History and description
WHATTON PARISH includes the two townships of Whatton and Aslacton, which keep their poor separately, and contains together 764 inhabitants, and about 3,400 acres of land in the vale of the Smite, where that river is augmented by the Wipling.
Whatton village and township is on the south side of the Smite and on 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 404 inhabitants, and 1,720 acres of land, and was enclosed in the year 1700, when 36a lp 18r were allotted to the vicar, and 120a 3r 5p 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 1,100 acres here, having purchased several farms of the lord of the manor, the Earl of Chesterfield, who still bolds 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 ever 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 Norman 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 Abbey, is dedicated to St. John of Beverley, has a handsome tower and spire with five bells, and contains many ancient monuments of the Whatton, Newmarch, Cranmer, and other families. The whole was repaired and new pewed in 1807, at the cost of £1700; and the chancel, which was in a very decayed state, was rebuilt five or six years ago by T. D. Hall, Esq., the owner of the impropriate lands and patron of the vicarage, which is valued in the King’s books at £5. 6s. 5d. now at £212, and has 92 acres of glebe, including its allotments at the enclosure of Whatton and Aslacton. The Rev. J, I. Maltby, is the incumbent, and the Rev. Brough Maltby, B.A., is the officiating curate. Subscriptions are now being raised for a general restoration of the church, which will cost about £300, T. D. Hall, Esq., has given £200, and many others have already liberally contributed.
There is a school in connection with the church for the use of the parish, under the superintendence of the Rev. Brough Maltby, to which T. D. Hall, Esq., is a liberal supporter. The ‘Wesleyans have a large chapel here.
The Charities consist of the Poor’s close, (one acre,) the tenant of which distributes three tons of coal yearly; and £12 left by John Clayter, in 1735, and now in the bank at 2½ per cent.
Post Office at the Griffin’s Head; letters arrive at 10.30. a. m., and are dispatched at 4, 30 p.m.
History and Description
ASLACTON is a pleasant village and township on the N. side of the Smite, one mile N. by W. of Whatton, and 2; miles of Bingham. It contains 360 inhabitants, and 1,250 acres of land, most of which is occupied by the owners, except the Abbey farm, (200 acres,) which belongs to King’s Cliffs school, in Northamptonshire, and the following allotments made at the enclosure in 1780, viz.: 65 acres to Alexander Heaton and William Bilbie, 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 has owners, and was formerly a Chapelry, but its chapel was in ruins many years ago, and a writer in the 62nd vol. Gentlemen’s of the 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, Gilbert 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 1556. To this he was brought without any official notice, though he had reason to expect it; and when ties td it he tae obliged to listen to all the charges and aspersions of Dr. Cole; but Crammer boldly replied, 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. Joseph Green. Near it may still distinctly be 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 some 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 20s yearly out of his farm at Aslacton, to be distributed in bread at Christmas. The Ambergate and Nottingham (branch of the Great Northern) Railway passes through this parish, and has a neat station here.
Notable and Commercial
Bates John, bricklayer
Blyton Alice, shoemaker
Butler Samuel, bricklayer
Caunt Mary, collar & hrns. Maker
Greasley Hy. & John, gardeners
Grice Marriott, shopkeeper
Hall Thos. Dickinson, Esq., Manor House
Haywood Jane, shopkeeper
Hooper William, butcher
Huckerby Elizabeth, dress maker
Huckerby Judith, schoolmistress
Levers Geo. R., corn miller
Maltby Rev. Brough, curate
Mason Francis, parish clerk
Mason William, blacksmith
Oliver Rebecca, dress maker
Farnham John, gamekeeper
Pell Joseph, vict. Griffin’s Head
Reddish Elizabeth, dress maker
Talbot Francis, veterinary surgeon
Tutbury William, tailor
Tyler Wm., joiner
Whit John, shoemaker
Bower Wm., Field
John Reddish, to Newark wed and Nottingham sat.
Henry Scoffens, to Nottmg w. & s.
Notable and Commercial
Bates James, bricklyr. & shpkpr
Bates James, jun. plmr & glzr
Bellamy Geo., vict. Cranmer Arms
Branshy John & Wm Hucksters
Clay Mrs. Elizabeth
Dawn John, cottager
Dawn William, shoemaker
Draper Thos., vict. Greyhound Inn
Drewry Mrs. Maria
Foster Stephen, assist. Farmer
Franks Thomas, shoemaker
Goodband Sarah, dressmaker
Hand Thomas, blacksmith
Morley Henry, shopkeeper
Parnham William, butcher
Porter William, gardener
Smith Richard, shoemaker
Stevens George, joiner
Towers Page, shoemaker
Whitehead Samuel, shoemaker
Wilson Richard, wheelwright
Wright William, shoemaker
Chettle John (and btchr.)Greenedge
Chettle Sml.Wm. Abbey Farm
Keyworth Rd., (& maltster)
Porter Henry (& beerhouse)
Roadley Ths. (cot)
Sills, Hny. Grange
Ambergate & Nottingham, of the Great Northern.) There are 4 or 5 passenger trains each way daily. Jph. Fernley, st. mastr
John Saunders, to Notting. Sat & Newark wed.
Transcribed in 2013 by GR Redford