The Old Rectory and Rectory Room

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory is a Grade II listed building and the British Listed Buildings website indicates that the west end of the building was rebuilt around 1697 and the east end rebuilt around 1702.

The listing dated 1986 provides the following descriptor:

C19 plain tile roof with bracketed eaves. Single left external, single ridge and 2 right rendered stacks. Ashlar coped gables with kneelers. Set on a plinth. 2 storeys, 5 bays. The single outer left and second right bays project and are gabled. The right 2 bays being 1697 build. Doorway with 6 fielded panel door, fanlight and hood. To the left is a single glazing bar sash and further left a single larger low glazing bar sash. To the right is a single glazing bar casement and further right a single small glazing bar sash. Above are 3 glazing bar sashes and to the right a single tripartite glazing bar casement, further right is a single small glazing bar sash. Interior has dogleg staircase with turned and barley sugar balusters.

Clearly there are many references to the Rectory when Pendock Barry and his son were at Tollerton Hall, not least because of the many quarrels between the squire and the rector. In 1883 the Rectory was said to be valued at £437 (Wright’s Directory).

In Potter’s ‘History of Tollerton’ (1929) there is reference to alterations at the Old Rectory. It appears that when this work was undertaken in 1918 some mouse-eaten fragments of letters were found between Barry Barry at the Hall and the rector, Mr Ward. It is said that Barry was greatly attached to Mr Ward, who was an invalid, and corresponded with him regularly on theological and national matters. When Mr Ward died, Barry marked his devotion to this rector by building a tomb for his remains at the west end of the churchyard.

There is reference to Mr Richard C Ward, the rector, in a number of newspaper articles. In 1864 everyone in Tollerton was given the day off when his daughter got married and it was declared a general holiday in this village and other surrounding villages.

When Mr Wilson lived at the Rectory during WW2 it required much renovation – it was cold, damp and needed a lot of money spending on it. However, Mr Wilson would not move out as he feared it would be sold off like Tollerton Hall.

A public notice that appeared in the Nottingham press in 1939: Post-war there was an annual garden party held at the Rectory.

Garden Fete, Tollerton Rectory
Saturday, July 15th Opening by Mrs L Turner 3pm
Dancing, Displays, Conjuring, Games, Competitions, Teas Admission 3d
Evening Dance 6d

Rectory Garden Party possibly around 1955

This photograph shows people gathered at the Rectory garden party; so far this photograph is undated, but could be 1955. Despite the poor quality of the photograph it does give a fine view of the Rectory with the church in the background and the lawn of the Rectory festooned with bunting and food laden tables.

These garden parties were family events and on the right is a photograph from 1955 when Barbara Blackburn and her brother, John, won prizes for the fancy dress competition.

Barbara and John Blackburn Courtesy of Barbara Storrie (nee Blackburn)

Dancing at a Rectory Garden Party – July 1961

The Old Rectory was occupied until around 1975. It was only when Mr Ogley was rector that a new Rectory was built, around 1976. Records suggest that John Ogley came to the Tollerton parish around 1971. By the time Michael Lumgair came with his wife in 1980, the new, modern and detached rectory house had been built and it is this building that he refers to in his publication ‘Hassles and Glory’ which is available on-line.

Renovation work at the Old Rectory in recent times. This is now a private property.
Courtesy of Shaun and Debra Beer

The Rectory Room

In her talk to the Tollerton Friendship Club, Dorothy Singleton recalled her first visit to the Rectory Room which was to an event in celebration of the Coronation of King George VI; that would have been in May 1937. The event included a meal rather like a harvest supper. She said “The Rectory Room really looked like what it was, a barn. There was a floor laid so that the room could be used for games and other functions but the pantiles were visible and also the beams. It had a temperamental boiler at one end and also a billards table. However money was raised and a false ceiling put up and the place made olde worlde, under the auspices of the late Mr Holroyd who lived in one of those nice bungalows opposite the Church.”

An annex was built on to the Rectory Room with profits made from the sale of tea, sandwiches and cakes in the WVS canteen based at the Rectory Room during WW2. Water was also laid on and a toilet installed. Prior to this those who ran the WVS canteen had to fetch their water from the Rectory and they washed up in bowls on chairs. According to Dorothy Singleton, electricity was also accessed from the Rectory and an old gas stove at one end of the room was used for cooking. The WVS canteen continued for a time after the end of WW2.

During those war years, dances were held at the Rectory Room on a Saturday night. Mr Leader, who lived on Tollerton Lane, operated the radiogram and loud speaker and a Miss Gilbey (a teacher from the Munro’s School of Dancing) provided dance tuition.

Also during that time and beyond, the Men’s Club held a weekly meeting at the Rectory Room on Monday evenings and the WI met here once a month on a Wednesday.

Michael Lumgair in his published memories recalled after his arrival in Tollerton in 1980:

It had been evident for a long while that something needed to be done about the Rectory Rooms (once the tithe barn and stable block). They were in a bad state of repair and ill-suited to the needs of the church. In due course permission was given to remove the stable block, and to renovate the rest of the buildings. At every stage we met with problems, as is often the case with very old buildings, and every problem added to the cost. The opening of the Church Centre marked a new phase in being a distinctive community. The old buildings had come to be regarded as almost belonging to the village, harking back to days when there was little distinction between church and village. From now on, the Church Centre was clearly seen as belonging to the church, with church related activities having prior use of the facilities. It would still be used by the wider community, such as the Playgroup, but some took umbrage that they had not been consulted, that they had not been involved in the restoration plans, and that the church itself had entirely paid for it all, and that they had not been asked to contribute, even to the meal celebrating its opening.”

Now of course the Church Centre is well established and hosts a range of activities, and alongside it stands the Scout Hut.