"Bole is a small village and parish on the west bank of the Trent, 2 miles south-west of Gainsborough, containing about 220 inhabitants and 1,163 acres of land, mostly a strong clay, except on the Trent bank, where it is a rich loamy marsh. Owing to the river having changed its ancient course, about 110 acres of land which adjoin this parish, are in Lincolnshire, and is the property of Sir Charles Anderson, of Lea Hall. The manor and rectory of Bole form a prebend for the maintenance of a prebendary in York Cathedral, but Lord Wenlock, the lord of the manor, is lessee of the prebendal lands and rectorial tithes. The great tithe is redeemed, except on a few small freeholds, and the vicarial tithe amounts to about £120 per annum. Lord Wenlock is owner of all the land except about 50 acres. The church, dedicated to St Martin, is an ancient edifice, with chancel, tower and three bells. The living is a vicarage, valued in the King's books at £4 13s 4d, now £100. It is a peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York. The Prebendary of Bole is the patron, and the Rev. john Henry Willan of Gainsborough is the vicar. In 1394, Richard II granted leave to William Rothwell to assign for the support of the vicar and his successors, 'eight acres of land and six of pasture', which lands were held of John Danby, clerk, as of the Prebend of Bole, by two appearances at the court of Bole, and paying 2d. The Wesleyans have a small chapel in the village." [WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

The Gainsborough Heritage Centre would be a good resource.



  • The parish was in the Misterton sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 849
1861 R.G. 9 / 2407
1871 R.G. 10 / 3443
1891 R.G. 12 / 2633

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Martin.
  • The church was extensively rebuilt in 1866.
  • Gary BROTHWELL has a photograph of St. Martin's Church at Geograph, taken in July, 2010.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Martin's Church on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish registers date from 1813. Earlier records were stolen.
  • The parish was in the deanery of Retford.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here in 1869. This chapel closed almost 100 years later in 1966.
  • Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the former Methodist chapel at Geograph, taken in December, 2010.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Misterton sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Bole is a village and a parish close by the River Trent on the border with Lincolnshire, not far from Gainsborough, 7 miles north-east of Retford and 147 miles north of London. The River Trent forms the eastern border of the parish.

Bole is a small village.

  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the Village Hall on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2007. Stop in and ask for a schedule of forth-coming events.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the end of the lane (South Street) on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
You can see pictures of Bole which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK791871 (Lat/Lon: 53.374846, -0.812496), Bole which are provided by:


Military History

Inside of St. Martin's Church is a brass plaque mounted onto a wooden backboard, affixed to the wall. It lists 5 men from the parish who died in World War I.


Military Records

For a picture of the plaque, go to the Nottinghamshire War Memorials page maintained by the county. These are the five names from the memorial:

  1. Arthur Henry ANDREWS, lcpl. 1st Bn Lincolnshire Regt.
  2. George CLARK, pte. 7th Bn Lincolnshire Regt.
  3. George NORTH, pte 4th Bn Liverpool Regt.
  4. Albert William PARKER, pte. 7th Bn Royal West Kent Regt.
  5. John Algernon WATKIN, pte. 1/5th Bn Lincolnshire Regt.

Politics & Government

  • The parish was in the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • Part of the ancient parish now lies in Lincolnshire due to a shift in the bed of the River Trent some centuries ago.
  • The citizens of Bole have elected to have periodic Parish Meetings rather than a formal Parish Council.
  • District governance is provided by the Bassetlaw District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Retford petty session hearings held in West Retford.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Gainsborough Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 160
1831 144
1841 186
1851 220
1861 238
1871 216
1891 177
1901 142


  • A Parochial School was built here in 1858.