Holy Trinity Church, Wysall
Wysall is a village in Nottinghamshire, found 11 miles south of Nottingham. Every Summer, Wysall hosts the annual Strawberry Fair at the village hall. The village is host to The Plough Inn, a very popular pub.
The neighbouring village of Thorpe in the Glebe is It is administratively linked with Wysall with a joint parish council (Wysall and Thorpe in the Glebe Parish Council).
Wysall is one of the Thankful Villages; those rare places that were spared any loss amongst their young men during the Great War of 1914 to 1918.
Wysall's parish church is Holy Trinity. It enjoys a prominent position towards the south end of the village on a bluff and the church is thus visible for many miles.
The church and its congregation are active participants in village affairs.
It said that the church dates before from before the Norman Conquest It and consists of a tower with spire, south porch, nave with south aisle and chancel. The tower, with embattlements, displays signs of gothic architecture of the decorated period dating it around the late thirteenth to 14th century. The lower part of the tower has a window of perpendicular style suggesting late 14th century though, as is often the case, there are features of the north wall that are Early English work predating the tower by a hundred years or so. There is evidence of a high pitched roof traced on the tower.
The graveyard has a near circular boundary wall.
The south porch was restored in the late 19th century and other work to maintain this excellent early church in good condition is evident. The windows are well worth note. Wysall gives us an example of late Decorated work of a beautiful and simple kind.
(A carefully researched and prepared account of Wysall church has been provided by the local history society.)
Inside ornamental dedications to the families of Sacheverell and Armstrong, amongst other important families. Some original oak pews and the pulpit have survived the restoration though demoted to the West end. The roof of the chancel is very early and well worth note.
Early modern period
In 1558, Queen Mary I ("Bloody Mary") granted the Patronage of Wysall to Nicholas Heath, then Archbishop of York.
A sad tale from 1843
The village has seen some less happy times. In 1843, a very sad story emerged from the village which made the national news for some time. Extracts from some newspaper reports from the time appear below.
The Times, Wednesday 31 May 1843
Supposed Murder of a Son by his Father
Last week the neighbourhood of Wymeswold was in a state of considerable excitement, caused by the discovery of the body of a gentleman named Isaac Kettleband, of Wysall, in a pond on the farm of Mr. Hebb ... Circumstances subsequently transpired which led to the apprehension of the father of the deceased, on suspicion of having committed the murder. On Wednesday and Thursday last an inquest was held before Mr. Swan, coroner, when it appeared that the deceased was last seen alive with his father near the pond in question on the 12th instant. Mr. Brown, of Wymeswold, surgeon, was of opinion that the neck of the unfortunate youth had first been broken, and that his body was afterwards thrown into the pond. The inquest was adjourned to the 30th instant, and the father of the deceased was committed to Nottingham Gaol to await the result.
The Times, Saturday 3 June 1843
On Friday, May 10, a lad named Isaac Kettleband, aged 10 years, son of William Kettleband, of Wysall, labourer, was missing. On the Tuesday following his body was found in a horse-pond, on the farm of Mr. Henry Hebb, situated near to a barn and a stable, at which the deceased and his father usually worked. An inquest was held on the body the same evening before Mr. C. Swann, coroner, and no evidence to the contrary being adduced, a verdict of "Accidentally drowned" was returned. On the same evening and during the next day, the village gossips, in talking the affair over, began to think it possible that foul play might have been used, as the father of the deceased was known to be a violent and passionate man, and it was notorious that he had always most shamefully and brutally maltreated the boy. Mr. Browne, of Wymeswold, surgeon, was sent for to examine the body, and he at once discovered that the neck was dislocated, and gave it as his most decided opinion that it was broken before the body reached the water. The pond in which deceased was found is about 10 ½ yards by 4, and a yard and a half or two yards deep in some parts; it is, except at one corner, surrounded by a dead fence, about 4 feet high, and is so situate that the boy could not possibly have broken his neck in falling in accidentally. These circumstances, connected with the anxiety the father exhibited to have the corpse interred before any surgical examination took place, excited such suspicions that the deceased had been unfairly "done to death," that a second inquest was decreed indispensable. Accordingly a notice was sent to the coroner, and Kettleband was taken into custody. Mr. Swann consequently commenced a most rigid inquiry on Thursday, the 25th, which was at the close of the day adjourned until Monday last, the 29th. Mr. Hebb, in whose employ the deceased and his father were, has three farms – one at each of the villages of Wysall, Keyworth, and Stanton – and there is no residence on the farms at Wysall. The farm buildings are situate about a mile from the village, and stand the width of a very large field from the road; they consist of a barn and stables at right angles to each other, and the pond spoken of is not more than 25 or 30 yards distant. On Thursday a jury assembled at the Plough Inn, Wysall, before whom Mr. Swann commenced his inquiry, and a verdict was returned of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown." The prisoner was then discharged out of custody.
William Kettleband was subsequently tried for his son's murder at the Winter Assizes, Midland Circuit, Nottingham on Tuesday 19 December 1843. Astonishingly, the jury acquitted him of the murder despite evidence that the boy had suffered much abuse at the hands of his father, and despite evidence that the father had clearly attempted to cover up the crime by riding horses through the pond in an effort to make it look as though the injuries had been caused by the horses. Instead, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to penal transportation for life.
Remarkable foot race in 1847
The Derby Mercury, Wednesday 18 August 1847
On Thursday the 5th instant, at the quiet village of Wysall, a somewhat remarkable foot-race took place – remarkable, not for the distance run, nor for the speed of the runners, but for the fact that each of them has been running a race with old Time for more than ninety years – one having exceeded his great climacteric 28, the other 33 years. The distance was forty yards. The competitors were – Mr. Wootton Bryans, sen., aged 96, and Mr. John Hogg, aged 91 – the latter winning by just a yard – which so nettled or rather mettled his rival, that he challenged him to jump for a guinea. When this match is to come off, or whether the challenge was accepted, we have not learnt.
The Old Market Square in Nottingham was a popular destination for the 19th century Wysall farmer, and you would expect these hard workers to be treated well in town. If the following story is anything to go by, the remaining farmers in the area would be wise to consider giving up seafood.
The Pall Mall Gazette (London, England), Monday 17 February 1868; Issue 942
On Saturday night Mr. Richard Marshall, farmer, of Wysall, near Nottingham, met with his death by an extraordinary misadventure. He went to an oyster stall in the Market-place, Nottingham, and ordered some oysters to be opened. The first handed to him was a very large one, and stuck in his throat. He was unable to dislodge it, fell to the ground gasping for breath, and was carried at once to the hospital, but died on his way. The deceased was a married man and has left a large family.
In more recent times the folk of Wystall have proven less susceptible to violent death, indeed even the trenches of Flanders did not claim any man of them. The village has continued as a delightful small village of fewer than 400 souls.
- [http://southwellchurches.nottingham.ac.uk/wysall/hhistory.php Diocese of Southwell – Churches]
- Thoroton, Robert (1623–1678): The antiquities of Nottinghamshire (1677)
- The Times, Wednesday 31 May 1843
- The Times, Saturday 3 June 1843
- The Times, Thursday 21 December 1843
- The Derby Mercury, Wednesday 18 August 1847; Issue 6006
- The Pall Mall Gazette (London, England), Monday 17 February 1868; Issue 942
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