unknown date into a coffee house. Supplied with gardens, bowling greens, and various other means of diversion, it became a popular resort for many in Nottingham who could stroll out and sample its delights, via a perambulation through the Park. It remained a coffee house until 1804 when George Wombwell added substantial extensions to the buildings, concentrated on selling beers and spirits and renamed the premises 'The White Hart Inn'.
Information taken from http://www.lentontimes.co.uk
The front of this inn, facing Gregory Street, Lenton, is well-known to all of us, but it is not generally realised that between this inn and the present Priory Church stood the gateway to the great Cluniac Priory of Lenton. It spanned the road just at this point, and in front of it was hanged in the year 1537, Nicholas Heyth, the last Prior of Lenton, condemned for high treason for the part that he had taken in the Pilgrimage of Grace. The White Hart as we know it, was built about a century ago upon the site and incorporating some portion of an older house known as the Lenton Coffee House, which was a great resort of former generations, who made excursions along the pleasant walks by the side of the river Leen, and refreshed themselves round the bowling green attached to these premises. Other memories cling to this neighbourhood, for among the modern buildings there still stands the old prison of the Court of the Honour of Peverel, within whose walls debtors were incarcerated under the old law. This prison is shown on the extreme right of the drawing; a high, white wall is depicted behind a table at which some customers are seated; this wall surrounds the old exercise yard, and beyond it rises the roof of a low building which is the old prison. The chestnut trees of Lenton throwing up their balloons of foliage decorated in due season with wealth of flowers are among the most beautiful sights of this part of Nottingham, and even to-day Gregory Street and its neighbourhood retain a great deal of the old world rural aspect.
Descriptive text taken from 'Nottingham Past and Present', published in 1926.
Thomas William Hammond 1854-1935. Born in Philadelphia of Nottingham emigres, and orphaned at the age of four, he came to England with his younger sister Maria and lived for a short while with his grandparents in Mount Street. In 1868 age 14 he enrolled in the Government School of Art. On the 1871 census he is described as a lace curtain designer, and in 1872 he was awarded the 'Queen's Prize for a Design of a Lace Curtain'. Other prizes followed and in 1877 he was again awarded the Queen's Prize, this time for the design for a damask table Cloth.
Hammond was an indefatigable worker, and soon began to use his skills as a draftsman to record aspects of the changing town. He began showing his work at local venues in 1882 and in 1890 exhibited for the first time at the Royal academy. His real hobby was black and white sketching in charcoal. He drew about 350 pictures all together mainly scenes of a Nottingham he knew but which has largely passed away today.
Extracted from 'The Changing Face of Tom Hammond's Nottingham' by John Beckett which is the introductory essay in 'A City in the Making Drawings of Tom Hammond'.