South Wheatley


"South Wheatley is a small parish containing only three farm houses, three cottages, 34 inhabitants and 864 acres of land, principally belonging to William Mason Esq. It is 5½ miles north-east of Retford, and separated from north Wheatley by a rivulet which runs through a deep and narrow valley.
The church, dedicated to St Helen, is a small structure, with a tower and three bells, situated on an eminence near the houses. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £6 14s 2d, now £140, discharged from the payment of first fruits. It was anciently of the fee of Roger de Busli, and "formed part of the chapelry of Tykhill", but is now in the patronage of the Chapter of Southwell. The Rev. Thomas Henry Shepherd M.A. is the incumbent. George Savile Foljambe Esq. is lord of the manor, which is mostly freehold. Gypsum is found in great abundance, and is used for the foundation of roads which, when calcined makes good floors &c. The resident farmers are George Hardy and William Radford; and William Fillingham, joiner."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

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



Although the church is a ruin, the churchyard is still used for burials as the churchyard at North Wheatley is small and completely full. Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of St Helen's Churchyard on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2014.



  • The parish was in the Gringley sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 852
1861 R.G. 9 / 2412
1871 R.G. 10 / 3450
1891 R.G. 12 / 2638

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Helen.
  • The church was closed by 1881, but the churchyard continued in use for burials.
  • In 1909, only the ruins of the tower and an arch from the chancel remained.
  • A plaque from the church, possibly dated 1671, is in the North Wheatley parish church.
  • Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the ruins of St. Helen's Church on Geo-graph, taken in 19 October, 2012.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1546 and is in good condition.
  • The church was in the rural deanery of East Retford.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Gringley sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • Civil Registration started in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

South Wheatley is a small village and a parish within the parliamentary bough of East Retford. The parish covers 631 acres. The parish lies 149 miles north of London, 5 miles south-west of Gainsborough and 5 miles north-east of East Retford.

The village is too small to appear on small scale (lareg area) maps. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A620 north-east out of Retford.
  • There is no rail service to South Wheatley.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Village Sign as you enter South Wheatley on Geograph, taken in September, 2014.
  • Check the North and South Wheatley website before you visit.
  • See Barbara WHITEMAN's photographs of South Wheatley.
You can see pictures of South Wheatley which are provided by:






Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which South Wheatley 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 SK765855 (Lat/Lon: 53.36085, -0.851955), South Wheatley which are provided by:


Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in Nottingham 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 local North and South Wheatley Parish Council (part of the Sturton Ward) regarding civic or political matters, but they are NOT able to help you with family history questions.
  • 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.
  • William SPENCER's charity, established in 1720, distributed £1 and 5 shillings to the poor each year.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


 Year Inhabitants
1801 41
1820 47
1841 41
1851 34
1871 35
1881 37
1891 44
1901 42
1911 38