Our Hucknall Huthwaite History

Huthwaite addresses a relatively small area in the UK East Midlands region of England. Covering just 558 hectares upon Nottinghamshires westerly borderline, it prominently stands overlooking Derbyshires distant rural meadows. Atop steep Strawberry Bank slopes is now arguably, but stands historically recorded, the counties highest natural point, first recognised at a modest 668.8ft.   This landmark descriptively named an ancient settlement, although it emerged under varying Hucknall references until finally reclaimed 1907.Hillspur Landmark

Set among protected forests of Sherwood, inside a former Broxtowe district and bound by ancient Mansfield manor rule, here slowly formed a secondary hamlet inside the established parish borders of Sutton. Our related history is thus closely tied and largely follows the primary developments made through that ancient parish town. Founding greater interest for local historians inside the Ashfield District, their research did however uncover earliest ever changing references behind this smaller Hucknall-under-Huthwaite villa.

Sharing Britains 19th century rapid population growth, Hucknall-under-Huthwaite quickly transformed from a quiet 800 acre rural hamlet into a thriving separate township. Changes earlier witnessed among Sutton had inspired a few educated scholars to record loss of familiar scenes, and dig deeper among further historic archives. Although darkest times are scantily detailed, their pioneering efforts uncovered much of the earliest dated references. When others eminently followed adding important church, court and council affairs leading into our modern history, all retold a story of one settler who first named Hucknall Huthwaite.

The theory behind named origins of Hucknall Huthwaite has satisfied public intrigue since the early 1900's. When so authoritatively written under strongest conviction, it presented this proud coal mining community with a very plausible Hucknall history. Most Huthwaite residents learned of, and lots still readily accept those long beliefs, which also reassuringly shared good reasoning for recalling Dirty Hucknall references.

Since then, our broadened knowledge has been greatly assisted by electronic communications. Genealogy students may though also realise the confusions of finding two other areas sharing name nearby. Unlike Hucknall Huthwaite, both Hucknall Torkard and Ault Hucknall can even claim earlier reference in the great Doomsday book. This rather obvious complication has always proved difficult to answer, however, in light of recent work, a key may be found towards comprehensively unlocking all our linked Hucknall references.

Many will cling onto old folklores, such as how this terrain, along with unverified reasoning behind naming adjacent Whiteborough suggests a former defensive site. Voiced myths of siting Cromwells forces atop Herrods Hill can only distract vaguely evident beliefs of any iron age fortification. Shame indeed if unable to claim any exciting significance among the districts archeological finds. Nevertheless, our lofty vantage point is unlikely of witnessing known regional battles amongst the tumultuous periods forming British history.

All evidential finds portray Huthwaite being just one of Englands numerous farmstead retreats. Descriptive addressing presents a lofty forested clearing, given from mixed tongues of known Anglo-Saxon settlements joined amicably by later Vikings settlers. Rare archived accounts shed dim lights into local affairs, gradually illuminating life over several centuries of very steady growth. Although remaining relatively insignificant, the meadows of Huthwaite did provoke some greater 16th century interests from higher powers. This wildly forested region not only possessed valuable timbers, but was also a prized royal hunting ground. Asserting the boundaries which enclosed the Kings Sherwood Forest afforded the attention and heavy protection through the Sherifs Nottingham Courts. Lay inside, and directly upon the county border, they mapped and classified these otherwise worthless lands aside Fulwood being Dirty Hucknall.Framework Knitting Machine

Upon these steep less fertile Hucknall meadows, it becomes realised how a few land owning gentry began struggled to sustain more dependent Huthwaite families into the 18th century. Scraping the land of coal, clay and stone had added range to farm labouring, until one Huthwaite windmill witnessed advent of powered industry. Before water mills turned into revolutionary steam power, Huthwaite folk fell heavily dependent onto the introduced support of framework knitting machines. The districts mass cottage industry saw building of huge town factories, spreading regional reputation in the manufacturing of textiles. Hosiery was Huthwaites principal trade, employing majority while encouraging a recognisable population growth, supported by boot makers and local shops.

But Britains industrial revolution certainly demanded coal. Visible and accessible seams long worked upon our Derbyshire borders led towards sinking numerous shallow bell pits in and around these Dirty Hucknall meadows. Having heated manors and monastery interests, the reaching of rich deeper Nottinghamshire deposits marked major progressions in mining. Problem beforehand however was fulfilling hungriest early 19th century demands of Mansfield town furnaces and malting kilns. Transporting Black Gold dug from wider afield proved difficult, eased elsewhere by canal waterways networking the countries busiest traffic.

Given nearest canal extension at Pinxton wharf, and desperately needing its regular coal supples, brought engineering innovation to connect the Mansfield market via construction of a tram road, opened in 1819. An Old Hucknall colliery did later add supplies with a branched rail track, but after introducing steam powered haulage and more workers into Huthwaite, the rapid building of our individual mining community into the twentieth century, only became realised after lastly sinking in 1876 its modern New Hucknall Colliery.

This is only a brief introduction, falling short in revealing the greater part about our recent history. Huthwaite Online can only trust these paged updates continue attracting wider and future interest. Inspired by and humbly extending the work of our past and notably qualified historians, here builds the revised and most comprehensive history, all about Huthwaite. Relevant chapters expose much more detailing and a far wider range of subjects. Enhanced with a magnificent gallery of old photographs and memorabilia donated by readers, these help portray and compare the changing scenes, plus the families who planted roots here.


Written 07 May 03 Revised 26 Jun 12 © by Gary Elliott