Kirkby in Ashfield


"Kirkby-In-Ashfield, five miles south west of Mansfield, is a considerable village and parish, where a great portion of the inhabitants are employed as framework knitters. The bobbin net trade, which employed so many hands twenty years ago, has completely left the village. The parish, which includes many small hamlets, and in which the rivers Mann and Erewash have their sources, contains 2,363 inhabitants, and 5,590 acres of land, of the rateable value of £5310, of which 2023 acres were not included until 1793, when 1,050 acres were alloted to the rector in lieu of tithes, in addition to 200 acres of ancient glebe.
The Duke of Portland is the principal owner and lord of the manor, which passed from the Stotevilles to the Cavendishes; but D'Ewes Coke, William S. Coke and J. Clark Esqs., and Mrs Catherine Hodgkinson, have estates in this parish. Sir Charles Cavendish began to build a great house in this lordship on a hill by the forest side, near Annesley Woodhouse where, being assaulted by Sir John Stanhope and his man, as he was viewing the work, he resolved to leave off his building, because some blood had been spilt in the quarrel, which was then very hot between these two families."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

You'll find that the Annesley Woodhouse Community Library on Acacia Avenue is a convenient resource.



  • The Kingsway Cemetery is the likely location for burials after 1879.
  • The Cemetery was established in 1880, covering three acres with one mortuary chapel.
  • The Cemetery is managed by the Burial Board of the Urban District Council.


  • The parish was in the Greasley sub-district of the Basford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 858
1851 H.O. 107 / 2125
1861 R.G. 9 / 2433
1871 R.G. 10 / 3478 & 3479
1881 R.G. 11 / 3323
1891 R.G. 12 / 2661 & 2662

Church History

  • There was a Christian church here in the 7th century AD, probably a wooden structure.
  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Wilfrid (spelling variations abound).
  • About 1150 AD there was a church with a nave and also at least one aisle on the north side.
  • The church was extended in the 13th century by the addition of a tower at the west end.
  • In January 1636 the church was in a state of disrepair.
  • The church was again altered and partly rebuilt in 1863-7.
  • The churchyard was closed for new burials in 1883 and future burials would be held in the public Cemetery. Ashes could still be interred in the old churchyard.
  • The medieval church was destroyed by fire in January, 1907, and rebuilt in 1908. The church was NOT renamed.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Wilfrid's Church on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2010.
  • Jon TOPPING has a photograph of St. Wilfrid's statue overlooking the church entrance on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
  • Neil THEASBY has a photograph of St. Wilfrid's Church on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2018.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1620 and is in very good condition.
  • Inside the church is a large tomb belonging to the FITZ RANDOLPH family.
  • The N.B.I. (National Burial Index) for this church covers burials from 1813 to 1963.
  • The Baptist chapel was built here in 1820.
  • John TOPPING has a photograph of the Hill Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2013.
  • David BEVIS has a photograph of the Trinity Methodist Church and Trinity Centre on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2016.
  • The parish also has a Spiritualist Chapel. David BEVIS has a photograph of the Bethel chapel on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2010.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

This large village and parish is on the border of Derbyshire, 133 miles north of the city of London and 10 miles north-west of Nottingham city. The parish covers about 5,800 acres and includes the hamlets of Annesley Woodhouse, East Kirkby, Kirkby Woodhouse and Nuncar Gate.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A46 trunk road southwest out of Lincoln or take the A1 northwest out of Grantham.
  • Although passenger rail service ceased in June, 1965, a new railway station was opened 17-Nov-1996, on the newly-built (1995) section of the restored Robin Hood Line.
You can see pictures of Kirkby in Ashfield which are provided by:





John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870-72" tells us:

"KIRKBY-IN-ASHFIELD, a village and a parish in Basford district, Notts. The village stands 1 mile W of Kirkby r. station, 1½ E of the boundary with Derbyshire, and 5 SW of Mansfield; is a large place; and has. a post office, of the name of Kirkby, under Mansfield. The parish includes also the village of Kirkby-Folly and the hamlet of Kirkby-Woodhouse; and contains the sources of the rivers Maun, Leen, and Erewash, and the junction of the Erewash Valley railway with the Nottingham and Mansfield railway. Acres, 5,590. Real property, £11,885; of which £5,654 are in mines. Pop. in 1851, 2,363; in 1861, 2,886. Houses, 577. The increase of pop. arose from the extension of coal mining. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to the.Duke of Portland. Kirkby Old Hall, Langton Hall, and Hardwick are chief residences. Frame work knitting is largely carried on. The living is a rectory, united with the chapelry of Kirkby-Woodhouse, in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £730. Patron, the Duke of Portland. The parish church is partly Norman, and was recently restored. The church of KirkbyWoodhouse was built in 1861. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and a large parochial school. "


Historical Geography

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





  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK505561 (Lat/Lon: 53.099719, -1.247238), Kirkby in Ashfield which are provided by:


Military History

  • There is a World War I Memorial plaque in the parish church. It is a board mounted on the west wall of the church. It bears 48 names.
  • One of the church windows is also a World War I Memorial to those who fell.
  • There is also a Roll of Honour board hanging on the west wall of the church listing some 146 men who enlisted from the parish for World War I.
  • The Memorial for World War II is a memorial book placed in a glass-topped display case. The book has the names of 27 residents of the parish (including two women).
  • On the south wall of the church is a brass plaque to a single man, Albert Louis SALMOND, who died in the Boer War.
  • Trinity Sunday School has a brass War Memorial with black lettering containing the names of 13 teachers and scholars who perished in the Great War.

Military Records

In 1881, Major William Langton COKE of the 1st Derby Militia resided here with his wife, Ada, and two sons. The census records that he was born in Kirkby in Ashfield around 1843.

These are the villagers who are listed on the Trinity Sunday School War One Memorial:

  • Private Joseph CHARLES
  • Private William Ernest DRABBLE
  • Private Thomas FROST
  • Private William FROST
  • Corporal Frederick Haynes HEIGHWAY
  • Arthur LEE
  • Private Cyril MEADS
  • Bombardier William Arthur NEWCOMBE
  • Private George Ernest POLLARD
  • Rifleman Herbert ROGERS
  • Private Arthur SIMPSON
  • Private Leonard TEECE
  • Private Isaac WEBSTER
  • Lance Corporal Robert Fred WOOD


Jon CANTRILL provides this entry from the Derby Mercury newspaper of 7th January 1829: DEATHES: "At Kirby, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday the 4th instant, the Rev. Brooke BOOTHBY, in his 45th year of his age."

The Reverend's obituary also appeared in the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper of 9th January 1829.


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 northern division of the ancient Broxtowe Wapentake in the southern division of the county.
  • The parish formed an Urban District Council of 15 members in April, 1896.
  • District governance is provided by the Ashfield District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the Mansfield petty session hearings held at the Mansfield Police Court every week.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed here in 1793.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the Basford Poor Law Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 1,002
1851 2,363
1871 3,075
1881 4,212
1891 10,392


  • A National School was built here in 1854 for 183 students.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Kingsway School which was built in the early 1900s.