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Widmerpool is one of the oldest villages in Nottinghamshire, possibly dating back to the Roman period – crop marks in one area suggest a Roman or Iron Age settlement, and several Roman coins have been found locally. For much of its history Widmerpool was an estate village, with its manor having belonged to the Widmerpool family from 1216 (when Henricus de Diddisworth adopted the name Widmerpool to gain the estate).
The village remained with the family until 1804, when the Robertsons from Scotland bought the estate after its enclosure, and began rebuilding and restoring the village, which was by then in a state of disrepair. The Robertsons (who, confusingly, changed their name to Robinson) remained in Widmerpool throughout the 19th Century, overseeing rebuilds of St Peter’s Church, (once in 1832, and again in 1888) and many cottages, as well as building the new manor house, Widmerpool Hall.
After the Robertsons (who had by then changed their name back from Robinson in 1870!) the estate changed hands a number of times until it was finally broken up in the 1950s. In 1973 the Hall became the Automobile Association’s (AA) national headquarters, until 2000 when it was converted into private housing. Before the estate was broken up the village’s economy was largely connected to the estate and its farms, with almost everyone being employed on the land or in the Hall (among them famers, servants, gardeners, laundresses and dairymaids).
Today Widmerpool is a quiet, friendly, and picturesque village.
A Check on Population Changes
In 1674, 34 houses in Widmerpool were assessed to the hearth tax and four others "discharged by reason of poverty".
There were 40 families in the parish in 1743.
By 1801 there were 45 houses and 206 people.
After a slight rise, the population fell until in 1861 there were 31 houses and 151 people.
It was not until 1971 that there was an increase to 237.
In 2001 there were 101 houses and 262 people, although this included 47 living in a care home.
By 2018 the figure has increased to 280 people.