"Gonalston is a small rural village and parish, near the Dover Beck, 4 miles south-south-west of Southwell, containing 100 inhabitants and 862 acres of land, enclosed in 1768, when 155 acres were allotted for the tithes. John Francklin Esq. owns the whole lordship, and is patron of the rectory, which is valued in the King's books at £7 19s 2d, now £324, and is enjoyed by the Rev. Edward Walker Foottit B.A.
The church, dedicated to St Lawrence, is a small structure, with a tower and two bells, and was rebuilt in 1852. In Thoroton's time it contained some ancient figures of crusaders, but they were either destroyed or removed at the diminution of the church. They have since been taken up by the present proprietor, under the superintendance of Rd. West Macott Esq. R.A., and are about to be placed in the nave of the new edifice."
The ancient family of Heriz were formerly owners of this place for many generationgs. We find Sir John de Heriz, in 1235, made an agreement with the prior of Thurgarton, and allowed him common pasture for fifty head of cattle, and fifty swine, without pannage; or iu a fertile year of acorns in Thurgarton wood, the number was to extend to sixty.
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]



  • The parish was in the Southwell sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 865
1851 H.O. 107 / 2134
1861 R.G. 9 / 2471
1871 R.G. 10 / 3533
1891 R.G. 12 / 2708

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Laurence.
  • There is evidence of a church here as early as 1269.
  • The present church was built in 1852-53 on the site of the former one.
  • The church and tower were rebuilt in 1859.
  • The church seats only 86.
  • The church is a Grade II structure with English Heritage.
  • "John from Notts" has a photograph of St. Laurence Church on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2009.
  • Matt FASCIONE also has a photograph of St. Laurence Church on Geo-graph, taken in March, 2016. The church is wrapped for repairs to the roof.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1637.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Southwell (currently the Gedling deanery).

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

This village and parish lie about 1.5 miles west of the River Trent, 138 miles north of London, about 9 miles north-east of Nottingham and about 5 miles south-west by west of Southwell. The parish covers 1,329 acres and sits on the Dover Beck, a feeder to the River Trent.

If you are planning a visit to the village:

  • The village is on the A612 south out of Southwell, just before you get to Loudham.
  • The nearest rail service is at Loudham.
You can see pictures of Gonalston which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • Gonalston Hall is a fairly modern building on an elevated site near the road.
  • The Hall was the residence of Liell FRANCKLIN Jr. in 1881.
  • The Hall was unoccupied in 1912.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Manor Farmhouse on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2009.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK679474 (Lat/Lon: 53.0196, -0.989241), Gonalston which are provided by:


Military History

There is a World War One War Memorial plaque on the wall of St. Laurence Church to the men of the parish who fell in the Great War.


Military Records

These five names are listed on the War Memorial plaque:

  1. Philip FRANCKLIN, Captain of HMS Good Hope, lost at Coronel with all hands.
  2. Horace LINDSEY, private in the Army Service Corps.
  3. Oliver Charles PEARSON, Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.
  4. Wilfred SHEPPARD, private in the 1/7th Btln. Sherwood Foresters.
  5. Arthur VANN, private in the 6th Btln. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Nottingham county and it became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the southern division of the ancient Thurgarton Hundred (Wapentake) in the southern division of the county.
  • The citizens of this parish have opted to have periodic Parish Meetings of all the residents rather than have a formal Parish Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Southwell petty session hearings.
  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1768.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, this parish became part of the Southwell Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 146
1841 113
1851 100
1861 107
1881 119
1901 128