West Burton


"West Burton is a small parish containing only 28 inhabitants and 936 acres of land, on the west bank of the Trent, 7 miles north-east by east of Retford, and 4 miles south by west of Gainsborough. About 60 years ago the village was more populous, and 14 houses stood near the church, but these have long since disappeared.
The church, dedicated to St Helen, is a small structure, sith a turret, in which hangs a bell. The living is a perpetual curacy of the certified value of £12 13s 4d, and now at £100. It is enjoyed by the Rev. William Mee, and is in the gift of John Barrow Esq., who is also lord of the manor, owner, and occupier of all the land in the parish. Charities. In 1621, William Clark bequeathed 20s yearly to one poor person of West Burton, out of an estate at Walkreth in Lincolnshire. In 1710, George Green left 3 acres of land on the upper Ing of Sturton, and directed the rent of it to be paid to a schoolmaster for teaching 3 poor children of West Burton. At the Sturton enclosure in 1824, the school land was augmented with an allotment of 1a 27p of land which now lets for 37s per annum."
[WHITE's "Directory of Nottinghamshire," 1853]


Archives & Libraries

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



  • The parish was in the Misterton sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 849
1861 R.G. 9 / 2407
1871 R.G. 10 / 3443
1891 R.G. 12 / 2633

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church (chapel, really, was dedicated to Saint Helen.
  • The church was tiny and seated only 26 people.
  • The church closed in the mid 1800s and was demolished in 1886.
  • The churchyard is still used for burials. Alan MURRAY-RUST provides a photograph of a modern gravestone on Geo-graph, taken in July, 2007.
  • You can read more about his church at the Southwell Church History Project.

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1602.
  • The church was in the rural #1 deanery of Retford.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Bingham sub-district in the Bingham Registration District.
  • Civil Registration began in July, 1837.

Description & Travel

This village and parish are about 3 miles south-west of Gainsborough and 1.5 miles north-east of Sturton. The River Trent forms the eastern county border with Lincolnshire and the village of Sturton le Steeple lies to the south. The parish covers 932 acres.

The village stands in the shadow of the power station cooling towers. If you are planning a visit:

  • By automobile, take the A631 west out of Gainsborough and turn south at Beckingham to Saundby. Pass through Bole and continue south to the power stations.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST provides a photograph of the cooling towers at the power station on the Geo-graph site, taken in June, 2006.
You can see pictures of West Burton which are provided by:






Historical Geography

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



  • This parish was mostly pasturage for thousands of years.
  • The parish was also known for the number of willow trees grown here in the old bed of the River Trent.
  • The parish is known today for its power stations, built on the site of the deserted medieval village.


  • See our Maps page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK798851 (Lat/Lon: 53.356768, -0.802481), West Burton which are provided by:


Military History

There is no War Memorial recorded for West Burton.


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.
  • In September, 1895, this parish gained a small portion of Lea Civil Parish (Lincolnshire) when the border was adjusted to match the new bed of the River Trent.
  • District governance is provided for by the Bassetlaw District Council, but there are virtually no constituents left in the parish.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard at the Retford petty session hearings held in West Retford.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Gainsborough Poor Law Union.


 Year Population
1801 33
1841 35
1851 28
1861 67
1871 56
1901 51