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Help and advice for Bilsthorpe

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

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"Bilsthorpe village is pleasantly seated on the Olerton and Southwell road, five miles south of the former, and the same distance north-west of the latter town. The parish comprises 217 inhabitants, and 1,558 acres of land, including 26a of roads. the strong clay land, forming the north-east portion of the parish, has been greatly improved the last few years by draining, and the sandy soil on the western part has become rich and fertile from superior cultivation. The Earl of Scarborough is lord of the manor, patron of the rectory, and owner of all the land, except the glebe, 78a 1r 34p, now enjoyed by the Rev. Frederick Savile Lumley, to whom it was awarded in 1847, as a commutation of all the tithes in the parish, £350 18s. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £5 1s 8d. The church, dedicated to St Margaret, stands on an eminence, and the tower, which has three bells, appears to have been built in 1663. The chancel contains several ancient monuments, and one dated 1649, to William Chappell, Bishop of Cork and Ross, in Ireland, who spent some time here during the rebellion and is noted at Laxton. A great part of the village was burnt down in 1726, and by a Latin inscription on Mrs Outram's house, we are informed that it was restored from the ashes of the fire by Elizabeth Broughton." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]

Archives and Libraries

At last check, this library was only open three days per week:


  • The parish was in the Kneesal sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 849
1851 H.O. 107 / 2135
1861 R.G. 9 / 2472 & 2474
1891 R.G. 12 / 2709


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

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Margaret.
  • The church was built in the 14th century.
  • It is believed, but not documented, that the present church is the successor to an older Norman building.
  • The church tower, which has three bells, appears to have been built in 1663.
  • The church was restored in 1873.
  • The church seats 1003.
  • The church is a Grade I structure with British Heritage.
  • Dr. Margaret SIMMS has taken a photograph of the St. Margaret Church Steps and placed it on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2007.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of St. Margaret Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2015.

Church Records

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Kneesal sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description and Travel

This village and parish are about 5 miles south of Ollerton, 7 miles south-east of Mansfield and 5 miles north-west of Southwell. The parish covers 1,540 acres.

The village colliery closed in 1997. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the village is just north off of the A52 trunk road, heading east out of Nottingham.
  • Local bus service is by Stagecoach, with links to Ollerton and Nottingham.
  • There is a bicycle track just north of the village that crosses the disused rail line..

You can see pictures of Bilsthorpe which are provided by:



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

Historical Geography

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


  • A great part of the village was burnt down in 1726, and by a Latin inscription on Mrs OUTRAM's house, we are informed that it was restored from the ashes of the fire by Elizabeth BROUGHTON.
  • For centuries, this was a quiet, agricultural village. Then in the 1920, the collieries opened and the village quickly grew.
  • For several decades St. John's Ambulance Service had a district headquarters here. Steve FAREHAM has a photograph of the building on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.

Military History

  • Tom COURTNEY has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2005. Alas, it does not reveal the names on the monument.
  • Steve FAREHAM also has a photograph of the same War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.
  • There is a War Memorial inside St. Margaret's Church for the same men.

Military Records

There are two brass plaques in the church. You can read the inscriptions at the Southwell Churches History Project site.

There are four names on the War Memorial. They are for:

Name Rank Unit Died Other info.
George William HUBBARD lance sergeant 1st Btln., Sherwwod Foresters 11 Mar. 1915 Age 29, son of Robert and Lydia Jane HUBBARD
John Ira KEYWORTH private 104th Btln., Machine Gun Corps 12 Oct. 1918 Age 24, husband of I. KEYWORTH of Eakring
John Arthur MEADS captain 10th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 10 Oct. 1917 Age 24, husband of Dorothy M. MEADS
Arthur Samuel WARD private 2/8th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 7 Apr. 1917 - none -

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 South Clay division of the Bassetlaw Hundred or Wapentake in the northern division of the county.
  • You may contact the local Bilsthorpe Parish Council regarding civil or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

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


 Year Inhabitants
1801 201
1811 212
1841 244
1851 217
1861 197
1871 191
1881 194
1901 120


  • The web-page author could find no mention of a school prior to 1881.
  • In 1912, the children of this parish attended schools in Farnsfield and Eakring parishes.
  • There is a Bilsthorpe Junior School in the parish.