Includes the two townships of Whatton and Aslacton, which keep their poor separately, and contain together 976 inhabitants and about 3400 acres of land in the Vale of the Smite, where that river is augmented by the Wipling.
WATTON village and township is on the south side of the Grantham road, three miles East by South of Bingham. It was anciently called Watone, from its watery situation, the flood water lying longer here than in many other places.
It contains 532 inhabitants, and 1800 acres of land, and was enclosed in the year 1790, when 36A. 111r 1p. were allotted to the vicar, and 120A. 3n. 5n. to the impropriator, G. S. Foljambe, Esq., in lieu of tithes. The latter sold his allotment to Thomas Hall, Esq., of Nottingham, who now owns 800 acres here, having purchased several farms of the lord of the manor, the Earl of Chesterfield, who still holds 320 acres, and the remainder belongs to several smaller freeholders.
- D. Hall, Esq., erected in 1841 a large and elegant mansion, near the southern point of the parish, which stands on, a gentle eminence, and commands extensive and picturesque views over the Vale of Belvoir; its majestic castle, with the Leicestershire hills, are seen in the distance, and is delightfully surrounded with pleasure grounds and thriving plantations. It is built in the Elizabethan style, a great part of the village
is rebuilt, slated, and stuccoed, in the same style as the Manor House, which gives an air of elegance and neatness rarely to be met with in an agricultural village. After the Conquest, this manor was of the fee of Gilbert de Gand. It was long held by the Whattons, Newmarches, and Gascoignes, the latter of whom sold it to the father of the first Earl of Chesterfield; but some of the lands were successively held by the Whalleys, Gelsthorps, and others. The Church, which Adelina de Whatton gave to Welbeck, has a handsome tower and spire with five and contains many ancient monuments of the Whatton, Newmarch, Cranmer families. The whole was repewed in 1807, at the cost of £1,700., except the chancel, which is in a very decayed state, and the duty of repairing which belongs to the owner of the impropriate lands. The Vicarage is valued in the King’s books at £5. 6s. 8d. G. S. Foljambe Esq., is the patron, and the Rev. H. N. Bousfield, B. A., is the incumbent. A Methodist chapel was built here in 1825. The charities consist of the Poor’s close, (one acre,) the tenant of which distributes three tons of coals, and £12 left by John Clayter, in 1738 and now in the bank at 2½ per cent yearly; and £12.
Aslacton is a pleasant Village and township on the. N. side of the Smite, one mile N. by W. of Whatton, and 2 miles E. of Bingham. It ,contains 424 inhabitants, and 1600 acres of land, most of which is occupied by the owners, except the Abbey farm, (200 acres,) which belongs to King’s Cliff school, in Northamptonshire, and the following allotments made at the enclosure in 1780, viz, :-65 acres to Alexander Heaton and William Bilbies, Esq., in lieu of the impropriated tithes, and 44 acres to the vicar of Whatton, in lieu of the vicarial tithes.
It consists of as many manors as it as owners, and was formerly a chapelry, but its chapel was in ruins many years ago, and a writer in the 62nd vol. of the Gentlemen’s magazine, says, ” part of the walls still, remain; these are visible under a modern built house of brick and tile, and the chapel itself is now a common alehouse.” The inhabitants now use Whatton church, and pay one-third of the church-rate.
After the Conquest, Aslacton was of the fees of Walter D’Agincourt, Ilbert de Lacey, and Gilbert de Gand, and a portion of it was long held by a family of its own name, and from them passed to the Cranmers, of whom was Archbishop Cranmer, the great church reformer and martyr, who was born here in 1489, and became in 1532, the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury. The life of this eminent prelate is the subject of a volume, therefore a brief notice of his last sufferings, under the persecution of Queen Mary, must here suffice. ” After condemnation, he was induced to sign a recantation ; but having nobly denied his error, and withdrawn that confession, he was condemned to the stake, at which he suffered on the 21st of March, 1556. To this he was brought without any official notice, though he had reason to expect it; and when tied to it he was obliged to listen to all the charges and aspersions of Dr. Cole; but Cranmer boldly replied, 1 believe every word and sentence taught by our Saviour Christ, his apostles, and the prophets of the Old and New Testament; but as to the Pope, I refuse him as Christ’s enemy, or Anti-Christ, with all his false doctrines.’ So great was his sorrow for his recantation, and so determined was his spirit at the last hour, that he calmly held his right hand in the flames till it dropped off saying, ‘ this hand has offended;’ and this he was enabled to do, as his executioners had taken care to keep up a slow fire in order that he should suffer the utmost pain of his punishment, as a proof of their regard for Christian mercies.—It has been stated that after his whole body had been reduced to ashes, his heart was found entire, and untouched by the fire which by some of the bystanders was considered as an argument in favour of his hearty love of the truth; whilst others looked upon it as a proof of the heretical obduracy of that vital part, which would not yield even to the warm argument of a blazing Catholic fire.’
The site of the manor house, which was the seat of Archbishop Cranmer : and many of his ancestors, is now occupied by the farm-house of Mr. Wm. Green. Near it may still be distinctly traced several moats, islands, and other remains of the pleasure grounds, and at a short distance is a raised walk which leads to Orston and is yet called Cranmer’s walk. At the west end, on crossing a moat, the visitor may ascend a square mount of considerable elevation, and from thence have an extensive prospect. Here are also two other mounts, said to have been raised by the Archbishop, but they have been greatly reduced by slime’ of the former owners of the estate. On one of them, tradition says the Archbishop, ” was wont to sit and survey the surrounding country, and listen to the tunable bells of Whatton.”
In 1816, John Marriott left yearly ‘out of his farm at Aslacton, to be distributed in bread at Christmas
Blytow William shoemaker
Bradshaw Rev. John B.A. curate
Caunt Wm. collar and harness maker
Dove Alice vict. Griffins Head and shopkeeper
Greasley Miriam dress maker
Hall Ths Dickinson Esq Manor House
Haywood Jane shopkeeper
Hooper Elizabeth dress maker
Hooper William butcher
Huckerby Judith Maria dress maker
Leavers George corn miller and overseer
Mason Francis parish clerk
Mason William blacksmith
Parnham Thoas gamekeeper
Reddish John baker and shopkeeper
Sharrack Robt. Shoemaker
Talbot Francis veterinary surgeon
Tutbury William tailor
Tyler Wm. Joiner & wheelwright
White Elizabeth dress maker
Bower Wm Field
Gelsthorpe J Field
Mann Thos Field
George Moss to Nottingham Wednesday and Saturday.
John Reddish to Newark Wed. & to Nottingham Sat.
Bates James, bricklayer and shop-keeper
Coulson Martha, dress maker
Dawn John cottager
Dawn William, shoe maker
Franks Thomas, shoe maker
Goodband Ester, dress maker
Hand Thomas, blacksmith
Homer Henry, gent
Keyworth Mary, grocer & draper
Marriott Henry joiner
Marriott John, schoolmaster and overseer
Monks Jas. Higgler, Lane Ends
Morley George, tailor
Oliver William, corn miller
Parnham William, butcher
Payling William butcher
Porter Henry beer house and farmer
Smith Richard shoemaker
Thornton Thomas vict. Greyhound
Towers Page shoemaker
Wilson Richard wheelwright
Cheetle John Greenedge
Chettle Samuel Abbey Farm
Keyworth Robert and maltster
Sills Hy. Grange
John Saunders, to Nottingham Sat. and the Newark Wednesday.
Transcribed by GR Redford in 2013