White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853
Thurgarton is a pleasant village and parish, situated at the foot of a declivity overlooking the vale of the Trent, three miles south of Southwell. It contains 385 inhabitants and 2,477 acres of land, enclosed about 80 years ago, when land was allotted for the tithes to Trinity College, Cambridge, which has the patronage of the curacy, and about one third of the lordship. The greater part of the remainder belongs to Richard Milward Esq., who is lord of the manor, and who resides at Thurgarton Priory, a large handsome mansion. The grounds about it rise in gentle swells, and are agreeably diversified with wood and water. The worthy owner has made great improvements since the estate came into his possession.
The old Priory was taken down about 90 years ago by J.G. Cooper Esq., who erected the present mansion on its site, the cellars of which are the only portions of the religious sanctuary that now remain. The ancient priory was founded in 1130 by Ralph de Ayncourt, for canons of the order of St Augustine. He dedicated it to St Peter, and left God's favour to his heirs if they preserved it, but God's anger and curse if they did not. It possessed, at the dissolution, a yearly revenue of £259 15s 10d. The antiquary must be allowed to lament the false taste which dictated the destruction of so noble a monument of ancient grandeur. The Rev. Thomas Coates Cane also has an estate here.
The church, dedicated to St Peter, is situated near the priory, and has been a large magnificent structure, though it now consists only of one aisle. The curacy was certified at £56, and has been augmented with two lots of Queen Anne's Bounty. It is annexed to that of Hoveringham. The two livings have recently been augmented to the value of £450 by Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1850 a large, handsome parsonage house was erected for the present incumbent, the Rev. Henry Lea Guilleband M.A., who is now erecting a neat Sunday School. The school has a rent charge of £10 for the education of 20 boys of this parish, and Hoveringham. The poor of Thurgarton have the interest of £110 left by the families of Baker and Matthews. The Midland Company's Railway, Nottingham & Lincoln Branch, pass through this parish, and has a neat station here.
Bankwood, 2 miles west, Thurgarton Hill, half a mile west, Thurgarton Quarters, 2½ miles west, Magsdale, half a mile north of the village, are farms which belong to Richard Milward Esq. At Magsdale, about 43 years ago, many human bones and spear heads were dug up on the Sheep Close. The spear heads &c. are in the possession of Richard Milward Esq., and also a piece or pig of lead, which is more than one man can lift. This was found in 1849, at Upper Hexgrave, near Southwell.
[Transcribed by Clive Henly]