Worksop in 1839
Worksop is in the Hatfield division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, 146 miles from London by Newark, and 26 from Nottingham. The area of the parish is 18,220 acres ; the population, in 1831,was 5566, nearly half agricultural. The town is delightfully situated in a valley near the northern extremity of Sherwood Forest, and the neighbourhood is adorned by the magnificent seats of several noblemen. The town is near the river Rayton ; it consists of one long principal street, with another branching from it at right angles.
The streets are in general well paved, and the houses are well built. There is a ‘moot-hall,’ an ancient building, for the public business of the town. The church is part of that which formerly belonged to a priory of canons of St. Augustin, founded here in the time of Henry I by William de Luvetot. Its yearly revenues, at the dissolution, were £302 6shillinds and 10 pence gross, or £239 15shillings and 5 pence clear. The church is a large building, originally cruciform, and of Norman architecture; but in the exterior are considerable admixtures of later styles. The western door is a beautiful Norman composition : at the east end of the present church is the tower, formerly central while the whole of the church was standing. The principal gateway of the priory is yet standing; the room over it is used as a national school, and there are several other remains of the priory, some of which have been incorporated with or converted into small dwelling-houses. There are Independent, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist, and Catholic chapels, the latter near the manor-house, which is a seat of the duke of Norfolk.
The manufactures of the town are trifling, but a good deal of business is done in malting. The market is on Wednesday, and there are three cattle-fairs, beside a statute fair. The Chesterfield Canal passes near the town : it is carried over the Rayton by an aqueduct. The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £388, with a glebe-house. There were in the parish, in 1833, eight boarding or day schools, with 244 children; two national schools, one of them partly supported by endowment, with 250 children; and three Sunday-schools, with 369 children.