Farnsfield Local History Society

Collecting Historical Documents, Records & Images of Farnsfield

             
The Blind Postman

Find out about George Yates

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Calendar of Events

Find out the monthly speaker

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Explore our Village

Find out about our History

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Farnsfield Local History Society – Our Aims

Farnsfield Local History Society exists to collect and publicise the history of Farnsfield. Our aim is to keep the history of Farnsfield alive by uploading images, archives and important information. We are keen to collate information both from the past and more contemporary issues of interest to historians of the future. 


The FLHS are keen to upload information that relates to the background and origins of Farnsfield, if you have any queries, information or images that you would like to see on the site please use the ‘contact us’ page to send details to members of the committee.


It is quite a large village with a population of approx 3000. The village lies in a predominantly farming area on the eastern edge of the (now much diminished) Nottinghamshire coalfield.

There is no major industry or employer within Farnsfield and the majority of people of working age living in the village commute to work, mostly to Nottingham, Mansfield or Newark.

Farnsfield is more fortunate than many villages of its type in that it contains a small supermarket, a village bakery, a greengrocer and other small shops. The Post Office is now at the Co-op supermarket. We have 2 churches (Anglican and Methodist), a primary and junior school, (recent amalgamation of smaller schools) and 2 public houses, the Plough and the Lion (previously the Red Lion) There is also the White Post on the A614. The New Inn became the Warwick Arms, but it closed after the Co-op moved there.

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We have books available from the society

“A History of Farnsfield” (£5.00)

“Memories of Farnsfield” (£3.00) As well as Philip Marsh’s book on Farnsfield’s own pioneer and explorer Augustus Gregory whose family emigrated to Australia in the nineteenth century. “Farnsfield to Rainworth – Journey of a Lifetime” (£7.00) It is selling very well and can be obtained from Farnsfield and Southwell libraries, the Bookcase in Lowdham and Five Leaves bookshop off Long Row, Nottingham.

 

We also have copies of all these and also Philip Marsh’s book on theFarnsfield Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. (click on the Church image below for more photographs).
Many thanks to those who have let us have photographs in response to our appeal. We now have plenty of photographs of pram races. There must be photographs of events organised by village Societies and clubs over the years. If you can let us have any then please contact us through the website or telephone. 

Contact us

To contact Farnsfield Local History Society you can use the contact form below.

N.B. The FLHS is not a family history society and whilst we are interested in hearing from the descendants of locals we are not ourselves able to research or trace local ancestors. We suggest the use of websites such as ancestory.com or findmypast.com for this purpose.
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Farnsfield Blind PostmanGeorge Yates Blind Postman 

George Yates was the most famous blind person ever associated with Farnsfield.  He died aged seventy-seven in Farnsfield in 1866; he had been the village postman for thirty-two years.  His blindness had been caused when, as a shoemaker, he had run a bradawl into his eyes. 
At eight o’clock every day he set off from Farnsfield to carry the outgoing post to Southwell; he picked up the incoming post on his way back.  He was never absent, never late, and only once forgot a package; on that occasion, pausing only for a glass of beer and some bread and cheese, he went straight back to Southwell.  He was trusted with thousands of pounds; he himself lent money but was not always repaid. 
On the twenty-first anniversary of his employment he hosted a supper at the New Inn and helped to ring the church bells.  He walked an average of twelve miles a day.  No wonder his obituary in the Nottingham Review of March 1866 speaks of the difficulty of replacing him.

The quotation above is from “A HISTORY OF FARNSFIELD” by Mary Rigg and published by The Farnsfield Millennium Trust.

It is also believed that on his return to Farnsfield each day George Yates would blow his horn to announce the arrival of the post.  The inhabitants would then come to him to collect it.

Note: 8th April meeting is CANCELLED

 

The first record of the village is in 956 AD when it was called Fernefeld. Within the village itself there are no records of any earlier occupation but a short way to the south lies an Iron Age fort and at Hexgreave Park, just to the north of the village, and at Coombs Farm, just to the south, Iron Age implements dating to 1000 BC have been found. There is also evidence on the edge of the village and at Hexgreave Park of Roman occupation.

In the Domesday Book the village is referred to as Franesfeld and is stated to be owned by Walter D’Ayncourt. By the twelfth century the village’s name had become established as Farnsfield. As to its meaning there are two schools of thought – one states it means “Fields of Fern”, the other that it was a “clearing with ferns in the forest”. Certainly up to 1600 and probably beyond, the village was within the boundary of Sherwood Forest and was subject to Forest Laws. Gradually encroachments into the forest, then the Enclosure Act Award of 1777 pushed the forest boundary back and Farnsfield came to lie outside the boundaries of the forest.

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