White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853


Wallingwells (Extra-Parochial)

Wallingwells, four miles north-by-west of Worksop, is the handsome mansion and beautiful park of Sir T.W. White, Bart., and is an extra-parochial district, partly in Yorkshire, containing 390 acres of land, 6 houses, and 36 inhabitants. It was anciently part of the manor and parish of Carlton-in-Lindrick, until Ralph de Cheurolcourt, in the reign of Stephen, granted

"to Almighty God and the Virgin St Mary, a place in his park of Carleton by the wells and streams of the wells, whose name shall be called St Mary of the Park, to make and build there an habitation for holy religion, so free that this place shall not depend on, or belong to any other place."

The priory that he built here was a Benedictine nunnery, dedicated to the blessed St Virgin Mary, and afterwards called St Marys of Wallondewelles, from its situation amongst wells, fountains and streams. At its dissolution it was valued at £59, and was granted by Queen Elizabeth to Richard Pype and Francis Bowyer, but is now the property and seat of Sir Thomas Wollaston White, who was created a baronet in 1802.

The house, which was originally built out of the ruins of the priory, is now a handsome structure, having been improved by many modern additions. It stands on the Nottinghamshire side of the well-wooded park, in which is a long line of trees marking the boundary between the two counties. In excavating near the house in 1829, several stone coffins were found, and one of them contained the remains of Dame Margery Dourant, the second prioress, who died in the reign of Edward I. On opening the coffin the body appeared entire, but it was soon reduced by the air to a shapeless mass of dust. The shoes and a silver chalice were quite perfect, but were re-interred with the ashes of the holy abbess, who nearly seven centuries ago presided over the sisterhood of this convent. A water mill was erected near the abbey by Sir T.W. White's father in 1800. One part of it is now used for grinding corn for Sir Thomas, and the other part is occupied as a residence for his farmer, and George Chadwick is the miller.

[Transcribed by Clive Henly]