Nottinghamshire or Notts, a midland county, bounded on the NW by Yorkshire, on the NE and E by Lincolnshire, on the SE and the S by Leicestershire, and on the W by Derbyshire. Its outline is irregularly ovoidal, with the long axis extending from N to S. Its boundary with part of Lincolnshire is formed by the river Trent, with part of Leicestershire by the river Soar, with part of Derbyshire by the river Erewash, but in general is artificial. Its greatest length from N to S is 50 miles, its greatest breadth from E to W is about 27 miles, its circuit is about 150 miles, and its area is 539,792 acres. Population, 445,823. The greater part of the surface belongs to the valley of the Trent, and much of this, particularly in the E and in the NE, is very low and is drained as fen-land. The rest of the surface is uneven and partly hilly, but nowhere rises to higher elevations than from 400 to 600 feet. A tract of wold is in the S, extending from Hickling westward to Gotham; and a tract of hill, comprising about one-fifth of the entire area and mainly identical with Sherwood Forest, is in the W, extending from Warsop southward to Nottingham. Much of the scenery, especially around Nottingham and throughout Sherwood Forest, is very pleasing. The river Trent makes a great figure, enters the county on. the SW, at the influx of the Soar, runs 2 3/4 miles on the boundary with an indenting portion of Derbyshire, goes north-eastward across the county past Nottingham to Newark, proceeds thence northward along the border to North Clifton; continues northward, mainly along the boundary with Lincolnshire, past Dunham and Gainsborough, to the end of Tindale Bank, and throughout all its connection with the county, amounting to about 60 miles, is a broad navigable stream. The other streams of the county-the Erewash, the Soar, Leen, Dover, Greet, Dean, Smite, and the Idle, &c., go directly or indirectly to the Trent.
The soil in the N and the E is a fertile sandy clay, giving name to the N and S Clay divisions of Bassetlaw hundred; that near the rivers is a rich sandy or gravelly loam or mould, that of the W is mostly poor light sand, and that of the NE corner is reclaimed marsh. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans, a poor kind of oats, turnips, and grasses. Grazing is chiefly followed, and much cheese is made. Cattle of the Herefordshire, shorthorn, and Scotch breeds are fattened on the grass lands, and sheep of the Leicester and mixed breeds yield large quantities of wool. Good market gardens are in the neighbourhood of Nottingham and Newark. Forests anciently covered great part of the county, that of Sherwood alone was of large extent, and some slight remains, including grand specimens of very old oaks, still exist.
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Archives and Libraries
Nottinghamshire Archives and Southwell & Nottingham Diocesan Record Office
Castle Meadow Road
tel: 08449 80 80 80 general enquiries
tel: 0115 958 1634 archive enquiries
tel: 0115 950 4524 administrative enquiries
fax: 0115 941 3997
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
List of Registration Districts in Nottinghamshire from 1837 to 1974.
Directories & Gazetteers
The Historical Directories web site have a number of directories relating to Nottinghamshire online, including:
Kelly's, Pigot, Slater, etc.
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Nottinghamshire is available to browse.
Old map of Nottinghamshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)
Old map of Nottinghamshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Nottinghamshire newspapers online:
- Nottingham Evening Post
- Nottinghamshire Guardian
- Nottingham Review and General Advertiser for the Midland Counties
- Nottingham Gazette, and Political, Literary, Agricultural & Commercial Register for the Midland Counties
Parishes and places
The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.
The population of Nottinghamshire in 1801 was 140,350; in 1811, 162,964; in 1821, 186,873; in 1831, 325,327; in 1841, 249,910; in 1851, 270,427; in 1861, 293,867; in 1871, 319,758; in 1881, 391,815; in 1891, 445,823, and in 1901, 514,459, viz., males, 248,098, and females, 266,361.
The Visitation of Nottinghamshire 1569 & 1614 is available on the Heraldry page.