Bassetlaw District Council

About Retford

Retford is one of the oldest Boroughs in England, the first documentary evidence of Retford is found in the Domesday Survey of 1086. The borough of East Retford was established by King Henry I in 1105 and was granted Royal Charter by Henry I I I in 1246. The town continues to celebrate Charter Day each May Day Bank Holiday. During the 18th and 19th centuries East and West Retford prospered with the coming of the Great North Road (1766), the Chesterfield Canal (1777) and the railways (1849). A stroll around the town reveals fine Georgian and Victorian frontages and a large number of former coaching inns that bear witness to this prosperity.

Retford Local Map

Shopping & Markets

Retford's tradition of being a market town continues today, with the town offering a variety of markets as well as an impressive range of high street and independent shops. The very popular open-air market is held in the market square each Thursday and Saturday against a backdrop of fine Georgian buidings. On the 3rd Saturday of every months, Retford plays host to a popular farmers' market where a variety of local produce is on sale. On Fridays, browsers can seek out bargains at the antiques and bric-a-brac market.


Bassetlaw Museum: Refurbished and extended in 2008, Bassetlaw Museum tells the story of local life, work and war from the earliest times to the 21st Century. The Rural Heritage Centre tells the story of Bassetlaw's farming and rural craft industries. For more information please visit the museum website

retford Town Hall

Kings Park: Kings Park, located just off the Market Square, recently joined an elite group of parks and green spaces by achieving Green Flag status. The town centre park with the River Idle flowing through it is perfect for leisurely walks to admire the colourful floral displays. Facilities also include a children's play area, skateboard park, multi-use ball court, tennis court and bowling greens.

St Swithun's Church East Retford: The church was founded in the twelfth century although most of it was demolished when the tower collapsed in 1651. Today, it is mainly Victorian restoration work that can be seen, along with some fine Victorian stained glass by Kempe amongst others. However the fourteenth century Lady Chapel remains together with fragments of medieval stained glass in one of the windows.

Majestic Theatre: This 1927 theatre has now been lovingly restored and renovated to its former glory. The theatre stages a mix of plays, concerts, opera and ballet throughout the year. Backstage tours are also available. For more information contact the box office on 01777 706866 or visit their website

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