"Saundby is but a small village, pleasantly situated on an eminence overlooking the Trent, 3 miles south-west by west of Gainsborough, and 7/12 miles north-east of Retford. The parish, which extends to the Trent, contains 107 inhabitants and 1,330 acres of rich enclosed land, all of which belongs to Lord Middleton, the lord of the manor, except a small quantity of glebe, and 28 acres belonging to the poor of Gainsborough. At the Domesday Survey, the whole was of the Archbishop of York's soke of Laneham, except one garden, which a villein held of the soke of Mansfield, by the service of finding "salt for the King's fish in Bigrodie".

The church, which has evidently been a much larger edifice, is dedicated to St Martin. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £14 8s 6d, now £101, and is in the gift of Lord Middleton, and incumbency of the Rev. Charles Walter Hudson. The rectory house is a handsome mansion, built in 1831.

Trent Port, on the west bank of the Trent, opposite to Gainsborough, contains a good inn, two large ship yards, an oil mill, and several wharfs, warehouses &c., which belong to Lord Middleton."
[WHITE's Directory of Nottinghamshire 1853]


Archives & Libraries

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

The Library at Gainsborough might also be a valuable resource.



People from Saundby are also likely buried in the Beckingham "Beecher Lane Cemetery" which is managed by the joint Parish Council with Beckingham. That cemetery did not open until 1972.



  • The parish was in the Misterton sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 851
1861 R.G. 9 / 2407
1871 R.G. 10 / 3443
1891 R.G. 12 / 2633

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to St. Martin of Tours.
  • The church was built before 1504, because that is the year when the tower was added.
  • The church chancel was built in 1886.
  • The church nave was restored in 1891.
  • J. HANNAH-BRIGGS has a photograph of the Church window depicting St Martin of Tours on Geo-graph, taken in November, 2013.
  • William HENDERSON has a photograph of St. Martin's Church on Geo-graph, taken in 2004.
  • The church is now closed for services (as of 1986) and is disused.
  • The church is maintained by the Church Conservation Trust.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1568 but is missing entries from 1600 through 1662.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of Retford.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Saundby is a small village and a parish 148 miles north of London, 7 miles north-east of East Retford and 3 miles south-wet of Gainsborough (in Lincolnshire). The River Trent provides the eastern border of the parish. In the 1800s, much of the parish was grazing land.

If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A620 arterial road north out of Retford. This road runs right through the village.
  • Alternatively, take the A631 arterial west out of Gainsborough, turn south at the A620 interchange and you'll be in Saundby before you can get up to the speed of traffic.
  • There is bus service to Saundby with a stop on the A620, but no rail service. Mat FASCIONE provides a picture of the A620 Bus Shelter on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2016.
  • For photographs of the parish, see those taken by Barbara Whiteman on Pictures of England.
You can see pictures of Saundby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



  • In the 1800s the parish had a small ship-yard, wharves and an oil mill on the River Trent just opposite Gainsborough.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK784881 (Lat/Lon: 53.383937, -0.822768), Saundby which are provided by:


Military History

  • Saundby War Memorial for World War I consists of a brass plaque on the south wall inside St Martin’s Church.

Military Records

These are the men from the parish who fell in World War One:

  1. driver William Arthur CHAMBERS, Army Service Corps
  2. corp. Herbert VALLANCE, 7th Bn Lincs. Regt.
  3. pte. John WAINWRIGHT, 5th Bn Lincs. Regt.
  4. lance sgt. Walter Herbert YATES, 6th Bn Lincs. Regt.

William Arthur CHAMBERS was born in 1886 in Saundby lived with his parents John and Elizabeth CHAMBERS and brothers and sisters at The Gables Farm, Saundby. He became a soldier rather late in his life, as he was thirty three years old when he died in the war. Perhaps he was conscripted under the Military Service Act of 1916, which made it lawful that men between the ages of 18 and 45 years could be conscripted into the Army or Navy (there was no separate Air Force before 1918). A Memorial Lectern, made of oak, was commissioned by his family, and used in Saundby Church where Arthur CHAMBERS was christened and was formerly a member of the congregation.

Herbert VALLANCE enlisted into the army at Gainsborough he served with the 7th battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment where he was promoted to Corporal. On 8th March 1918 when he died of wounds, they were in the front line trenches near Flesquieres, France, where he is buried.
Corpl Herbert VALLANCE Retford Times 22nd March 1918
Mrs VALLANCE, Garnett’s Yard, Bridgegate, Retford has received information that her son, Corpl Herbert VALLANCE, Lincs Regt, was killed in France on March 8th. He was 23 years of age and was formerly in farm service with Mr Selby, Saundby Park. He has seen 2 ½ years service and had taken part in some hard fighting. Another son, Pte Samuel VALLANCE was killed in France on September 15th 1916. Mrs VALLANCE has five other sons serving – Pte W Johnson VALLANCE, in France with the Sherwood Foresters who has been twice wounded: Pte John VALLANCE, Leicester Regiment, who has served in India and Mesopotamia and is now in Egypt and has been wounded: Pte Ernest VALLANCE, Sherwood Foresters, in Egypt, once wounded: Pte Albert VALLANCE in the RAMC in Italy and Pte Bert VALLANCE, RAMC in England. The Captain of the company in which Pte Herbert VALLANCE was serving, in a letter to Mrs VALLANCE writes:- “Nothing I can say will appease your sorrow for the loss of your brave boy but it will, I am sure, be some consolation to you to know that he met his death gallantly with his face towards the enemy. We all feel his death keenly as he was always a cheerful, trustworthy NCO and one of the most capable in his Company.”

John WAINWRIGHT and was a Private in the 5th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment pre-war Territorial Army unit which recruited across North Lincolnshire, and he had probably joined up at the Drill Hall in Spital Terrace, Gainsborough, before the war. When war broke out he enlisted at Brigg . The Lincolshire Regiment were heavily involved in the Battle of St Quentin during the 21st to 25th March 1918, when a sudden German assault by overwhelming numbers forced the British to move back in the area of Poziers and Somme. One of the Lincolnshire Battalions involved was reduced to six officers and eighty soldiers, from about five hundred all ranks. John WAINWRIGHT died on 23rd March 1918, aged 29, service number 45841 and his grave/memorial reference panel 29 and 30 at the Pozieres Memorial in the Somme area of Northern France


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in the county and became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
  • The parish was in the North Clay division of the ancient Bassetlaw Wapentake (Hundred) in the northern division of the county.
  • You may contact the joint parish council of Beckingham and Saundby for civic or political issues, but they will NOT perform family history work for you.
  • 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.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Gainsborough Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 100
1841 107
1851 88
1861 86
1871 98
1881 113
1891 126
1901 103
1911 101
1921 98
1931 101


The children of this parish attended schools in Bole and Beckingham parishes.