© Southwell & District Local History Society          Webmaster: mike.kirton@southwellhistorysociety.co.uk

Southwell & District Local History Society Established in 1983

Guided tours of Southwell


Members of the society will be pleased to take groups on guided tours around Southwell.  Duration 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Contact our secretary to discuss your requirements


Contact: The Secretary, Carol Fitzgerald

Email: carol@southwellhistorysociety.co.uk

Southwell & District Local History Society was established in 1983 and runs a full programme of lecture meetings and outings throughout the year.  The programme, whilst interesting and varied, is aimed at both local history and subjects of wider interest.  Over the years the society has encouraged members to publish a variety of books that have covered many aspects of history in Southwell and District.


Local History Books - Click here to view


Southwell has a rich past and the Society strives to find out more about how the town developed and the characters that have inhabited it over the centuries.  






















































The Gatehouse to the

Nottinghamshire House of Correction

The Burgage, Southwell



Latest Book


Price £6

This book was launched on  Saturday 11th November 2017

 in the State Chamber, The Archbishop’s Palace, Southwell


Thomas Wolsey spent five months living in Southwell, between April and September 1530. He had paused in the town on his way from London to York, where he planned to be installed as the Archbishop of York. He had been appointed to the post in 1514, but had never taken it up. Wolsey entered Royal service with Henry VII in 1507, but his real rise to power began in 1509 under the eighteen-year-old Henry VIII. He began to acquire many and various posts, both ecclesiastical and secular. In 1515 he was elected Cardinal and the following year was appointed Lord Chancellor.


By then Wolsey had become a power in the land, and his personal wealth and the magnificence of his lifestyle made him many enemies. For a long time he continued to dominate public life, but when Anne Boleyn captured the attention of Henry VIII in 1526 Wolsey soon found that he had a competitor for the King’s ear. Wolsey worked hard to find a way to end the marriage between the King and Catherine of Aragon, but when he failed in that mission Henry lost faith in him.


On 18 October 1529 he was forced to surrender the Great Seal of England and was no longer Lord Chancellor. There then began a rapid fall as Wolsey was stripped of most of his many offices in a few months. Soon the Archbishopric of York was the only post of any substance left to him, and he resolved to travel north to claim it, hoping that by so doing he would place himself out of reach of his enemies.


After some delays and much wrangling, he left London in early April 1530, bound for his Diocese. He stayed with friends and acquaintances en route, but he still owned, by virtue of his office, the Archbishop’s Palace in Southwell, so that was where he headed.


David Turner has researched in great detail Wolsey’s life in Southwell during this short period in 1530.  He has written a series of imaginary letters, based on known facts, from Wolsey to Thomas Cromwell.  This is a fascinating short historical novel.


The Society has decided to donate all the proceeds of the sale of a run of 200 copies to the Leaves of Southwell Project, including the production and printing costs, as its contribution to this ambitious project that has recently gained some Heritage Lottery Fund support.



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