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Historical background 1918 - 2008
After the First World War the fluctuations of trade and fashion brought a decline in affluence in Nottingham, especially textiles. The advent of the motor car enabled greater mobility and provided the opportunity for the wealthy to live or build houses further afield. These factors together with changing lifestyles, the increasing cost of using and maintaining the large houses and the difficulty of obtaining sufficient staff created a mood of change.

The Duke of Newcastle still owned the Estate. Most of the plots had originally been sold on 99 year leases and subject to a variety of covenants to ensure that there was to be no commercial development. In return the Dukes had undertaken to maintain the roads, sewage and gas lighting, as it turned out a very onerous obligation, particularly bearing in mind the acute financial plight of the 8th Duke. So in 1938 the Estate was sold to the Nuffield Trust which in turn passed it to Oxford University Chest. Many of the properties were nearing the end of their leasehold term. As a result the value of properties slumped.

The owners often being the elderly relatives of the original owners, could no longer afford the upkeep

of these substantial houses, or the staff to run them and to carry out repairs, and the whole area began to fall into decline. There was, therefore, little new development. Although some houses were converted into flats, others had their coach houses converted into garages, or had new garages built.

The Second World War greatly increased this decline. Many houses were abandoned by their elderly inhabitants or were taken over by the Army. After the War the future of The Park looked grim. Although, from 1952, residents were entitled to buy their freehold not many people wished to live in large, cold and out of date houses, in what was seen as a dark Victorian Estate.

The area was further blighted in 1960 by the City Council’s proposal, which was not finally abandoned until 1969, to build a 4 lane ring road along the eastern edge of the Estate. During this time many insensitive alterations, repairs and conversions were undertaken. Part of the gardens of some of the original estate houses (pre-1918) were beginning to be sold off for development, a pattern which significantly increased between 1960-80, creating areas of unsightly ribbon development with no respect for the character of the original planned villa estate.

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