Kelly´s 1904 Historical Description

Covering Sutton-in-Ashfield in 1904

Sutton-in-Ashfield is a parish and irregulary-built town, with a terminal station on the Midland railway, built in 1893, in the centre of the town, and a junction station, 1 mile east on the Nottingham and Mansfield and Erewash Valley Midland railways, which form a junction between Kirby and Sutton, and has also a station on the Nottingham, Newstead and Shirebrook branch of the Great Northern railway, 140 miles from London and 3 west-south-west from Mansfield, in the Mansfield division of the county, northern division of the wapentake of Broxtow, Mansfield petty sessional division, union and county court district, rural deanery of Mansfield, archdeaconry of Nottingham and diocese of Southwell: the town was governed by a Local Board from 1866 but under the provisions of the "Local Government Act, 1894" (56 & 57 Vict. c. 73), an Urban District Council was formed in Dec.1894; the Urban District is divided into East and West wards.   The town is well supplied with gas and water, the water supply being derived from wells at Rushley whence it is pumped to a reservoir on Coxmoor Hill, about 1 ½ miles south-east. The town is now (1904) being re-sewered in accordance with plans submitted to and approved by the Local Government Board, at an estimated cost of £22,500.   On the side of the road leading to Mansfield, is an open sheet of water 70 acres in extent, well stocked with fish, and which supplies the motive power for the mills in this district.   In 1884, by Local Government Board Order, two detached parts of Hucknall-under-Huthwaite were amalgamated with Sutton-in-Ashfield township and at the same time detached parts of Sutton were transferred to Hucknall-under-Huthwaite and Fulwood.   The church of St. Mary Magdalene is a building of native stone, erected for the most part in the 14th century, but incorporating portions of the earlier church, dating from 1170, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with lofty octagonal spire and containing 3 bells, one of which is dated 1656; there are two stained windows, presented respectively by the Earl of Strafford and the Rev. Charles Bellairs, and memorial tablets to the late William Unwin esq. and to the Rev. William Goodacre, forty years incumbent of this parish, erected by the parishioners, who also contributed the stone pulpit as a memorial to the Rev. W. B. Stevens, a former vicar: in the chancel is a memorial stone marked with a bow and arrow, supposed to be the grave of an ancient verderer of Sherwood forest: the church plate bears date 1571: a complete restoration was effected in 1868 at a cost of £2,000: there are 600 sittings, all free and unappropriated: in the churchyard, which is extensive and planted with trees and shrubs, there is a yew tree believed to be 700 years old.   The register dates from the year 1577.   The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £230, including 23 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Duke of Devonshire K. G. and four others, and held since 1903 by the Rev. Walter Hanwell Williams of Hatfield Hall, Durham.   The Mission Church of St. Michael and all Angels, at New Cross, was erected in 1888, at a cost of £1,600, and has 350 sittings.   The Mission church of St. Modwen, in the Pingle district, was re-opened in 1895, and will seat about 200.   There is also a Congregational chapel, founded in 1651 and seats 468 and a branch chapel in Chatsworth street, erected in 1902, seating 200 adults and 250 children; Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1882; Baptist, in 1811, with 300 sittings, and Primitive Methodist, in 1866.   Providence Hall, High Pavement, was erected in 1896 by the pastor, Cyril T. Barrett.   The cemetery of 6 acres, adjoining the church, was opened in 1893, and is under the control of the Urban District Council; it has a mortuary chapel.   The Town Hall, erected in 1890, at a cost of about £4,000, is a structure of brick, and contains two public halls, one seating about 1,000 and the other 400 persons.   The Free library, Forest street, was erected in 1899 and has now (1904) about 1,400 volumes. There is a Mechanics' Institute and Reading Room in Hardwick street.   The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the collieries and in the manufacture of cotton, thread, silk and wool hosiery.   Excellent lime is made from limestone found here, and several collieries have been opened near the town within the last few years.   Fairs for horses and stock are appointed on Easter Tuesday and the Tuesday before the 2nd Thursday in October: the local feast begins on the 2nd Sunday after July 10th, and a large provision market is held every Saturday; the statute fair is on November 27th, but with the exception of the provision market are mostly in abeyance.   There are three charities, one left by Ann Mason in 1669, one given by Elizabeth Boot during her lifetime, and the other by Henry Newton, amounting in all to about £10, appropriated to the clothing and education of poor children.   The Duke of Portland K.G., P.C., G.C.V.O. is lord of the manor and impropriator and principal landowner.   The soil is clay and sand; subsoil, limestone.   The chief crops are wheat, beans, barley and oats, and there is some good pasturage land.   The area of the township is 4,810 acres of land and 69 of water; assessable value, £25,395.   The population of the civil parish and Urban District of Sutton-in-Ashfield, in 1891 was 10,562 and in 1901, 14,862, viz ., East Ward, 7,287, and West Ward, 7,575.   The population of the ecclesiastical parish in 1901 was 18,951.

By Local Government Board Order, No. 36, 643, which came into operation 29th July, 1897, part of the civil parish of Hucknall-under-Huthwaite (formerly part of Fulwood civil parish), in the Urban District of Sutton-in-Ashfield, was transferred to the Rural District of Skegby.

Forest Side, Sutton Woodhouse and Eastfield Side are parts of the parish; at the latter place is a Baptist chapel, founded in 1773 with 150 sittings.


Arthur Jepson, Howard street, attendance officer Mansfield road, boys, erected in 1888, girls in 1892 & infants in 1875, for 252 boys, 250 girls & 350, infants; average attendance, 280 boys, 262 girls & 320 infants.
Church street (infants), erected in 1874 & enlarged in 1893, for 300 children; average attendance, 281.
Alfreton road (mixed), erected in 1845 & enlarged in 1882, for 284 children & 130 infants; average attendance, 305 children & 145 infants.
Central, Priestsic road, opened in 1900 for 284 boys, 284 girls & 300 infants; average attendance, 280 boys, 264 girls & 285 infants.
Hardwick street, erected in 1879, for 300 boys, 250 girls & 350 infants; average attendance, 290 boys, 243 girls & 251 infants.

Written 25 Nov 13 Revised 25 Nov 13 © by Gary Elliott