infobox UK place
country = England

static_image_caption=Car 212 is seen at Hucknall in the first week of operation of modern Trams (March 2004)
latitude= 53.0339
longitude= -1.2013
map_type = Nottinghamshire
official_name= Hucknall
population= 29,188
shire_district= Ashfield
shire_county= Nottinghamshire
region= East Midlands
post_town= Nottingham
postcode_district= NG15
postcode_area= NG
dial_code= 0115
os_grid_reference= SK535488

Hucknall, formerly known as Hucknall Torkard, is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, in the district of Ashfield. The town was historically a centre for mining but is now a focus for other industries as well providing housing for workers in Nottingham. The town is notable as the site where Rolls-Royce made the first demonstration of vertical take-off (for a plane). It is also the final resting place of Lord Byron and his estranged daughter the mathematician, Ada Lovelace.


Population 29,704 (14,572 (49%) male, 15,132 (51% female). Total households 12,427 (Census 2001,Nottinghamshire County Council). White (94%) Asian (3%) Afro-Caribbean (1%)


Hucknall is situated seven miles (11.26 kilometres) north-west of Nottingham on the west bank of the Leen Valley, on land which rises from the Trent Valley in the south to the hills of the county north of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The Whyburn or 'Town Brook' flows through the town centre, and Farleys Brook marks its southern boundary.The town's highest point is Long Hill which is 460 feet (140 metres) above sea-level.

Apart from the southern link to Nottingham, the town is surrounded by farmland.To the north-west lie Misk Hills and Annesley.To the north-east town are the villages of Linby and Papplewick. Beyond them is Newstead Abbey, once the residence of Lord Byron.To the west lies Eastwood, birthplace of D. H. Lawrence, and the inspiration for many of his novels.To the east of the town is Bestwood Country Park.The areas of Butler's Hill and Westville often appear as distinct entities on maps, but are generally considered as part of Hucknall.


Hucknall was once a thriving market town.Its focal point is the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene, next to the town's market square.The church was built by the Saxons and completed after the Norman Conquest, though much of it has been restored during the Victorian era.

From 1295 until 1915, the town was known as Hucknall Torkard, taken from Torcard, the name of a dominant landowning family. Signs of the old name can still be seen on some of the older buildings.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, coal was discovered and mined heavily throughout the Leen Valley, which includes Hucknall. This brought increased wealth to the town along with the construction of three railway lines.

From 1894 until 1974 Hucknall was the seat of the Hucknall Urban District council. Upon the abolition of the UDC, the town was transferred to Ashfield.

In 1956 the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Hucknall was built to serve the area of west Hucknall.


Hucknall was recorded as "Hokeuhale" (n.d.) and "Hokenale" (n.d.), suggesting "nook of land of Hōcanere (a tribe", from Old English "halh" (haugh). This same tribe's name occurs in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. It has been suggested that the name Hucknall once referred to a larger area on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border. Two other settlements in the locality are called Hucknall; Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, in Nottinghamshire, (known today as Huthwaite) and Ault Hucknall in Derbyshire. It is likely that Hucknall Torcard marked the Southern Boundary of this larger Hucknall Area. [ [ huthwaite-online] ]

In the Domesday Book (A.D. 1086) the name appears as "Hochenale" (volume 1, pages 288-290).


The town is the northern terminus for the Nottingham Express Transit tram system as well as sharing a station on the Robin Hood Line. There is also a stop at Butler's Hill/Broomhill. The town used to be on the A611 but now this has bypassed the town to the west with a very wide single-carriageway road with roundabouts, with access to junction 27 of the M1.

Bus Services

* TB: Rainbow 3 Nottingham - Hucknall - Annesley - Kirkby - Mansfield
* TB: Rainbow 3A Nottingham - Hucknall - Newstead - Annesley Woodhouse - Kirkby - Sutton - Mansfield
* TB: Rainbow 3B Nottingham - Hucknall - Annesley - Kirkby - Sutton
* TB: Rainbow 3C Nottingham - Hucknall - Annesley - Kirkby - Coxmoor Estate - Sutton
* TB: N3 Nottingham - Hucknall - Kirkby
* TB: 141 Nottingham - Hucknall - Blidworth - Mansfield - Sutton
* Veolia (Dunn-Line): 170 Nottingham - Basford - Bulwell - Hucknall
* Veolia (Dunn-Line): 171 Nottingham - QMC - Bulwell - Hucknall
* Veolia (Dunn-Line): 172 Boots - Beeston - QMC - Hucknall
* TB: Amberline Derby - Heanor - Eastwood - Hucknall
* TB: Connect Blue & Red Hucknall Estate - Hucknall - Hucknall Station
* Premiere: S43 Bulwell - Hucknall
* Premiere: S44 Bulwell - Hucknall - Nuncargate
* Premiere: X3 Nottingham - Hucknall Beauvale


The National School Technology College is on Annesley Road at the north end of the town, near the roundabout of the B6011. [ [ National School Technology College] ] Holgate Comprehensive School was given a specialist status of 'School of arts' and is on Hillcrest Drive in Beauvale, to the west of the bypass. [ [ Holgate Comprehensive School site] ] It has an athletics track. [ [ athletics track] ]



Hucknall was a colliery town from 1861 to 1986. The sinking of the coal mines caused the settlement to grow rapidly from a village to a market town in under a hundred years.The Hucknall Colliery Company, formed in 1861 sank two shafts, Hucknall No. 1 colliery (known as "Top Pit") in 1861 (off Watnall Road) and Hucknall No. 2 colliery (known as "Bottom Pit") in 1866 (off Portland Road).No. 1 closed by 1943, and No. 2 closed in 1986.


Hucknall Airfield was built in 1916, which became RAF Hucknall. From 1927, Rolls-Royce began using the airfield for flight tests. During World War II, the aerodrome at Hucknall was the location of the first flight of a P-51 Mustang fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine. The fitting of the Merlin, replacing the existing Allison V-1710 engine allowed the Mustang airframe to reach its full potential and achieve spectacular high altitude performance, something the Allison engine could not provide.In the early 1950s, the Rolls-Royce site at Hucknall developed the world's first vertical-takeoff jet 'aircraft' - actually, a test rig, officially called the Thrust Measuring Rig, but soon nicknamed the "Flying Bedstead" because of its shape. The first untethered flight, piloted by Capt. Ron Shepherd, took place on 3 August 1954 before a distinguished audience.The rig rose slowly into the air and hovered steadily. It then moved forward, made a circuit of the area, then demonstrated sideways and backwards movements before making a successful landing.The flight was a tremendous success and during the next four months a number of free flights were made, up to a height of 50 ft. There are pubs in Hucknall called "The Flying Bedstead" and "The Harrier". Rolls-Royce's flight test centre closed in 1971, but engines are still tested and some components are manufactured at the site in Westville. Much of the remaining engine testing activity may be moved from Hucknall due to the encroaching residential areas finding the noise unacceptable. Such testing could be done in more advanced indoor facilities in Derby and elsewhere.

During World War 2, a German prisoner-of-war, Franz von Werra, attempted to escape by posing as a Dutch pilot and flying off in a Hurricane fighter. He was the only German to succeed in returning to the Reich. His exploits can be seen in the film 'The One That Got Away'.


Framework knitting was once the predominant industry in Hucknall.

Garden Products

One of the most important local firms in Hucknall is Doff Portland. The company has grown to become the UK's largest independent manufacturer of insecticides, weedkillers, other pesticides, fertilisers and garden products sold nationally through garden centres, independent DIY retailers and large retail multiples. Doff is one of Europe's largest producer of premium slug killer pellets. In addition, Doff provides extensive contract formulating and packing opportunities for third parties. [ [ Doff site] ]


*Steve Blatherwick is a former professional footballer who played for clubs including Nottingham Forest and Chesterfield.
*Lord Byron (poet, philosopher and revolutionary) was buried in the parish church (on 16 July 1824). [ St. Mary Magdelene parish church] , accessed 25 September 2008]
*Robin Bailey (1919-1999), actor.
*Ben Caunt (1815-1861), a bare-knuckle fighter, known as "The Torkard Giant", who became 'Champion of England'. It is after Ben Caunt that the bell Big Ben is named. [ [ more information about his life by one of his descendents] , not working September 2008]
*Eric Coates (1886 - 1957), whose compositions include the theme music for "The Dam Busters" movie, and the "Sleepy Lagoon" introduction for "Desert Island Discs". [ [ More legends of Light Music] , Richard Farnon Society, accessed 25 September 2008]
*Philanthropist Zachariah Green (1817-1897). Buried in the local Parish church. Has a monument to his memory in Titchfield Park. [ [ Zachariah Green Memorial Drinking Fountain] , Ashfield District Council, accessed 25 September 2008]
*Jack Hall (1883-1938) professional footballer who played as an inside-forward or centre-forward for Stoke, Middlesbrough, Leicester Fosse, and Birmingham.
*Thomas Cecil Howitt, (1889-1968) an eminent British provincial architect of the 20th Century. The architect of Nottingham Council House.
*Countess Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852), daughter of the Poet Lord Byron, is buried in the church. She is credited as being the first programmer, having assisted in realising the potential of Babbage's analytical engine.
*Enoch 'Knocker' West (1886-1965), a footballer who played for Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. In 1915 he was banned from playing football for 30 years for allegedly fixing a match. He protested his innocence until his death.
*Sam Weller Widdowson, a footballer who played for Nottingham Forest and England F.C..cite web|url= ||title=Sam Widdowson|accessdate=2008-09-25] He also played cricket for Nottinghamshire and is credited with inventing football shin pads in 1874.


The town's football team is Hucknall Town F.C.. Founded in 1945, originally as a colliery team (Hucknall Colliery Welfare FC), changing its name to Hucknall Town in 1987 after closure of the pit. [ Hucknall Town FC] ] Over the seasons they have risen steadily through the non-league pyramid and have won many honours. They currently (2007) play in the Conference North, and in 2005 reached the final of the FA Trophy. The town's top Sunday side are Plough Barflies FC who play their home games at Hucknall Town FC's Watnall Road ground. They have risen from the depths of the Nott's Combination League to the top of the Notts Sunday Morning League in consecutive seasons. Rolls Royce Leisure F.C. are not very successful but are based near the fire station at the Rolls Royce Leisure Sports Ground on Watnall Road. [ [ Rolls-Royce Leisure FC] , accessed 25 September 2008]

Hucknall Cricket Club, founded 1890. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd XIs currently play in various leagues of the South Notts. Cricket League. [ [ Hucknall Cricket Club] ]


External links

* [ Hucknall Torkard dot com]
* [ Hucknall & Bulwell Dispatch]
* [ Nottinghamshire County Council]
* [ Ashfield District Council]
* [ Hucknall Huthwaite Online]
* [ History of Rolls-Royce at Hucknall]
* [ BBC Guide to Hucknall]
* [ Hucknall Rolls-Royce Amateur Radio Club]

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