North Wheatley is a considerable village and parish on a steep declivity on the Gainsborough Road, five miles north-east from Retford, and five miles south-west from Gainsborough. The parish contains 427 inhabitants and 2,538 acres of land. Lord Middleton is principal owner. John Mee Esq. (Retford), John Nettleship Esq. (Tickhill) and several others have estates, besides several resident owners. Lord Wenlock is lord of the manor, which is mostly on copyhold tenure, paying a fine on the death or change of tenant, equal to one and a half years rent. William Heaton Esq. of Gainsborough is steward of the manor, and courts are held annually in May and November. At The Domesday Survey, part of Wateley was a berne of the Archbishop of York's soke of Laneham, and the rest belonged to the King's soke of Mansfield, and was of the fee of Roger de Busli.
The church, dedicated to St Peter, appears to have been erected in the 16th century. It has a tower with five bells, but the chancel was rebuilt in 1824. Lord Middleton is patron, and has also the impropriation of two-thirds of the great tithes, but the other third belongs to the vicarage, which was valued in the King's books at £3 18s 10½d, now £246, and is enjoyed by the Rev. Charles Walter Hudson. The open fields were enclosed under an act passed in 1837, and the tithe was commuted in 1838 for £620, of which £370 was apportioned to Lord Middleton as impropriator, and £250 to the vicar. The Rector of Clayworth received the tithe from 59 acres of land in the parish. The Methodists have a neat chapel, erected in 1836, and a National School was erected in 1826 by the Rev. F. Hewgill, at that time vicar. A feast and a hiring for servants is held on the second Thursday in November, when the green is crowded with visitors.
Charities. In 1719, William Spencer left a house, barn, garden and orchard, in the village, and 1a 2r 30p of arable land in the open fields, to the poor of North and South Wheatley. They are now let for £3 10s per annum, subject to a chief rent of 2s 3d. Two thirds are distributed here, and the rest in South Wheatley. The rest belong solely to this parish, viz. £2 yearly out of Lord Middleton's estate for the poor, pursuant to the will of the Earl of Kingston; 20s yearly to four poor widows, out of Thomas Wells' estate, as left in 1721 by Katherine Porter; 10s yearly to the school, left by Thomas James; and £50 bequeathed in 1813 by Job Serralt, but Mr Flower, surgeon of East Retford, who enjoyed the testator's real estate, worth £50 a year, declared that the personal property out of which it was to be paid, was not sufficient to pay the testator's debts.
[Transcribed by Clive Henly]