Crown Farm, Mansfield

James Newton at Crown Farm with Tommy the horse
Private collection
This photo shows Mansfield Colliery in the back ground and Crown Farm on the right
Newspaper advert (undated) showing some of James Newton's stock
Private collection
Newspaper advert for Crown Farm auction dated 22 November 1917
Private collection
Crown Farm circa 1910
Private collection

In the area near Eakring Road, where today the Mansfield Rugby Union Football Club is situated there once stood a stone farm building known as Crown Farm. The farm is understood to have been a tenant farm on land owned by the Duke of Portland of Welbeck Abbey.

Just when the farm was built is unknown but it was known to be there in 1861 when the census was taken. Through census returns, documents and oral history more has been learnt about this farm.

Thomas Rolling & Family

In 1861 Thomas Rolling aged 62 is listed as a farmer of 172 acres living at Crown Farm with his wife Hannah aged 55 and their son John 25 and daughter Mary 19. They have two servants William Slaney 18 and George Huskison 12 whose occupations are given as carter’s.

Thomas is still at Crown Farm in 1871, and he is listed as being a farmer of 200 acres. His wife is now named as Harriet but is still the same age as Hannah and born in the same place (Warsop) so is no doubt the same person as in 1961. The family have one female servant 18 year old Martha Taylor and two farm servants Benjamin Hinchcliff 20 and William Dring 15.

John Rolling & Family

By 1881 the farmer is John Rolling 45, the son of Thomas. The household consists of John’s wife Jane 44, son Francis Samuel 18, son Richard 14, his mother Hannah 76. They have two farm servants William Cooper 18  and David Hooley 14. The farm is now listed as having 180 acres.

An 1887 map shows how isolated the farm is, surrounded by fields, moor land and areas of forest.

Mansfield Colliery

The occupant of Crown Farm in 1891 remains a mystery but by the time James Newton was living there in 1901 the wider landscape around the farm had started to change. The Bolsover Colliery Company were in the process of sinking the Mansfield Colliery, a colliery that soon became known as Crown Farm Colliery or ‘Crownie’ due to its close proximity to Crown Farm.

James Newton & Family

James Newton was the tenant farmer at the time Mansfield Colliery was being sunk. He was born into a farming family, and as a young man, served with the South Nottinghamshire Yeomanry. On leaving the Yeomanry around 1894, he took over the tenancy of Crown Farm.

His first wife Elizabeth (nee Hirst) died in 1909 leaving him alone at the farm with three young sons, Frank(1892), Leonard (born 1900) and George (born 1902), and daughter Lucy (born 1907). James was  remarried to Edith Fox and twins Frederick John and Edith were born in 1910, and William (1917). James and his wives are known to have had other children who died young. The isolation of the farm meant the children had a long trek to school either in Mansfield or Forest Town.

Despite the nearness of the new colliery, the farm still nestled among fields and was reached from the Eakring Road where a long dusty track with brick lined dew ponds on the left, continued towards a stack yard on the right. At the end of the track was the farm house which is recalled as having many rooms and being lit with paraffin lamps.

To the rear, separated by a wall, was the crew yard that had stables and a raised grain store. The farm implements were stored under the grain store. In the crew yard ‘mucking out’ was done, and the accumulated manure was eventually spread over the nearby fields. A dairy and a pigsty were among the other outbuildings.

To the front of the farmhouse, an earth closet was situated halfway down the garden.

Horseradish was just one of the vegetables grown in the garden. Damson and russet apple trees grew in the orchard, and there were fruit bushes such as gooseberry, red and blackcurrant, these added to the self-sufficiency of the farm. In the long field known as ‘the paddock’, cattle grazed, and wild rabbits ran about in the grass, the farm children would sit making daisy chains as they watched.

Around the farmyard, cackling geese strutted while a large gander was not always friendly to strangers. In the surrounding fields wheat, barley, mangolds and turnips were sown and later harvested.

1915 Land Tax

In the Land Tax records taken in 1915 the acreage of the farm is given as 120 acres and describes as ‘A poorish forest land farm, moderate buildings & house with cottage adjoining not used.’ The Duke of Portland is listed as Owner and Jas. W Newton tenant.

World War One

During World War One it is recalled that the farm was used to house soldiers in conjunction with the nearby Clipstone Camp. Officers stayed in the house with the Newton family while soldiers were under canvas outside in the paddock


In November 1917 a decision had been made by James Newton to move out of Crown Farm and he instructed Henry Spencer to auction all stock and equipment pertaining to the farm.

Members of the Newton family Crown Farm moved out some time after this date. Frank the oldest son had emigrated to Canada a number of years previously, and in later years two other sons George and William also went to Canada.

Rhodes Family

The next tenants are believed to have been Thomas Rhodes and family who lived there for around 10 years.

Occupants of Crown farm over the following years are yet to be discovered and further information to this page may be added in the future.

From Agriculture to Sport

In the 1970s when Mansfield Rugby Union Football Club acquired the land sport took over from agriculture and a new era began.


Comments about this page

  • Our late brother-in-law, Ian Friswell, (1942-2011) moved to Crown Farm in 1956 with his parents Jim and Frances and his younger brother John.
    His father, Jim, took over Crown Farm as a tenant farmer until the land was eventually sold and part of it became Mansfield Rugby Club.
    Moore and Stringfellow were the land owners in 1956 and also owned farmland in the Oak Tree and Berry Hill areas.
    Charles and Diana Hickling

    By Charles Hickling (18/02/2020)
  • According to the 1891 census, the occupiers of Crown Farm were William Wright b. 1835, his wife Mary b. 1835 and their two sons, Joseph (15) and Albert (14). Under occupation William describes himself as a ‘farm labourer’ not farmer. and both boys were also listed as ‘farm labourers’.
    On the 1939 register Crown Farm was occupied by Reginald Marshall b.1874, Reginald was a widower and was described as a ‘retired farmer’. Also living at Crown Farm were Leslie Marshall b. 1914, his wife Dorothy b.1918 and his single brother, Albert Marshall b. 1905, both of whom ran the farm together.

    By Jenny Wright (13/01/2019)
  • Yes I can remember the farm , shame its all gone now. Lower down from the farm on Eakring Road on the left was King Johns Lane leading to a lagoon it was a haven for wild life , but all gone now and the lagoon has been filled in, what a shame

    By Dave Gregory (07/10/2018)
  • I have just been given a recipe book belonging to my husbands great grandmother Annie Warrener.  The address on the book is Crown Farm, Sherwood Hall, Mansfield 1889.Could this be the same Crown Farm?

    By Sue Johnson (26/09/2016)
  • My grandfather lived on the farm. His name was Ernest Rhodes. I remember lots of stories he used to tell me. He also lived in the old house next to the Ravensdale pub. It’s now all bungalows. 

    By Ricci divito (16/07/2016)
  • My family lived on Pump Hollow Lane from about 1925 to 2002. I remember living there before the estate was built. 


    By ANTHONY BROOKS (09/04/2016)
  • Hello Dennis,  Indeed, Marie Musson is my Mum and I also remember your Sister June and her daughter, Susan, when they lived on Budby Ave, and who we used to meet up with from time to time when I was little.  

    By Alison Wright (09/08/2014)
  • I remember Marie Musson. Thinking about it she did live on Crown Farm Lane, she was a friend of my late sister June Parsonage off Oak Tree Lane. I was just a kid her being 12yr older than me. Thats took me back a bit Dennis P

    By d w p (10/11/2013)
  • It was great to see this picture of my grandfather, James Newton. We were in Forest Town a few years back and sad to say there is nothing left of the farm, so no chance for me to see where my father (William) was raised. All the children of James William are now deceased with my mother being the only surviving spouse.

    By Laura Newton (07/11/2013)
  • My mother and her family the Mussons, moved into Crown Farm Bungalow in 1931 when she was three and stayed there until 1950 when they moved to 3rd Avenue, Forest Town. The bungalow was a very substantially built prefab-type construction with wash-house, orchard and extensive garden. I remember ‘visiting’ it with my mum in the late 1950’s when it was in a state of demolition. Sad. It had been a happy home for lots of Musson kids and their offspring over the years.

    By ALISON WRIGHT (26/10/2013)
  • Josh Mee who lives on Little Carter Lane.Mansfield. says he used to live at Crown Farm where his father was the farmer.

    By David Clay (05/02/2012)
  • I was born in Clipstone and used to walk along the stream at the bottom of Station Rd to I’m sure it was either Cowpes or Cowpers Farm.

    By stan williamson (13/01/2012)
  • I think you are referring to Newlands Farm not Crown Farm, see the page on Newlands farm under Agriculture.

    By Pauline Marples (13/01/2012)

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