Sturton le Steeple


"Sturton Parish comprises the village of Sturton in the Clay, and the hamlet of Fenton, and contains 637 inhabitants and 4,104 acres of land, of which, at the enclosure in 1823, an allotment of 727a 1r 4p was awarded to the Dean and Chapter of York, in lieu of the rectorial tithes, and 127a 3r 8p to the vicar, in lieu of the small tithes. Sturton in the Clay is a large village, consisting of four streets, on the Littleborough Road, 6 miles east by north of Retford. It was anciently called Streton, from the Roman road which passes through it to Doncaster.
The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a large structure, with nave, chancel, side aisles, and lofty tower, having twelve handsome pinnacles, with a peal of five bells. The benefice is a vicarage, valued in the King's books at £5 7s 3½d, now £282. The Bishop of Lincoln is the patron, and the Rev. Charles W. Eyre is the incumbent. G.S. Foljambe Esq. is lord of the manor, and owner of a great portion of the soil, as well as lessee of the Dean and Chapter land. The annual feast is on the Sunday before October 2nd. The Wesleyans have a neat chapel, erected in 1832, and in 1836, G.S. Foljambe Esq. erected a neat parish school, and the vicar send four children free."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

Although the Gainsborough Library is closer, the Library at East Retford will prove more useful in your research.



  • The parish was in the Clarborough sub-district of the East Retford Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 851
1861 R.G. 9 / 2414
1871 R.G. 10 / 3452
1881 R.G. 11 / 3301
1891 R.G. 12 / 2639

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church was dedicated to Saint Peter (most sources say: St. Peter and St. Paul).
  • Despite the village name, the church has no steeple, but it does have a massive tower.
  • The earliest date reported for the church is 1180.
  • The tower dates from the 14th century.
  • The church was damaged by an extensive fire in February, 1901, and was rebuilt in 1901-02.
  • There is a photograph of the Churchyard on the Red1st website, showing the impressive tower.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of the parish church on Geo-graph, taken in October, 2006.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1647 and is in good condition.
  • Nottinghamshire Family History Society CD-ROM covering Sturton le Steeple has the following: Baptisms - No Coverage; Marriage Index - 1554-1900; Burials - 1813-1879.
  • The church was in the rural deanery No. 1 of Retford.
  • The church is now in the Bassetlaw and Bawtry Deanery.
  • The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel here by 1869.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the former Methodist Chapel on Geo-graph, taken in September, 2014.

Civil Registration

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

Description & Travel

Sturton is a village, a township and a parish within the parliamentary borough of East Retford. It lies 6.5 miles north-east of East Retford, 5.5 miles south-west of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire and 144 miles north of London. The parish covers about 4,400 acres and includes the hamlet of Fenton and the old village of Littleborough.

Today, there is a large power station to the north of the village. The River Trent lies not far to the west. If you are planning a visit:

  • Sturton le Steeple lies between the A620 and the A156 trunk roads, south-west of Gainsborough.
  • Although a railway line runs along the western edge of Sturton le Steeple, it appears the nearest passenger service is to either East Retford or Gainsborough.
  • Ian S. has a photograph of the village sign on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012. When you see this, you are there!
  • Barbara Whiteman has a photograph collection of Sturton le Steeple on the Pictures of England web site.
You can see pictures of Sturton le Steeple which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • Neil THEASBY has a photograph of The Reindeer Inn on Geo-graph, taken in February, 2015 .
  • This pub was renamed in 1895, it was originally called the 'Stag'.
  • These are the names associated with the place in various directories:
Year  Person
1853 Thomas LISTER
1869 Thomas CLARK
1881 Robert MOORE
1904 George A. CUMMINS, farmer
1912 George A. CUMMINS


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK787838 (Lat/Lon: 53.34525, -0.819327), Sturton le Steeple which are provided by:


Military History

  • There is a war memorial cross just outside the parish church. This cross was unveiled in June, 1921. There is a brass plaque inside the church, unveiled 4th February 1920.
  • Ian S. has a photograph of the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.
  • Ian S. has a second photograph showing the names on the War Memorial on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2012.

Military Records

There is a memorial in the church to Colonel Francis THORNHAUGH (killed in 1648).  The colonel's Regiment of Horse was based at Nottingham in the English Civil War.

These are the twenty four parishioners noted on the two WWI memorials:

  1. John Fletcher ASHTON
  2. George BARLOW
  3. John William BARLOW
  4. George Keyworth BENSON
  5. Walter Holtby BLYTHE
  6. Frank Austin BRACKENBURY
  7. William BRACKENBURY
  8. Arthur William BROWN
  1. John Dawson BROWNLOW
  2. James Pearce COBB
  3. Arthur FULLARD
  4. Fred GODFREY
  5. Edward Gascoigne HIPKIN
  6. Thomas Lister HOLMES
  7. Albert Edward NEEDHAM
  8. Hubert NEEDHAM
  1. George NORTH
  2. Albert PARKER
  3. Thomas PETTIT
  4. George PORTAS
  6. Fred Eric WARBURTON
  7. James Bertram WIDDOWSON
  8. Henry WILKINSON

Politics & Government

  • This place was an ancient parish in county Nottingham 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.
  • In April, 1935, this parish gained 345 acres from the abolition of Littleborough Civil Parish.
  • You may contact the local Parish Council regarding civic or political issues, but they are NOT staffed to help with family history lookups.
  • District governance is the provenance of the Bassetlaw District Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Retford petty session hearings held in West Retford.
  • In 1708, Francis HOPKINSON left a charity of about £19 per year which was distributed to the poor at Christmas in the form of clothing.
  • The Common Lands were enclosed in 1823.
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act reforms of 1834, this parish became a part of the East Retford Poor Law Union.


Year Inhabitants
1801 509
1821 605
1851 637
1861 583
1871 593
1881 529
1891 505
1901 457


  • There was a National School here before 1869.
  • The National School here was completely rebuilt in 1879.