SOUTHWELL, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a division, in Notts. The town stands on Ermine-street, and on the river Greet, at the terminus of a short branch of the Midland railway, 6½ miles W of Newark; was known to the Saxons as Fingaceaster; grew around a church founded in 627 by Paulinus; had a palace of the Archbishops of York, which was frequently occupied by Wolsey, and is now represented by ruins of its chapel and hall; was the placewhere Charles I. surrendered himself to the Scottish army; contains a house, now the residence of the Hon. E. G. Monckton, where the poet Byron's mother lived, and where Byron himself spent many of his early days; is a seat of petty-sessions, and a polling place; gives the title of Viscount to the South-wells of Hinlip; consists of five parts, called High Town, East Thorpe, West Thorpe, Burgage, and Westgate; presents a widespread and straggling appearance; and has a head post-office, a r. station, a banking office, two chief inns, a modern town hall, a police station, a county house of correction, two churches, Baptist and Methodist chapels, a literary society, a free grammar-school with two scholarships at Cambridge, an endowed school with £25 a year, two national schools, several charities, a weekly market on Saturday, and a fair on Whit-Monday.
From John Marius WILSON's "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)."
John Bettison WARWICJ, surgeon, established a Free Library here in 1847 containing about 2,000 volumes, which was open every Saturday for the poor and working classes to use.
The town has a Library in the Bramley Center on King Street. The library is open normally seven days a week,
Humphrey BOLTON has a photograph of the Library in Bramley Center on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2015.
There was also a Free Museum established by John B. WARWICK. It contained Minerals and Fossils from all over the world.
Michael AUSTIN, Michael J. KIRTON & Lance WRIGHT, "Southwell at War 1914-1919", publ. by Southwell and District Local History Society, 2014, 350 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0952050384.
Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Lych-gate Entrance to Southwell Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2008.
He also has a view into the Cemetery on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2008.
Philip HALLING has a photograph of the well-kept churchyard at Southwell Minster on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2013.
In 2010, the churchyard at Southwell Minster was closed and the churchyard at Holy Trinity Church had restrictions on further burials.
Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the footbridge into Holy Trinity graveyard extension on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2008.
- The parish was in the Southwell sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
- The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
|1841||H.O. 107 / 867|
|1861||R.G. 9 / 2470|
|1871||R.G. 10 / 3534|
|1881||R.G. 11 / 3368|
|1891||R.G. 12 / 2707|
If you are visiting the parish, check out the Museum of Timekeeping in the beautiful nearby Grade 2 listed building of Upton Hall.
- The Church of Saint Mary was founded by Paulinus about 630 AD (Probably 627 AD). This was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1540, but the King refounded the charter in 1543.
- Much of the fabric of the church dates from 1109-1114, other portions to 1230. The stonework is Bolsover magnesian Limestone.
- A Chantry was built along the eastern side of the transept during 1248-1260.
- The church was damaged by a violent storm on 11 November, 1711, when lightning struck the southern spire setting fire to the spire, the roof and the central tower.
- The entire structure underwent a thorough restoration in 1882, inluding replacing the western spires.
- Brian GOTTS has a photograph of Southwell Minster on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2001.
- Richard CROFT provides another view of Southwell Minster on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2007.
- Malcome NEAL also has a photograph of Southwell Minster on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2009.
- Holy Trinity ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1846 and the new church for it was consecrated on 31 March, 1846.
- Holy Trinity seats 400.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Church of the Holy Trinity on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020. Part of the church graveyard is shown.
- The Anglican parish register dates from 1559 and is in good condition.
- The register for Holy Trinity Church dates from 1846.
- The International Genealogical Index (IGI) includes records from this parish for the period 1633-1838.
- The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel built here in 1849 near the Market Place.
- Ian TAYLOR has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the Methodist Church on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2008.
- The Baptists bought the old workhouse here in 1849 and converted it to a chapel for their services. Before 1839 the Baptists had been meeting in a barn and a nearby lot used for a burial ground. Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Baptist Chapel blue history plaque on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
- David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of the driveway to the presbytery of "Our Lady of Victories" Roman Catholic Church, Wolsey Close on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013.
- The parish was in the Southwell sub-district of the Southwell Registration District.
- Civil Registration began in July, 1837.
- The House of Correction in the Burgage part of the town served as a "Bridewell" for the whole county. A new structure went up in 1808 on the site of the old one, and a new wing was added in 1868. Altogether there were 118 cells with officer and warders' quarters. The whole prison could accommodate 132 males and 18 females in 1881. This prison closed in 1880.
- It is unknown if any rosters of prisoners were archived, but court and petty session records may show if any of your relatives were inmates here. The Census returns are the likeliest places to find individual incarcerated between 1841 and 1881.
- In 1876, John DEWHIRST was the governor and Miss Eliza DEWHIRST was the matron. John was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire. Eliza was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
- Stephen RICHARDS has a photograph of the Gateway to the House of Correction on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2012.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the Gateway to the former House of Correction on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
- Jonathan THACKER has a photograph of the Lodge to the former House of Correction on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2017.
Southwell is a parish, a township and a market town. The town sits on high ground on the western bank of the little River Greet, a tributary of the River Trent. The parish is 132 miles north of the city of London, 7 miles west of Newark, 14 miles north of Nottingham city and covers 5,645 acres.
If you are planning a visit:
- The A1 motorway used to run through the village but a modern bypass now skirts the place.
- We have an extract from White's 1853 Directory relating to this parish.
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Southwell to another place.
You can see the administrative areas in which Southwell has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the 'South Well' Monument on Geo-garph, taken in September, 2020. The parish took its name from the "South Well".
- Southwell was originally a Roman station. Their camp was on Burgage Hill.
- The ancient village was situated on the western bank of the River Greet, near where that river joined the River Trent.
- Southwell once had four famous wells, noted for their nearly miraculous healing powers. Two of these, near the church, have been covered over.
- King James I passed through the town in 1603 on his way to London to assume the crown.
- King Charles I passed through here in August, 1642, on his way to Nottingham to raise the Royal Standard. He was back after the Civil War battle at Naseby in June 1645.
- It was here that King Charles I surrendered himself on 6 May, 1646, to the Scots' Commissioners prior to his execution.
- In 1809 local girl Mary Ann BRAILSFORD planted apple pips in her garden. She may never have seen the apples they produced because she married and moved out of that house. She would die in 1859. Matthew BRAMLEY bought the house in 1846. In 1856 "Bramley" apples first went on the market. They have a sour taste, but that taste improves with baking. The variety is now the most important cooking apple in England and Wales (2015).
- A Savings Bank was established here in 1818.
- Statutes for hiring servants were held on Old and New Candlemas (2nd Feb.) and Martinmas days (Nov. 11th).
- The Admiral Rodney Hotel was a "family and commercial" hotel.
- Proprietors at the Admiral Rodney were:
|1876||Mrs. Elizabeth DIXON|
|1885||--- Not found ---|
- Graham HOGG has a photograph of the Saracen's Head Hotel on Geo-graph, taken in January, 2015. This hotel is famous for a visit by King Charles I.
|1876||Henry Conway BARNETT|
|1885||Robert HORSLEY, vict.|
- Ian TAYLOR has a photograph of the Millennium Clock in Market Square on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2014.
- El LOCO has a photograph of the Southwell Railway Station Plaque on geo-graph, taken in May, 2021.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of The Wheatsheaf Pub. on King Street on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
|1885||Nathaniel NEWTON, vict.|
|1894||Wm. Hy. COPPIN, v.|
- Chris has a photograph of The Final Whistle pub on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2018. The pub is, naturally, near the old railway station.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of The Reindeer Pub. on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
- Proprietors at the Reindeer Pub. were:
|1876||Geo. Thos. THORPE|
|1885||John SHARMAN, vict.|
- The Manor House in the Burgage part of the town, inhabited by Miss MONCKTON in 1881, was formerly the residence of Lord Byron, the poet, who spent his boyhood days here.
- You may wish to read the Burgage Manor Revealed web page.
- Peter BARR has a photograph of Burgage Manor on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2011. He reports that Lord Byron called it "home" from 1803 to 1808.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of Burgage Manor on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
- See our Maps page for additional resources.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK701538 (Lat/Lon: 53.076837, -0.95506), Southwell which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- Viscount ALLENBY was born in 1861 at Brackenhurst House, Southwell. His mother was a daughter of the Rev. Thomas Coates CANE, M.A., who resided there many years, and the baptism of the future general is in the register of Southwell Minster.
- In 1894, the Southwell Rifle Volunteers were here, about 60 members. Captain Thomas Lewis Kekewich EDGE, commanding; Lieut. A. H. STARKEY; Srgt.-Instructor John GRAGGS, drill instructor. These men assembled in late July for training, usually at Sparken Hill, Worksop.
- In 1904, Major-General William E. WARRAND resided in Westhorpe Hall, Southwell. Also, Colonel Edward Strelly PEGGE-BURNELL resided in Winkburn Hall, Southwell.
- In 1911, H. Company of the 8th Btln. Sherwood Foresters was billeted here on King Street. Captain John P. BECHER, commanding; Colour-Srgt. Walter SADDINTON, drill instructor.
- There is a Battlefield Cross in the Southwell Minster churchyard to memorialize John Pickard BECHER who was was born on 20 July 1880 in Southwell. Becher became the first Sherwood Forest Territorial to win the DSO (Distinguished Service Order). The Major died 01 Jan 1916 of blood poisoning after being wounded at the battle of Hohenzollern Redoubt in October of 1915. His body is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Drill Hall on the Newark Road on Geo-graph, taken in April, 2013.
- Southwell provided a number of warhorses for the Army during World War One.
- A number of WWI wheeled canons were made at Caudwell Mill in Southwell.
- The Newark Great War Bulletin for October 11th, 1915 tells us that the Misses Marjory and Sybil BARROW of Normanton Hall, along with Miss BROADHURST of Upton raised £14. on Flag Day for the RSPCA’s fund for sick and wounded horses in the British Army. Marjory Grantham BARROW and her sister Sybil Grantham BARROW were born in Kent to Leonard Norman BARROW and his wife Mary Mason BARROW. Leonard was born in Southwell, NTT.
- The Roll of Honour in the Minster commemorates those Southwell men who gave their lives in the service of their country. 107 parishioners are listed on the Roll. The memorial windows was created by artist Nicholas MYNHEER and was dedicated by Bishop Stephen OLIVER on 10th July 2016. Southwell Minster was the Mother Church to Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The window commemorates all those from both counties who lost their lives.
- Southwell Minster also features a three-light window honoring Major John Pickard BECHER, 8th Btln. Sherwood Foresters who died of wounds in France on Jan 1st 1916. John had been born in Southwell in 1880, the son of John Henry and Alice Mary BECHER.
- Southwell Minster also has another three-light window in memory of Emma SHERLOCK (1795-1877), widow of Colonel Francis SHERLOCK (1781-1848). The Colonel was a hero from the Napoleonic wars.
- Julian P. GUFFOGG has a photograph of a Southwell Minster stained-glass window memorial to Henry HANDFORD and Everard HANDFORD, killed in action 1915. The window was installed in 1918. The photograph was taken in April, 2016.
- Ruth SHARVILLE has a photograph of the War Memorial in Burgage Road on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2009.
- Alan MURRAY-RUST also has a photograph of the War Memorial in Burgage Road on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
- When the House of Correction was turned into a Lace Factory, at the end of WWI a plaque was mounted in the former doorway as a WW1 war memorial, created in 1919, to employees of Carey & Sons who owned the factory.
- Chris ? has a photograph of the Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force building on the eastern edge of the town on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2018. You may recognize this as the Southwell Drill Hall. The doors have been painted different colours at different times.
- After World War 2 the Southwell Recreation Ground was dedicated as a memorial to honour the victims of both World Wars. Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the Recreation Ground Arcade on Geo-graph, taken in August, 2020.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for May 24th, 1915, tells us that private Ezekial EATON, age 21, died at Lincoln Hospital. He was laid to rest with full military honours at Southwell Minster.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for June 21st, 1915 tells us that private Frank PALIN, age 22, of the 8th Btln, Sherwood Foresters, was killed by a sniper the week before. He was the son of John and Annie PALIN of Station Road.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for August 9th, 1915 tells us that corporal Sam HUMBERSTONE, age 25, of the 8th Btln, Sherwood Foresters, was killed just prior to a planned furlough. He was the husband of Lilla HUMBERSTONE. He had been a key footballer with Southwell City.
That same edition tells us that private John Henry HOPEWELL, of the 8th Btln, Sherwood Foresters, was shot on his 25th birthday, 30 July. He was the son of Henry and Alice HOPEWELL.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for September 6th, 1915 tells us that Flight Sergeant Edwin Cecil RUMFORD of Southwell, serving in the Royal Flying Corps, was recognized for his bravery and awarded the St. George Medal, 2nd class, by the Tsar of Russia. He was the son of William and Frances A. R. RUMFORD of Southwell.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for September 27th, 1915 tells us that Major John Pickard BECHER received the DSO for calm leadership of his men at Ypres and gallantry at Kemmel. The Major was a lawyer in the local law firm of LARKIN & Co. The major would be shot in both legs in October, shattering one thigh.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for October 18th, 1915 tells us that 26-year-old private George Henry KIRKBY of the 8th Sherwood Foresters, wrote to his parents Frank and Sarah Elizabeth telling them the the doctor at the No. 3 Canadian Hospital in Carniers, France, had removed a piece of bone "off my brain", and that they should rest assured that he was in good hands.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for October 25th, 1915 tells us that Captain Henry Basil Strutt HANDFORD, 21, and 2nd Lieutenant Edward Francis Sale HANDFORD, 20, had both died in the assault on the Hohenzollern Redoubt in Loss, Belgium. These two brothers were the sons of Major Henry HANDFORD MD, Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). All were residents of Southwell. This edition also notes that Major John Pickard BECHER, DSO, was wounded.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for November 1st, 1915, tells us that Southwell resident Thomas STEPHENSON of Hearty Goodfellow Yard off of Church Street had 7 sons serving in the Military:
- Thomas STEPHENSON, 8th Sherwood Foresters.
- Fred STEPHENSON, Cameron Highlanders.
- George STEPHENSON, Cameron Highlanders.
- Leonard STEPHENSON, 1st Sherwood Foresters.
- William STEPHENSON, 3rd Sherwood Foresters.
- Baden STEPHENSON, Royal Engineers.
- Arthur STEPHENSON, Royal Engineers.
Thomas STEPHENSON was a lace maker, married to Emma. All the boys were born in Southwell.
The Newark Great War Bulletin for November 29th, 1915, tells us that Distinguished Conduct Medal recipient Arthur SHEPPARD had died defending the trenches in France.
These are the men listed on the Holy Trinity Church War Memorial plaque:
- Thomas Frederick Barlow
- John Pickard Becher
- Frank William Cooling
- John Henry Curzon
- Christopher Hall
- Percy Hall
- Albert Edward Hopewell
- John Thomas Jepson
- Edward James Kemp
- John Neville Kirkby
- Alfred Merrin
- Horace Merrin
- Walter Merrin
- Clement Mosedale
- George Peacock
- Robert Scraton
- Edward Nelson Sergeant
- John Sharman
- Archibald George Stanley
- Frank Thompson
- Leslie Francis Twidale
- Percy Wibberley Ulyatt
- Ernest Charles Vickers
And these are the names from the Carey & Sons Memorial in Rainbow's Freight Yard:
- Thomas Frederick Barlow
- Fred Bell
- John Henry Curzon
- George Donson
- Ezekiel Eaton
- John George Egleshaw
- George William Foster
- Edwin Gilbert
- Albert Edward Hopewell
- John Henry Hopewell
- Arthur Humberstone
- Samuel Humberstone
- Herbert Kirk
- Royal Murray
- Arthur Cyril Sheppard
- Thomas Stephenson
- Check the History section above to see where the name "South Well" came from.
- The ancient names for this place are: "Suwell" and "Sudwell".
- Locals pronounce the name as "Suthall." (Thank you, Brian Binns, 2013).
- And some insist that it should be more like "Suth-ell" with a long U (Thank you, Di in NZ, 2013).
- This place was an ancient parish in county Nottingham and it became a modern Civil Parish when those were established.
- The parish was in the southern division of the ancient Thurgarton Wapentake (Hundred) in the southern division of the county.
- The town was divided into five constablewicks: High Town, Burgage, East Thorpe, West Thorpe and Normanton. The town had four "parks": Hexgrave, Stockerton, Norwood and Southwell. These "parts" had been the property of the Archbishop of York and were enclosed and cultivated as farms.
- Between 1836 and 1837, the parish was in the Southwell and Scrooby Liberty.
- In October, 1877, this parish gave up Upper and Lower Hexgrave to enlarge Farnsfield Civil Parish.
- You may contact the Southwell Town Council regarding civic matters or political issues, but they are NOT funded to do family history searches for you.
- District governance is provided by the Newark and Sherwood District Council.
- Bastardy cases would be heard in the Southwell petty session hearings on alternate Fridays.
- Petty Session hearings were held here on Fridays, once a fortnight, at the court house in the Town Hall.
- The Rev. John LAVERACK, 1775, left Stone Croft Close (two acres let for £6) to educate and clothe poor children.
- The Reverend John T. BECHER (1770-1848) was a staunch advocate for strictness, segregation and economy in workhouses and believed that they should be operated with tenderness towards the infirm and the guiltless poor whilst rejecting the overwhelming advances of idle, profligate and sturdy pauperism. David HALLAM-JONES has a photograph of his home, Hill House, on Geo-graph, taken in May, 2013.
- As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act reforms, this parish became the centre of the Southwell Poor Law Union.
- Tourists can walk to the poorhouse! Alan MURRAY-RUST provides this Public footpath signpost on Geo-graph, taken in June, 2008.
Year Inhabitants 1801 2,305 1811 2,674 1841 3,487 1851 3,516 1861 3,469 1871 3,166 1901 3,196
- The Grammar School here is reputed to date from before the Norman Conquest, and appears to go back to at least 1531, but the date of construction is not given.
- The National School on Moor Lane was built in 1840 to hold 200 children and later enlarged to hold 270 children.
- The Shepherd's Row school was an infants school built for 100 students.
- The Westgate Infants School was built in 1860 for 165 children.
- The Queen Street School was erected in 1871 and later enlarged to hold 250 children.
- The Endowed Free School in Easthorpe was founded in 1780 for 35 children.