The village of Burton Joyce is situated on the banks of the river Trent, about five miles from Nottingham. During the Middle Ages several ways of spelling Burton were used, such as Byrton and Birten. For about 200 years after the Norman Conquest, the lords of the manor were members of the Jorz family, from which the village acquired the second part of its name.
The village grew slowly, with outlying farms being built after the enclosure of the open fields in 1769. Traditionally, a large proportion of the male population worked on the land while others worked as framework knitters. The knitters’ wives worked as seamers, shaping the stockings. These were then taken to Lambley for ‘finishing’ and from there on to Nottingham. By 1841, a quarter of the 450 residents of Burton Joyce were framework knitters. Several interesting old buildings such as the manor house and stockingers’ cottages have survived from that period.
The Earl of Carnarvon’s family became prominent landowners in the area. The 5th Earl discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen and in his honour there is a Carnarvon Drive in the village, as well as a Carnarvon reading room, used by the Local History Society and housing the Parish Church office. After the railway was constructed in 1846, the population increased as businessmen from Nottingham built large houses in the village. Many of the villagers used the train to travel to work in factories and warehouses in the city.
In the 1960s large numbers of new houses were built on green spaces in and around the village, followed by a range of shops and services. Today Burton Joyce is a thriving commuter village, well served by buses and a railway station. A heritage trail and riverside walks attract visitors to the village and surrounding area. The well-known cricketer, Alfred Shaw was born in Burton Joyce in 1842, becoming an apprentice framework knitter before embarking on his cricketing career. Shaw had the distinction of bowling the first ball at Melbourne in the first ever Test match in Australia, in 1877.