"Cottam is a township and chapelry at the east end of the parish [of South Leverton], on an eminence overlooking the vale of the Trent, 7 miles east by south from Retford, and 2½ from South Leverton. The small chapel is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, in which divine service is performed once a fortnight."
[White's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]



  • The parish was in the East Retford sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1861 R.G. 9 / 2415
1871 R.G. 10 / 3453
1891 R.G. 12 / 2640

Church History

  • There was no church recorded here at the Doomsday Survey of 1066.
  • There was a chapelry here by 1574. This building was "ruinous" in 1624.
  • In the 1790s, Thorosby recorded only one service per month was being held. In the 1851 census, the church is recorded as a chapelry of South Leverson..
  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
  • The chapel is a small and simple structure.
  • The date of construction is "early Norman".
  • The church seats 76 people.
  • Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the Lych Gate on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.
  • Jonathan THACKER also has a photograph of Holy Trinity Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.
  • The church was declared redundant in 2001 and has been converted into a private residence.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1772.
  • Nottinghamshire Archives show that they hold PR cmb for 1695-1900.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Tuxford.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel here about 1813.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2007.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Cottam is a parish, a township and a village near the River Trent on the border with Lincolnshire in the northern part of Nottinghamshire. The parish lies 8 miles east of East Retford and 127 miles north of London. The parish covers 600 acres.

The parish is dominated today by a coal-fired power plant. If you are planning a visit:

  • Passenger rail service ended in 1959.
  • By boat, float down the River Trent from Newark-on-Trent. After going under the A57 roadway, you only have to drift 3 miles to find Cottam on your left, just after the river loops back on itself around a small lake.
  • Mat FASCIONE has a photograph of the Powerplant Cooling Towers on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2016. These towers are just south of the small village and dominate the countryside.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Village Sign on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2014.
You can see pictures of Cottam which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • The Moth and Lantern Inn apparently opened for the power-plant workers in the 1960s. It stands on the northern edge of the village. Prior to 1920, the Railway Public House was the only Inn in the village.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the Moth and Lantern on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2013.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK820805 (Lat/Lon: 53.315133, -0.770488), Cottam which are provided by:


Military History

  • There is a framed brass plaque in the church which is a memorial for World War One.
  • The Great War Bulletin for November 16th, 1914; tells us that the following men were selected as Special Constables for Cottam for the duration of the war: George WADDINGTON and George Francis B FRETWELL, farmer.

Military Records

The names on the World War One Memorial are:

  1. George Frederick FENTON, died 31 May 1916, HMS Invincible
  2. Frank HOWARD, died 24 May 1915, Northumberland Fusiliers
  3. William HOWARD, died 16 Jun 1915, 1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
  4. Percy KITCHER, died 16 Aug. 1916, Gloucestershire Regt.

Names, Geographical

The name often appears misspelled as "Cottham". The Name "Cottam" also designates a community near Detroit. Michigan, and another in the Wolds just north of Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient chapelry in South Leverton parish in Nottingham county, but was incorporated as a Civil Parish in December, 1866.
  • The parish was in the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • In March, 1885, this parish was reduced by "Westbrecks and The Clams" and the 301 acres given to South Leverton Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the Joint Parish Council of Treswell with Cottam regarding civic or political issues, but please do NOT ask them to do family history lookups for you.
  • 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.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1861 86
1871 90
1881 107
1891 81
1901 88
1911 102
1921 103
1931 101


The children of this place attended the school at South Leverton.