Beeston is a town in Nottinghamshire, England. It is southwest of Nottingham city centre. Although typically regarded as a suburb of the City of Nottingham, and officially designated as part of the Nottingham Urban Area, for local government purposes it is in the borough of Broxtowe, lying outside the City's unitary authority area.
To the immediate northeast is the University of Nottingham's main campus, University Park. The pharmaceutical and retail chemist group Boots has its headquarters on a large campus just 1 km east of the centre of Beeston, falling on the border of Broxtowe and the City of Nottingham. To the south is the River Trent, Attenborough and its extensive wetlands.
In Bestune, at the Conquest, Alfag, Alwine, and UIchel, the Saxons had three manors consisting of three carucates of land assessed, which was taken from them, and given to William Peverel, the lord of Nottingham Castle, who had in his demesne, or chief manor estate, 2 plough teams, there being 17 bond tenants, called villeins, who were unable to leave the estate without the lord's consent, and yet each cultivating, say, of arable land, and 1 ordinary tenant, called a sochman, who together had 9 plough teams. There were of meadow, and the annual value of the estate was 30/–.
More recent history
Beeston grew from its village status with its development as a silk weaving centre in the early nineteenth century. The first silk mill was burned down (along with Nottingham Castle) in the Reform Bill riots of 1831. With the decline of the silk industry, many of the former mills moved to light industrial uses in the early twentieth century. Equipment produced by the Beeston Boiler Company is still to be found all around the former British Empire.
In 1901 the National Telephone Co., Ltd. established a factory there for making telephone material. This was taken over by the British L.M. Ericsson Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in 1903. Shortly before the transfer, most of the old factory was destroyed by fire, and in the rebuilding it was extended. A new power station was built. In 1906 and 1907 a large new building was erected, chiefly devoted to cabinet work. The old factory building covered an area of ., and the cabinet factory ., whilst the power station had an area of ., making a total covered space of . Although most of the factory buildings were low rise, a Paternoster lift still survives in E block at the site.
Under the Plessey name these large premises continued to be a major source of local employment through the 1980s. Plessey became GPT with GEC's involvement. With the various restructurings of the GEC group and its rebranding as Marconi, a large part of the site was sold to Siemens along with the private telephone networks side of the business. Siemens sublet a substantial part of the site as a "technology park" when they moved most manufacturing overseas. SMS Electronics were formed from an MBO of the Manufacturing facility of Siemens in 2003, SMS won the Queens Award for Export in 2012 and employs over 200 staff.
The whole site was acquired by HSBC in 2006 for a mixed-use "employment-led" redevelopment, in 2007 a new building was constructed for Atos Orgin which at the time was the largest pre let building in the Midlands.
The Boots campus includes some Grade I & II listed modernist buildings, designed by engineer Owen Williams, though they are very difficult to see from any public highway.
Between 1880 and the turn of the century, Thomas Humber and his partners were making bicycles and eventually motor-cycles and cars at a large factory at the junction of what is now Queens Road and Humber Road. At its height it employed 2000 although this came to an abrupt end in 1907 when the company moved all operations to Coventry.
Motor manufacture returned to Beeston for a short period in 1987 when The Middlebridge Company set up a small factory on Lilac Grove and produced 77 Scimitar cars. The company went into liquidation in 1990.
Beeston Maltings was in operation until the late 20th century. The buildings are on Dovecote Lane opposite the Victoria Hotel, but as of 2007 are scheduled for demolition to make way for housing. Demolition commenced in September 2012.