"Attenborough Parish consists of the two manors and townships of Chilwell and Toton, which contain 1,036 inhabitants and 1,930 acres of land, at the south-western corner of the Broxtow Hundred, where the Erewash divides it from Derbyshire, and falls into the Trent, which forms its southern boundary. Thomas Charlton Esq. is principal owner, and lord of the manor of Chilwell, and Hon. William Vernon (a minor), second son of Lord Vernon, owns most of the land, and is lord of the manor of Toton. But the rectorial tithes of the parish belong to the Chesterfield Free School, being granted to that institution by the Foljambe family, who obtains the impropriation and advowson from Edward VI, after the dissolution of Felley Priory, to which they had previously belonged.
Attenborough is a very small village, standing in the two townships of Chilwell and Toton, on the north side of the Trent, five miles south west by west of Nottingham.
The church is a neat fabric, dedicated to St Mary. It has a nave, chancel, side aisles, and a tower with five bells, surmounted by a handsome spire. The vicarage has the church of Bramcote annexed to it, and is valued in the King's books at £4 15s, now £250. George Saville Foljambe Esq., of Osberton, is the patron, and the Rev. Joseph Shooter the incumbent, for who the Rev. James Haylock B.A. officiates."
A Sunday-school was established in 1838; about 120 children attend. Edward Day, the parish clerk, is the fifth generation of that family, who have held the same office for upwards cf 200 years. The village is remarkable as being the birth place of Henry IRETON, the regicide, and son-in-law of Cromwell, who, after being very active both in the army and councils of the commonwealth, died at Limerick, in 1650, when a pension of &2,000. per annum was settled upon his widow and children. The Nottingham and Derby railway passes through the village.
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

The HALLWARD Library at the University of Nottingham has universal access, making it easier for elderly and disabled to move in, out and about the building.

Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Toton Library on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.



  • Chilwell Township has a Cemetery on Field Lane.
  • Peter SHONE has a photograph of Chilwell Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2005.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of Chilwell Cemetery driveway on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016.


  • The parish was in the Stapleford sub-district of the Shardlow registration district.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 855
1861 R.G. 9 / 2492
1891 R.G. 12 / 2723

Church History

  • A chapel stood on the banks of the River Trent in 964 AD.
  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene.
  • The dedication was changed to Saint Mary the Virgin in the early 1980s.
  • The church was built on the same site as the chapel before 1042.
  • The church was built over a 300-year-long period from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
  • The church spire was replaced in 1848.
  • This church is Grade I listed by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
  • David LALLY has a photograph of St. Mary's Church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2008.
  • Saint Peter's ecclesiastical parish was established in the 1920s and the church was built in 1954.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of St. Peter's Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010.
  • In 1957 a mission church was built in the Chilwell area and dedicated to Saint Barnabas at Inham Nook.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1560, but there is a gap of ten years from 1643 to 1653. The original registers are otherwise in good condition.
  • The church is in the rural deanery of Mansfield (Bulwell in 1915).
  • There is a photograph of the modern Methodist Church in Toton on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.
  • Andrew ABBOTT has a photograph of the New Methodist Church in Clarke's Lane, Chilwell, on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2010. This appears to be a relatively modern church structure.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Stapleford sub-district of the Shardlow registration district.

Description & Travel

Attenborough parish includes the township and village of Attenborough, the hamlet and manor of Chilwell and the township and manor of Toton. The parish lies on the north bank of the River Trent and borders on Derbyshire. It is 126 miles north of London and 6 miles south-west of Nottingham city.

Toton township is the western part of the parish, and lies next to the Erewash River and the boundary of Derbyshire. Attenborough is presently a south-west suburb of Nottingham city. If you are planning a visit:

  • There appears to be rail service to Toton, but the author has no schedule. East Midlands Trains is the service provider.
  • By automobile, from the intersection of the M1 motorway and the A52 trunk road, head east to Stapleford. Take the first road to the right (south), which should be the B6003, which should take you to the south end of Toton.
  • Bus service is provided by the Trent Barton and Premier Travel lines out of Nottingham city centre.
  • Take some time to enjoy the Nature Preserve. Garth NEWTON has a photograph of part of Attenborough Nature Preserve on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2002.
You can see pictures of Attenborough which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • Henry IRETON, the son-in-law to Oliver CROMWELL, was born and baptised in this parish. He was a general in Cromwell's Parliamentary Army.
  • The parish feast was held on the first Sunday in October.
  • The River Trent has frequently flooded the parish, most recently in November, 2000.
  • Peter BOND has a photograph of the Bluebell Inn on the A6005 on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013.
  • These are the names associated with the Bluebell (Often just "The Bell") P. H. in various directories:
Year  Person
1853 E. DAY, parish clerk
1869 Edward DAY
1881 Edward DAY
1912 John William GODKIN
1915 Mrs. Bertha GODKIN


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK518343 (Lat/Lon: 52.903649, -1.231312), Attenborough which are provided by:


Military History

  • Chilwell Depot, in Chilwell Township, was set up as a National Shell-filling Factory during the Great War. It employed a large number of local women who had worked in the textfile factories.
  • The Imperial War Museum has a photograph of Shells Awaiting Filling with Explosives at Chilwell taken in November, 1916, by E. MILNER.
  • Chilwell Depot was devastated by an explosion in July, 1918, which killed 118 people and injured another 250. It was the largest loss of life from a single explosion in World War I.
  • There is a mass grave in the churchyard for those killed in the Chilwell Depot explosion.
  • Chilwell Depot is now known as Chetwynd Barracks.
  • Chetwynd Barracks was used as an ordnance depot through World War II and is now the home of the 7th Infantry Brigade.
  • "Oxymoron" has a photograph of the Side Entrance to Chetwynd Barracks on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2008.
  • Chetwynd Barracks are scheduled to close in 2020.
  • Andy JAMIESON has a photograph of the Chilwell War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.
  • There is also a War Memorial stained glass window and a tablet below in St. Mary Magdalene Church.
  • Srgt.-Major Wm. HARWOOD lived on Park Road in 1915.

Military Records

There are four Commonwealth War Graves from World War I in St. Mary's churchyard. They are for:

  1. John C. CLARKE, corporal, South Notts Hussars, age 28, died 4 April 1919.
  2. Alfred P. PAGE, priv., Essex Regt., age 26, died 16 Feb. 1919.
  3. Joseph WHITEHEAD, gunner, Royal Garr. Artillery, age 23, died 3 July 1918.
  4. Arthur WRIGHT, priv., Sherwood For., age 27, died 24 April 1917.

There are the 33 names listed on the War MemoriaI in the church:

  1. Arthur ADCOCK
  2. James ADCOCK
  3. Jesse ADCOCK
  4. William ARAM
  5. Frederic Whiteley BEARD
  6. Thomas Henry BELFIELD
  8. John Daniel CROWSTON
  9. George William DRINKWATER
  10. John Claude HOLLAND
  11. John Lomas HUDSTON
  12. James Herbert KELLETT
  13. Lawrence Briggs KELLETT
  14. William Dunstan KEMP
  15. Cecil George LAKE
  16. Wiliam Addison LAKE
  17. Joseph LAMB
  19. Harry MOORE
  20. Martin NILAND
  21. Percy OXLEY
  22. Stephen Hetley PEARSON
  23. Charles RAWLINGS
  24. Thomas Stanley ROADLEY
  25. George ROBERTS
  26. William Howard SIMPSON
  27. Benjamin SMITH
  28. Ernest SMITH
  29. Harold Henry WALTON
  30. Harold WESTBY
  31. Harry Esmond WHITEHEAD
  32. Arthur Frederick WORTHINGTON
  33. Arthur WRIGHT

Politics & 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 lower south-west corner of the Broxtowe Hundred or Wapentake.
  • The Civil Parish of Attenborough was abolished in 1866. There is no parish council and the area operates as a ward of Nottingham city.
  • The former parish is a member of the Broxtowe Borough Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


 Year Inhabitants
1801 813
1811 870
1821 1,031
1831 1,094
1841 1,036
1851 1,030
1881 1,088


  • There were two National Schools in Attenborough by 1881. The Chilwell school could hold 250 boys, girls and infants. The Trust School in Toton was built to hold 30 students.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Old School, School Lane, Chilwell on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2016. The school has been converted to residential housing