White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853



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.

Near to Blidworth is a singular rock, supposed to be the remains of a druidical monument. It appears to be a kind of natural cement of gravel and sand. part of it is hollow, but it is not easy to discern whether it has had the assistance of the tool in its formation.

There is a large neat national school for boys, girls and infants, with a house for the master and mistress, erected in 1847 at a cost of upwards of £1,600. The old Wesleyan chapel was taken down in 1837, and a commodious structure erected on the site.

Bottoms and Fishpool are hamlets which form part of the village. Rainworth is a small hamlet, two miles from the village on the Southwell road. Fountain Dale, the handsome mansion of Mrs Anne Need, is distant 1½ miles north of Blidworth, near the romantic scenery of Thieves Wood and Harlow Wood. Blidworth Hall, 1½ miles south-west of the village, is the beautiful residence of Jonathan Hardcastle Esq.

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]