Cotgrave, or as it was anciently called Codegrave, is a large village and parish, pleasantly situated on the north side of the Wolds, 6 miles south-east of Nottingham. It contains 817 inhabitants, and 3,520 acres of land at a rental of £5,341. Earl Manvers is sole proprietor, and lord of the manor, except 555 acres, which were allotted to the rector in lieu of tithes, at the enclosure about 60 years ago, and a small portion held by small freeholders. The high grounds on each side of the village, contain an abundance of blue marl, intermixed with layers of red clay. Cotgrave Place is a handsome and pleasantly situated mansion, the property of Earl manvers, and seat of Colonel Chas. John Hill.
Stragglethorp is a hamlet of four farms, near the Grantham Canal, at the east end of the parish, and contains forty-seven inhabitants.
Part of the manor before the Conquest belonged to a Saxon lord, named Oghe, after whom it was possessed by Hugh de Baron, and Sir William Dugdale who, in 1144, gave all his lands in Cottesgrave to the priories in Lenton and Swineshead, with which it remained, till Henry VIII granted it to Harold Rosel, and George Pierrepont Esqs. To the latter of these he gave the advowson of the rectory, which was then in two moieties valued in the King's books at £10 7s 3½d and £9 14s 9½d, but is now consolidated of the value of £628, in the patronage of Earl Manvers, and incumbency of the Venerable John Henry Browne, Archdeacon of Ely. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel here, erected in 1839.
Mr Samuel Voce has in his garden a noted apple tree, called "The Emperor Queen", of his own planting, which bears remarkably large fruit, and in 1849 he presented Her Most Gracious Majesty with a peck of the fruit, for which in return she remitted him two sovereigns with a lind lettrer, thanking him for the present. In 1836, three Roman soldiers having each a spear or dagger were found in the Fosseway near Cotgrave, by some labourers who were repairing the road, and also some ancient coins at the same time. The spears together with some other very rare Roman and Saxon Antiquities are in the possession of the Venerable John Henry Browne, Archdeacon of Ely. The village library was established at the parish school in 1850. A court leet and Baron of St John of Hierusalem is held annually on Easter Thursday, at the Black Lion, for the manor of Cotgrave, and for the manor of Shelford on Easter Friday. George Beaumont Esq. of East Bridgford is the steward.
The church, dedicated to All Saints, has a nave, chancel, side aisles and a tower containing five bells, and crowned by an handsome octagonal spire. In the chancel are monuments to the Scrimshire family, who formerly had a residence here, and owned an estate in the lordship. But the good old house, Throsby says, has long since been pulled down. Agnes Cross, in 1722, left 50s yearly to the poor of the parish, out of Brackenhurst Farm, near Southwell. The parish school and master's house were built in 1752, by subscription, except £60, which was part of a legacy of £120 left by a benevolent lady, and of which £60 still remains as the school fund. The annual feat is ruled by All Saints Day, being held on that day if it falls on a Sunday, but if it falls n a Monday, the feast is kept on the preceding day, and on any other say, the Sunday following is the festival.
White's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853