The history of West Bridgford

The history of West Bridgford

Nestled just south of the River Trent and a couple of miles away from Nottingham city centre, West Bridgford is a historic market town situated within the Borough of Rushcliffe. And most importantly, home to Balance: Wealth Planning!

With strong links to sport, beautiful parks, not to mention the great community spirit, West Bridgford has a lot to offer. But the history of West Bridgford extends back much further than what it’s well known for today.

We’ve dusted off the history books to understand a bit more about the place where Balance: Wealth Planning began.

The history of West Bridgford

The name West Bridgford derives from ‘the ford near the bridge’. It’s believed that King Edward the Elder first built a bridge over the Trent in 924, when crossing the ford was no longer suitable for the increase in wheeled traffic between Nottingham and the south. Although replaced by Trent Bridge in 1871, you can still see Hethbeth Bridge’s last remaining stone arches in the middle of the traffic island opposite the Trent Bridge Inn.

The bridge you can see today, Trent Bridge, was designed by the city’s first Borough Engineer, Marriott Ogle Tarbotton, to cope with the increase in traffic due to the booming lace industry. It cost £30,000 to build, which in today’s terms would be just over £3.6m! In 1926 the bridge was further widened as the population continued to grow.

West Bridgford is believed to date back to pre-Anglo-Saxon times, but the first mention of the ‘village of Brigeforde’ was in the Domesday book of 1086. At this point, the village had a recorded population of 9 households. By the 1851 census, the population reached 258 people, who lived in 51 houses in the area.

The village itself clustered around the church half a mile to the south of Trent Bridge, and there were three turnpike roads where Radcliffe, Loughborough, and Melton roads are now. It continued to be an agricultural village until 1882 when Mr John Chaworth Musters sold land as building plots. Houses on Loughborough Road, since demolished, were some of the first to be built in modern West Bridgford.

Following this building surge in late Victorian times, the population grew to over 2,500 people by 1891. And again to 7,000 by 1901. Now, West Bridgford is home to more than 48,000 inhabitants.

Can I have a vowel please, Carol?

Since the first reference to the ‘village of Brigeforde’ in the Domesday Book in 1086, it appears that Sir Andrew Lutterell was to blame for losing the ‘e’ and adding the ‘d’ when he became ‘Lord of the Manor of West Bridgford’.

However, in 1774 the ‘e’ made a comeback on the first surveyed map of the area labelled West Bridgeford.

A recent petition has requested the ‘e’ back in the name, and local councillors will vote later in the year. Watch this space!

What puts West Bridgford on the map?


It’s where you’ll find the iconic Test Match cricket ground Trent Bridge, Nottingham Forest Football stadium and National Water Sports Centre.

First used as a cricket ground in the 1830s, Trent Bridge is the third oldest test ground in the world! The first Test match at Trent Bridge was in 1899. England played against Australia, and it ended in a draw. Now home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, the ground has been developed over time and can host over 17,000 people on match days.

A mere stone’s throw away from the cricket ground, you’ll find The City Ground football stadium, which has been home to Nottingham Forest Football Club (NFFC) since 1898. The stadium is only 270 metres away from Meadow Lane, home to Notts County FC, making the two grounds the closest professional football stadiums in England.

Venture a bit deeper into West Bridgford, and you’ll find the National Water Sports Centre. The centre opened in 1971 on the 270-acre site of Holme Pierrepont Country Park. In line with its name, the centre has three different bodies of water. There’s a 2,000-metre regatta for rowing, a 700-metre white water canoe slalom course, and an open water swimming and canoe polo lagoon.

Famous faces

Did you know that the driving force behind Pimm’s, Sir Horatio Davies, purchased the West Bridgford Estate in 1889? He was a local businessman, politician, and magistrate who went on to be Lord Mayor of London in 1898. Davies Road was named after him, and many of the surrounding roads, including Gordon, Ethel, Florence, Violet, Blake, Mabel, Cyril, Crosby, St. Helens, and Priory, were named after his family members or places closely associated with him.

Also, the creator of HP Sauce, grocer Frederick Gibson Garton, lived on Millicent Road briefly. He created his sauce in Basford in 1896 in his pickling factory. He named it HP as he had heard that a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving the sauce.

A few more famous faces include, Kenneth Clarke former MP, comedian, actor and tv presenter Leslie Crowther, and Mark Hoyle, also known as LadBaby, of recent internet fame.

The Balance: Wealth Planning story

Balance: Wealth Planning began in 2015, establishing roots in West Bridgford from the start. Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner Rebecca Aldridge wanted to deliver financial planning that placed client needs at its core. Since then, we’ve grown into a strong team of 15 people, with four brilliant financial advisers, and settled into our lovely top-floor office in The Point on Loughborough Road, right next to the River Trent. You can read more about our origins and vision in our previous post on the story of Balance: Wealth Planning.

After over a year working from home, it’s not long now until we’ll be going back into the office, and oh, how we have missed it.

We’ll keep you updated with the plans, but for now, if you’d like to chat with one of our financial advisers, you can book a virtual meeting.