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Fiskerton cum Morton

History of Fiskerton

Back in 1086, the Domesday entry indicated that Fiskerton was relatively prosperous.  In addition to enough arable land for 7 ploughs, there were 2 mills, a fishery and a ferry and 42 acres of meadow, pasture and woodland.

About 1140, Walter’s son, Ralph d’Aincourt, founded Thurgarton Priory, giving Fiskerton as part of its endowment.  Southwell Minster (representing the Archbishop of York) then released all its rights over Fiskerton to the Priory and Fiskerton remained under the control of the Priory until the time of the Dissolution in 1538.

During this time there was a chapel dedicated to St. Mary, the site of which appeared on various maps until the early 20th century.

When this chapel was founded and who by is uncertain, but it was in the possession of Thurgarton Priory by the first half of the 12th century and served by canons from there. The Register or Cartulary of Thurgarton, which was written in the early 1300s, describes the chapel as set in a court, which suggests it was part of a complex of buildings, and notes that the field in which it stood was the Grange Field, a name still in use today. There was also a graveyard attached. The chapel is no longer marked on current OS maps and after years of farming activity, plus the flood defence works in the mid 20th century, there is now nothing left to show where it had been.

At the Dissolution, Thurgarton Priory was seized by the Crown. Fiskerton’s tithes (a form of tax for the support of the local rector or church) were granted to Rolleston, so the village became part of the ecclesiastical parish of Rolleston as is still the case today. Ownership of the land, along with the rest of the Priory estates, was eventually granted by Elizabeth 1st to Thomas Cooper.

The Coopers held land in Fiskerton and Morton as Lords of the Manor for nearly a century until the civil war when Sir Roger Cooper supported the king and had his lands confiscated by the Roundheads when the king was defeated.  He had to pay a crushing fine to recover them and so sold his farms in Fiskerton and Morton in 1649 to Dr. Huntingdon Plumptre, a member of a famous Nottingham family. By the 19th century, the Plumptres had settled in Kent and had been selling off their Nottinghamshire property.  What remained of their lands in Fiskerton and Morton was eventually sold in 1857 to William Wright of Fiskerton and the title “Lord of the Manor” ceased with the death of his great nephew, Richard Wright, in 1968.

Fishing and agriculture remained important, with several farms being located close to the heart of the village, but thanks to proximity to the River Trent, Fiskerton was also able to develop other industries, so that by 1842 there were wharfs, coal yards and warehouses all along the river front. Malting had also become a local industry and the Newark brewer, James Hole, had a large malthouse here. There was a watermill to be found on the Greet and a windmill on what is now Station Road.  In total there were 75 houses in Fiskerton and a population of 404.

The 19th century saw a great deal of change.  One of the most important developments was the opening of the Nottingham-Lincoln railway in August 1846 with a station barely half a mile from the village centre.

By the end of the century, many wharves and warehouses had disappeared and in their place substantial houses, like Fiskerton House and Fiskerton Manor, were to be found along the riverside.

The large malthouse, on what is today referred to as The Wharf, closed in 1904 when James Hole decided to concentrate all its business in Newark, and some employees moved from Fiskerton as a consequence. The premises were eventually bought as a grain store around 1919, by Southwell miller, C.G. Caudwell, and the wharf was used for loading and unloading materials destined for the Southwell corn mill. The Caudwells owned it until c.1974 when it was then used for a boat building business and eventually in the 1980s became a private residence.