Old Ilkeston Logo

The Horse and Groom Inn

In 1871 this was 35 Nottingham Road.

The Gallows Inn was below the canal.

At Gallows Inn, on the north side of the Nottingham Road, lay the Horse and Groom Inn — also known in the early part of the century as the Horse and Jockey.

At the time of the 1841 census it was in the hands of the Lowe family.


In 1852 Edwin Riley, eldest surviving child of Bath Street butcher Thomas and Hannah (nee Walker) was landlord this inn.
In that year the Derby Mercury reported that despite the attention of several ‘medical gentlemen’ Edwin had suffered illness for several years. Then on August 5th Edwin ‘vomited a snake eight or nine inches long, since which time he has been considerably better, and is in hopes of recovering’.
Was this a tapeworm perhaps?
The Staffordshire Advertiser reported that Edwin’s unqualified medical adviser — perhaps flushed with his initial success?? — gave his patient a second strong emetic, ‘being of the opinion that he would part with another snake’. This however proved too much for Edwin and he burst a blood vessel.
He died on August 10th.
‘It is said the medical man will be prosecuted for practising without a qualification, which in Ilkeston and neighbourhood, is done to a great extent’.


Just after this the inn was occupied by the family of victualler Mark Attenborough.

In 1861 William Attenborough, son of Mark and Alice (nee Mitchell) and older brother of Tommy, was the landlord.
He lived there with his wife Louisa (nee Shaw) and her illegitimate daughter, Sarah Ann.
Louisa was the daughter of Burr Lane coalminer Henry and Ann (nee Beardsley) and had married William in October 1851.
She died at Gallows Inn in October 1862, ‘after a long and severe illness’.

At the time of Ilkeston Wakes in 1864 William organised ‘Ilkeston Races’, held in a field adjoining his inn.
This ‘meeting’ included a series of donkey and pony races, attracting an audience of over 8000 spectators on a Tuesday afternoon. The pony entrants included Gentle Annie, Polly, Snowdrop, Gratitude, Blair Athol, Kiss-Me-Quick, The Marquis, Cape Flyaway, Flying Anthony and My Mary.
Neddy won the Donkey race.
“One pony (name withheld) ran away and jumped upon a fish stall, injuring the rider and smashing the stall, opened the oysters and the mussels gratis”. (NG)
The foot hurdle race was won by John Tilson alias ‘Bellows’.

In the corresponding ‘meeting’ of the following year the result card read as follows….
The Ilkeston Stakes won by Mr. Salter’s ‘Ada’.
The Innkeepers’ Plate won by Mr. Attenborough’s ‘Jenny Lind’, beating ‘Butcher’s Boy’ and ‘Slap Bang’.
The Whip Stakes won by Mr. Bramley’s ‘Metty’.
The Pedestrian ‘Spin’ (footrace) won by Shaw of Eastwood, beating Cockayne of Horsley Woodhouse and home favourite ‘Bellows’ Tilson. Bad luck Bellows !!
During one of the horse races a lad named Carmont from Manchester thought it a good idea to try to cross the course while the horses were galloping by.
A broken thigh was the result of that particular contest.

William Attenborough was still the proprietor of the inn when he married his second wife, Mary Beard of Castle Donington, on March 25th 1863, ….. and still there when their first child, Mary Jane was born, January 18th 1864.
Shortly after, William seems to have moved out of the victualling trade and subsequent sources show him as an artist photographer, sanitary inspector, surveyor, printer and sign writer.
His wife Mary died on February 20th 1873, aged 36, and for the rest of his life William remained with his daughter, even after her marriage, in 1883, to Edwin Orme.
He died on May 31st 1894 at 42 South Street, aged 64, and was buried in Stanton Road Cemetery three days later. The Derby Mercury recorded his ‘sporting career’ when he still remained in the shadow of his more ‘talented’ brother Tommy (at least in cricketing terms) …

Thirty or forty years ago, when Ilkeston Rutland Club was in its glory, and had practically an unbeaten record, the brothers Attenborough, William and Thomas, were among the best known members of the team, and on several occasions the last named was selected to play with the All England Eleven. Deceased was not usually very successful with the bat, but was a good bowling change, and occasionally made a good innings. He was a left hand batsman and bowler.
The first match of which any record has been kept in which he played was in 1847, against Chilwell, when he scored 17 not out. After this scarcely a match was played by the Rutland Club in which his name does not appear, one of his best scores, 46, being against Loughborough in 1855. Three years later he was included in 22 of Derbyshire against an All England Eleven, and made 10 runs. In 1862, against Sheffield (Hallamshire) he bowled E. Stevenson and W. Slinn, well known cricketers of that day.
Beyond standing umpire, Attenborough has not figured much in the cricket field for the last 25 years, and he died after a protracted illness’ …. just as his first wife, Louisa.

If you wish to contrast this with his brother’s career, you will find the other half here.


In April 1865 the inn was advertised for sale.
And in August 1865 Mr Lupton was in charge.

In October 1867 it was time for Ilkeston’s annual ‘Feast’ and thus time once more for Ilkeston Races at the Horse and Groom.
The police were out in force — fully engaged in the prevention of crime at the Inn. This was a pity for one young girl aged about 16 who was a few miles away, enjoying a ride on a swing boat at the Wakes and sitting by a young woman. As the ride ended the girl noticed that her pocket had been picked and the young woman was the obvious culprit. The latter was quickly traced and apprehended. Half a sovereign was found in one of her boots and handed back to its rightful owner. However, as all the Constables were on duty at Gallows Inn, the thief was allowed to go at large again, without punishment.


In 1870 William Whitehead — once a page to Lord Byron — was the landlord of the Inn.
He was born on the Newstead Estate about 1803 and lived there until about the age of 13, in the family home built near the rabbit warren. After Lord Byron came of age in 1809 William became his page boy. He was then apprenticed at Papplewick and later became a (under) game-keeper at Newstead, a position he occupied at the ‘crownation’ of Queen Victoria.
When Newstead Abbey was purchased by Colonel Thomas Wildman in 1818 William remained employed there for another five and a half years.

William left the Horse and Groom about 1876 and died in July of that year at the home of his son Thomas, who was then landlord of the Warren Arms in Stapleford. His recorded age was 73.


Previously a farmer at Locko Grange, Dale Abbey, Thomas Attenborough Beardsley, the illegitimate son of Sarah Beardsley (and Isaac Attenborough?) was the landlord in 1876.
In 1866 he had married Juliana Aldred, second daughter of Queen’s Head victualler Aaron and Maria (nee Potter).
There were three sons …..  Isaac, Arthur and Thomas.
Juliana died quite suddenly at the Horse and Groom, one Sunday morning,  August 27th 1876, ‘of apoplexy’. She was 35 years old.
A few weeks later the Nottinghamshire Guardian was reporting a ‘sensation’ in the Gallows Inn neighbourhood when Emma West died on November 3rd.
The eldest child of Pimlico labourer William and Phoebe (nee Deverill), Emma was a domestic servant at the Horse and Groom, going about her duties when ‘she suddenly fell down upon the floor and expired immediately’.
Emma was 21 and had previously worked for Matthew Fletcher at the Havelock Inn in Stanton Road.

Almost four years later, in June 1880, Thomas Attenborough married his second wife Sarah Jane Keightley, eldest daughter of Nottingham Road coalminer Amos and Sarah (nee Beighton).
Working as a servant at Thomas’s Inn in September 1878 she had given birth to illegitimate daughter Jane Attenborough Keightley.
After the marriage daughter Alice Ann Attenborough was born in November 1880.

Victualler Thomas died at the inn of chronic hepatitis in June 1882, aged 38.


On our walk back up Nottingham Road we visit the Flints on the east side of the road.