Retro: Worksop has more than 900 years of history at the head of affairs in Bassetlaw

Bridge Street in Worksop in the early 1900s
Bridge Street in Worksop in the early 1900s

Worksop has been one of the major towns in Bassetlaw for over 900 years and today is Bassetlaw’s largest town.

The Domesday Survey of 1086 records Worksop as a Saxon settlement with a market.

The Normans built a castle and a Augustinian Priory.

During the Middle Ages Worksop remained a market town on one of the main roads from Nottingham through Sherwood Forest to Blyth.

In the 17th and 18th Centuries, the town was famous for growing liquorice, and the malting industry also became established.

Other trades recorded include cloth manufacturing, corn milling and timber trading.

Worksop became a trading centre and several coaching inns were established in the town.

Agriculture, however, was the predominant occupation up to the 19th Century, before coal began to be exploited and the Industrial Revolution was was well under way.

In 1772 the Chesterfield to West Stockwith Canal was opened which had a great impact on the fortunes of the town.

It made Worksop more accessible and provided cheaper transport, with the result that industries and houses were built near to the canal and the town expanded northwards.

The railways arrived in 1849 and in 1898 Manton Pit was sunk.

The new oppertunities for work at the colliery caused another large increase in population and many new housing areas were laid out, establishing the pattern of the town existing today.

Its importance within Bassetlaw is underlined today with it being the base for the district council’s main headquarters.