"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]