"DUNHAM, a village and a parish in East Retford district, Notts. The village stands on the river Trent, 5 miles ENE of Tuxford r. station, and 10 SE of East Retford; was once a market-town; and has now a fair on 12 Aug., and a post office, of the name of Dunham-on-Trent, under Newark. The parish, jointly with Ragnall, comprises 2,030 acres. Real property of Dunham only, £2,570. Pop., 327. Houses, 73. The land lies low; and much of it is subject to inundation. A cast-iron bridge over the Trent here was erected in 1832 by Leather; and has four arches, each 118 feet in span, and a total length of 563 feet. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacies of Darlton and Ragnall, in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £370. Patron, the Bishop of Manchester. The church was restored in 1862. There is a chapel of ease at Darlton. There are also a Wesleyan chapel, and charities £7." [John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales," 1870-72]


Archives & Libraries

The Library at East Retford will prove useful in your research.



Stephen RUFFLES has a photograph of St. Oswald's churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2015.



  • The parish was in the Tuxford subdistrict 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 / 2417
1871 R.G. 10 / 3457
1881 R.G. 11 / 3304
1891 R.G. 12 / 2642

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Oswald.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1805, except for the ancient tower. The church had long been in ruins before 1805.
  • The church was restored in 1862.
  • Gary BROTHWELL has a photograph of St. Oswald's Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2010.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of a stone gateway to the churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2014.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1600.
  • The church was in the rural Number 2 deanery of Retford.
  • The International Genealogical Index (IGI) includes records from this parish for the period 1773-1836.
  • The Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1824.

Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
  • The parish was in the Tuxford subdistrict of the East Retford registration district.

Description & Travel

Dunham is a large village and a parish on the west bank of the River Trent, 6 miles ENE of Tuxford and 15 miles north of Newark on Trent. The parish covers just over 1,000 acres and lies 134 miles north of London and about 12 miles upriver from Gainsboro (Lincolnshire).

If you are planning a visit:

  • Take the A57 trunk road west out of Lincoln or east off of the A1 motorway just north of Tuxford.
  • Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Village Sign as you enter Dunham on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.
You can see pictures of Dunham which are provided by:



White's 1853 Directory of Nottinghamshire:

DUNHAM is a considerable village and parish, pleasantly seated on a gentle eminence on the west bank of the river Trent, 6 miles E.N.E of TuxfordL It comprises 362 inhabitants, and 904 acres of land, a great part of which belongs to John Angersteine, Esq., the lord of the manor; the other principal owners are Earl Manvers, Thomas Newstead, Esq, Frederick Alderson, and William Booth. Much of the land in this as well as the adjacent parishes, has long been subject to inundation from the Trent; to prevent which, an Act has been obtained for raising an embankment, which was completed in the summer of 1844, and is from five to eight feet high. The broad and shallow ferry which crossed the Trent here, was superseded about 20 years ago, by a handsome cast iron bridge of four arches, each 118 feet span ; the cost of this noble structure was £1,854. 11s. l0d., which was raised by a proprietary of £50, shareholders, who, according to the Act of Parliament, were to purchase the ferry at a fair valuation: the first stone was laid in March, 1831, and the whole was completed in 1832 ; the iron work which weighs 900 tons, was cast by Messrs. Booth & Co,, of Sheffield.



Historical Geography

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



  • A Cast Iron Bridge was built across the River Trent into Lincolnshire in 1832.
  • Dunham was long used to inundation by the River Trent at flood. An embankment, five to eight feet high, was completed in 1844 to contain the river.
  • Tim HEATON has a photograph of the White Swan on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.
  • The parish held a fair here each August 12th for cattle, cheese and other goods.
  • A village feast was held on the first Sunday after the August 12th fair.
  • We have an account of the village of Dunham on Trent and its origins by John H. Gilbert.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK811745 (Lat/Lon: 53.261312, -0.785659), Dunham which are provided by:


Military History


Military Records

The names on the memorial are:

  1. George Edward BACON
  2. Alec BEAT
  3. Ronald Griffiths BEAT
  4. Norman Bennett BRUMBY
  5. Charles F. COULING
  6. William CREE
  7. Howard George FIELDHOUSE
  8. John GOODMAN
  9. Charles Henry HAYES
  10. Alfred Cecil HEALD
  11. Arthur Selby JACKSON
  12. Harry LOBLEY
  13. Sidney ROE
  14. John RUSHBY
  15. Charles SAMSON
  16. George SKELTON
  17. Herbert SKELTON
  18. James TALBOT
  19. John TALBOT
  20. Richard Rilor TALBOT
  21. William TALBOT
  22. George TURNER
  23. William WARD
  24. George WILSON
  25. Walter WOOD

World War II are:

  1. pte. T. J. COOPER, died 1922
  2. srgt. Charles Robert HINCHCLIFFE
  3. pte. Marcus MIDDLEBROOK

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish of Nottinghamshire and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish covered 2,030 acres in 1881, and was reduced to 1,066 acres by 1891.
  • The parish was in the South Clay division of the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • You may contact the local joint Dunham with Ragnall, Fledborough and Darlton Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to help with family history lookups.
  • 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.
  • In 1658, John ADDY left land for the parish to rent and the income was distributed to the poor.
  • In 1728, Leonard and John HAINSWORTH left the interest from £50 for the poor, but the principal was lost by 1853.
  • In 1763, Mrs. HAINSWORTH left the interest from £50 for the poor.
  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1803.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1861 327
1871 350
1881 271
1891 280
1901 273
1911 298
1921 257
1931 253


  • A National School for boys and girls was built and opened here in 1844.