White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853



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 Herix were formerly owners of this place for many generations. We find Sir John de Herix, 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 in a fertile year of acorns, in Thurgarton Wood, the number was to extend to sixty. Gonalston Spital was founded by William de Herix, temp.Hnry VIII, "to the honour of St Mary Magdalen". The successive rectors, being masters of this hospital, formerly preached their induction sermon upon its ruins. The site was anciently called Brodebush, from a remarkably broad thorn tree which grew near it. Gonalston Cottage is a handsome mansion pleasantly situated on an eminence opposite the church, the seat of John Francklin Esq. The poor have the interest of £17, left by an unknown donor. The Midland Company's Railway intersects this parish.

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]