north notts and lincs community rail partnership integrating transport

North Notts & Lincs Community Rail Partnership

Retford - Where to go and how to get there

Retford gateway  to the Mayflower pilgrims

Retford station originally opened in 1852. However the present buildings were built by the Great Northern Railway in 1891/ 2  in Italianate villa style favored by the GNR. It was constructed by Messrs Arnold and Sons, Doncaster at a cost of approximately £17,000.

Retford station is served by trains operating between London and York, London and Hull, Lincoln and Sheffield and Sheffield and Cleethorpes.

In 2020 the station received listed building grade II status for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

  • for the very rare survival of the original finishes in the dining room and refreshment room, notable not only for their strong aesthetic quality and fine craftsmanship but for the particularly ornate nature of their design which was not at all common for public refreshment rooms at railway stations;
  • for its remarkably long and well-balanced composition in the Italianate style and decorative ironwork on the impressive platform canopy;
  • for its association with the Goddard family’s architectural practice, whose work has been extensively recognised on the statutory List.

Historic interest:

  • for its well-preserved plan form, including the service rooms in the Stationmaster’s house, and its remarkably complete elevations with their original fenestration and platform canopy, which overall represent one of the most intact medium-sized GNR stations.

Town Lock and the walk to the town centre (15 minutes)

Leaving the station walk straight ahead down Victoria Road  at then turn right and cross over the River Idle. Walk along Albert Road and a footpath will appear on the left. This leads to the Chesterfield Canal at Town Lock.

The Chesterfield canal was completed in 1777 and ran from Chesterfield through Worksop and Retford to join the river Trent at West Stockwith. It remained in commercial use to the late 1950s carrying coal, stone,agricultural products and other goods. Perhaps the most famous cargo carried on the canal was quarried stone for the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in the 1830s.

Walk across the lock gate and turn right to walk along the tow path to reach the town centre. Turn left at the Bay Tree cafe and Carolgate, the main shopping street is opposite, across Wharf Road.

Carolgate leads into the Market Square reminiscent of a Northern French market town. The Town Hall of 1866-8 is in François I 16th century style.

Retford town hall and market square

Bassetlaw Museum and Pilgrim Gallery

Bassetlaw Museum located on Grove Street, a short walk from the Market Square, is more than a local museum as it contains the Pilgrim Gallery built for the ultimately doomed Mayflower 400 celebrations.

Four centuries ago, a small group, who can trace their roots to the Bassetlaw area decided to leave England in search of religious freedom. They sailed first to Holland, and later, in 1620, some of them sailed to America on board the Mayflower. Read about our Pilgrim Roots

Bus Walk nine retford to babworth

Walk from Retford to Babworth, a small village close to Retford, where All Saints church dates back to the 15th century. In 1586, the congregation formed a Separatist movement under the leadership of Parson Richard Clyfton. While other Puritan groups maintained some of their links with the Church of England, the Separatists followed their own style of worship. When England became uncomfortable for the Separatists they sailed to the Netherlands and later  on the Mayflower to America.

This is just one of 11 Stagecoach Bus Walks.

Bus Walk ten retford to clayworth

Walk from Retford to Clayworth and see the Traquir Murals.

The ancient 12th century church of St Peter is home to the Traquair Murals. Its interior is decorated with what is thought to be the largest single piece of art in the East of England. All four walls were painted by Phoebe Anna Traquair, a Scottish artist who lived from 1852 to 1936, and the results are stunning. The church is normally open to visitors.

This is just one of 11 Stagecoach Bus Walks.

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updated 6 May 2022