"Bilsthorpe village is pleasantly seated on the Ollerton and Southwell road, five miles south of the former, and the same distance north-west of the latter town. The parish comprises 217 inhabitants, and 1,558 acres of land, including 26a of roads. the strong clay land, forming the north-east portion of the parish, has been greatly improved the last few years by draining, and the sandy soil on the western part has become rich and fertile from superior cultivation. The Earl of Scarborough is lord of the manor, patron of the rectory, and owner of all the land, except the glebe, 78a 1r 34p, now enjoyed by the Rev. Frederick Savile Lumley, to whom it was awarded in 1847, as a commutation of all the tithes in the parish, £350 18s. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £5 1s 8d.
The church, dedicated to St Margaret, stands on an eminence, and the tower, which has three bells, appears to have been built in 1663. The chancel contains several ancient monuments, and one dated 1649, to William Chappell, Bishop of Cork and Ross, in Ireland, who spent some time here during the rebellion and is noted at Laxton.
A great part of the village was burnt down in 1726, and by a Latin inscription on Mrs Outram's house, we are informed that it was restored from the ashes of the fire by Elizabeth Broughton."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

At last check, this library was only open three days per week:

The Library at Newark will prove useful in your research.



  • The parish was in the Kneesal sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 849
1851 H.O. 107 / 2135
1861 R.G. 9 / 2472 & 2474
1871 R.G. 10 / 3536
1891 R.G. 12 / 2709

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Margaret.
  • The church was built in the 14th century.
  • It is believed, but not documented, that the present church is the successor to an older Norman building.
  • The church tower, which has three bells, appears to have been built in 1663.
  • The church was restored in 1873.
  • A clock was added to the church tower in 1899.
  • The church seats 1003.
  • The church is a Grade I structure with British Heritage.
  • Dr. Margaret SIMMS has taken a photograph of the St. Margaret Church Steps and placed it on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2007.
  • David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of St. Margaret Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2015.
  • A second Anglican Church was built in a new village just north of Bilsthorpe village to serve a new coal mining effort in October, 1932. This church was dedicated to St. Luke.
  • St. Luke's Church was abandoned in 1939. The Bilsthorpe Miners' Welfare building was subsequently built on the site.

Church Records


Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Kneesal sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

This village and parish are about 5 miles south of Ollerton, 7 miles south-east of Mansfield and 5 miles north-west of Southwell. The parish covers 1,540 acres.

The village colliery closed in 1997. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, the village is just north off of the A52 trunk road, heading east out of Nottingham.
  • Local bus service is by Stagecoach, with links to Ollerton and Nottingham.
  • There is a bicycle track just north of the village that crosses the disused rail line.
  • Roger GEACH has a photograph of Maid Marian Avenue on.Geo-graph, taken in May, 2011. This avenue runs east and west. That green area you see is the recreation ground.
You can see pictures of Bilsthorpe which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • A great part of the village was burnt down in 1726, and by a Latin inscription on Mrs OUTRAM's house, we are informed that it was restored from the ashes of the fire by Elizabeth BROUGHTON.
  • For centuries, this was a quiet, agricultural village. Then in the 1920, the collieries opened and the village quickly grew.
  • For several decades St. John's Ambulance Service had a district headquarters here. Steve FAREHAM has a photograph of the building on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK652602 (Lat/Lon: 53.134978, -1.026894), Bilsthorpe which are provided by:


Military History

  • Tom COURTNEY has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2005. Alas, it does not reveal the names on the monument.
  • Steve FAREHAM also has a photograph of the same War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2015.
  • There are two War Memorial plaques inside St. Margaret's Church. One for the men who fell in World War One and one for the men who fell in World War II.

Military Records

There are two brass plaques in the church. You can read the inscriptions at the Southwell Churches History Project site.

There are four names on the War Memorial for WWI. They are for:

Name Rank Unit Died Other info.
George William HUBBARD lance sergeant 1st Btln., Sherwwod Foresters 11 Mar. 1915 Age 29, son of Robert and Lydia Jane HUBBARD
John Ira KEYWORTH private 104th Btln., Machine Gun Corps 12 Oct. 1918 Age 24, husband of I. KEYWORTH of Eakring
John Arthur MEADS captain 10th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 10 Oct. 1917 Age 24, husband of Dorothy M. MEADS
Arthur Samuel WARD private 2/8th Btln., Sherwood Foresters 7 Apr. 1917 Probable son of Arthur W. WARD and Mary E. WARD, born 1897, NTT.

There are the men from World War II on the second plaque in the parish church:

  2. G. V. HALLAM
  3. G. HATTON
  6. L. OLIVER
  9. H. STEELE
  10. N. STORER
  11. G. THORPE

The plaque was donated by the Bilsthorpe branch of the Royal British Legion.


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 South Clay division of the Bassetlaw Hundred or Wapentake in the northern division of the county.
  • You may contact the local Bilsthorpe Parish Council regarding civil or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to assist you with family history searches.
  • District governance is provided by the Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


 Year Inhabitants
1801 201
1811 212
1841 244
1851 217
1861 197
1871 191
1881 194
1901 120


  • The web-page author could find no mention of a school prior to 1881.
  • In 1912, the children of this parish attended schools in Farnsfield and Eakring parishes.
  • There was a Bilsthorpe Junior School on the Compton Road in the parish, but it closed in 1996.