Harworth Parish is situated at the western verge of the county, betwixt Blyth and Tickhill, and contains upwards of 7,000 acres of land and 1,198 inhabitants, although those who live in Styrrup and Oldcoates are all returned with Blyth parish, in which part of that township is comprehended. The hamlets of Hesley and Limpool, Martin and Serlby are all in this parish, and maintain their poor conjointly with Harworth, which is the only part of the parish exonerated from tithe at the enclosure in 1804, when 108a 1r 36p was awarded to the vicar, and 115a 3r 21p in lieu of the great tithes, appropriated to Shrewsbury Hospital, in Sheffield Park, of which the Duke of Norfolk is trustee.
Harworth is a pleasant village, with a small stream running through it, 2 miles east-south-east of Tickhill, and 3 miles west-south-west of Blyth. It contains 595 inhabitants and 1,428a 3r 2p of land, principally belonging to Lord Galway. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient fabric, built about the 12th century, except the chancel, which was erected in 1672. In repairing the building in 1828, an arched recess was discovered in the wall, with a cupboard containing a garland, a cribbage board, and several other articles of a more sacred character. At the same time a handsome cross was found in the churchyard, and is now placed above the east window. The Duke of Norfolk is patron of the vicarage, which is valued in the king's books at £5 9s 7d, now at £687, and is enjoyed by the Rev. Charles Eboral Rodgers M.A. "The church of Harewode, with the chapels of Serleby and Morton, were by King John granted to the church at Roan, with many others, as part of the chapelry of Blyth, but in the 6th of Edward VI, they were granted to the Earl of Shrewsbury". The feast at Harworth is on the 1st, and that at Styrrup on the 12th of November. The Free School was built in 1700 by Robert Brailsford, who endowed it with land &c., now worth upwards of £88 a year. The master received £30 per annum, and the mistress £20, for which 40 boys and 20 girls are educated free.
Hesley and Limpool, comprising 617a 1r 35p, form the north-western hamlet of the parish, adjoining Yorkshire, two miles north-west of Bawtry. Hesley Hall, a delightful mansion, upon a commanding eminence, is the seat and property of John Hall Esq.
Martin, or Morton, forms the north-eastern hamlet of the parish, adjoining Bawtry, and contains 1,461a 2r 14p, divided into three farms, belonging to the Duke of Newcastle. Here is the site of a Roman station, where in 1828 three silver coins of Antonius, Adrianus and Faustina were found, together with part of a Roman vase, and numerous pieces of Roman pottery. The form of the fort or station may still be distinctly traced, and even when the field is covered by full grown wheat, an octagon figure is perceptible, from the stems being shorter on the site of the buildings than in other places. Near the town of Bawtry is the hospital of St Mary Magdalen, founded about the year 1390 by Robert Morton, whose family long held this estate. Plumtree is a farm of 330a 2r 24p belonging to the Archbishop of York.
Serlby Hall is the property and delightful residence of the Right Hon. George Edward Arundel Moneton Arundel, Viscount Galway, M.P. and Baron of Kildare in Ireland. It is pleasantly situated in a sylvan park, above the River Ryton, three miles south by west of Bawtry, and about one mile north by east of Blyth. In early times Serleby was the manor or Alured the Saxon, but at the Norman Conquest was given to Roger de Busli, of whom Gislebert, his man, held it. From the Busli family it came to that of Mowbray, and in the reign of King John, Roger de Mowbray, for what reason is not assigned, gave it to Maude de Moles, who married Hugh, a man very likely without a surname, as he immediately adopted that of de Serlby. For many generations it remained in this family, until the last male, Anthony, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, being childless, left it to his wife, Gertrude, daughter of Ralph Leek of Hasland Esq., for her own life, and twenty-one years after. During this long interval of expectation the male heir of the Serlby family was obliged to sell the reversion to Mr Saunderson of Blyth, but the widow marrying Sir George Chaworth, that family also purchased a part of it, and from them it has come to the present possessor, to whose family it belonged so far back as the beginning of the last century, at which time there was a very old mansion standing on it.
The present hall is a square modern edifice stuccoed, forming a very handsome mansion, having the stables and out-offices on the eastern side. The situation is extremely agreeable. On the south front is a spacious lawn, beautifully interspersed with clumps of trees, whilst the north front has a charming prospect over some very luxuriant meadows, watered by the little River Ryton. The principal plantations are on the south-west side, with many avenues and shady walks cut through them, opening to the most striking prospects in the vicinity. The terrace is a part of the grounds always very much admired, not only for its own beauty, but the exquisite view which is seen from it. There are many fine paintings in the various apartments, amongst which are two undoubted originals by Hans Holbein. One of these is in the dining room, and is a portrait of Henry the Eighth on wood. The other is in the drawing room, and is a finely executed portrait of Nicholas Kreutzer, astronomer to that monarch. The drawing room also contains a very large picture, being twelve feet two inches in height, and fifteen feet four in breadth, from the pencil of Daniel Myton. Its subject is Charles the First and his queen, with two horses, on one of which is a side-saddle, and some dogs, all as large as life. It also contains another figure as large as life, but who, of himself, would not have required such a breadth of canvas. This is Jeffrey Hudson, the famous dwarf, who is in the act of striving to keep back two small dogs with collars on. This picture had come into the possession of Queen Anne, and was by her presented to Addison, from whom it came to the Arundels, of which family is its present noble possessor, Viscount Galway. His ancestor, John Moneton, was honoured with the title by George II, and his grandfather took the surname of Arundel, agreeable to the will of Lady Frances Arundel. His family was of great repute in Yorkshire in the reign of Edward I, when some of them resided at Nun Monkton, and "afterwards formed respectable and honourable matrimonial alliances". The manor or hamlet of Serlby contains 506 acres, and is annexed to the constablewick of Torworth, though it maintains its poor jointly with Harworth.
Styrrup and Oldcoates, or Styrup and Ulcoates, form a township of 2,956a 2r 23p, of which a portion not definable is in Blyth parish, and 940a 2r 31p is in the parish of Oldcoates, and the remainder in Harworth parish.
Oldcoates is a considerable village on the western verge of the county, 2½ miles south of Tickhill, and 7 miles north of Worksop. In the village is an extensive brewery. The national school was built in 1836, in which the vicar perfoms divine service every Sunday evening. A neat Wesleyan chapel was erected in1840. Here was formerly a lake called the White Water, but which is now drained and cultivated.
Styrrup lies east of Oldcoates, and includes a village of its own name and the hamlet of Norney, which forms the northern suburb of Blyth, but the greater part is in the township of Styrrup. Viscount Galway is the principal owner, but a few of the farers occupy their own land. A commutation of tithe was made in 1844, when £205 was apportioned for the great tithe of Styrrup, and £98 18s for Oldcoates, for which Mrs Chabers is lessee; for the vicarial tithe of Styrrup £244, of which the vicar of Blyth's portion os £92 10s; the vicarial tithe of Oldcoates £108 10s; the great tithes of Oldcoates were equally divided between the improprietor and vicar, and small equally betwixt the two vicars. The common land was enclosed in 1802. The village contains a small Methodist chapel. The township of Styrrup and Oldcoates contains 603 inhabitants.
Charities belonging to Harworth parish: The hospital at Martin and the school at Harworth are already noted. The school was endowed in 1700 by Robert Brailsford, who was cook to the Sundersons of Serlby Hall, with a farmhouse and 58a 1r 12p of land in the manor of Hatfield, and parish of Fishlake, in Yorkshire. In 1811 it received an allotment of 2 acres of common land. There is also belonging to the school £253 13s stock, in the 3½ per cents. In 1724, Mary Saunderson bequesthed out of Serlby estate, a yearly rent charge of £20, to be applied to educating and apprenticing the poor boys and girls of Harworth school. She also gave £20 to the poor which, with £20, left in 1723 by Bridget Neville, is vested in £39 stock, 3½ per cents, the dividends of which are received by the vicar, and distributed at Easter.
White's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853