Blyth village centre
The village is on the A1 road, at the southern end of the fifteen-mile A1(M) Doncaster bypass, which opened in 1961. The Blyth roundabout was replaced in March 2008 by a grade separated junction (junction 34). Blyth Services are also at this junction.
A nearby hamlet in the parish is Hodsock, to the south-west of the village along the B6045, where Hodsock Priory is to be found.
The parish church is the Church of St Mary and St Martin. It is a remarkable church; one of the oldest examples of Norman architecture in the country. The church was built as the monastery church of the Benedictine Blyth Priory, founded in 1088, which explains its size. Today it displays bold Romanesque arches, along with later, Gothic features.
After the dissolution of the priory under King Henry VIII, the eastern part of the church was demolished and a tower built at the west end of the nave. There was a restoration in 1885 by C. Hodgson Fowler
The priory church of St Mary and St Martin is one of the oldest examples of Norman architecture in the country. It was part of a Benedictine monastery founded in 1088. This priory was founded by Roger de Builli of Tickhill Castle, one of William the Conqueror's followers.
The founder and later benefactors endowed Blyth with lands, money and churches. It was staffed at first by monks from the Mother House, Holy Trinity Priory at Rouen in Normandy. In 1286 Thomas Russel had to be returned to Rouen because of his intolerable conduct and also John de Belleville, as the climate did not suit him. There are other records of the unruly conduct of French monks.
During a visitation of the priory in 1536 it was alleged that five of the monks were guilty of grave offences and the prior was surrendered to the Crown – part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII. George Dalton, the Prior, received a pension of twenty marks, and this seems to have been the only pension awarded.
After the Dissolution the east part of the church was demolished and a tower built at the west end of the nave.
In 1603, Sir Edward Stanhope sold the Blyth estate to Robert Saunderson, of Gilthwaite, Rotherham.
In 1635, the 490-acre estate was sold by the Saunderson family to John Mellish, a London merchant. His son Edward, a merchant in Portugal, returned to England in 1671 and in 1684 commissioned the demolition of the old priory and the building of Blyth Hall immediately north of the church. He was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1692–93 and died unmarried in 1703, leaving the property to Joseph Mellish, his cousin's son. It descended in the Mellish family until 1806, when it was sold to Joshua Walker, the son of an ironmaster from Rotherham.
Joshua's son and heir was Henry Frederick Walker (born 1807, and who served as Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1852–53. At the end of the 19th century the hall was bought by Francis Willey, 1st Baron Barnby, a Bradford wool merchant (who in turn served as Sheriff for 1908–09) and was succeeded by his son Vernon Willey, 2nd Baron Barnby, who was the MP for South Bradford.
The hall was demolished in 1972 and the site is now occupied by a housing estate.
On the village green is the former Leper Hospital of St John the Evangelist, said to have been built by the Knights Hospitaller. It was refounded in 1226, and was being used as a school in 1695.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Blyth, Nottinghamshire)
- "The Mellish Family". Nottinghamshire History. http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/monographs/blyth1860/chapter4p2.htm. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "Blyth has preserved many ancient charms". Nottinghamshire History. http://www.nottshistory.org.uk/articles/doubleday/blyth2.htm. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Nottinghamshire, 1951; 1979 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09636-1