"Blidworth, 5 miles south-south-east of Mansfield, is a large village and parish, pleasantly situated upon an eminence, surrounded by some of the beautiful sylvan scenery of Sherwood Forest. Its parish is in the liberty of Southwell and Scrooby, and comprises 1,398 inhabitants and 5,350 acres of land, including Blidworth Dale and Rainworth, which latter gives name to the forest rivulet that rises near Robin Hood's Hills. The principal owners are Jonathan Hardcastle Esq., Sir Edward Walker Bart., Francis Hall Esq., John Clarke Esq., John Barber Esq., Mr William Heath, Mr John Bailey, Mr James Wilson and Mr John Marriott, and several small freeholders. The church is a neat structure, with a tower and three bells, and was partly rebuilt in the early part of the last century. It was also greatly enlarged and beautified in 1839, when the old chancel was taken down, and the tower raised about five feet, and in 1850 it was newly painted. The vicarage, valued in the King's books at £3 17s 6d, now £188, is annexed to the vicarage of Oxton. The Archbishop of York is lord of the manor, and the two prebendaries of Oxton are the appropriators. The Rev. Collingwood Fenwick is the incumbent, and the Rev. john Porter M.A. is the curate. All the tithes were commuted for allotments at the enclosure in 1809." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Because of the way our brains work, many people confuse Blidworth and Bilsthorpe. Make sure that you are researching the correct place.


Archives & Libraries

The county Library on New Lane loves to assist people with queries.

David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of Blidworth Library on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2014.

The Nottingham Library would also be a good resource.



Across from the churchyard is a Community Cemetery managed by the local parish council. The churchyard is managed by the church wardens.

David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2014.



  • The parish was in the Blidworth sub-district of the Mansfield Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 865
1851 H.O. 107 / 2124
1861 R.G. 9 / 2430
1891 R.G. 12 / 2657

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Mary of the Purification.
  • Originally a Norman building, it was rebuilt in the reign of Richard III and a tower added in the 15th century.
  • Re-built again in 1739, with parts re-erected in 1839.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Church of St. Mary of the Purification on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register starts with burials in 1556; baptisms and marriages begin in 1567.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Southwell.
  • A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built here in 1837.
  • Chris MORGAN has a photograph of the Methodist church on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2016. This is church has been converted to a menswear store.
  • Chris MORGAN also has a photograph of the Dale Lane Primitive Methodist chapel on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2016.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Blidworth is both a village, a sub-district and a parish about 135 miles north of London, 5 miles east of Mansfield. The parish covers just over 5,030 acres and inluded the hamlets of Bottoms, Fishpool, and Rainworth.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A617 arterial road east out of Mansfield. Blidworth will be on your right as you enter Rainworth.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph o0f the Village sign on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2014.
You can see pictures of Blidworth which are provided by:





John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1970-72", notes:

BLIDWORTH, a Village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in Mansfield district, Notts. The village stands in Sherwood forest, 4 miles E of Kirkby r. station, and 5 SE of Mansfield; and has a post office under Mansfield. The parish includes also the hamlets of Bottoms, Fishpool, and Rainworth. Acres, together with HaywoodOaks and Lindhurst extra-parochial tracts, 6,610. Real property, £6,694. Pop., 1,166. Houses, 250. The property is subdivided. The manor belongs to the Archbishop of York. A hollowed block of rock is regarded by some as a Druidical altar. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £283. Patron, alternately the Bishop of Manchester and the Prebendary of Oxton. The church is Norman, and was repaired in 1839. There are a Wesleyan chapel and a national school.-The subdistrict includes also two extra-parochial tracts. Acres, 6,610. Pop., 1,188. Houses, 253.

Historical Geography

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



  • Before the Norman Conquest, the village was called Blidword.
  • Legend has it that Will Scarlet (Scathlock), a follower of Robin Hood, is buried in the graveyard. Another legend, which can't be substantiated, is that Maid Marian was born in the parish.
  • On the outskirts of the village is a large stone known as "the Druid Stone." Again, there is no evidence to link the stone with Druids.
  • Many of the homes in the village were built in the first half of the 20th century to provide housing for workers at Blidworth Colliery.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK592560 (Lat/Lon: 53.097928, -1.117339), Blidworth which are provided by:


Military History

David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the Blidworth Army Cadet Corps meeting hall (formerly the Church Hall) on Geo-graph, taken in December, 2014.

Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Blidworth war memorial on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2016.  This memorial stands on Main Street at the junction with Lambley Lane.


Military Records

The 44 names on the War Memorial on Main Street can be found on the Nottinghamshire County website.


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Nottingham county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the ancient Thurgaton Wapentake (Hundred) in the southern division of the county.
  • The parish was also in the ancient Southwell and Scrooby Liberty.
  • On 1 April, 1935, this parish was reduced in size by 439 acres which were ceded to Newstead Civil Parish.
  • In 1935, this parish joined the Southwell Rural District and participated in that entity until 1974.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Mansfield petty session hearings held at the Mansfield Police Court every week.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1809.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became part of the Mansfield Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 427
1821 744
1841 1,132
1851 1,376
1871 1,064
1881 1,109
1891 1,079
1901 1,024
1911 1,184
1921 2,003


  • A National School was built here in 1847 to hold 200 children.