Annesley is situated eight miles north-west of Nottingham, close to the Derbyshire border. Most of the area is more than 500 feet above sea level.
Annesley was spelled ‘Aneslei’ in the Domesday Book, which roughly means that a man named “An” lived in an area of cleared woodland. Recorded in the Domesday Book is also the name of the last Saxon lord of Annesley, Levinot, and the fact that the settlement was worth 40 shillings. William the Conqueror soon granted the manor of Annesley to a Norman lord named Ralph Fitz-Hubert (who also owned Kirkby-in-Ashfield). However, the Fitz-Hubert family connection with Annesley ended by 1154, when Robert Fitz-Hubert was besieged and captured at Devises Castle.
Ralph Britto de Annesley suceeded Richard, and founded Felly Priory in 1156. This was located about one and a half miles south west of the present site of Annesley Hall. Ralph Britto was the first in his family to use the surname of Annesley taken from his manor. He spelled in Annesleia or Anneslega, but later it became the familiar spelling of Annesley. Ralph died between 1156 and 1161 and was buried by the alter of Felly Priory Church.
The Annesleys of Annesley continued as Lords of the Manor until the 15th century. John Annesley Esq. and his wife Isobell had a daughter Alice, who was six years old when her father died leaving Alice the heiress. She married cir 1442 to George Chaworth, third son of Sir Thomas Chaworth, Knight of Wiverton.
The Chaworth’s eventually made the manor of Annesley their home, and continued as Lords of the Manor until the beginning of the 19th century. One of the family, William Chaworth (born 1726) died after being wounded in a duel by Lord Byron in 1765. The Chaworth line continued until 1790, when George Chaworth Esq. died leaving his only child Mary Ann as heiress to the lands. They were conveyed to John Musters, the Squire of Colwick’s son, on their marriage in 1805. The family took the name Chaworth-Musters and made Annesley their home.
John C. Musters took over the property in 1859, and made extensive changes to the land around the hall. Particularly, he took down the houses which mainly comprised Annesley village and turned the land into gardens for the Hall. This was probably about the time when new cottages were built on the Derby Road; nearer to where the new church would eventually be located.
The Hall finally passed out of the hands of the Chaworth-Musters family in 1973, when they sold the property to live at Felly Priory.
The Hall has since fallen into disrepair, and its current owners do not appear to have any interest in renovating the property.
First Broadcast: 7th December 2004