Before Victoria Embankment was constructed the river’s edge was like any other river bank found along stretches of the Trent with a simple path which allowed horses to pull barges along the river. The King’s Meadow sat a little further north running toward the Castle and part of the land on the northern shore was within the boundary of Wilford. These meadowlands were subject to flooding yet because the conurbation was steadily developing south towards the Trent something needed to be done. On 7th October 1895 the Public Parks and Estates Committee put forth the following recommendations to the Corporation.
“It is confidently anticipated 
that the Embankment will be 
of lasting benefit to the 
Citizens of Nottingham”
The cost of all this would be covered by the money received from the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company who were buying up land between Queens Walk and Wilford Crescent West. This sum represented the “value of the recreation ground of which they have recently availed themselves.” A replacement recreation ground had to be provided for the local people and the New Meadows Recreation Ground was the result lying within the Embankment proper, west of Wilford Grove. In the end the Clifton Estate Gifted the land to the City drastically lowering the costs, and so, as Engineer Arthur Browns Obituary in the Evening Post states, “It was one of the cheapest jobs the Council ever undertook.”.  
The Embankment was constructed between 1898 and the summer of 1901. When opened on the 25th July 1901 it was considered a Great Work. The second image on the right shows Civic Dignitaries at the Official Opening. The ceremony was performed by Alderman W Lambert, with the Mayor, F R Radford in attendance. The City Police Band can be seen in the background. Cast iron railings edged all the grass. These were later removed to aid the war effort though a few still survive, reused around the War memorial and at the crossing points along the 1950’s Flood Wall.
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“One of the Best promenades belonging to the City”
Old Nottingham Granger 1904
“Nottingham’s new Embankment, a valuable Public Work”
Sheppard Scrap Book p244.
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Nottingham “The Queen City of the Midlands”. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE    SIXTH EDITION (1927)
Commemorative Opening Plaque sited on the Riverside Path wall below the River Bank Pub.
Image by Tony Watt 25.07.2014
Victoria Embankment. It is difficult for anyone now walking on  the smooth paths with grass verges—seeing the trees and shrubs, resting on the seats, and viewing the embankment steps, and the stretch of water on the one hand, and the recreation ground with its cricket and football, bowls and other sports—to realize the contrast of the scene before the work was undertaken, the mounds and holes, and swamps of the unlevel footpath, the jagged banks, the shoals of mud and gravel, the lost condition of the fences— like a garment so patched that it is difficult to discover the original.
The Corporation having acquired a large estate north of the Trent, decided upon the construction of the Embankment, and afterwards of the Recreation Ground. On May 29th, 1898, Alderman Lambert, on behalf of the Public Parks Committee, drove the first pile, and on July 25th, 1901, the grounds were opened to the public. The cost of the land was £29,352, and the cost of construction of the Embankment, including the masonry, dredging for gravel, excavating, filling up, turfing, fencing, paths, and roads, etc., was £58,409, while the construction of the Meadows Recreation Ground, including levelling, filling up, fencing, sewer, pavilion, etc., cost £15,689.
The area of the Recreation Grounds is 23a. 1r. 13p.
The Trent Bath for swimming in the river, was constructed in 1895, and no charge is made for admission.
On the Embankment, and looking down the Trent, is a statue (which formerly stood opposite to the Midland Station) of Sir Robert Jukes Clifton, Hart, M.P., 1861-69, obit May 30th, 1869. This statue was erected by the admirers of the deceased, but we are not called upon to admire either the character or the memorial.
Lambert.—Alderman William Lambert, J.P., The Firs, Lenton, Nottingham; son of John and Sarah Lambert; born March 30th, 1823; educated at private schools. Senior partner of the firm of W. J. and T. Lambert, bleachers, dyers and lace dressers; Director of Nottingham and Notts Banking Company; Chairman of the Real Estate Investment Company and the Colwick Park Racing and Sports Company; Sheriff of the City, 1859; elected member of the Corporation, 1861; Mayor in 1874 and again in 1885, in which latter year he was made an Alderman and Justice of the Peace; is and has been for many years Chairman of the Public Parks and Recreation Grounds Committee, during which time Bulwell Forest, Victoria Park, Lenton, Vernon Park, and several smaller spaces have been secured for the free use of the public. The last and greatest of these works is the Victoria Embankment, on the north side of the Trent, more than a mile and a quarter long; the first pile was driven by Alderman Lambert in May, 1898, and the completed work formally opened by him July 25th, 1901. At the commencement of the Volunteer movement in 1859 he joined the Robin Hood Rifles as Lieutenant, retiring in 1881 with the rank of Major; hunted nearly forty years with the Quorn, Belvoir and South Notts Hounds; supporter of rowing and cricket.
frank lewis