A BRIEF HISTORY OF ANNESLEY - Compiled by Bob Collier Vice Chair ACCESS

The district of Annesley in Nottinghamshire is situated about 8 miles to the North West of the City of Nottingham, quite close to the county's border with Derbyshire. The M1 motorway runs through the Annesley Estate. Annesley has evolved over the centuries in three different stages.

Stage 1 -
First references relating to Annesley can be found in the Domesday Book (1066) when it refers to Aneslei which changed to Ansley and finally to Annesley during the reign of King Henry II (1154 – 1188).

Annesley Castle (now totally demolished) was built in 1194 on the orders of Prince John, King Richard the Lionhearts brother. The boundary of Sherwood Forest had been moved 2 miles to the West of Newstead on what is now the A611. This motte and bailey castle was built on the boundary of Sherwood Forest strategically placed to protect the Forests deer and game from poachers. Local legend also relates to Robin Hood being a local resident and member of the De'Annesley family who lived at Annesley Hall. This theory about Robin Hood being a local Annesley resident can be found in the book "Hills of Annesley" by Frank Lyons 1975.

The original village of Aneslei was a small irregular built village in a picturesque location to the South of Annesley Hall. The old  Annesley Village was completely demolished by 1850. At this time most people worked on the land for the two local landowners, the Chaworth Musters family and the Duke of Portland. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution all this changed.


Stage 2 -
Annesley Woodhouse had started to be developed by 1800 and the demolition of the old Annesley Village in 1850 marked the start of a new building programme and the expansion of Annesley Woodhouse. The 1851 census of Annesley Woodhouse shows there were 36 dwellings recorded, 8 of these were on Skegby Road, 1 included the Forest Tavern Public House. The remainder were on Salmon Lane including the Free School now Sycamore House, which was built in 1847. At this time the local Framework-knitters were now the main employer. The local Framesmith's workshop can still be found on Salmon Lane.  The local Framesmith's shop, is one of the many Local Heritage sites which ACCESS submitted to ADC and which were approved. Further details of these may be found here.

 The Midland Railway Company opened their branch line from Nottingham to Mansfield in 1849, the nearest station would have been Newstead which didn't open until 1863.


Stage 3 -
The Annesley Colliery Company started the third stage of building at Annesley by opening Annesley Colliery in 1865. The Company used the Midland Railway to transport its coal. After the opening of the Colliery the Annesley Colliery Company built New Annesley, locally called Annesley Rows, comprising of 2 rows of 80 miners cottages, completed in 1873. New Annesley did not get its own station until July 1874.



The people of New Annesley lost their Railway Station on the 6th April 1953 never to be re-opened.

The demise of the local Coal Industry led to the opening of the Sherwood Business Park in the 1970's. Annesley Colliery was merged with Newstead and Bentinck Collieries in 1985. Newstead Colliery closed in 1987 and the combined Annesley/Bentinck Colliery finally closed in 2000.


Annesley Woodhouse and New Annesley although linked are two separate communities. New Annesley is in Annesley and Felley Parish and Annesley Woodhouse is in Ashfield. Both have their own identities. Looking over both communities is Annesley All Saints Church built in 1872 to 1874.



Annesley Miners Welfare was built on land between the two communities in 1920, with a dance hall added in 1932. A bowling green and tennis courts were on site with a football field, cricket pitch and pavilion, these are now all lost. Where the tennis courts and bowling green were there is now a small housing development, the football and cricket pitch were all derelict, overgrown and unused (not surprisingly) and the Miners Welfare closed. We argued that the Miners Welfare could have been turned into a first class doctors surgery, providing enhanced services for Annesley Woodhouse; Annesley and Newstead local residents, but this didn't happen as nor did the promised surgery for the Newstead residential development.

The sports areas has now become another housing development, so much for progress!


Looking back, the General Havelock Public House on Skegby Road, Annesley Woodhouse closed in 2013 after operating as a local pub for approximately 150 years. It was replaced by building of a Co-op convenience store.

The map above show what open green space is left is squeezed between the Sherwood Business Park and the housing on and to the north of Forest Road (where text "Map of 2008 is situated).  ACCESS's investigation, submission and formal recognition of Little Oak Plantation as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) and Replanted Ancient Woodland (PAWS) - has ensured that a vital green corridor to allow wildlife movement from East to West and a buffer from Sherwood Business noise remains for future generations to enjoy (hopefully).  The efforts of all concerned are recognised on the Woodland Trust site click here

Since 2014, the Annesley area has also benefited by a further area being recognised for their outstanding ecological and biological richness - Forest Road Grass land - as a neutral grass land Local Wildlife Site and also as an area for breeding grass snakes.

The Sherwood Business Park has expanded over the years and now includes light industry etc. It is now the largest employers in the area.

Further details of the Local Sites of Ecological and biological importance can be found with "Nature Around Annesley" (to be developed)

Updated 18/02/2021

The majority of above facts are extracted from the book "Annesley Through the Ages" by Denis Pearson 1995.  Maps are extracted from Nottingham Insight Mapping.