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Help and advice for Attenborough

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"Attenborough Parish consists of the two manors and townships of Chilwell and Toton, which contain 1,036 inhabitants and 1,930 acres of land, at the south-western corner of the Broxtow Hundred, where the Erewash divides it from Derbyshire, and falls into the Trent, which forms its southern boundary. Thomas Charlton Esq. is principal owner, and lord of the manor of Chilwell, and Hon. William Vernon (a minor), second son of Lord Vernon, owns most of the land, and is lord of the manor of Toton. But the rectorial tithes of the parish belong to the Chesterfield Free School, being granted to that institution by the Foljambe family, who obtains the impropriation and advowson from Edward VI, after the dissolution of Felley Priory, to which they had previously belonged. Attenborough is a very small village, standing in the two townships of Chilwell and Toton, on the north side of the Trent, five miles south west by west of Nottingham. The church is a neat fabric, dedicated to St Mary. It has a nave, chancel, side aisles, and a tower with five bells, surmounted by a handsome spire. The vicarage has the church of Bramcote annexed to it, and is valued in the King's books at £4 15s, now £250. George Saville Foljambe Esq., of Osberton, is the patron, and the Rev. Joseph Shooter the incumbent, for who the Rev. James Haylock B.A. officiates." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


  • Chilwell Township has a Cemetery on Field Lane.
  • Peter SHONE has a photograph of Chilwell Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2005.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of Chilwell Cemetery driveway on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016.


  • The parish was in the Stapleford sub-district of the Shardlow registration district.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 855
1861 R.G. 9 / 2492
1891 R.G. 12 / 2723


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Attenborough area or see them printed on a map.

Church History

  • A chapel stood on the banks of the River Trent in 964 AD.
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene.
  • The church was built on the same site as the chapel before 1042.
  • This church is Grade I listed by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
  • David LALLY has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2008.
  • Saint Peter's ecclesiastical parish was established in the 1920s and the church was built in 1954.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.
  • In 1957 a mission church was built in the Chilwell area and dedicated to Saint Barnabas at Inham Nook.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1560, but there is a gap of ten years from 1643 to 1653. The original registers are otherwise in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Mansfield.
  • There is a photograph of the modern Methodist Church in Toton on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Stapleford sub-district of the Shardlow registration district.

Description and Travel

Attenborough parish includes the township and village of Attenborough, the hamlet and manor of Chilwell and the township and manor of Toton. The parish lies on the north bank of the River Trent and borders on Derbyshire. It is 126 miles north of London and 6 miles south-west of Nottingham city.

Toton township is the western part of the parish, and lies next to the Erewash River and the boundary of Derbyshire. Attenborough is presently a south-west suburb of Nottingham city. If you are planning a visit:

  • There appears to be rail service to Toton, but the author has no schedule. East Midlands Trains is the service provider.
  • By automobile, from the intersection of the M1 motorway and the A52 trunk road, head east to Stapleford. Take the first road to the right (south), which should be the B6003, which should take you to the south end of Toton.
  • Bus service is provided by the Trent Barton and Premier Travel lines out of Nottingham city centre.
  • Take some time to enjoy the Nature Preserve. Garth NEWTON has a photograph of part of Attenborough Nature Preserve on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2002.

You can see pictures of Attenborough which are provided by:


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Attenborough has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Attenborough to another place.


  • The parish has frequently been flooded by the River Trent, most recently in November, 2000.

Military History

  • Chilwell Depot, in Chilwell Township, was set up as a National Shell-filling Factory during the Great War. It employed a large number of local women who had worked in the textfile factories.
  • Chilwell Depot was devastated by an explosion in July, 1918, which killed 118 people and injured another 250. It was the largest loss of life from a single explosion in World War I.
  • There is a mass grave in the churchyard for those killed in the Chilwell Depot explosion.
  • Chilwell Depot is now known as Chetwynd Barracks.
  • Andy JAMIESON has a photograph of the Chilwell War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.

Military Records

There are four Commonwealth War Graves from World War I in St. Mary's churchyard. They are for:

  1. John C. CLARKE, corporal, South Notts Hussars, age 28, died 4 April 1919.
  2. A. P. PAGE, priv., Essex Regt., age 26, died 16 Feb. 1919.
  3. Joseph WHITEHEAD, gunner, Royal Garr. Artillery, age 23, died 3 July 1918.
  4. Arthur WRIGHT, priv., Sherwood For., age 27, died 24 April 1917.

For a photograph and the list of 33 names on the War Memorial plaque in St. Mary Magdalene Church see the Nottinghamshire County Council site.

Politics and Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Nottingham county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • This parish was in the lower south-west corner of the Broxtowe Hundred or Wapentake.
  • The Civil Parish of Attenborough was abolished in 1866. There is no parish council and the area operates as a ward of Nottingham city.
  • The former parish is a member of the Broxtowe Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Nottingham petty session hearings.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, this parish became part of the Shardlow Poorlaw Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 813
1811 870
1821 1,031
1831 1,094
1841 1,036
1851 1,030
1881 1,088


  • There were two National Schools in Attenborough by 1881. The Chilwell school could hold 250 boys, girls and infants. The Trust School in Toton was built to hold 30 students.