"Clarborough. This extensive parish is intersected by the Chesterfield Canal, and is skirted on the west by the River Idle, and extends from Retford to Hayton and Leverton. It contains 2,504 inhabitants and 3,410 acres of land, of the rateable value of £6,500. It is divided into the five hamlets of Clarborough, Bolham, Little Gringley, Moorgate and Welham, which repair their own roads separately, but maintain their poor conjointly. At the enclosure of Clarborough and Welham commons in 1777, two allotments, consisting of 197a 2r 37p in the former, and 133a 2r 13p in the latter, were awarded to the lay impropriator (now the Duke of Devonshire) in lieu of the great tithes, and they have since been sold to various freeholders. At the same time, 43a 2r 12p in Clarborough, and 43a 0r 25p in Welham, were alloted to the vicar, as a commutation of the small tithes of those hamlets. The impropriation of Little Gringley was sold about twenty years ago to A.H. Eyre Esq., and that of Bolham and Moorgate to the late Hon. J.B. Simpson of Babworth.
The charities belonging to this parish are a yearly rent charge of £3 6s 8d out of the rectory farm to the poor; £4 per annum left by William Broadhead to the poor of Moorgate and Spittal Hill, out of a house and land at Moorgate; 9s yearly to the poor of Clarborough, left by Mr Fisher, out of land at Welham; an annuity of 14s left by George Mower, to the poor of Clarborough; and an annuity of 10s paid out of the poor rates as the interest of £12, left by Mr Andrew.
CLARBOROUGH is a straggling village on the Retford and Gainsborough road, 2½miles N.E. by E. of the former town; it contains about 1200 acres of land, principally owned by G. S. Foljambe, Henry Bridgeman Simpson, William Fisher, and Henry Clark Hutchinson Esqrs., Rev, C. Hodge, Mr. Bingham, aud Mr. Bartlett; the former of whom is lord of the manor. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a venerable structure with a nave, chancel, side aisles, and tower, in which are three bells. It was founded, endowed, and consecrated, in 1258, by Sewal, Archbishop ef York, who gave it to his newly founded chapel of St. Sepulchre, of York, but reserved for the vicar, a toft and croft lying near the churchyard; the tithes of the enclosed crofts of the town, and of the mills at Belham, and also the altarage; on condition that he should support two chaplains to serve at Gringley, Welham, and Bolham."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

The Library at Worksop will prove useful in your research.



Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Lychgate and churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.

Andrew HILL has a photograph of a portion of the churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2010.



  • The parish was in the Clarborough sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 849
1861 R.G. 9 / 2413 & 2414
1871 R.G. 10 / 3451
1881 R.G. 11 / 3300 & 3301
1891 R.G. 12 / 2639

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
  • The church was originally constructed in 1258.
  • The church was restored in 1874.
  • A Yew tree in the churchyard is reported to be over 1,000 years old.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. John the Baptist's Church on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2005.
  • And Andrew HILL has a photograph of the church tower on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2010.
  • The church of St. Saviour, in Moorgate, was built in 1828.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1567 and is in good condition.
  • The Family History Library has the Bishop's Transcripts for this parish from 1608 - 1841.
  • The Family History Centre in London has a transcript of marriages for 1567 - 1837.
  • The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has a parish register printout of marriages for 1813 - 1837.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Retford.
  • The Primitive Methodists had a chapel here before 1871.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Clarborough sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

Clarborough is a village and a large parish within the parliamentary borough of East Retford, situated on the bank of the Chesterfield Canal. The parish is 146 miles north of London and 2.5 miles north-east of East Retford. The parish covers about 3,500 acres and includes the hamlets of Welham, 1 miles north-east from East Retford, and Welham Whinley's 1 miles east of Clarborough. Bollam, Little Gringely and Moorgate hamlets were given to East Retford in 1878 by an Act of Parliament.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, from the intersection of the M1 motorway and the B6072 arterial road near Worksop, head east to Retford. Pass through Retford on the arterial and head to Clarborough on what is now the A620.
  • The town has its own website to familiarize you with the area.
  • Visit the Clarborough Tunnel SSSI nature preserve while you are in the area.
You can see pictures of Clarborough which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



John SLATER has a photograph of the Gate Inn on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2015.



  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK731835 (Lat/Lon: 53.343356, -0.903495), Clarborough which are provided by:


Military History

On the West wall of St. John the Baptist Church is a War Memorial white marble plaque to the six men who died in World War One.


Military Records

The fallen are:

  1. Briggs, John William
  2. Cobb, William John
  3. Gant, Charles
  4. Hatch, John
  5. Stevenson, John William, pte. 7/8 Bn King's Own Scottish Borderers
  6. Welton, Alfred, pte. 26 Bn Royal Fusiliers

Names, Geographical

In the 1086 Domesday Book, the parish is rendered as "Claueburch".


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 North Clay division of the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • In December, 1894, the Civil Parish was reduced in size to create the North Retford Civil Parish.
  • For local governance, you can contact the Parish Council on civic or political issues. They are NOT staffed or tasked with providing family history research assistance.
  • For district governance, the parish is in the Bassetlaw District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

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


The population of this parish took a big drop when the North Retford Civil Parish was split off from it in 1894.

 Year Inhabitants
1801 1,202
1811 1,531
1821 1,929
1831 2,106
1841 2,207
1851 2,504
1871 2,648
1881 2,946
1891 2,899
1901 368
1911 341


  • Clarborough National School (mixed) was erected here in May, 1871.
  • John SLATER has a photograph of the former Primary School at Clarborough on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2016.
  • This is now Clarborough County Primary School (formerly on Church Lane until 2008) now on Hillview Crescent.
  • The School Log Books are online for 1871 through 1922.