The area of Felley, sometimes spelled Felly, covers approximately 300 acres of land, about one and a half miles south west of Annesley, and about one mile (or less) north east of Underwood.
It is identified by the boundaries of Millington Springs to the north, Bagthorpe Common to the west, William Wood to the east, and Felley Mill found in the very southern point.
Felly was originally the site of an Augustinian Priory which was founded by Raddulph Britto shortly after the Norman Conquest. It was attached to Worksop Priory, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII, it was valued at £40 9s 1d. The building was demolished, except for a small part which was incorporated into a farmhouse built on the site; the garden of which was located on the site of the chapel. Further information on this building and its gardens can be found on the Ashfield District Council website. The Gardens are open to the public at certain times.
Because it was originally religious land, Felley was considered "extra-parochial", or outside any church parish. This meant that any occupants of the area were free to worship in any surrounding parish. See the map of surrounding parishes for further information.
Felley Mill is located south of Felley Abbey, in the very corner of the extra-parochial area, and where Annesley, Selston and Greasley meet. In the 1841 census, Felley Mill was enumerated as part of Moorgreen. Felley Mill was immortalised in D. H. Lawrence's book "The White Peacock", where he changed its name to "Strelley Mill". In 1832 the owner of the mill was Paul Deakin, in 1841 John Reed and his family were occupying the mill, while in 1881, the owner was William Hutchinson.
In 1832 a Beerhouse was recorded at Felley, under the ownership of Ralph Hollingsworth, while John Hunt and Thos. Saunders were farming the area; the latter at the "Abbey".
In the 1861 census, John Bramley was living at "Felly Abby", and farming 200 acres, employing 3 men and 2 boys. William Bland was farming 60 acres at Shipston Hills, with the help of one labourer. Charles Bacon, also living at Shipston Hill, was a Game Keeper. Joseph Cresswell was living at Felly Mill, farming 141 acres with the help of 2 men and 1 boy.
In 1864 the inhabitants of Felley included William Bland, John Creswell and John Machin, who were all Farmers.
In 1881 Richard Stafford was recorded as a Farmer, residing at Middle Brook and Felley Abbey.
In 1888, William Bland was farming at Shipton Hill, Duncan Forbes was at Felley Mill Farm and Albert Hubbersty was at Felley Abbey.
In 1900 Duncan Forbes was still farming at Felley Mill, Gerard R. Oakes was residing at Felley Abbey, and William Bland was still farming at Shipton Hill, but was also the rate collector for Felley.
The small township had a population of 41 in 1841, 43 in 1861*, 31 in 1881, 44 in 1891 and 41 in 1901.
Click Here to view a modern map showing the location of Felley.
* Includes figures for Felley Mill, which was on a different folio.
Page created 6th October 2002 by Webmaster - updated 7th January
Map created by Webmaster - for information purposes only.