Huthwaite is a small village in Nottinghamshire, standing to the west of Mansfield and close to the Derbyshire border. Before 1907 the village was known as Hucknall-under-Huthwaite and nicknamed "Dirty Hucknall". It is a former mining village and weaving village, but the mines closed in the 1980s and weaving was extinguished by overseas competition.
Outside Huthwaite is the county top of Nottinghamshire. The exact spot has been disputed locally, but measurement has placed at the peak of Newtonwood Lane to the north of the village, where the ground rises to 671 feet above sea level.
Name of the village
The name Huthwaite is derived from Old English plus Norse elements; Hu- may be from the Old English hoh, meaning a heel-shaped hill or from the Norse haugr ("hill"), which "Thwaite" means a clearing.
Industry and Employment
The population in 1800 was about 500 but soon started to grow with the opening of Hucknall Colliery, a drift mine at the bottom of Blackwell Road. The "Miners Arms" public house is believed to have been the manager's cottage. This mine was worked for around 50 years. It closed due to flooding. In 1877 a new mine called New Hucknall Colliery was opened which employed 500 people. By 1881 the population of the village had grown to over 2000. By 1912 the workforce had increased to over 1,300.
Nevertheless, the main industry in the village at the time had become the manufacture of hosiery.
The closure of the majority of mines in the area, which included New Hucknall Colliery in the early 1980s, and the off shoring of hosiery jobs led to large amounts of unemployment. The village is not in such dire straits today as it was in the 1980s.
Shops and Services
Huthwaite used to have numerous shops such as groceries, butchers and hardware but in the present day the only major retailers are the chain-store supermarkets in the centre of the village, and 90% of the other shops are now used as takeaway restaurants.
The exact location of Nottinghamshire's county top is argued over, but it lies near Huthwaite. The measurements appear to favour a point on Newtonwood Road, north of the village, at SK45626065 and reaching 671 feet above sea level.
Strawberry Bank, a little to the south at SK4659, was long claimed to be the highest point in the county, and a plaque there claims it as such. However while Strawberry hill does appear prominent, at 666 feet it would fall short.
Silver Hill at SK4762 is an artificial mound, a mine soil-heap on the site of the former Silverhill colliery built on old mine which has in the past been measured a foot higher, but which was in 2011 re-measured by comparison, placing it slightly below Newtonwood Lane.
There was formerly a railway station situated to the west of the road, just to the north of where the Woodend Inn is currently situated. Initially called "Woodend for Hucknall Huthwaite", the station opened on 1 May 1886 and carried passengers from Sutton-in-Ashfield. In 1893 it was renamed "Whiteborough for Hucknall Huthwaite", and in 1908 the suffix was dropped and the spelling shortened to "Whiteboro Station". On the same day the station in Sutton-in-Ashfield was renamed "Sutton-in-Ashfield for Huthwaite", coinciding with the launch of tram services carrying passengers from Sutton-in-Ashfield.
The station was called Whiteborough after the colliery and nearby fields: the area is known for unknown reasons as "City of Whiteborough", despite its being mainly fields and farms.
The station closed on 4 October 1926, however the trams continued until July 1930, before the station closed for good. In common with many former railways in the area, it is now a public footpath. The neighbouring Railway Inn is now called the Woodend Inn.
Just before the Second World War the Co-operative Wholesale Society hosiery factory had built a four storey wing to their factory.
In the "Second Great Fire of London" in the Blitz of 1940, the Royal Navy Deptford building, containing bandages and such like medical stores was burnt out: a bomb hit it and went down through some five floors into the basement. The Royal Navy took the new wing of the factory over to be the headquarters of their medical supply department. The Navy remained at Huthwaite until the end of the war, after which the medical supply department moved to near Liverpool.
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