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Newstead, Nottinghamshire

Historical Description

Newstead, a village, a civil parish, and an extra-parochial liberty, in Notts, adjacent to the Nottingham and Mansfield railway, SW of Sherwood Forest, and 5 miles S of Mansfield. There are stations on branches of the M.R. and G.N.R., and a post office at Newstead Colliery, under Nottingham; money order office, Annesley; telegraph office at the railway station. The M.S. & L.R. passes near the G.N.R. Acreage of parish, 3203 of land and 55 of water; population, 1036. There is a colliery, opened in 1876. Service is conducted in the schoolroom, and there are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, and a cemetery, 2 acres in extent, formed in 1878, and under the control of a burial board. Newstead Abbey, dedicated to St Mary of Newstead, in whose church the standard of the ancient Forest foot, equal to 18 inches, was hung up, is 1 mile E of the railway station, was founded for Black canons in 1170 by Henry II., in penance for the murder of Thomas a Becket; was visited by Edward III.; was given at the dissolution to Sir John Byron, then lieutenant of Sherwood Forest; was used as a residence by the Byron family till 1818; was visited in their time by Henry VII. and Charles II,; suffered considerable injury from the Parliamentarian forces in the Civil Wars of Charles I.; underwent 'considerable alteration by John, Lord Byron, in the time of Charles II., on occasion of the king's visit; is notable in association with the poet Lord Byron, and with sketches by Washington Irving and William Howitt; was sold in 1818 to Col. Wildman, who restored and extended it; is now, through purchase, a seat of the Webb family, who have further restored and embellished it; and stands amid beautiful grounds, containing many objects which recall incidents in the life of the poet Byron, or passages in his poems. The W front is all that remains of the abbey church; is in the Geometrical Decorated English style; and has a large window of exquisite design, over which is a very beautiful canopied sculpture of " Ye Mother Maid and Holy Child," between buttresses with niches for statues, flanked by large blank-traceried windows. The chapterhouse still stands, and is the chapel, measures 24 feet each way, is Transition Norman, and has a groined roof supported by two pillars. These two pillars are clustered, and classed by some among the most beautiful results of architecture. The abbot's apartments were the mansion of the Byrons, and comprises the poet's bedroom and dressing-room, and the haunted chamber, in the same state as when he occupied them. The ancient refectory is now the grand dining-hall; the rooms which were occupied by Edward III., Henry VII., and Charles II. still retain their names, and are richly hung with tapestry; and the grand saloon is a splendid apartment, with open oak roof, and containing among many other enrichments the famous portrait of Byron by Philips. The old edifice was described as follows by Byron himself:-" A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile stood half apart In a grand arch which once screened many an aisle. These last had disappeared-a loss to art: The first yet frowned superbly o'er the soil, And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourned the power of Time's or Tempest's march, In gazing on that venerable arch."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyNottinghamshire 
Poor Law unionBasford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Newstead from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Nottinghamshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Newstead are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Nottinghamshire newspapers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Nottinghamshire 1569 & 1614 is available on the Heraldry page.

RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNG15
Post TownNottingham