Thurgarton is a small village in rural Nottinghamshire. The village is close to Southwell, and Newark on Trent, with a medium length commuting distance to Nottingham. It is served by Thurgarton railway station. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 412, increasing to 440 at the 2011 census.
Thurgarton Village and parish lie approximately 11 miles (18 km) to the northeast of Nottingham, and around 3 miles (5 km) to the south of Southwell. The River Trent is around a mile away, to the southeast of Thurgarton, and the parish covers around 2,770 acres (11 km2) of land. Gonalston is to the southwest, and Bleasby to the southeast.
Thurgarton is a lesser known place of pilgrimage for Christians wishing to pay respects to the mystical prelate, Walter Hilton. Born in 1343, "Walter Hilton studied Canon Law at Cambridge but after a period as a hermit, he joined the community of Augustinian Canons at Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire in about 1386. Highly regarded in his lifetime as a spiritual guide, he wrote in both Latin and English and translated several Latin devotional works. Controversy with 'enthusiasts' and with the Lollard movement gave a sharper definition to his exposition of the aims, methods and disciplines of traditional spirituality. Amongst his major works, Ladder of Perfection (Book Two) declares that contemplation, understood in a profoundly Trinitarian context as awareness of grace and sensitivity to the Spirit, may and should be sought by all serious Christians." He died on 24 March in the year 1396.
The following is adapted from an extract from White's directory of Nottingham, from the 1853 edition: "Thurgarton is a pleasant village and parish, situated at the foot of a declivity overlooking the vale of the Trent, three miles (5 km) south of Southwell. It contains 385 inhabitants and 2,477 acres (10 km2) of land, enclosed about 80 years ago, when land was allotted for the tithes to Trinity College, Cambridge, which has the patronage of the curacy, and about one third of the lordship. The greater part of the remainder belongs to Richard Milward Esq., who is lord of the manor, and who resides at Thurgarton Priory, a large handsome mansion. The grounds about it rise in gentle swells, and are agreeably diversified with wood and water. The worthy owner has made great improvements since the estate came into his possession.
The old priory was taken down in the mid-18th century by J.G. Cooper Esq., who erected the present mansion on its site, the cellars of which are the only portions of the religious sanctuary that now remain. The ancient priory was founded in 1130 by Ralph de Ayncourt, for canons of the order of St Augustine. He dedicated it to Saint Peter, and left God's favour to his heirs if they preserved it, but God's anger and curse if they did not. It possessed, at the dissolution, a yearly revenue of £259 15s 10d. (equivalent to £160,000 as of 2016), The antiquary must be allowed to lament the false taste which dictated the destruction of so noble a monument of ancient grandeur. The Rev. Thomas Coates Cane also has an estate here.
The church, dedicated to St Peter, is situated near the priory, and has been a large magnificent structure, though it now consists only of one aisle. The curacy was certified at £56, and has been augmented with two lots of Queen Anne's Bounty. It is annexed to that of Hoveringham. The two livings have recently been augmented to the value of £450 by Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1850 a large, handsome parsonage house was erected for the present incumbent, the Rev. Henry Lea Guilleband MA, who is now erecting a neat Sunday school. The school has a rent charge of £10 for the education of 20 boys of this parish, and Hoveringham. The poor of Thurgarton have the interest of £110 left by the families of Baker and Matthews. The Midland Company's Railway, Nottingham and Lincoln Branch, pass through this parish, and has a neat station here.
Bankwood, 2 miles (3 km) west, Thurgarton Hill, half a mile west, Thurgarton Quarters, 2½ miles west, Magsdale, half a mile north of the village, are farms which belong to Richard Milward Esq. At Magsdale, in about 1810, many human bones and spear heads were dug up on the Sheep Close. The spear heads &c. are in the possession of Richard Milward Esq., and also a piece or pig of lead, which is more than one man can lift. This was found in 1849, at Upper Hexgrave, near Southwell."
The Priory Church of St. Peter, Thurgarton is adjacent to the Priory. The church was restored in 1853, and parish registers exist from 1721, whereas earlier records were lost in 1780. There is also a Methodist chapel in Thurgarton.
- "Area: Thurgarton CP (Parish)"
- "Civil parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- Exciting Holiness: 24 March
- UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
Works by Walter Hilton
- Scale (or Ladder) of Perfection
- Song of Angels
- Treatise Written to a Devout Man
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