Retford was largely destroyed by a fire in 1528, but prospered after the Great North Road was diverted to run through the town in 1766 and the Chesterfield Canal (1777) and the direct London to York railway (1849) were both routed via the borough. The Great North Road was diverted around the town in 1961 and part of the route through the town is now a pedestrian precinct.

It is approximately 25 acres (10 ha) in size, situated between Babworth Road and North Road. The Chesterfield canal runs alongside the eastern border and to the west of the cemetery, there is a primary school and a railway line. It is maintained by Bassetlaw District Council (BDC), of which they have freehold ownership of the site. The cemetery contains 14 Commonwealth war graves from the First World War, and 16 from the Second World War.

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Ample parking always available, with overspill car park nearby.

Retford also has two newspapers serving the town, the Retford Times which is published in Retford, and the Guardian and Trader newspaper, a free weekly newspaper published in Worksop. The Worksop Guardian, although predominately a newspaper serving Worksop and its area, also covers stories in Retford.

​Prison officer numbers at Ranby Prison are at their lowest for three years, new figures reveal.

The Pilgrim Fathers, a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts originated from villages of Babworth and Scrooby on the outskirts of East Retford between 1586 and 1605.53°19′20.45″N 0°56′20.57″W / 53.3223472°N 0.9390472°W / 53.3223472; -0.9390472

The origins of its name are unknown and have been subject to much debate, but consensus seems to conclude that it gets its name from an ancient ford crossing the River Idle. It was originally named Redforde because the river water was tinged red due to the red clay river bed and frequent crossing of people and livestock disturbing the clay river bed.[2] The first land settled was on the western side of the ford, this area being less liable to flooding. This was known as West Retforth.[3]

The course measures 6,507 yards, par 72, SS 72 for men and 5,643 yards, par 72, SS 73 for ladies.

  The 16th was opened with a nearest the pin competition. The prize being a £100 Ping Putter     

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Retford is close to the National Trust owned Clumber Park which is a major attraction for tourists and locals alike. Extensive woodlands in the area also form the remnants of Sherwood Forest, home to the legend of Robin Hood.

The Retford Town Cricket and Sports Club was established in 1850 and moved to its present ground in 1858. The club was a founding member of the Bassetlaw Cricket league in 1904, their inaugural match was against Whitwell Colliery. However, they had to wait until 1984 before they won the League Division 1A Championship under the captaincy of George Jones, who shortly after emigrated to Australia. During this successful season the club chairman was Colin Loates.

In the late 1970s the then Mayor of Retford and Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, Gerry McNeill, hosted a visit from Princess Margaret to Retford.

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Retford also has a long running Snooker League consisting of 2 Divisions. The current Division 1 League Champions of 2007/08 are Liberal 'C' captained by Steve Norris.

Retford has a reputation for looking after visitors extremely well.

Retford gained its first charter in 1246, when Henry III granted the right for a fair, this was later extended to holding a Saturday Market by Edward I in 1275. It was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and then remained a municipal borough until 1974 when it was merged into Bassetlaw district. Its civic traditions are maintained by Charter Trustees.

Set in splendid countryside with mature oak lined fairways, open areas, changes of level and picturesque views ensuring a great game of golf for all standards. Retford also has an excellent Club House with many good food catering options. 

However, as the community grew it spread to occupy land on the other bank of the river, and it was this eastern part of the town that eventually became more important; hence Retford's alternative (and, for administrative purposes, still official) name of East Retford. The highly unusual coat of arms for the town consists of two rampant choughs.

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The Ducal Estates are very close by too, particularly Clumber Park and Welbeck Abbey, still a privately owned residence but with attractions such as the Harley Gallery open to the public.

The following cases appeared at Mansfield Magistrates' Court over the past two weeks.

Retford is served by many youth groups including The Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, St. John Ambulance and Young Farmers, meeting within the town. Retford is also home to 1403 ATC Retford Squadron and Army Cadets. In addition Retford is served by an excellent youth musical theatre group known as The MOB (mini operatic bunch) the junior section of Retford Amateur Operatic Society.

Retford is served by two railway lines, the East Coast Main Line which runs between London and Scotland, with trains taking from 1hr 20 minutes to London Kings Cross, and the Sheffield to Lincoln Line which has links to Sheffield, Lincoln, Gainsborough, Worksop, Grimsby and Cleethorpes. These two lines meet at Retford railway station which acts as an important interchange in the British rail network.

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​A woman has denied causing grievous bodily harm after an alleged stabbing in Retford.

You'll find a range of hotels, bed and breakfasts and self catering holiday cottages in and around Retford. And with lots of things to do, Retford is a great place for a weekend or short break.


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Retford is an attractive market town in the very north of Nottinghamshire. It is surrounded by quaint villages, including Babworth and Scrooby, which are famous for their links to the Pilgrim Fathers who started their seperatist movement here before setting out on their epic journey to America.

There are well established Karate and Kung Fu schools, as well as a Judo club which runs in the St. Saviours Church Hall every Wednesday evening from 6:30pm. Retford also features a small skate park within the grounds of Kings Park in the center of Retford.

  Every Saturday on the Terrace, there will be a BBQ  –  weather permitting.

There is regular vehicular access to the site from Babworth Road. At the front gate, from the main entrance, BDC personnel and members of the public have the ability to park vehicles in a small car park. The cemetery gates are locked at 20:00 and opened in the morning at 09:00 by a security firm.

Ordsall Bridon first team recorded their third and most meritorious win of the season at fellow strugglers Hucknall last Saturday.

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Retford has an established football team called Retford United F.C. who play in the premier division of the Baris Northern Counties East League. The club plays football at Cannon Park on the outskirts of the town. Retford is also home to Retford Town F.C., a smaller football club.

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Retford (Gamston) Airport is a private airport located a few miles south of Retford in the village of Gamston, operated by Gamston Aviation Ltd.

Retford also has a wide range of restaurants and pubs, plus an antiques and collectables market every Friday and a farmers' market on the third Saturday of every month.