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The Retford FactFile

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 The town of Retford is situated in the north-east corner of Nottinghamshire, England.

Latitude/Longitude 53º 19’N, 0º 56’W (UK Map Grid Reference SK 706808)

Originaly known as "The Great North Road", the A1 was redirected so that heavy traffic did not have to pass through Retford's historic town centre.

The A1 is now just a few minutes away, with easy access to all major trunk roads.

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Retford gets its name from an ancient ford crossing over the River Idle which bisects the town, near to where the current bridge on Bridgegate lies. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is written as 'Redforde'. Then later it becomes referred to as 'Este Reddfurthe' and later still 'Est Redeford'.
Retford's Charter Day Fair (Photo Credit : Retford Pages)
Retford continues marks the granting of its Royal Charter each year with an annual fair held on "Charter Day"
It is generally believed that settlements first developed on the western side of the river, this being more elevated and less prone to flooding than the eastern bank. As the settlement developed it became worth while to utilise the eastern side of the river. Retford gained its first charter in 1246, when Henry III granted the right for a fair, this was later extended to holding a Saturday Market by Edward I in 1275.
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 In the late Elizabethan period it was one of a number of towns and villages locally to be shaken by the views and practices of Puritan non-conformists. In 1608 the Pilgrim Fathers, as they are known today, were forced to flee from North Nottinghamshire to Holland to escape persecution by King James the First of England. In 1620 they sailed from Plymouth to America upon the Mayflower. It was the Pilgrim Fathers who created the first confederation of colonies in the New World, leading to the union of the United States. more
The Mayflower (Picture Credit : Bassetlaw District Council)
The Mayflower
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Despite plague, storms and other setbacks - including a great fire which destroyed much of the town in 1528 - East Retford grew steadily, overtaking its western neighbour in size and importance.
Retford's Victorian Town Hall.
Retford's Town Hall (Photo Credit : Retford Pages)
The War Memorial forms a centrepiece to the Market Square where a traditional market is held thrice weekly.
 During the 18th and 19th centuries East and West Retford prospered with the coming of the Great North Road (1766), the Chesterfield Canal (1777) and the railways (1849).The town’s fine Georgian and Victorian frontages and a large number of former coaching inns bear witness to this prosperity. In 1878 East and West Retford became a single borough. more

Retford still has its own Town Mayor and a body of Charter Trustees proudly safeguarding the rights of their ancient market town, although the town's services are now jointly administered by Nottinghamshire County Council, and Bassetlaw District Council. more

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The countryside around Retford is generally cultivated agricultural land, there is natural broad-leaf woodland and cultivated pine forests nearby.  Sherwood Forest lies to the south-west of the town.

King's Park provides pleasure grounds with mature trees, planted borders, and grassed areas close to the town centre. 

The ancient woodland of Sherwood Forest (Photo Credit : Virtual Nottingham)
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