The village's high street and Methodist church
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Burton Joyce is a large English village and civil parish in the Gedling district of Nottinghamshire, about 7 miles (11 km) east of Nottingham, bounded by the smaller Stoke Bardolph to the south and Bulcote to the north-east. The A612 links it to Carlton, Gedling village and Netherfield to the south-west, and Lowdham to the north-east. Initially the site of an Iron age fort, it was occupied by Norman nobility, who founded St Helen's Church. From being a small farming community, Burton Joyce grew in the early Industrial Revolution, earning a reputation up to the 1920s for quality textile products. Many of the population of 3,443 commute to Nottingham. It forms with Stoke Bardoph and Bulcote the Trent Valley ward of Gedling, which elects two councillors.
Although there is archaeological evidence, including a blade implement and arrowheads, to suggest habitation as early as the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras, Bronze Age finds in the area have proved more numerous; these have included a set of ring ditches, a rapier and several spearheads. The village is also noteworthy as the site of a substantial Iron Age hillfort, alternatively known as a bertune, which would later be pronounced 'Burton' in the Norman fashion (the name of the village until the early 14th-century). Excavated in 1950–51, the discovery of Gaulish-made samian ware and a distinctive coin, along with coarse-gritted and medieval pottery, have led archaeologists to believe that the fort was occupied by Roman soldiers sometime after their invasion of Britain in 43 AD under Vespasian. Such was not uncommon in other hillforts of the Iron Age, with Maiden Castle and Hod Hill, both in the county of Dorset, later occupied by Romans as strategic military bases.
The Domesday Book, a survey of the settlements of England and Wales commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086, makes reference to "a church and a priest, sixteen acres of meadow...In the confessours time, and then at the taking the said survey, valued at one mark of silver", indicating occupancy of the then Bertune in Anglo-Saxon times. Little is known of the original church, only that reclaimed skerry stone was used to construct the northern aisle of the village's current St Helen's Church by Norman settlers. The aisle, unusually wide for its time, is thought represent a much larger structure than was customary in church construction during the period.
Restoration of the building in the 13th or early 14th-century, which saw a southward extension and a re-building of the chancel, may have been the work of the aristocratic de Jorz family. Robert de Jorz, a Lord of the Manor who would later become Sheriff of Nottingham in 1331, was granted 20 oak trees on behalf of the King in 1307; it is unknown whether he used the timber to the benefit of the church, which, at that time, was dedicated to St. Oswald. Taking ownership of the now Burton settlement, Robert added his surname to the village's title, becoming Burton Jorz, which was eventually anglicised to be pronounced Burton Joyce.
Following the Roman Catholic tradition during the life of de Jorz, the church was closely associated with the nearby Shelford Priory. In 1348 Augustinian monks purchased the rights to handle many of the church's affairs for the considerable sum of £20; responsibilities included maintenance of the chancel and payment of the Vicar (the latter an obligation until the Reformation).
Burton Joyce's history in the early modern period is predominantly agricultural. Evidence of this includes the presence of hedgerows on the bank of the River Trent, erected in the 16th-century to enforce the Tudor land enclosure policy (wider enclosure of the area occurred from 1769 onward). Furthermore, the construction of timber farm buildings in a similar period, including barns, have proved to be some of the village's longest standing structures. Prominent landowners at this time included the Padley family, whose stately mansion was built in 1500 and was owned by the family for around 300 years; demolished in the 1960s, a street close to the historic site was commemoratively named Padleys Lane. The remainder of the population were mostly agricultural labourers, who numbered about 150 in the 17th-century, rising to 447 according to the 1801 census.
The village's church, re-dedicated to St. Helen and denominated as an Anglican place of worship sometime before the 18th-century, fell into disrepair. Robert Thoroton in his 1677 work The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire expressed distaste towards various architectural features, deeming them to be obsolete and unattractive. Efforts by churchwardens to bring about repair were reversed in 1725 when a flood inflicted damages to the effect of £1,021, with donations made by the Church of St Mary Magadalene of Newark-on-Trent later deemed squandered on a poor restoration attempt by the likes of Thomas Henry Wyatt and Sir Stephen Glynne. Burton Joyce's new-found, traditional Protestantism was also under threat at this time, with a strong Non-conformist and Puritanical influence pervading the 17th-century; such a phenomenon was also true of the 18th-century, with the Vicar identifying one family of Anabaptists and two of Presbyterians in a report to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Herring.
On 1 January 1828, lessons in English, French, Latin, writing and arithmetic were made available to boys ages 4–8 at the price of £15 per annum by Mrs. and Miss Fletcher.[nb 1] The school, situated in their personal residence, was exclusively for boarders and did not use corporal punishment as a means of maintaining discipline. An endowment made by Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon in 1850 allowed for the purchase of a piece of land in the centre of the village, on which a small infant school was then built. The construction of a larger and better equipped facility on the site occurred in 1867 and comprised one classroom for boys and another for girls. The then national school came under scrutiny after the master, William Walmeley, "cruelly assaulted one of his scholars" in 1873 (for which he was fined two guineas).
In sport, the notables from Burton Joyce include Derbyshire County Cricket Club batsman John Cartledge (1855–1907). Coincidentally, Cartledge's only Test match appearance was cut short by Burton Joyce-born Alfred Shaw (1842–1907) in 1878; Shaw was an eminent Victorian cricketer known for his captaincy of England in four Test matches on the all-professional tour of Australia (1881–82).
Media figures include Hollywood film producer Jack Kitchin (1901–1983), ballet critic Peter Williams (1914–1995), Sherrie Hewson (born 1950), known for her frequent performances in the soap opera Coronation Street, and Matthew Horne (born 1978), an actor and comedian best known for his leading role in the sitcom Gavin & Stacey.
Other figures of note are the Oldham industrialist and philanthropist Samuel Milne (1828–1877) and author Ronald Acott Hall (1892 –1966), a diplomat and unsuccessful Liberal Party parliamentary candidate for Ilford South. Rev. Theodore Hardy (1863–1918), recipient of the Victoria Cross in the First World War, had been licensed in 1899 as a curate for the village.
- £15 in 1828 is worth approximately £1471 in 2015.
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- Burton Joyce Local History Group 1978, p. 39
- Burton Joyce Local History Group 1978, p. 40
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- National Rail Retrieved 10 March 2018.
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