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There are several ways for you to discover the heritage of Wellow, apart from this website, including:

  • Visiting our newly created Heritage Centre located inside the Wellow Church Schoolroom - either in-person or on this website.

  • Reading our Wellow Heritage booklet (see below).

  • Following the village Heritage Trail by using the heritage interpretation boards located around the village.

  • Watching our Wellow Heritage Video, which can be found here: 

  • Following the Wellow Heritage Walk leaflet, which can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking the download button on the following two pdf readers.

A 32 page booklet has been carefully researched and published, which presents an overview of our village and parish heritage. To obtain a copy of this booklet please send us an email and we will provide you with the payment details (£2.00 + PP).

A sample chapter can be read below.

Heritage Booklet Front Cover.jpg
Rufford Wellow Map copy.jpg

Chapter One: Medieval Wellow and a Deserted Village

Most English villages slowly evolved over hundreds of years, however Wellow has a different story: At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) Wellow didn’t exist, neither did Rufford Abbey, but the histories of the two are closely entwined, along with that of the deserted medieval village of Grimston, and Jordan Castle.

During the mid-C12th Rufford Abbey was established (1145 charter) for the Cistercian monks. This meant the displacement of many peasants who lived in three villages that sat on the land that now makes up the parish of Rufford, namely Rufford, Cratley and Wirchenefeld. Many of those residents were given land to build a new village, which we now know as Wellow. Parish boundaries had to be re-aligned, and this new village was built in the parish of Grimston, which then became known as ‘Grimston with Wellow’.

Grimston village lay on the A616 about one kilometre east of Wellow and the manor/parish was primarily a berewick (outlying estate) of the manor of Mansfield. Jordan Castle was Grimston’s manor house, which was originally a motte and bailey castle but later became a fortified manor house when Jordan Foliot applied to have it crenellated in 1264. The ringwork of the castle, although still visible is not accessible with it being on private land. The two most well-known Lords of the Manor were the Foliots (1225-1330) and Hastings (1330-c1560) families. The Foliots’ maintained strong connections with the crown and twice hosted Henry III.

During the Foliots’ reign as Lords of the Manor of Grimston the new village of Wellow (originally Welhaugh) rapidly became the new centre of population within the parish. Its residents since the C13th have been known as free men, under which a seal was given confirming this, and as such owned their own farms and in some cases even owning the land (rather than renting from the Lord of the Manor).

The village of Wellow sits on the very edge of the parish and was just outside the boundary of the royal Sherwood Forest, which meant that it had the advantage of not being under forest law. This location also had a second great advantage: it sat on the ‘Great Way of Blythe’ (Nottingham to York Road – A614), which abutted the western edge of the village until the road was moved further west by Sir George Savile of Rufford in the 1650s.

Grimston became deserted during the C16th but evidence of its existence survives in both today’s landscape and field names, such as Grimston Hill. However, it is likely that the manor house was vacated after the Hastings family became the Lords of the Manor as they were absentee lords.

Since Wellow was a ‘planted’ village, it gave the settlers the privilege of designing its layout. Most of the dwellings lay near each other around the village green, which is a rare triangular shape, with some historians pointing out that it bears the same proportions as a medieval arrowhead and points directly at Nottingham castle – was this a sign of rebellion?

A 1553 document lists both residents and field names of ‘Wellaugh and Grymston’; Local people will recognise some field names as they have survived through into the C21st. They include; Welhaugh Parke, Thistlyfeld, Dukkett Hegge, Berlie Closse, Masons Closse, Cokkenhill, Stubbyng Feld, Halstedes, Sheld, Wroo, Hallwong, Belerhirst, Wellaugh grene, Peertree Yard, Cokestole Closse, Field of Wellaugh, Wroodyke, WadWong, Brome Closse, Norysebuske, Parsonlond, Whitmerpitt, Stonygappe Dyke, Grenebalkende, and Fisshepole doole.  Some of the ancient rights of way included Pynder lane, Queen’s highway, Potter Lane, Baklane, Kirke Lane, Highstrete, Marketstede, and Deep Lane.

Wellow village was designated a Conservation Area in 1978 to preserve its heritage and historic beauty.

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