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Help and advice for West Retford

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West Retford

As described in 1871: "RETFORD (West), a parish in East Retford district, Notts; on the river Idle and the Great Northern railway, adjacent to East Retford, and communicating with that town by a bridge. Post-town, Retford. Acres, 1,080. Real property, £3,386. Pop., 637. Houses, 169. The property is divided among a few. W. R. Hall was formerly the seat of the Denmans and the Emersons, and is now the seat of B. Huntsman, Esq. W. R. House is the seat of H. B. W. Milner, Esq. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £550. Patron, J. Hood, Esq. The church was restored and enlarged in 1864; and has a lofty square tower, with octagonal spire. There are an endowed school with £10 a year, an hospital or alms-house with £1,145, and other charities £34." [John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]


  • A cemetery of over 5 acres was formed on the Great North Road in 1843. It contained one mortuary chapel.
  • Although the cemetery is in this parish, it is known as the East Retford Cemetery and was under the administration of the East Retford Town Council's Burial Board.


  • The parish was in the East Retford sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • There was a special census of West Retford in 1794. Typically, in those days the entry would show head of household's surname and a count of people in the household. There is a 23-page booklet available from the Nottinghamshire Family History Society, "West Retford - 1794 Census," by J. B. Bailey, publ. 1996.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
CensusYear Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 851
1861 R.G. 9 / 2416
1891 R.G. 12 / 2640

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel.
  • The church was restored in 1864.
  • The church chancel was lengthened in 1890.
  • The church seats 400.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Michael's Church on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.
  • For more history, pick up a copy of "St. Michael the Archangel's Church, West Retford," which is a history of the church, publ. by Church Publishers, 1961, about 17 pages.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1770.
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) includes records from this parish for the period 1622-1841.
  • A Baptist chapel was built here before 1869.
  • There is a relatively recent Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Joseph. B. HILTON has a photograph of St. Joseph's Church on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2005.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the East Retford sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description and Travel

West Retford is a village and was a parish on the west bank of the River Idle, across from East Retford. The parish covered 1,000 acres.

If you are planning a visit:

  • Here is a photograph of the Chesterfield Canal as it passes by West Retford.
  • By automobile, take the A1 motorway north to Ranby and turn right onto the B6079 trunk road. Continuing east through Babworth, and West Retford is dead ahead. It is hard to distinguish West Retford from East Retford these days, but everything west of the Idle River is the old parish and village of West Retford.
You can see pictures of West Retford which are provided by:

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which West Retford 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 West Retford to another place.


  • West Retford Hall is actually in East Retford parish. It is a grade II historic building, built in 1699.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK695821 (Lat/Lon: 53.331244, -0.957849), West Retford which are provided by:

Medical Records

  • The village had a hospital (Holy Trinity Hospital) for sixteen "decayed" tradesmen, founded in 1665 by John DARREL, Esq. and built in 1671 It is not known what records may survived as the law did not require the records to be archived. The hospital was still in operation in 1912.
  • B. HILTON has a photograph of Trinity Hospital on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2005.
  • Graham HOGG has a photograph of Trinity Hospital on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2012.
  • The hospital is a Grade II listed building with British Heritage.

Politics and Government

  • This parish was an ancient parish in Nottingham county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the Hatfield division of the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • On 1st April, 1921, this parish was abolished and amalgamated with the Civil Parish of East Retford and, by in large, became the West Ward of East Retford.
  • The petty session court for Retford Petty Session District was held every Saturday at the courthouse just after lunch.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Retford petty session hearings.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


Year Inhabitants
1801 483
1811 542
1821 571
1831 593
1841 618
1851 653
1871 691
1881 816
1891 821
1901 782
1911 881


  • A National School for both sexes was built here in 1860.