Bassetlaw Museum


Bassetlaw District Council was created in 1974 when the Boroughs of East Retford and Worksop and their Rural District Councils were merged into a new authority.

The name Bassetlaw was chosen for the new local authority because it was the name of the wapentake or administrative area during Anglo-Saxon and medieval times. The place name Bassetlaw means the hill of the people of Bersa. Bersa was an early Anglo-Saxon leader who settled in the area.

Bassetlaw is a rural area of Nottinghamshire lying on the northern edge of Sherwood Forest with the River Trent as a boundary to the east. Farmland is interspersed by the Chesterfield Canal, rivers and streams which run through meadows and woodland. Many of the villages have changed little over the centuries and are now visited by tourists in search of the birthplace of the Pilgrim Fathers and the legend of Robin Hood.

Chesterfield Canal, near Shireoaks, by James Walsham Baldock (1822-1898)

Worksop is known as the gateway to the Dukeries, reflecting the proximity of the five great estates, including those of the Dukes of Norfolk, Portland and Newcastle. Although the aristocracy no longer use the area for sport and relaxation, the parkland remains, and as at Clumber, now owned by the National Trust, the beautiful countryside can now be enjoyed by all.

Retford is a market town, serving as a nucleus for villages and farms. The large market square, laid out in Georgian times, and the main streets radiating from it have excellent examples of the original architecture amongst a wide variety of small shops and family businesses.

Bassetlaw is a quiet and peaceful area of the north Midlands. It is easily accessible by the A1 and the main London to Scotland railway route.

2012 Bassetlaw Museum