Jessamine Cottages were formerly called Workhouse Yard. These cottages were erected in 1729 by the parish of St. Nicholas to act as a workhouse; and they remained in such use until 1815. The old name for the hillock upon which these houses stand was Gillyflower or July Flower Hill, because of the wild wallflowers which grew upon it. In 1815 the workhouse was divided into tenements. Gradually they fell into disuse and many, in the 1950s, were overgrown with rambling weeds. In the 1940s there was much discussion, and lively controversy, in the press about how this picturesque corner of Nottingham might be preserved. The premises were offered by the corporation to Nottingham Archaeological Society at a nominal rent to serve as a possible headquarters as repository of relics of bygone Nottingham, but this offer was refused because of the condition of the cottages and the cost involved in repairing them. When the time came to demolish the cottages they had been condemned for many years. Describing the cottages, a local writer said that 'Their picturesque gables, dormer windows and the patch of garden in front of them surrounded with hollyhocks, lupins and jessamine make an old-world atmosphere that never fails to enrapture visitors.' They were still in use after WW2 and were demolished in 1956 to make way for the building of Peoples College opened on March 23rd 1961 (now Castle College), which covers a considerably larger area than that occupied by the cottages. (information from www.invink.com)
The artist, Thomas William Hammond 1854-1935. Born in Philadelphia of Nottingham emigres, and orphaned at the age of four, he came to England with his younger sister Maria and lived for a short while with his grandparents in Mount Street. In 1868 age 14 he enrolled in the Government School of Art. On the 1871 census he is described as a lace curtain designer, and in 1872 he was awarded the 'Queen's Prize for a Design of a Lace Curtain'. Other prizes followed and in 1877 he was again awarded the Queen's Prize, this time for the design for a damask table Cloth. Hammond was an indefatigable worker, and soon began to use his skills as a draftsman to record aspects of the changing town. He began showing his work at local venues in 1882 and in 1890 exhibited for the first time at the Royal academy. His real hobby was black and white sketching in charcoal. He drew about 350 pictures all together mainly scenes of a Nottingham he knew but which has largely passed away today.