During the past century eleven skeletons were discovered beneath the surface adjoining Westfield House, all carefully laid in a row, and lying in the same direction. These were probably the remains of persons killed in some fray in former days of national trouble. They were removed into the church yard and buried there. There are evident relics of a battle having been fought in Stoneyford Lane, probably during the Civil War, as bullets, balls, and other implements have been dug up there from time to time.

Human remains, bullets, &c, have been occasionally discovered in various parts of the parish, but more particularly in the vicinity where Mr. H. J. Hobson resides in High Pavement, and where many such were exhumed by some labourers about 1880, and where it was almost impossible to dig a few feet below the surface without meeting with them.

Westfield House was built by the late Mr. George Oscroft. of Low Street, who died in 1861. It was called "Shelf Hall," from the fact that deceased kept his employees employed at a time of bad trade and stocked the hosiery goods on shelves until there was a demand for them, thereby accumulating funds to build the hall.

AN ancient Seal was dug up in the Churchyard by the Sexton (the late Mr. Edward Allin), December, 1870. and is now in the possession of the Rev. P. J. Adams (Vicar). The Ven. Archdeacon Trollope believed it to have been the private seal of William de Sutton, a Monk of the 14th century. On the surface of the seal are engraved two monks in surplices seated at lecterns, one beneath the other, in the act of reading a book. Over the head of the upper monk is a crescent and a star, and seated on a branch of a tree issuing from the rim of the seal is a squirrel cracking a nut, with several other nuts falling to the ground. The seal has no handle, but at the back is a raised fleur de lis, and a small staple, by which a ribbon or chain might be attached for wearing it round the neck. The late Rev. C. Bellairs had a chain attached to the seal and fastened it inside the Church as an heirloom for the parish. "I crake nottes" was a common sigillary legend at that time, in connection with the device of a squirrel. The seal, not being gold or silver, is of no intrinsic value. William Sutton was probably a cadet of the family, and unimportant as having been simply a monk of some house, but who obtained burial in the churchyard of his paternal manor. At the time the late Sexton discovered the seal, which is of bronze and of an oval shape pointed at the top and bottom, he was preparing a grave for the late Mrs. Joseph Jephson on the west side of the Churchyard. The late Mr. Edwin Jephson was at one time assistant overseer for Sutton.

AN interesting casting was discovered as recently as October, 1906, in Carsic Lane, Sutton, by a miner, who presented it to Dr. Mitchell, of Osman House. It is a replica of the holy coins struck in the 1st century, and used by the early Christians. The inscription is in Hebrew:—"The Messiah has reigned. He came in peace, and being made the light of man, He lives." The head is that of our Saviour, with a sign on each side. The castings were moulded about the middle of the 16th century by some Italian artists, and were undoubtedly worn as an amulet or charm. One was unearthed in Co. Cork, Ireland, in 1812, and another has been recently discovered in Cornwall. The original coins aro extremely valuable. The one found in Sutton is in the safe keeping of Mr. G. G. Bonser, of Kirkstede (Church Street), who was the means of securing a description of the coin.


The following verses, written at Sutton-in-Ashfield in 1847, are taken from the late Dr. Spencer T. Hall's "The Upland Hamlet," published in that year. They are addressed "To John Whitehead, Esq., British Consul at Archangel," and are appertaining to the changes in the appearance of Sutton at the period named:—

Allwood's Croft-stile is gone, my Friend,
Where once you frolick'd with such glee: Stopt is the path to Smedley's-end,
And fell'd my Father's cottage tree ! Starch-yard is "Starch-yard" call'd no more;
In Windmill-lane there's now no mill; The Tithe-barn's doors were cloned before
The Sunday-school on Oates's-hill.
A change has come o'er all the town;
The Cotton-works in ruins fit and, And Unwin's-hall is coming down.
Although to last for ages plann'd ! Cowpasture-hills are levell'd low,
And Maple-wells are all closed in: The Forest-side few flowers can show—
Its streets grow thick, its woods grown thin !
'Tis true the Church still rises nigh;
But even that is not the same (Since our old neighbours round it lie)
As when in childhood's day we came! And now a fine new School they rear—
That's one good sight I'm glad to see— Yet all such change, however fair,
Makes home less homely seem to me !
But something still, dear John, imparts
A charm to our old native spot: Our love of many living hearts,
And many gone but not forgot,— A tender and an infelt power.
Strength'ning as outward things decay, Linking the past and passing hour
With a less changeful coming day !
























































. 31st)


THE parish of Sutton-in-Ashfield lies to the extreme west of Nottinghamshire, on the most elevated portion of the county, about 600 feet above the level of the sea, a little to the east of the rich valley of the Erewash. It is in the Broxtow Hundred of North Notts., three-and-a-half miles south-west from Mansfield, 14 miles from Nottingham, and 140 from London, on the Midland and Great Northern Railways.

To distinguish it from the numerous other Suttons in the kingdom (about 70 in all), it has the addition of Ashfield, from the great number of ash trees which grew here, when this formed a part of the famous Forest of Sherwood.

The origin of the name Sutton is not exactly known, some saying it means the "Sweet Town," others the "South Town." It contains 6,040 acres of land, and the population in 1873 was 7,500. In 1906 it was 18,454, the number of inhabited houses being 3,717.

The manor, which now belongs to the Duke of Portland, was formerly held by ancient tenure from the Crown. "Jordan de Sutton 16. Ed. I. held one messuage and 12 bovats of land, and two bovats in Hothweit," [now Hucknall Huthwaite], "for which he paid 14s. per an. to the King, and did homage, and service, and snit to Mansfield Court, from three weeks to three weeks, and suit in the King's army in Wales, for 40 days, with one man, horse, haubergeon, cap of iron, lance, and sword."

A frame, containing representations of the Arms of Sir Jordane de Sutton and Arms of the Manor of Sutton-in-Ashfield, now hangs in a conspicuous place in the upper room of the Urban District Council's offices, Outram Street. The first shield is that borne by Sir Jordane de Sutton when attending the army in Wales in the reign of King Edward the First. The second shield is that of the Lordship of Sutton as borne by the Snittertons in 1086, from whom Sir Jordane's family received it by descent as heirs thereto.

The "custom" of the court, with regard to persons dying intestate, being still observed, the estate not descending according to common law, but according to the custom of the manor.

The market is on Saturday, and is well supplied. The annual wake, in honour of the dedication of the church, is on the Sunday nearest to St. Mary Magdalene's Day, 22nd July, and formerly cattle fairs were held on the Tuesday in Easter Week, and the second Tuesday in October.

Thoroton tells us, in his County History, that Sutton, together with Skegby and "Hochenale Houthweit,'' were "bernes of the soke of Mansfield, which was King Edward the Confessor's land, and afterwards King William the Conqueror's."

Gerard, son of Walter de Sutton, gave to God and the Church of St. Peter at Thurgarton, two bovats of land, with his mother (when she took the habit of religion), and the church of the same town- his brother Robert being converted to religion, or dead. From the family of De Sutton the manor appears to have passed into the family of Greenhalgh of Teversal, and from thence to the Molyneux's of the same place, from them to the Hardwick's of Hardwick, thence to the noble family of Cavendish, who exchanged it away for other estates, upwards of a century ago, to the Dukes of Portland, in whose hands it still remains, the whole parish, with few exceptions, being copyhold, under the Court of Mansfield. Estates are transferred from one tenant to another by the delivery of a rod and the payment of a fine certain.

Sutton is in the Mansfield Union and County Court district, Nottingham Bankruptcy Court district, Broxtow Wapentake, Mansfield Petty Sessional Division, Sutton Polling District, Mansfield Parliamentary Division of the County, Mansfield Rural Deanery, Nottingham Archdeaconry, and Southwell Diocese (formerly in Lincoln Diocese). The Duke of Portland, as previously mentioned, is lord of the manor and principal owner of the soil; at the Enclosure 1,100 acres were allotted to him in lieu of the rectorial tithes. The manor, which is partly copyhold, was anciently a berue of the soke of Mansfield.

According to a survey of Sherwood Forest made in the year 1609 it contains 95,115 acres, of which 44,839 acres were then enclosed; 9,486 in woods, 35,080 in wastes, 1,583 in Clipstone Park, 8,072 in Bestwood Park, 326 in Bulwell Park, and 129 in Nottingham Park. In 1699 to 1796 among the enclosures which then took place was 2,698 in Sutton.

The present rateable value of Sutton is £29,503.