Ravenshead is a village and civil parish in the Gedling district of Nottinghamshire, England. It borders Papplewick, Newstead Abbey and Blidworth, and is part of Nottinghamshire's Hidden Valleys area. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 5,636, reducing marginally to 5,629 at the 2011 census.
Newstead Abbey, a 12th-century grade 1 listed building and ancestral home of Lord Byron, is accessed from the village. After the death of Thomas a Becket, King Henry II supposedly to make up for this terrible deed gave the Canons of the Order of St Augustine the land at Ravenshead where they set up a priory, the walls of which can still be seen today. It is here that the name Ravenshead is first encountered. "Ravenshede begins at the aforesaidway which lies from Papilwyke [Papplewick] to Blydeworthe, along the hollowroad eastward which is called Thefestyghe: and this leads to the King's highway which is called Nottinghamgate."
In the Middle Ages the priory was a stopping place for pilgrims.
In 1349 the prior died of plague. The soil in the area is very sandy and unsuitable for growing crops. There is no evidence of a settlement in the area until the 15th century when there was a hunting lodge called Langton Arbor, near present-day Blidworth Dale.
The legend of Robin Hood centres on the area of Sherwood Forest in which Ravenshead is located. Although a later addition to the legend it is possible that one of Robin Hood's followers, Friar Tuck, was inspired by the priory. Will Scarlet is also supposed to be buried at nearby Blidworth Church.
In 1966 a hoard of gold coins and jewellery was discovered by workmen on a building site near present-day Cambourne Gardens. The coins were probably buried by someone fleeing south after the Battle of Hexham in May 1464. The "Fishpool Hoard", as it is known, is on display at The British Museum, London. Fishpool, Notts is the name of the area where they were found as the building site did not have the name Ravenshead then (see below).
On 17 July 1817, a young girl from Papplewick named Elizabeth Sheppard travelled to Mansfield in search of work. Early next morning her body was found in a ditch. The "Sheppard Stone" stands next to the A60 marking the spot on the roadside below Portland College and is still regularly maintained. Her ghost is said to appear if the stone is disturbed. Her killer was identified as Charles Rotherham, from Sheffield, who had tried to sell her newly bought shoes and an umbrella.
In nearby Thieves Wood, on 23 June 1883, gamekeeper Albert Spinks shot the first example of an Egyptian nightjar in England. He mentioned it to Joseph Whitaker, a naturalist, who recognised it as a rare bird species in Britain. He had the bird stuffed and it is now kept in a museum in nearby Mansfield. No further examples were seen in Britain until 1984.
100 years ago Ravenshead was centred on an area called Fishpool, this name appeared on a 15th-century map.
Abbey Gates Primary School
Abbey Gates Primary School, founded in 1967, is a mixed primary school in Ravenshead, which serves mainly the local village community, with about a third of the pupils coming from farther away.
The number of pupils claiming a free school meal is below average, as is the proportion with learning difficulties or disabilities. An average number have a statement of Special Educational Needs. Fewer pupils than average come from minority ethnic groups.
Ravenshead C of E Primary School
Ravenshead C of E Primary School was formed in September 1999 from an amalgamation of Pilgrim Oak County Infants' School and Martin Roe C of E (Controlled) Junior School. It is located on Swinton Rise, in Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire. In the Ofsted report of 2006, the school was categorised as "outstanding".
Ravenshead is home to the Longdale Lane Craft Centre, the oldest centre of its type in the UK. In the centre of the village there is also several shops including a newsagent, chemist and takeaways.
The village has a petrol station, a convenience store and a large leisure centre with tennis courts and football pitches. There are four pubs: The Hutt Inn, Little John, Sherwood Ranger, Larch Farm and an Indian restaurant Ve Raj.
Ravenshead is an affluent area of the East Midlands with higher than average property prices and a diverse population of professional people, elderly people and skilled workers. It also serves as a commuter village to Nottingham.
Farming was the main occupation in the area until the arrival of the local shops and schools. The only other industry in Ravenshead was sand quarrying. The first quarry was opened in 1919 to provide building sand for Nottingham and Hucknall.
- OS Explorer Map 270: Sherwood Forest: (1:25 000):ISBN 0 319 24040 1
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "BBC NEWS – Education – League Tables – Abbey Gates Primary School". bbc.co.uk.
- "Ofsted – Abbey Gates Primary School". ofsted.gov.uk.
- Teacher's TV: Action! Teacher Video – Primary PSHE
- "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 8 Mar 2004 (pt 31)". 8 March 2004. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
- "Ofsted Inspection Report". 6 November 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- Peter Long (March 2004). The Hidden Places of England. Travel Publishing Ltd. pp. 426–. ISBN 978-1-904434-12-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ravenshead.|
- Ravenshead Community Newsletter
- Ravenshead history
- Abbey Gates Primary School
- Ravenshead Primary School
- Ravenshead Village Hall