Although it is not known exactly when the first settlement appeared, West Hallam is mentioned in the Domesday book as having belonged to a man called Dunstan before the Norman conquest. By 1199 the Lords of the Manor were the de Cromwells, who probably built the Church in about 1275, together with their moated Manor House, the site of which is near to Pinnacle Storage and which is a Historic Monument (no public access). The de Cromwells often feuded with Simon de Aderne, Lord of Mapperley whose own Hall was on Park Hall Lane (known as ‘Simon Lane’ to locals). West Hallam’s gallows were at West Hallam Crossroads, with the graveyard opposite. Ralph de Cromwell, Lord of West Hallam was Lord Treasurer of England for Henry VI and was killed in the first Battle of St Albans in 1455. He died without issue and West Hallam was purchased by the Powtrell family in 1467. The Powtrells kept their catholic faith after the reformation, leading to persecution. West Hallam Hall became a refuge for priests, and there were rumours that a tunnel led from there to Dale Abbey.
The War Memorial
In 1662 the Rector, Rev. John Scargill died aged 74. In his will he left a bequest which formed both the Scargill School and the Scargill Trust, and he is buried in the chancel of St Wilfrid’s Church. The last male Powtrell died in 1687 and West Hallam passed to a distant relative, Sir Henry Hunloke. The Hunlokes too were catholics, and Sir Henry (1654-1715) became Chairman of the JPs bench in 1687 under the catholic James II. However when the King was deposed the next year Sir Henry was imprisoned and lived the rest of his life under restriction. Another Sir Henry Hunloke (1724-1804) was a sponsor of the Nutbrook Canal scheme in the 1790’s, but financial pressures led to the family selling its interest in the company and the eventual sale of West Hallam to Francis Newdigate (1774-1862) in 1821.
In 1878 the Great Northern Railway opened its Staffordshire extension through West Hallam, with a station (“West Hallam for Dale Abbey”) at what is now Station House at the Stanley end of Station Road. The line linked the old Nottingham Victoria and Derby Friar Gate stations. In 1894, under new Local Government legislation West Hallam Parish Council was formed. The Newdigates filled the role of Victorian Lords of the Manor well, and there were three in all. The last Squire Newdigate was Sir Francis Alexander (1862-1936) who was an MP and whose first wife was the Hon. Elizabeth Bagot (hence ‘Bagot Street’). The family started to sell off land in the 1890’s and although the last West Hallam Hall was built in 1876 it was only occupied by them for a short time before being let out. The last part of their West Hallam estate was sold in 1914 through Albert Ball, a local land agent and the father of the WW1 fighter ace Albert Ball VC. Squire Newdigate went on to be Governor of Tasmania (1917-20) and of Western Australia (1920-24). West Hallam Hall was demolished after the second world war and for many years the site was vacant until Hall Court was built in 1963. In 1940 West Hallam Dispersal Depot was built by the military off Cat and Fiddle Lane, to relieve pressure on their Chilwell depot. It eventually comprised 112 Romney sheds with nearly a million square feet of storage space and closed in 1959. The site re-opened in the 1960’s as Midland Storage, now TDG Pinnacle, a major local employer.