"This extra-parochial manor extends southward from the vicinity of Ollerton, along the banks of the Rainworth water, more than six miles to the junction of the Bassetlaw, Thurgarton and Broxtow hundreds. It contains 63 scattered dwellings, about 370 inhabitants, and 9,827 acres of good forest land, of which about 40 acres are appropriated to the cultivation of hops, 1,090 acres were planted with oaks and ash by the late Sir George Savile, who also enclosed and brought into cultivation 1,960 acres of the open forest, after the year 1776.
This fine rural liberty was anciently caled Rugforde or Rumford, and, before the Conquest, was held by Ulf the Saxon, but was afterwards of the fee of Gilbert de Gaunt, who was nephew to the Conqueror, and was succeeded by his son Walter, whose eldest son, Gilbert de Gaunt, married the Countess of Lincoln, and was himself created Earl of Lincoln, after which, in 1148, he founded here a Cistercian Abbey for a colony of monks, whom he brought from Rivaulx Abbey, in Yorkshire, in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary. He endowed it with the manor of Rufford and several estates. At the dissolution it was found to contain 15 of this holy brotherhood, whose revenues amounted to £254 per annum. Its site and possessions, with many other manors in Nottinghamshire, and the adjacent counties, were granted to George, Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford, in exchange for many large estates in Ireland, which he had given up to Henry VIII." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]
The parish was in the Kneesall sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Rufford is both a village and a parish sitting about 140 miles north of London, 9 miles north of Mansfield and 2 miles south of Ollerton on the banks of the Rainworth water and the eastern edge of the old Sherwood Forest. The parish covers 9,738 acres.
If you are planning a visit:
By automobile, take the A614 trunk road south out of Ollerton for 2 miles.
You can see pictures of Rufford which are provided by: