Bramcote Hall was built in the 1860s in a park on the crest of the hill behind the original church. It became the home of Frederic Chatfield Smith who altered and enlarged it until it became a mansion with 21 bedrooms that could comfortably accommodate his 11 surviving children together with the staff he retained.
Described as a “shrewd, clear headed, cultivated man”, Frederic Chatfield Smith (seen below) was regarded as “the moving spirit in the affairs of his family firm”; Smiths’ Bank. He had retired early from running the Nottingham branch, after being injured in a fall down the lift shaft at the bank.
He had also been the MP for the Northern Division of Nottinghamshire for nearly 12 years, Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. and High Sheriff of Nottingham in 1874. In Bramcote he took over the patronage of the church, served as a church warden and often paid off the church debts. He supported the school and held an annual treat in the grounds of The Hall for all the children.
When F C Smith died in 1905, his effects were valued at £400,000. His house and freehold estates were left to his widow for her life time but following her death in 1914, the family decided to sell what would appear to have been the greater part of the contents of the house in 1919 and then The Hall itself in 1920.
Presumably each of the three sons and the daughters who had married were settled in their own homes and the unmarried daughters could not afford to run such a large house. World War One saw the demise, generally, of large country houses and the redeployment of those who had worked “in service” — it was the end of an era.
From 1921 Bramcote Hall became a prep school. Admitted at 8 or 9 years, boys were prepared for the Common Entrance Examination, which they sat when they were 13½ years old before most of them transferred to Trent College.
The school relocated to Gamston in 1965 after the Hall was sold to Nottingham University. The University’s plans, however, did not come to realisation and sadly the building was eventually demolished.