Street Names of Retford

The stories behind some of Retford's streets

The main source of information are articles written by the Rev. W.P. McFarren, in the Retford Times during 1947

NB This is ongoing research, so if anyone can help with more information, please leave a 'Comment' via the link at the bottom of the page. Thank you

Albert Road


Alma Road - formerly Baulk Field


Artillery Road


Baulk Field - now Alma Road


Bridgegate - Earliest mention found as far back as 1340 (spelt ‘Briggate’).  Scandinavian in origin, suggesting at a very early date a bridge had been erected to span the ford that gives Retford its name.  Piercy tells us that in 1792 the bridge was in such a weakened state that it had to be taken down and the present one built.


Caledonian Road - formerly Pottery lane


Carolgate - the name comes from “Karlagate”, the Karls’ lane or road.  A Karl or Carl was a freeman, a Dane or Scandinavian, most probably a soldier, given land for settlement .  Karlagate probably originally ran through the outlying marshy land on which the Karls had been settled.  In its early days as a town street Carolgate ended near the corner of Exchange Street and became a lane which forked at the  Anchor Inn corner where it bore left down Thrumpton Lane (until the canal was dug), the fork becoming Farmers Lane which ran along the edge of Far Common to Whitehouses. 


Chancery Lane - formerly West Carr Lane


Farmers Lane - see Carolgate


Grove street - formerly Newgate


Hildgeat - now Lidgett Lane


Kynegesgate (Kingsgate) - now lost


Lidgett Lane - One of Retford’s oldest and most interesting street names.  It was originally “Hildgeat”, the “g” being soft, with “geat” meaning gate.  A Hildgeat was a clapgate, and one such gave its name to the lane.  This name has given rise to surnames all over England, and it is interesting to find that an investigation at Retford in 1297, evidence was given by one Richard Atteliddyate (at the clap gate), while in the following year Isabella Atteliddyate gave evidence in court of escheats at west bridgford.


Meeting House Lane - changed to Spa Lane


Moorgate - The name comes from “Mor”, and Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘a marsh’.  The word has narrowed its connotation, but its original meaning survives in the word “morass”.Across Moorgate runs the brook from Grove, commonly called the Beck, which divides the parish of East Retford from Clarborough.  This brook used to flood annually.  The soil here is largely clay, and Moorgate was well called the “morgata” - the miry street.


Newgate - changed to Grove Street


Pottery Lane - now Caledonian Road


Pump Lane (off Albert Road)


Sand Hole Lane


Spa Lane - formerly Meeting House Lane


West Carr Lane - now Chancery lane

This page was added by Website Administrator on 19/12/2013.
Comments about this page

In the Retford station conservation designation on 6 March 2019 Bassetlaw council refer to Cobwell Road being named after the Cob Well. However they don’t provide any supporting evidence for this naming in their document.   Cobwell Road was renamed, originally being Gravel Mount.

By Roger
On 08/04/2019

Talking of old street names, I am wondering what happened to Wellington Row and Wellington Place.  Would Wellington Row be today's Wellington Street?  And would Wellington Place be today's Wellington Square?  Would today's streets be truncated versions of their predecessors?

By David Jeffreys
On 11/08/2020

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