DH Lawrence and Colwick Woods

I’ve been spending some spare time searching the internet, and researching events that have happened in Colwick Woods in years gone by. Googling “ Colwick Woods” one day brought up something that caught my attention, a passage from a book ? The passage read…..


But New England’s shut down, so is Colwick Wood: yes, it’s fair haunting to go through that coppy and see Colwick Wood standing there deserted among the trees, and bushes growing up all over the pit-head, and the lines red rusty.


Further research lead me to chapter nine of a book wrote by D.H.Lawrence called “Lady Chatterley’s lover”. So ? I knew D.H.Lawrence was from Nottinghamshire, Eastwood to be more precise, but it appears he knew of Colwick Woods. This got me thinking if he had mentioned the woods before so I carried on with the research, trawling the internet in search of a connection between Colwick Woods and D.H.Lawrence.


A short while after I found two more passages that as far as I’m concerned proves the fact that not only did Mr Lawrence know of Colwick Woods he more than likely made a few visits as a young man, with good reason as it turns out.


The second passage I found was from the book “Sons and Lovers” D.H.Lawrence, and reads………


The Trent ran dark and full under the bridge. Away towards Colwick all was black night. He lived down Holme Road, on the naked edge of the town, facing across the river meadows towards Sneinton Hermitage and the steep scrap of Colwick Wood.


This book is renowned to be an autobiographical novel drawing on the writers provincial upbringing. So that’s quite convincing, but better still it turns out that a Poet by the name of Keith Sagar ( died as recently as Oct 2013 ) had done some very in-depth research of his own, including personal interviews with the remaining Lawrence family. A passage from the book Lawrence in my life by Keith Sager reads……….


Ada told Agatha that Ernest Weekley followed his wife one day. She met Lawrence and they went to Colwick Woods, a beauty spot near Nottingham. There Weekley confronted Lawrence and gave him a thrashing. Unable to ride his bicycle, Lawrence walked home, arriving in the early hours. He accounted for his bruises by claiming to have fallen off his bicycle. He stayed in bed for two or three days. But Frieda was not deterred. Her visits continued. This is where I stopped my research, convinced that Mr D.H.Lawrence certainly knew of Colwick Woods and going by the remarks made by some of his family, Mr Lawrence bicycled to Colwick Woods regular as a young man to continue a secret affair. So there it is, the ‘good’ reason to visit the woods ! To meet Frieda Weekley, who by the way eventually became Mrs Lawrence.