Dominated though much of it is by its ‘three Rs’ – the railways, roads and river – the Muskham Vale also possesses several Grade II listed buildings. As none of them is open to the general public, here is a quick guide to where to find them so that you can admire them from the outside...
Manor Farm House and its adjoining boundary wall, built around 1811-1818, can be found at the north end of the village. It has been in the Fryer family for decades; until the 1950s they sold milk direct, from the churn, from the cows milked in the sheds that have now been partially converted into another dwelling.
The Hollies, a 17th century house incorporating 13th century timbers, is in the heart of the village where the Main Street swings sharply into Bathley Bottom and towards The Green.
Grange Farm House, a 16th century property with 19th century service addition, used to be called Corporation Farm and is situated on the east side of Chapel Lane, off Bathley Green.
The Gables on Ollerton Road, opposite the junction with the lane from Bathley, is a 16th century farmhouse that was altered in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
Manor Farm Cottages, which face the motorist emerging from Little Carlton and heading round the South Muskham mini-roundabout towards Newark, were built in the 18th century, subdivided in the 19th century and altered in the 20th century.
The Great North Road Viaduct, known locally as Smeaton’s Arches, carries the old Great North Road over the River Trent and above the flood plain on which the Sugar Factory stands into Newark. Designed by John Smeaton in 1770 and widened in 1922, the 7 round arches were a magnificent feat of ingenuity and engineering that stopped the country being virtually cut in half by floods.
Langford Hall, its stables and coach house are set back from the A46 just past the roundabout to Collingham / Gainsborough. Built in the late 18th century, they add up to arguably the most imposing country house in Muskham Vale.
Return towards Newark on the A46, turn onto the A1 northbound and shortly you will cross over the newest Grade II listed building in the Vale, Winthorpe Bridge. Built in 1964, it was included as “an architecturally exceptional example of an unusual type of bridge.”
The Old Hall, opposite St Wilfrid’s Church on Main Street, was built around the 1670s, remodelled and altered in the 1820s, and has been in the possessions of the Footitt family for much of the last century. The owners are currently kindly allowing members of the Muskham Vale Heritage Group to survey this fascinating property, which has served as a soldiers’ barracks as well as a farmhouse and private dwelling over the centuries.
Trent Bank House, beside the Muskham Ferry looking across the Trent to Holme, was built late in the 18th century and today stands proud above the modern bungalows that have been erected in its grounds.
Cherry Cottage on Waltons Lane (just off Main Street) was originally a pair of cottages built in the late 18th century and so named because during the nineteenth century they belonged to a Mr Cherry and were known as Cherry's Cottages.
North Road House, on the stretch where Waltons Lane gives way to the Old Great North Road since the A1 was dual-carriagewayed in the 1960s, was built in the middle of the 18th century and was extended in the 19th century. Its ornamental outbuildings are also listed as are its railings and gate (though its wall was reshaped when the A1 was altered in the 1960s).
The remaining listed buildings are either side of the bridge over the A1 at the north end of the village.
Edgefield House, listed along with its coach house and wall, on the north-west corner of the bridge, has had many reincarnations – as a private country house, fertiliser factory, hotel and offices – since it was built as a vicarage in the 1860s.
The Shades, facing the traveller descending the A1 bridge back into North Muskham, was built in the 18th century. To underline its importance to the area’s history and heritage, its stable, outhouse and pump are also listed.
The Village Cross, a few yards to the south of The Shades, has stood since at least the 14th century. It marks the spot where the intrepid traveller would leave Main Street and utter a prayer before embarking on the treacherous journey along Trent Ford Road, over the oft-flooded marshland and across the Trent towards the Holme Cross, which somewhat surprisingly is not listed.
For more details of the above buildings, please go to http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk and use the search facility, which will quickly demonstrate that St Wilfrid’s Churches at both North and South Muskham are also listed.
Enjoy your journey – whether it be actual or virtual!