Rainworth Village

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Memories / History

.The Ink pot  Toll Bar

A brief History of Rainworth




Rainworth is a semi-rural Village in North Nottinghamshire, situated between the Towns of Mansfield and Newark.


The History of Rainworth as a settlement, goes back to Roman Times and has strong Roman ties. The Village originated from The Roman Way, a Roman road, which ran through Mansfield, Rainworth, Newark and on to the Garrison at Lincoln ( Lindum)

  A Roman Camp was set up by the River Idle, now Rainworth Water which runs through Rainworth



 In the year 617 AD King Redwald of East Angles (Anglia) raised an Army to fight King Ethelfrid  of Northumbria, during  a fierce battle on the east side of the River Idle, near to what is now known as Rainworth Bogs ( Rainworth Heath) off Pit Lane , Redwald`s son, Ragnhere was killed. To mark his death the River Idle became known as Regnhere`s  wath or Ford ,now known as Rainworth Water, the immediate area also became known as Reynwath, Reynethwath, Water of Reynwath, Reynewath, Reynewathford, Raynswathe, Reinwarth Forthe, Rayngwath and finally became known as Rainworth.

In the 12th Century, around 1190 Rainworth Lodge was built, a hunting lodge thought to be used by Rufus Clarke, a forester, with King John`s hunting party and later was the Home of Joseph Whitaker


Details of Rainworth are scarce until the sixteenth century when there were only thirteen dwellings. The first was Three Thorn Hollow Farm , there were six in the old village square now known as Ramsden Croft. Two more on the main Southwell Road, Lake farm, The Toll House and weigh bridge, the Nurseries, and the Sherwood Inn (now known as the Robin Hood Pub). In  the year 1771 the Innkeepers name was John Ramsden , the building was altered from a farm house to a an Inn,  and in 1904 it was altered to a large Victorian type building. Then in 1966 it was equipped with a new Bar and a cosy Lounge.


The Midland Railway opened a Link Line in April 1871 to two of the company`s feeder Lines from Nottingham, opened in the 1840`s, to the Mansfield Line and Lincoln Line , as the latter passed Southwell a single track branch was opened in 1847, from the Minster Town to Rolleston Junction 2.5 miles away, a shuttle service connected with most Nottingham to Lincoln Trains.This evidently did not pay, by 1853 the service was down to one Train per week and Horse drawn at that !

Steam services were reintroduced in 1860 and the line extended via Rainworth to Mansfield in 1871 to tap the developing Coal Fields, this was chiefly a mineral line , and passenger services rather meagre. Soon after opening a service was introduced from Southwell to Buxton following influence from the Bishop, Buxton at that time was the furthest time in the Diocese, since few of the faithful made the pilgrimage the service was short lived. The line was then left with a basic passenger service of two return trains between Mansfield and Newark with two extra to Rolleston Junction on Market days.

Rainworth Station stood approximately on the Church Bank housing development. Race excursions  to Southwell Races , and to the Holiday resorts of the Lincolnshire coast, and Coal traffic continued through Rainworth until 1965. There were many Station Masters , the first Mr. A Rowell, G. Lambert, W. Doughty, C. Chappel, Mr. Conduit, Mr, Church, Mr H. Lacey, and lastly Mr. Bremna.

For many years water was delivered to the Station in Milk Churns , until a piped water supply was installed.


During the days of the Toll House and Weighbridge a Door and Window Tax was imposed , because of this many people bricked up some doors and windows to pay less Tax. When this was abolished a Hearth Tax was introduced , which meant that for every Hearth / fireplace in the House, a Tax must be paid. Like the doors and winows, many fireplaces were removed or bricked up.


Rainworth`s first Church services were held in the large kitchen at the Lake Farm it was also used as a day school for about 20 years until 1890 . Rainworth wanted it`s own Church and an application was made to Lord saville of Rufford, for a piece of land on which to build it, not only did he grant the land, but he also gave a wooden building which after some alterations became rainworth`s first Church. It was opened with a special service on the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude in September. It was in use for 17 years until it was beyond repair and was replaced with a corrugated building at a cost of £60.00 but it only lasted 6 years and was replaced  with a much larger building timber framed , plastered on the inside, and pebble dashed on the outside.In 1939 the Church made a further move to a new brick building on land purchased from Mansfield Brewery next to the Robin Hood pub.

Rainworth`s first resident Vicar was the Reverend H. E. Fitzherbert who had the Vicarage built in 1912, he had a staff of 9, it was said the Governess was a German Spy during World War One. Mr Fitzherbert left the Vicarage to the people of  Rainworth


In  1895 Mansfield corporation built a waterworks off Southwell road near to the Boundary, it was demolished in 1956 to be replaced  from steam power with all electrical powered generators to pump up the water from a depth of 200 feet or more. Before the Waterworks  the early residents of Rainworth drew water from a well at the old square, now Ramsden Croft, also the Toll House until a cat fell into it, they they had a mains supply connected. The Nurseries had a hand pump, and the Robin |Hood Pub had two, one inside the kitchen the other outside for travellers  animals


 In 1911 the Bolsover Colliery sank 2 shafts which were to become Rufford Colliery during the sinking, on February 7 1913 there was a terrible disaster caused by overwinding because of a faulty nail, a temporary awning fell on the engine mans head just as the revolving drums drew a seven ton steel water barrel

from the shaft,  killing 14 men and injuring many others. One died later. The job of recovering the bodies took four days because of the flow of an underground stream.Four escaped by hanging on to debris floating in the icy water at the bottom of the shaft.


Those killed were ??..


 Andrew Bagnall aged 37

Frank Bagnell 27

 Thomas Jordan 32

 Joseph Bettney 41

John Tomlinson 49

Jesse Hart 26

Henry Scott 47

Walter Storey 38

 John Knoles 33

Herbert Woodward 25

 James Wigman 43

 Patrick Mulligan 33

 William Hollins 22

 Fredrick Paddon 36.

The Mansfield  Jeweller  Mr John C. Brittain who owned a shop in Church Street, Mansfield began raising a fund for the bereaved , as he had done a year before after the sinking of the Titanic. He wrote a poem entitled In the midst of life, this was sold for the price of 2 old pence each .The proceeds were given to the Mayor of Mansfield for the dependants. 

The poem read as follows :-


In the Midst of Life.


Secluded Forest dear to me

Far from the haunts of Men

An awful death to thirteen came

May I relate it then :-

Get up for dinner  - do please Dad

Andwake the boys for me

I would not have you miss a shift

It means so much for we


Father and Son they rise and dress

Enjoy their mid- day meal

Mother now them up some snap

How proud she must feel


As each in turn bids her goodbye

And then adieu to all

O ! had they known ere close of day

Lifes curtain, death, would fall


Conductor, will you stop the car

My mates now all will ride

With hearts so light, and spirits bright

They`re seated side by side


Too soon they reach terminus

Each to other talk

No thought of danger filled their breasts

And on and on they walk


Those sinkings they at Rufford reach

The brave eighteen go down

Each work and toil for those they love

O! what will be their Crowns


A crash ! A crash !  Seven Tons in weight

This cylinder was hurled

It thundered in that well of death

O ! what a death unfurled


Deep down in that black hole tonight

Those toilers thirteen sleep

No more will Daddy, Dear come home

Mother and Children weep


Their heads are crowned with glory now

They`re natures noble men

They gave their lives for others too

And died within their den


God grant them now a resting place

In mansions of the blest

Whose souls for love have paid the price

May each for Heaven find rest


One more now joins the stricken band

Alas We`ve left but four

With them that night will live each day

Until life`s journey`s o`er


Too late for some, Two men go down

To answer calls for aid

Yet not too late to save four lives

The hand  of death thus stayed


Those to the rescue who went down

The bravest of the brave

A rich reward awaits you both

Who risked your lives to save.


With the sinking of the pit coal was reached on 13 October 1913 at a depth of 554 yards. Thus began Rufford Colliery. The first houses for workers to be built were on Southwell Road and became known as White City because they were ?white-washed? half way up on instruction of the Mayor of Mansfield, who thought the bare brickwork would offend passing dignitaries, and came under Mansfield Council.

The next development was the ?Model village? and Kirklington Road was built, houses were then built on North Avenue,  and Python Hill, followed by Little John Drive, South Avenue, and Kirklington Road. These came under Southwell Rural District Council , now Newark and Sherwood Council, and effectively split the Village, which still remains to this day.

Many shops were then built, and the Village green  developed . Rainworth had many shops the first was in one of the two houses on Southwell Road at the centre of the village, when the population began to increase in the White City three more shops opened Mr H Eames had a Post Office on the corner of Southwell Road and First Avenue, he also had one of the only two Motor Vehicles in Rainworth.  On the other corner Mr J Gregory had the first Newsagents Shop near the Boundary of Mansfield he also taught the Violin in his spare time .Mrs. Coleman had a Grocery Shop

With the development of the Model Village more shops were needed and a new row was built near the village green, the first was a corrugated hut Mr Wally Mosley rented it and sold hardware, pots and pans cooking utensils, and general hardware. Next to the Hardware shop were two wooden buildings the first was Mr T Edwards, a shoe maker and repairer from Blidworth, Mr James had a had a Greengrocers , later taken over by Mr E Handcock, there was also a Barbers shop run by Mr H. Morley, and two shops forming a Chemist shop run by Mr B Hayes. Mr Shelton had a Newsagents and Miss V. Brailsford sold sweets cakes and Bread.

Mr Eams ran a Taxi service to Mansfield in the First World war, later he had a new brick building erected and set up a new Post Office, near the Village Green. Mr Hayes followed by having a shop next to it and his two shops became a Fish and Chip Shop and a Haberdashery shop. By 1936 all the timber shops had been replaced with Brick buildings.


On the Village Green an Elm tree was planted, some records show the year 1879, others 1905, the same year the waterworks opened  it became known as the Tree of Knowledge as Colliers met and sat under it to discuss matters concerning early union issues, and became a local landmark, situated in front of the Robin Hood Pub.During 1962 it was cut down after being held up with iron bars and became dangerous. A stump was left, and the tree started growing again and Rainworth once again had it`s tree back. During the 1970`s it became the subject of heated arguments at Parish Council Meetings, as a road improvement scheme was proposed by the County council, much to the annoyance of local conservationists, as this would mean the tree would be cut down, as it was a hazard to motorists, as traffic approaching the junction from Kiklington road  could not see traffic from Mansfield  or Blidworth. After a lot of complaints a tree surgeon examined the tree a found it had Dutch Elm Disease and the tree was cut down and removed . Some locals believe the tree did not have any signs of disease when being removed , and was a ploy by the Council to get their own way for the road improvent scheme.




Localy sourced information,Courtesy of and  thanks to James Spinks, Mansfield Chad, Nottingham Evening Post and numerous local publications.


Ransom Hospital and the Nottinghamshire Association for the prevention of Consumption

Details of Ransom Hospital for the treatment of Consumption, the Duke of Portland offered 50 acres of Pine woodland and moorland on Ratcher hill, to build aspecialist Sanitorium.

 Details from Mansfield Advertiser 30.11.1900



Below is the inscription on the plate - in 1813 James Dowland states that the

plate was taken off the Lindhurst Stone by some tinkers, some years ago (he

does not say if it was found or if this plate is in place of the lost one).

















On the days this business was being conducted a feast and sports were held

known as the Harlow Wood Feast at Lincoln Dale, all kinds of entertainment

dancing and merryment took place adjacent to this site. In the Forest Book of1761 it states at length that there was a new song for the Harlow Wood Feast

it is several verses long it goes — LONG LIVE GEORGE OUR GREAT KING






In the Forest Book it states Lincoln Dale Attachment Court 1st YR QUEEN

ANNE 1702? (POOR WRITING) Thomas How was the keeper of Lindhurst

and Mansfield.


And it is to knowe that, all the wode growing on the eesh parte of the grete

waye that leedith betwyx Notyngham, and Maunsfield unto Sothwell rode in

lengith, and the syke of Raynewath on the southe parte, and the valey where

a syke, caliyd the olde Idle hathe the course on the north parte in lengith, is the

chieffe wode of the foresh of Shirewood that is callyd Lyndehurst and hit

appertaynyth to no towne or to no man is, arented, but hit is kepte fok? the

sustentacion of the workes of the, Castell of Notyngham, and hit is called the

Kynges, chieff demaynes, and a man whos name was Rauff Clere, was the chieff

"" 70

servant of Robert Everingham, and was forester there, and gederid, chymnage

throgh, all the Forest, and dwellyd, at a lodge that was callyd ye new repare,

the whiche was bylded on the southe parte of the seyed Lyndehurst besyde the

syke of Raynewath etc — (a Wollaton manuscript F.O.A.T. verso)

Ref: Thorotons Antiquities of Nottynhamshire 1677 Page 505/6 Robert

Everingham (1217-1270 HENRY III) - was keeper of the Forest,

In the Forest Book it states the keeper of Lindhurst hath twenty shillings

by yeare (and the High Wells keeper hath the same).

R. Mellors in his book says about the year 1194 provision for the repair of

Nottingham Castle was by the proceeds of land known as The Liberty of the

Kings Manor of Lindhurst.

1366. CIRCA. The stone for Romylowes Tower Nottingham Castle, was from

Basford and Gedling and the timber from Shirewood Lindhurst.

The chief wood of the Kynge which is called Lindhurst is hurted of one

hundred small oaks, by Stephen Numbeiow for Nottingham Castle.

1632 Lindhurst is shown on a tapestry map made by Mary Eyre at Rampton


In the Blidworth Church Parish register is entered three burials —

Feb.21/1676 Roger Mue of Lindhurst buried (extra parochial.)

Aug.25/1695 Joseph Breedon of Lindhurst buried (extra parochial)

Mar.19/1743 Samuel Lowe of Lindhurst buried (extra parochial)

The Forest book states — Lindhurst timber warrant for the repair of Newark

and Nottingham Castles 1586 A.D.

The Duke of Buckingham Heir of the Duke of Rutland (Manners) 1664 A.D.

sold Nottingham Castle to the first Duke of Newcastle who died in 1676 aged

33 years (could this have been how Lindhurst came into the possession of the

Duke of Newcastle as it was kept for the sustentation of Nottingham Castle.

1586/June 9 — A warrant was given by the Lord Treasurer Sir Walter

Mildmay to Rowland Dand to fell trees for the repair of Nottingham and Newark


1739 November 28 the Earl of Oxfords trustees 1. John Vessey Master of the

Rolls - Robert Harley of Lincolns Inn and James West of Middle Temple.

2. The Earl and Countess of Oxford. 3. Evelyn Duke of Kingston, that Lindhurst

ground is 730 acres total in the Sherwood Forest with two messuages - with its

tythes 31 years £30 per annum, and 2/- per acre ploughed. 2. The Earl to pay

taxes and the seals of 1. John Vessey to be affixed (A Deed).

1759 April 21. Lease 1. Joseph Briggs for the Duchess of Portland 2. Richard

Whitehouse and John Robinson —the Duchess to pay for building a house and

outhouses — and allow Richard Whitehouse and John Robinson £70 for fencing

500 acres, and £280 for fencing 500 acres into 25 closes of 20 acres each the

Duchess to allow wood for rails etc and one gate and two stoops for each close.

1658 Lindhurst and Lindhurst Plaine, a claim to see if Lindhurst and Noe

Mans Wood formerly Forsworn Wood is in the Manor of Mansfield.

Later a dispute between the Duke of Portland and the Savilles of Rufford on

the ownership of Noe Mans Wood.

1839 January 12 Lindhurst Pew in Blidworth Church. The Duke of Portland

paid £20 for a pew in the Church enlargement assigned for ever to tennants


of Lindhurst plus 10/- per year rent, John Downall was Vicar of Blidworth.

The Duke of Newcastle or the Marquis took possession of Lindhurst and Noe;

Mans Wood and as no grant could be found, the Parliamentary Commifisionef*

arrived at Mansfield in 1792 (at this later date about the time of the inclosure act)

to investigate, and the Dukes agent informed them that the Duke had been

allowed undisturbedly to exercise the rights of ownership so long that he was

protected by the act of the nineth year of George III cap 16 1769 from re

covery, and therefore he should maintain the ownership entire, nothing further

was done about it and it seems the Dukes claim was accepted as valid.

The Kings Manor of Lindhurst 1820 to 1873 is now the property of the Duke

of Portland, Richard Godson Millns Esq is about to quit Lindhurst after an uninterupted

tenancy of (53) Fifty Three years (this was printed in 1873).

In a dispute a court was held at Mansfield against a claim that Lindhurst be

in Skegby Manor or Mansfield, this could be the one in 1658 that included Noe

Mans Wood.

The old Moated hunting Lodge built on the south part of Lindhurst where

Raff Clere was Forester in 1251 A.D., and took tolls from people passing through

the Forest. This Raff Clere appears as a Verderer in 1287 A.D. — He was dis

missed as unqualified in 1293 A.D. — The rentals and surveys for 1295 show

him to have been the largest tenant in Mansfield Manor —. While he was in office

he attended the Forest assemblies which met at Lindhurst on the site of the

Forest Stone.

The lakes on the Rainworth Water were used as the feeders for the irrigation

system for Lindhurst flood meadows to create green pasture, there was also

an irrigation system on the Old Idle or Foul Evil brook side of Lindhurst, the

large slotted sluice stones and other stones are still in evidence, they being removal

and deposited near the Rainworth Water, I estimate these were constructed about

1816 CIRCA the time when the Duke constructed the Flood Dykes at Mansfield


The moated site at Ltndhurst according to J.H. Knighton in his book History

of Mansfield could have been tfoe site for the Manor of Mansfield 1342 A.D.

quote - owing to the fact that Mansfield Manor was part of the Crown demesnes

for the greater part of its existence, there was no great need for a large Manor

House - at an inquisition held at Mansfield on the death of Eleanor wife of Sir

Nicholas Dagworth in 1342 it was definitely stated that there was not any Manor

House built, but there was a site. Here in 1251 A.D. stood the Newe Repare a

hunting lodge, later the residence for the under Lords of the 13th and 14th

centuries when they visited Mansfield Moot Court. A document in 1602 states

tyme out of the memory of any man living there hath beene a house in Mansfield

called Moot Hall where the Courts of the Manor, and the Forest Courts have been

held — unquote.

Horner Groves also refers to this site on page 23 of his History of Mansfield.

This moated site remained in the possession of the Duke of Portland until his

trustees sold a strip of land with the lakes and moat to Tom Shipside December

31/1925 and according to this Deed it is stated as being in the Parish of Lindhurst

— There is also an Indenture of August 2/1879 with the most Noble William John

Cavendish Bentinck Scott the then Duke of Portland along with this Deed.


Near by but on the other side of the Rifawoirth water is what is

Friar Tucks Well - this was a spring claimed, to be chalybeate or

minerals of iron etc, it has been dried up fo? a long time, and is not identifiable to anyone who does not know its location, it is only a few feet inside theBlidworth border from Lindhurat on private ground.

                                                  NO MANS WOOD

No Mans Wood formerly Forsworn Wood a dispute between the Duke of

Portland and Savflle The Earl of Scarborough, Rufford Abbey.

1851 October 21 Award by Nathan Weatheril eseheater and adjudicator - The

boundaries are given in very exacting detail and this is a very brief summary of

its location.

Stones marked M (Mansfield) MW (Mansfield Woodhouse) R (Rufford) begins

at three stones that mark this point then to the octagonal toU bar house at

Rainworth then to the apex of Strawberry Hill — also to triangular figures cut

in the turf as markers, then over the old Eakring Road Mansfield Woodhouse then by Elmsley Lodge Farm fence — then it crosses the ancient road from Blidworthto Ciipstone and Warsop now stopped under the Mansfield and Mansfield

WoodhouBe Inclosure, — by the boundary stones marked M — MW — and R.




The wood was awarded to the Savilles of Rufford Abbey.

In a dispute in Eyre there was a dispute against a claim that Lindhurst be in

the Manor of Skegby or Mansfield this could be the one in 1658 that included

Noe Mans Wood.



Shortly subsequent to the Conquest The Manor of Haywood Oaks is described

as a parcel of the Great Honour of Peveril son of William the Conqueror of whom

it was held by Sir Richard de Bingham. This family must have resided on the spot

for some generations as we find mention of no less than three of his name. One

Temp Edward II is thus described — Richard Byngham Knight that is dede made

one assart affore the last iorney in his owne soile of Heywood of VI acres of

grounde by estymacion and hyt liethe waste. The Manor for a time passed to

another member of the family for we read Edward II That the wode of Heywood

is wasted of old since the last Journai by Rawffe Bugge of Nottingham that is

dede, and then another Richard Byngjaam is mentioned as inhabiting after this

despoiler of the Manor is written — It iongeth unto Byngham and the tradition

exists that the tenant has a right to a seat in Bingham Church.

1212 A.D. CIRCA a great meet was held at Haywood Oaks, there would be a

tournament and the Knights and all having to give service to the King would

have to attend and prove their weapons, the archers and swordsmen would attend

this Wapentake or Weapontouch, it is recorded as The Great Journaie and Regarde

at Heywood Oaks Juxta Blydworthe by Brian De'Insula The Kynge Hys Grande

Justiciarce CIRCA 1212 A.D.

Blidworth vestry book entry Jan. 12/1839 William




In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Rainworth like this:

RAINWORTH, a hamlet in Blidworth parish, Notts; 3¼ miles S E of Mansfield. Pop., 71

The origins of Rainworth.


Druids were in Sherwood Forest long before Robin Hood.


Rainworth and Fountain Dale with Copmanhurst , all parts of Sherwood Forest and mostly within the parish of Blidworth, are pre-eminently the land of Robin Hood. Outlaw Balladry has much to say of these Greenwood Robbers and has invested them and their haunts with the glamour of romance and Rainworth at least has a history that goes back to the Roman era and possibly to ages yet more remote.

The local annals are not only intermittent, displaying long gaps, but many of the most important events ascribed to Rainworth and Fountain Dale are or have been disputed. No general agreement exists as to the origin and meaning of the village name.

A bronze Celt found here has been described by one expert as “Probably British” but by another as “Roman”. The important Battle of the Idle reputed to be the “earliest recorded event in Nottinghamshire History” was fought in 617AD is said to have taken place “near Rainworth” although other authorities suggest it is nearer Retford.


Whether Robin Hood a Man or Myth is a question which opinions differ, the main view is that the existence of an  outlaw chief around when numerous Legends have accrued, and existed during the first half of the 14th Century.


A claim has been advanced, linking the Druids with Blidworth, but without subscribing to the belief of older Antiquaries that hereabouts are Oaks ancient enough to have associations with Celtic worship, there seems to be no valid reason for refusal to believe that  Druid Priests celebrated their rites and ceremonies in the vicinity and were familiar with the River known as Rainworth Water formerly  the Old Idle.


The glamorous tale of Robin Hood and the cultural Friar Tuck as presented in “Ivanhoe” centres on Fountaindale and Copmanhurst which is now more of a name that a place for so little remains of it. As Sir Walter (Scott) portrayed the incidents he made no pretence of their authenticity but as he explained, based on Ballads and liberally embellished with fiction of his own creation. His story purports to narrate how Richard I, outstripped by companions in the chase and became lost in the darkening shades of Sherwood Forest at Eventide, found shelter for the night in friar Tuck`s hermitage in sequestered Copmanhurst where he gained admission and spent the evening drinking wine with Friar Tuck. “Then the Holy Friar threw to the winds his philosophy of fasting and prayer and spent a Jovial night together, it wasn`t until the morning that Robin Hood appeared on the scene and the King`s anxious courtiers discovered the Monarch there, that friar Tuck learned the quality of his guest, but the King laughed it off and soon shared in the assault made by the outlaw band on Front-de-boeuf`s imaginary Castle of Torquilstone”.

Scott`s version of the Copmanhurst adventures to the time of King Richard was to present a Medieval picture but Cour De Lion suited his purpose better that the week King Edward II in whose time Robin is considered to have flourished.


The Black Knight, Richard in disguise and friar Tuck drinking by the light of a single torch (Ivanhoe)   c.1824



The Roman Road at Rainworth.


Though Rainworth`s British associations are doubtful, there is no uncertainty, as to its Roman Connections .A Roman road which stuck off from the Fosseway at Newark passed Southwell and proceeded via Rainworth to Mansfield.

Vestiges of it were observed by Major Rooke near the end of the 18th century at Norwell park and Kirklington and although it`s course through Sherwood Forest became largely lost in succeeding ages he found traces again near Rainworth it can be also traced by it`s Fords and River crossings as at Salterford and Rufford.


The second syllable of the village name preserves the old Norse term “Wath” or Ford. The site of the original ford is now uncertain but in oldest map of the Rufford estate it figures as “Roman`s ford” and the road later became known as “Pedlar`s way”


One theory is an individual named Regen whose “worth” or farm it was, however the Place-name society prefers to interpret it as representing the old Norse “Hrein” which means “Clean” therefore meaning “Clean Wath (or Ford), though it admits that as the Ford is on the Boundary between Broxtowe and Bassetlaw the Last element may be the old Norse “rein” (a boundary strip).


Whatever it`s name implies it was extant(in existence)by about 900AD though it does not appear in records until 1253 when it appears as Reynwath, though it is doubtful if a permanent settlement had been made here at that time.

The theory that the historic battle of the River Idle (617AD) which led to the adoption of Christianity in Saxon England, was fought hereabouts appears to rest solely on the fact that the stream crossed by the ford was in those days known as the Old Idle

It was observed by W H Stevenson that the Idle as it is now known starts at the junction of the Maun and the Meden, but in Bede`s time (673 – 735)and until about the 5 century , it commenced at Fountaindale and and so occupied the course of the present Rainworth Water and the lower beaches of the Meden.

A Forest perambulation of 253 records that “by the great road from Southwell to Farnsfield unto Rainworth dyke on the south side is an alley where the Old Idle belongs to the King it`s profits going towards the maintenance of the Royal castle of Nottingham”

Another of 1300 tells that the boundary of Sherwood Forest came “by the Wood of the Abbott of Rufford and stretches itself as far as Reyne ford and thence towards the east”

It seems then that this district was largely woodland and that the Ford, which probably originated the village,was the local point for traffic between Southwell and Mansfield.



Based on  Notts villages articles by W.E.D.   c.1954









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