Godfrey’s Charity

Godfrey’s (or Workhouse) Close


The story begins towards the end of the 17th Century when John Godfrey donated a field on Water Lane, the rent from which would be given to the poor of Oxton parish: as recorded in our Church

gc plaque

Nearly a century later we have:

Extract from p522/3 of the “FURTHER REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS County of Nottingham FOR INQUIRING CONCERNING CHARITIES” under the subheading of ‘Oxton’

The Parliamentary Returns of I786 state that an unknown person gave land to this Parish vested in the churchwardens, and producing £1 10 s. per annum, but the object of the donation is not mentioned. The land alluded to in the Returns appears to have consisted of two small closes in Oxton, containing together about an acre and a half, one of which was called Godfrey Close, and  it is supposed that they were derived from the gift of one Godfrey. A person of the name of John Godfrey was buried at Oxton in 1690, and searches have been made for his will, but without success.

About 40 years ago* an exchange was made with Mrs. Margaret Sherbrooke, of one of the above-mentioned closes, for part of another close adjoining to the Godfrey Close, containing an equal quantity of land.

The land now belonging to the charity forms one field, which is in the occupation of Henry Moore as a yearly tenant, at a good rent of £5 per annum, which is received by the churchwardens and overseers, and distributed by them shortly after the receipt thereof; in small sums, amongst all the poor persons belonging to the parish.

*The document is undated so we can’t tell when this exchange took place.

Today the Charity is overseen by three Trustees. As of March 2019 the Trustees are Michael Asher, Matthew Bramble and Emma Cross.

As well as maintaining the field in a suitable state in order to be available for leasing, the Trustees consider requests for financial assistance on the basis of ‘need’ rather than poverty (as indicated in the original bequest).

Funds may be given to anyone who lives in Oxton parish and can establish a need that funds from the Charity could meet.

If the Trustees can help, please contact one of them or e-mail us at godfreysclose2@gmail.com