Mansfield Market Place with the Bentinck Memorial in the centre and the old Moot Hall behind to the left
|Mansfield shown within Nottinghamshire|
|Population||99,600 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||NG18, NG19, NG20|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Mansfield (//) is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England. It is the main town in the Mansfield local government district and is a part of the Mansfield Urban Area. Nestling in a pocket within the Maun Valley surrounded by hills, the town is around 12 miles (19 km) north of Nottingham. The district of Mansfield is a largely urban area situated in the north west of Nottinghamshire populated by 99,600 residents, the vast majority of whom live in Mansfield (including Mansfield Woodhouse), with Market Warsop a secondary centre, and the remainder in the rural north of the district. Adjacent to the urban area of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Mansfield is the only major sub-regional centre in Nottinghamshire covering an area of 30 square miles (78 sq km). The Centre for Cities (2009) categorises the town as a 'small city', although it does not officially hold city status.
Mansfield is the only local authority area in the county to have a directly elected Mayor and in October 2008 Mansfield elected its first Youth Mayor.
Historically, the district has been influenced heavily by its industrial past with coal mining and textiles thriving in the district until their decline in the 1990s, but in common with the national economy the area has seen the decline of these sectors. Mansfield has 20.2% (12,890) of its working age population seeking key out of work benefits (based on a 63,800 total working age population) (NOMIS).
Over the last century the population has declined in parallel with this traditional industrial base. However much has been done to diversify the economic base and to replace jobs lost. Mid-year population forecasts reveal that since April 2008 the population has gone from 100,100 to 100,600 in 2009, 99,700 in 2010 to the current figure of 99,600 in 2011.
Settlement in the Mansfield area is known to date back to Roman times, with a villa discovered in 1787 by a Major Rooke between Mansfield Woodhouse and Pleasley and a cache of denarii coins found near King's Mill in 1849. After the end of Roman occupation, the early English royalty are said to have stayed there, with the Mercian Kings having used it as a base for hunting in the nearby Sherwood Forest.
The Domesday Book compiled in 1086 has the settlement recorded as Mammesfeld whereas in later market-petition documents of 1227 the spelling had changed to Maunnesfeld. By the time of King Richard II signing a Warrant in November 1377 granting the right for the tenants to hold a fair every year for four days, the spelling had changed again to Mannesfeld.
There are remains of the 12th century King John's Palace, in Clipstone between Mansfield and Edwinstowe. The area was originally a retreat for royal families and dignitaries in the 14th and 15th centuries due to its location within Sherwood Forest famed for its fresh air and exclusiveness. Access to the town was via a small horse-drawn carriageway from the city of Nottingham that was en route to Sheffield.
On West Gate within the town centre, a commemorative wall plaque marks the point that was thought to be the centre of Sherwood Forest 2013. A tree has been planted nearby.
Access to the town between the 16th and 17th centuries was via several inns and stable yards. The Harte, the Swan (which has a dating stone with 1490 was found during alterations), the Talbot, the White Bear, the Ram (timber dating to pre 1500) and the White Lion were known to date from medieval times. Several timber-framed cruck buildings were demolished in 1929 and another in 1973 which was documented by a local historical society during its demolition and was dated at circa 1400, or earlier. Other Tudor houses on Stockwell Gate, Bridge Street and Lime Tree place were also demolished to make way for new developments before they could be viewed for being listed properties. The majority of buildings remaining are from the 17th century onwards.
Mansfield has a large market square with surrounding commercial and retail centre including a museum, the Palace Theatre and numerous restaurants, fast-food outlets, pubs, bars and night clubs.
On 6 April 2010 a town-centre Business Improvement District (BID) was established with offices based in the old Town Hall on the Market Place, financed by a 2% additional levy on the rateable value of nearby businesses.
The Mansfield BID operates to a 5 year business plan with a rolling yearly operational plan. Before the end of its tenure in 2015, in late 2014 over 560 shops and other town centre businesses were canvasssed to vote on the first continuation period, dubbed a BID Ballot. Mansfield District Council as an electoral-services provider contracted-out this procedure at a projected cost to council tax payers of £8,000. A 55% turnout participated in the ballot with 77% voting to continue the BID for a further five years.
The BID provides additional services (above the baseline statutory services provided by the council) and delivery of projects to enhance the Town Centre as a shopping destination including enabling events to attract visitors and raise awareness, additional security for the town centre including management of persistent offender banning orders and improvement of shop frontages.
Records show the first yearly income to be £294,697 with an operating surplus of £151,610 after expenses.
One of BID's achievements during 2012 to 2013 was a crowd-funded town centre Wi-Fi internet installation costing £37,000 and completed by June 2013, using an extensive network of AP nodes requiring potential users to register before free use is enabled, with a dedicated optional BID local information 'App' for Android and iPhone available for download. The intention was to encourage shoppers and visitors alike to linger in the town centre for longer than previously, to offer internet access to small businesses and provide market traders with a means of accepting non-cash payments.
Other BID achievements are 'gating-off' of alleyways previously blighted by anti-social behaviour, improved signage and enhanced cleansing operations.
In 2011, several shopkeepers complained that BID were "not doing enough to boost town trade".
In 2012, Mansfield Constituency Labour Party criticised the BID for receiving the best part of one million pounds during its first three years of operations, with little to show for the money.
Concerned at the decline of the town centre shops and an under-used main Market square, Mansfield's MP Sir Alan Meale in November 2013 issued a 50-point 'blueprint' intended to halt further decline and stimulate revitalisation. With further concerns that no aspects of his report had been acted upon and that the council's Queen's Place development had not been let to tenants since the official completion ceremony in November 2013, Sir Alan again contacted the local newspaper to alert the readers in February 2014.
In August 2014, the council announced its first tenants at the 2.4 million pound development offering two retail areas and six offices – three staffing agencies and a cafe/takeaway. On top of undisclosed rental, businesses will need to pay business rates, VAT, a service charge on communal areas and a 2% levy on its rateable value to Mansfield BID. In contrast, the council proposes to allow Mansfield BID, if voted-in for continuation from 2015, to use nearby office accommodation "free of charge...which is estimated as an in kind contribution equivalent to £4,000 per annum".
In September 2014, MP Sir Alan Meale again openly criticised the council for spending such an amount on a new build when other council-owned properties were run-down, and for ignoring his 50-point plan, further urging the council to abandon its office complex on Chesterfield Road in favour of relocating to the underused Town Hall in the town centre. It then emerged that only the cafe was a new business to Mansfield town centre, with the office tenants of Queen's Place simply relocating from nearby premises. In late 2015, the second of the two ground-floor units, empty for two years since completion in 2013, was occupied by a diner-style ice-cream parlour.
Mansfield has many retail outlets and a large indoor shopping centre called Four Seasons having over 50 units with many popular national UK shops such as Boots, Debenhams, Burton, Thomas Cook, The Perfume Shop, HMV, Primark, the bookstore W.H. Smith and several phone shops. There is one large store – formerly a Co-op, now known as Beales.
Marks and Spencer and BHS are traditional key stores in West Gate with nearby Costa Coffee from 2011, in addition to several existing similar cafes. The economic crisis from 2008 led to some shops closing and being boarded up, or their windows covered with poster images resembling library, cafe, pub or other shop scenes. The effect of the downturn was not as bad as many cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom. Nearby Chesterfield suffered worse than Mansfield (for a similar sized town). The vacant properties are less than 11% compared to some places which are as high as 25%. There are still independent town centre shops, such as China Basket, Vivid Shoes, MCS (Mansfield Computer Store) and other small family businesses mixed within the high street names.
A small shop called Who's Toys opened in 2011, selling Dr Who items and memorabilia, generating interest from the local Doctor Who fans and wider.
Just off the town centre pedestrianised area is Rosemary Centre, a covered parade of shops and a little further out three outdoor retail parks, two having adjacent fast-food outlets of International brands. There are also extensive supermarket developments from four out of the five major food-retailers, together with a number of discounters and small convenience stores.
Mansfield is a market town with a 700-year-old market tradition, the Royal Charter being issued 1227. The present-day market square was created after much demolition following the Improvement Act of 1823. In the centre there is the Bentinck Memorial, built in 1849 to commemorate the life of Lord George Bentinck (1802 – 1848), son of the William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, a major local landowner.
A smaller nearby area called Buttercross market on West Gate, the site of the original cattle market, has a large old centre-piece of local stone dating from the sixteenth century and is nowadays heavily populated with stalls. Adjacent is Mansfield Library, officially opened by the Queen in 1977 and newly refurbished for 2012. The old Carnegie Library established in 1905 on Leeming Street was used from 1976 as an Arts and Performance centre.
Mansfield was originally the home of Mansfield Brewery, once the largest independent brewer in the United Kingdom. The brewery was acquired by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries for £253m in October 1999, with production of the Mansfield range of ales moving to other parts of the country. The brewery's assets were later sold to Pubmaster Ltd and the former site of the brewery is available for redevelopment. In the 1980s, Mansfield Bitter was advertised with a photograph of then US president Ronald Reagan and the tagline: He might be president of the most powerful nation on earth...but he's never had a pint of Mansfield. "Not much matches Mansfield" was also used.
Mansfield had an old-established soft-drinks manufacturer, R.L. Jones with brand names of Sunecta and Mandora, acquired by Mansfield Brewery in 1977. A move to a modern factory at Bellamy Road in 1975 released land destined for a high-density housing development known as Layton Burroughs. Mansfield Brewery subsequently sold the business to Scottish drinks company A. G. Barr plc, producer of Irn-Bru, Tizer and Mandora for £21.5 million in 1988. At that time the company employed 400 people. Production ceased in January 2011 when A. G. Barr decided to close the factory and transfer the manufacturing to their other sites. The brewery production buildings were demolished in late 2008, and five years later, the site still remains unsold. The older ornate office buildings were saved and house a learning centre.
Many of the areas adjacent to the town and its surrounding countryside still bear the markers of Mansfield and district's vibrant mining history. For most of the 20th century, coal mining was one of Mansfield's main industries. A notably violent scene of the UK miners' strike (1984-1985) occurred in Mansfield on May Day 1984. The majority of the area's miners had voted against a strike, but the local branch of the union initially maintained that the strike was official in order to show "solidarity" with strikers in other areas. Having been granted an extra day of leave after the bank holiday by the Coal Board, a group of working miners confronted union officials and violence broke out with striking miners. Mansfield later became the headquarters of a breakaway union, the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, which recruited many who opposed the 1984-5 strike.
The headstocks which stand close to the village of Clipstone are considered an important landmark to the people of the area, and community groups are trying to preserve these headstocks as a reminder of the area's once very busy mining history. The town was once a centre for coal mining, but as the demand for coal fell, Mansfield's many pits wound down and mine workers moved into other types of employment.
Mining subsidence has caused some problems with properties around Mansfield. A few of the streets in and around the town are long rows of terraced houses, reminiscent of the affordable housing provided for mine workers in the height of the mining industry. Many of these have been demolished in 2012, in places such as Pleasley Hill and Market Warsop. The Coal Authority is based in the town.
Several urban regeneration projects were planned for Mansfield, denoted by large-scale demolition, all of which have been deferred due to the economic crash starting in 2008 and subsequent cuts in funding from UK Central Government, necessitating continual and escalating austerity measures due to a double-dip recession. Mansfield District Council had promoted two new developments from 2008, firstly Arrival Square – an office-block adjacent to the rail station, tenanted by Probation Service – and nearby, completed and officially opened by the Mayor Tony Egginton in late 2013, Queen’s Place costing the council 2.4 million pounds, offering two new ground-floor retail units and six offices on Queen Street between the new transport interchange and the market square.
In February 2014, the town's M.P. Sir Alan Meale criticised the council for failing to find tenants before the completion and opening. When receiving a local-government award in July 2014, Queen’s Place remained empty.
In late 2015, restoration works to the historic Town Hall were completed, chiefly concerning the roof and other external structures at a cost of £550,000. The Mansfield BID staff, and other council-staff, moved elsewhere for the duration of the repairs. Despite the outlay, Mansfield District Council had no plans for future use of the large building.
Reconstruction of the nearby King's Mill Hospital, part of which was completed by 2009, is near to the MARR road (Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route) which opened in 2004, a bypass route around the town designed to reduce traffic through-flow and improve public access by connecting the A617 at Pleasley to the A617 at Rainworth.
In 2009 Mansfield made a bid for city status incorporating redevelopment plans for retail & residential, leisure facilities and road improvements, which are gradually being undertaken.
Mansfield railway station is a stop on the Robin Hood Line, a rail link connecting the town with Nottingham and Worksop. From 1964 until the opening of the line in 1995, Mansfield was, by some definitions, the largest town in Britain without a railway station, all the more remarkable because the town pioneered the railway in the East Midlands. From 1973 to 1995 the nearby station at Alfreton was named 'Alfreton and Mansfield Parkway' to encourage its use as a railhead for Mansfield. A Sunday rail service was restored to Mansfield in December 2008 - the town having been one of the largest on the rail network without one.
The town was originally the terminus of the Mansfield and Pinxton Railway, built as a horse-drawn plateway in 1819 and one of the first acquisitions of the newly formed Midland Railway. The Midland used the final section to extend its new Leen Valley line to the present station in 1849.
The Midland Railway extended its Rolleston Junction - Southwell branch to Mansfield in 1871, continued the line north of Mansfield to Worksop in 1875, opened a link from Mansfield Woodhouse to Westhouses & Blackwell in 1886, and completed another link from Pleasley through Bolsover to Barrow Hill in 1890. Mansfield had become a railway centre of some importance, but it was a Midland Railway centre.
The Midland Railway monopoly was broken by the locally promoted Mansfield Railway between Kirkby South Junction and Clipstone Junctions opened in stages between 1913 and 1916 for goods trains and in 1917 for Nottingham - Ollerton passenger trains calling at a second Mansfield passenger station. Although nominally independent, the Mansfield Railway connected with the Great Central Railway at both ends and trains were worked by the Great Central.
Thus Mansfield had two railway stations: Mansfield Town, the former Midland station on Station Road, near Belvedere Street and Mansfield Central, the former Mansfield Railway station on Great Central Road, near Ratcliffe Gate. Central station lost its scheduled passenger services at the beginning of 1956 and Town station closed to passengers in 1964 leaving Mansfield without any passenger trains until the Robin Hood line restored the service in 1995.
A tram service operated between 1905 and 1932, run by Mansfield & District Light Railways.
Buses in Mansfield are primarily operated by Stagecoach, with Trent Barton and National Express also operating in the area. Planning permission was given to develop a new bus station on the former Station Road car park which was expected to cost £7 million. The old bus station, built in 1977, handled around 1,500 buses and 16,000 passenger arrivals a day. It was the busiest bus station in the county with outdated design and appearance, and a poor outdoor waiting environment.
There were good pedestrian links to the pedestrianised town centre shopping streets, but the rail station was a few hundred yards' walk away. The new bus station addressed this problem, but has proven unpopular with shopkeepers near to the old facility, with several claiming a substantial reduction in trade.
The new bus station and transport interchange opened on 31 March 2013 in the choice location on a former car park close to the rail station; it is part of a regeneration scheme known as the 'Gateway To Mansfield', giving visitors to the town a clean and tidy first impression, including buildings with a 'themed' use of local sandstone. The scheme was implemented to improve facilities for locals, boost visitors to the town and help boost the local economy.
The new bus station increased passenger safety, additionally providing a more welcoming scene for visitors arriving by bus, and has been hailed as a successful enhancement to Mansfield town centre. Improvements have included a fully enclosed waiting area, automatic doors for comfort, fume reduction and safety, a tourist information centre, electronic bus and rail departure information, toilets and baby changing facilities. A tower with lift and stairs to an elevated walkway connects to the adjacent rail station.
Mansfield town centre is situated in a 'bowl', a depression in the River Maun valley from which the town name is derived (Old English – Maunesfeld). A town centre ring-road was created with the old five main roads radiating out: the A60 to the North and South, the A617 to the East and West, and the A38 running to the South-West. An inner ring-road runs one-way around the town's shopping centre, enabling access to car parking and the major roads.
The town is the northern terminus of the A38, which runs from Bodmin in Cornwall and is the longest 'A' road entirely within England. Mansfield can be reached in around 10 min from junctions 27, 28 and 29 of the M1 and is around 18 mi from the A1 at neighbouring Newark-on-Trent.
As of 2016 Mansfield is served by two stations, the most central being Mansfield railway station. Also in Mansfields suburb, Mansfield Woodhouse, there is another train station Mansfield Woodhouse railway station. Both are on the same line and are each served hourly towards Worksop, twice an hour to Nottingham, alongside a service from Nottingham which terminates at Mansfield Woodhouse, this operates hourly.
For an insight into rail travel within Mansfield, passengers can travel from Mansfield railway station to Mansfield Woodhouse railway station twice an hour, and vice versa twice an hour also.
On Sundays, Mansfield Woodhouse railway station is the terminus of the line, no services travel beyond to Worksop. Overall, Mansfield is served by one service calling at Mansfield and terminating at Mansfield Woodhouse an hour, alongside an hourly from both stations to Nottingham station. For passengers wishing to travel to Worksop (only, all intermediate stations are closed on Sunday's) must do so by changing at Nottingham for Sheffield and at Sheffield for Lincoln, leaving at Worksop.
Mansfield is home to Mansfield Town F.C., known as the Stags. They were relegated to the Conference National after 77 years in the Football League at the end of the 2007–08 season, but returned to the Football League after winning the 2012–13 Conference National title. The team's traditional rival is the nearby town of Chesterfield in Derbyshire. The rivalry between the two clubs is considered among the fiercest in the lower leagues. Some Yorkshire (and Derbyshire) folk still associate Mansfield with failure to support the UK miners' strike (1984–1985); football matches between Mansfield Town: Barnsley, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield and have seen fans of the latter chant "scab". Before the strike, Mansfield Town and Chesterfield fans could stand in relative harmony on the terraces (this is no-longer the case). Non-League club A.F.C. Mansfield play in the Forest Town area of Mansfield.
Mansfield Rugby Club is a rugby union club based at Eakring Road and currently play in Midlands 1 East, a sixth tier league in the English rugby union system. They are winners of the Notts Cup for five years in succession and for a record eighteen times.
Mansfield Giants are Mansfield’s Premier Basketball Club, and have a 3 star Accreditation and Club Mark from the English Sports Council. Giants play in the England Basketball (EB2)
The annual Half Marathon held for more than 30 years was cancelled after 2011 due to escalating costs after changes to Health and Safety legislation meant professional services were needed to address road-closure measures, instead of the traditional volunteers. Mansfield local business networking group 2020 hoped to resurrect a race by September 2014, but this event, reduced in length to 10 Kilometres, was postponed, initially until spring 2015, and took place in August.
Angling is well supported in the Mansfield district, where ponds remain from the former textile milling industry.
Tennis is catered for by Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club located at the same site since 1883, with four grass courts and five asphalt courts, three of which are floodlit. Further hard-surfaced courts are spread throughout the district at six different Mansfield District Council park locations.
Mansfield is also home to Mansfield Roller Derby , Mansfield's premier Flat Track Roller Derby league.
One major issue amongst local residents is Mansfield's lack of a central Leisure Centre. Mansfield District Council decided it would rubber stamp the sale of the existing Leisure Centre and extensive public car park to Tesco, who opened a large Tesco Extra store in 2007. MDC asserted this would be replaced by a brand new Leisure Centre, but nothing has been built or is planned. MDC received over £5m from Tesco for the Leisure Centre site, deciding to spend the money on refurbishing Sherwood Baths instead of replacing the Leisure Centre.
Mansfield has two indoor swimming centres and a third, smaller pool attached to a school which has been under threat of closure since 2011 This is the largest m (square meterage) of indoor water sports facilities per capita than any other town in the United Kingdom with less than 100,000 inhabitants.
Mansfield also holds the record for the largest British town not to have a municipal squash court in the whole of its district, following the demolition of the former Leisure Centre to build the Tesco Extra store. The general public of Mansfield still hold this against MDC, as the previous Leisure Centre, paid for by the district's council tax payers has now gone, seemingly for good. Tesco built another 'Extra' store on the town's outskirts approximately two miles away, demolishing the multi-sports hall and function venue and rebuilding/improving the previous gym which had only a few years earlier been refurbished
Despite many so far unfulfilled promises by the town's Mayor, the lack of a central Leisure Centre is seen as a contributing factor to the amount of clinically obese residents of the town. The figure is over 15% above the national average.
Mansfield is one of the three outlets of the Nottinghamshire County Council Swim Squad, who compete as Nova Centurion. The Sherwood Swimming Baths adjacent to the former Sherwood Colliery was refurbished and opened in January 2010 as the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre. The 25 metre pool was widened at the expense of losing the tiered public seating and has a new, small, endless stroke-improvement training pool with varaiable-resistance water flow. The complex uses a ground source heat pump backed by a biomass boiler burning wood-pellets prepared from waste by a local woodyard to reduce its carbon footprint
At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Mansfield local Rebecca Adlington won two gold medals for 400 and 800 metre freestyle swimming. After her record breaking success, Adlington was welcomed home to Mansfield by thousands of people lining the streets around the town to applaud as she passed in an open top bus culminating in an appearance at the old Town Hall in the Market Square
Her success immediately boosted swimming interest in the area, leading to expansion of swimming classes to encourage young people to begin swimming. At the 2012 Olympic Games held in London and surrounding venues, Adlington won two Bronze medals again for 400 and 800 metres, the best performance of a generally disappointing Team GB swimming squad. Adlington retired from competitive swimming in February 2012.
Mansfield has a Water Meadows swimming complex opened during the Christmas holidays of 1990, situated at Bath Street, on the site of the former Mansfield Baths and defunct cattle market. It hosts a gym, sauna and sunbeds alongside two swimming pools + a small teaching pool. The leisure lagoon pool has a very popular wave machine operating periodically, giving swimmers the experience of waves, similar to floating in an ocean, a slide and a shallow 'beach' area with adjacent cafeteria. Water Meadows is extremely popular both with family groups and as a school swimming facility using the 25 metre competition pool + teaching pool with many schools from nearby and surrounding areas regularly accessing the facilities.
Mansfield has many parks and green spaces. Titchfield Park, located on the same site as the Water Meadows swimming complex, offers large grassy areas on both sides of the river Maun, crossed by two foot bridges. The park boasts a bowls green, hard tennis courts, basketball court, children's play area and many flowerbeds which are filled with blooms during the summer months.
Fisher Lane Park, located nearby stretching from the top of Littleworth through to Rock Hill, is a green space popular with dog walkers, kite flyers and skaters, since Mansfield District Council installed a concrete skate plaza, causing some controversy with locals.
However, the skate plaza has proven to be very popular with local youths, who access it daily. During the summer months, small fairs use Fisher Lane Park to set up some rides and stalls for local children.
Carr Bank Park is another park close to the town, which has a rocky 'grotto', bandstand and many flower beds, which are filled with blooms during the summer. The park has a new war memorial built of local sandstone dedicated to those who were killed in action since the end of the Second World War, to compliment the original setting unveiled after the First War in 1921.
The main cemetery and adjacent crematorium are situated on a 10-acre site accessed from Derby Road, on the southern edge of town near to the boundary with Ashfield District Council, and have a shared car-park. In late 2015, Mansfield District Council recognised the need for additional spaces and a planning consent was obtained. The older part of the cemetery fronting to Nottingham Road and Forest Hill (the old Derby Road) has on-street parking. Site access by foot can be difficult due to the steeply sloping site.
The cemetery was opened in 1857 due to insufficient church graveyard space, the mid-to-late Victorian population growth and several then-new churches built with little or no dedicated graveyards. A 10-acre extension was implemented in 1898. The adjacent Mansfield and District Crematorium, having two chapels seating 35 and up to 80, was established in 1960 and is a shared-responsibility between Mansfield District Council, Ashfield District Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Additional cemeteries are sited on the A60 at Mansfield Woodhouse and at Warsop, and off the A617 at Pleasley Hill.
The Palace Theatre located on Leeming Street is the town's primary entertainment venue. Built as a cinema in 1910 and originally known as the Palace Electric Theatre, it was later adapted to a proscenium arch theatre presenting live shows. It has also been known as the Civic Hall and Civic Theatre before the current name was revived in 1995. With a seating capacity of 534, the theatre is a mid-scale touring venue presenting a programme of both professional and amateur productions, and presents a yearly Pantomime
Mansfield Museum, situated alongside the Palace Theatre on Leeming Street, opened in 1904 and has been based on Leeming Street from 1938. Free to enter, it won the Guardian Family-friendly Museum of the Year Award in 2011.
The Old Library near to the town centre houses a recording studio, meeting room and 100 seat Studio Theatre. Mansfield also has a large multiplex cinema on a new retail and entertainment park outside of the town centre. The previous ABC town-centre cinema was used as a snooker centre until closure in 2012, but during late 2013 was converted to a church.
The Intake is a live music venue on Kirkland Avenue offering bar service and function rooms. The Town Mill - a former waterside mill on the banks of the River Maun at the edge of the town centre – was converted into a pub and live music venue in 2002 but closed in 2010, citing the smoking ban, rising beer prices and recession amongst the reasons for failure.
Just a few miles outside of Mansfield lies Sherwood Forest. Mansfield had an Oak Tree and a plaque to mark what was the centre of Sherwood Forest on West Gate. Now the trees have been taken down and a giant metallic feather has replaced them as a marker. Some residents of the town feel this is an eyesore, and the feather sculpture has been plagued by health and safety problems.
Every year between the months of June & August, Mansfield District Council hosts an event called Summer in the Streets. This festival consists of various public events held all over the town over many days, such as children's entertainment, fairground rides in the market square, hands on workshops for things like crafts & circus skills.
The highlight of the festival is a final event held in the town's Titchfield Park, called Party in the Park. This hosts a wide range of entertainment, such as live music acts by local bands, performances from local dance groups and activities such as face painting. For 2012 and 2013, due to austerity measures, this culminating event was cancelled.
On 21 August 2010 as a part of various summer entertainment arranged by Mansfield District Council, the popular Irish boyband Westlife played a live concert at Mansfield's Field Mill stadium, home to the town's football team, the Stags. This was the first big name to visit the town.
The local newspapers are the Chad (formerly the Chronicle Advertiser) and the Mansfield & Ashfield Express, a community newspaper. Mansfield's radio station, Mansfield 103.2 broadcasts from the Fishpond Hill transmitting station on Skegby Lane which also broadcasts Mansfield versions of the Nottingham stations Radio Nottingham and Capital FM on 95.5 and 96.5 FM respectively.
DAB broadcasts from Fishpond's Hill began on 21 July 2006 with the NOW Nottingham multiplex, subsequently the Digital One and BBC National muxes were also added (during 2006 & 2007).
Television reception in Mansfield was variable, often being poor due to the location of the town at the edges between regions. Historically, Mansfield has been part of the BBC North and Yorkshire Television regions. Between 20 December 1965 and 30 July 1974, some homes in Mansfield received Anglia Television (until the Belmont transmitter began radiating Yorkshire Television).
Since the 1995 arrival of Diamond Cable (latterly ntl, then lastly re-branded as Virgin Media), BBC East Midlands and ITV Central East were provided and since regionalisation of SKY digital, Mansfield is classified as 'North Midlands', meaning many residents now watch BBC East Midlands which is the default region for this area and appears on channel 101. Channel 103 shows ITV Yorkshire East.
Emley Moor is also receivable, providing BBC Yorkshire & North Midlands and Yorkshire Television (West).
While Yorkshire Television's news programme "Calendar" still covers Mansfield, BBC Look North has for many years refused to cover the town, insisting that Mansfield belongs in the BBC East Midlands region (though few homes get acceptable terrestrial reception of BBC East Midlands). This was highlighted when the celebrations for Rebecca Adlington's success at the Beijing olympics, although recorded by East Midlands Today, were shown on both East Midlands Today and Look North so that all Mansfield residents could see them.
Many homes had dual aerials with one pointing at Belmont (or in some places Emley Moor) and the other at Waltham (East Midlands), the latter which gave an inferior picture quality but was often used in the analogue days when ITV had more regional variations so that Mansfield folk could keep up with local news and sport. Dual aerial systems are still used adequately for reception of digital terrestrial TV, though some areas have low signal strength.
Other transmitters serving Mansfield include Emley Moor - BBC Yorkshire & Yorkshire (West), Sutton Coldfield - BBC Midlands & Central (West) and Bilsdale - BBC North East & Tyne Tees (South).
Mansfield has a directly elected Mayor, one of only 16 in the United Kingdom to have adopted the practice. Tony Egginton was the Mayor of Mansfield from October 2002 until retirement in May 2015, being replaced at the scheduled elections by a fellow candidate standing for the Mansfield Independent Forum political party, Kate Allsop. Much was said of the first Executive Mayor, but an undeniable fact is that during his time in office, Mansfield struggled with local land development and many of the projects across the region have faltered.
These include the derelict old Mansfield General Hospital site, which in 2013 was purchased at a cost of £1.8m, paid for by the local residents via their council tax payments, and with further anticipated demolition costs of £940,000. Despite the purchase, the Mayor and his council don't have any specific plans for the site. The old Mansfield Brewery remains as an abandoned space after demolition
The 'gateway' redevelopment of the old Mansfield Shoe Company site, after bankruptcy of the original developer Highgrange Homes Ltd, is being worked on during 2013 and 2014 to finish and sell the residential apartments. The ground-floor units intended for retail sales have been externally closed with large windows and access doorways but remain unlet.
A council town-centre office/retail development on the site of the old Queen's Head pub costing 2.4 million pounds was opened by the Mayor Tony Egginton in November 2013. The council was criticised in February 2014 by the town's M.P. Sir Alan Meale for failing to find tenants before the completion and opening. The building remained empty at the time of receiving a local-government award in July 2014.
The Mayor (in office 2002–2015) was criticised by some councillors and residents for placing too much focus on self-publicity, as opposed to publicity for the town. The issue was raised again after his prominent role in Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington's homecoming ceremony following her Gold Medal successes at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.
Sir Alan Meale (born Joseph Alan Meale) has been the constituency (Labour) Member of Parliament since 1987. He was officially Knighted in 2012 by Prince Charles after receiving the award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list In November 2013, Sir Alan issued a 50-point action plan to revitalise the town centre.
From 2010 the Parliamentary Constituency boundaries were realigned to include areas to the north of Mansfield around Warsop having previously been part of neighbouring Bassetlaw constituency.
D. H. Lawrence, in Lady Chatterley's Lover, described Mansfield as "that once romantic now utterly disheartening colliery town".
The 2005 and 2007 editions of Channel 4's programme The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK named Mansfield as the sixth and ninth worst place to live in Britain, largely due to the poor performance of schools in the area at the time. This however has recently improved due to a large reduction in crime, massive school improvements and being known for good, quality air. It is no longer in the bottom twenty of either list.
In June 2014, husband and wife Christopher and Susan Edwards were jailed after being found guilty of the murder of the woman's parents, William and Patricia Wycherley, whose bodies lay undiscovered for 15 years, buried in the victims' own back garden in the town. The couple had stolen thousands of pounds, siphoned off the Wycherleys' pensions and sold their house, amounting to nearly £300,000. The bodies were found last October after the Edwards gave themselves up after spending a year in France knowing the DWP were intending to interview Mr. Wycherley, who would have been approaching his 100th birthday. Susan Edwards, a former librarian, had written Christmas cards and letters to relatives telling them her parents were travelling in Ireland "because of the good air" and had told neighbours they were in Blackpool or Morecambe. The Edwards were later sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 25 years for the murders, together with 9-year sentences for disposing of the bodies and theft, to be served concurrently.
On 30 May 2015, 13-year old Amber Peat went missing from home after returning from a family holiday. On 2 June her body was found in an area off Westfield Lane, Mansfield, within the same general area as her home less than a mile away, and on 3 June it was confirmed that the cause of her death was hanging.
The television presenter Adam Kingswood, from BBC TV's The Truth About Property, Richard Bacon (b. 1975) and professional golfers Oliver Wilson (b. 1980) and Greg Owen (b. 1972) come from Mansfield. The singer Alvin Stardust (1942-2014) lived there as a child. Radio, Television and West End actor Stephen Critchlow was raised and schooled in Mansfield and pianist John Ogdon was born in the suburb of Mansfield Woodhouse in 1937. Mark Holmes, lead singer of the Canadian new wave/stadium rock group Platinum Blonde, was born and partly raised there. Mansfield is also the home of the Cantamus Girls Choir, twice World Choir Olympic champions.
Mansfield has been officially twinned with Heiligenhaus in Germany since 1974
The following entries can be seen in a Mansfield-based, self-published website:
|Sheffield, Chesterfield, Bolsover, Glapwell, Pleasley||Worksop, Shirebrook, Warsop, Mansfield Woodhouse||Gainsborough, Retford, Ollerton, Clipstone, Edwinstowe|
|Matlock, Teversal, Skegby||Rainworth, Bilsthorpe, Lincoln|
|Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Eastwood, Alfreton, Heanor, Ripley, Derby||Ravenshead, Newstead, Hucknall, Ilkeston, Nottingham||Blidworth, Southwell, Newark-on-Trent, Grantham|
Mansfield experiences a maritime climatic regime, as is typical for all parts of the British Isles. This results in a narrow temperature range, evenly spread rainfall, low levels of sunshine, and often breezy conditions throughout the year. The closest weather station to Mansfield for which records are available is Warsop, approximately 4 miles to the North of Mansfield town centre.
The absolute maximum temperature record for the area stands at 34.6c(94.3f), recorded in August 1990. In a typical year the warmest day should reach 28.9c(84.0f), and 12.72 days should reach 25.1c(77.2f) or higher.
The absolute minimum temperature record for the area is -19.1c(-2.4f), recorded during January 1987. 59.0 nights of the year report an air frost on average.
Rainfall averages 634mm annually, with 113 days reporting in excess of 1mm of rain. All averages refer to the observation period 1971-2000.
|Climate data for Warsop, elevation: 46m, 1981-2010, extremes 1960-2005|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.4
|Average high °C (°F)||7.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.9
|Average low °C (°F)||0.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||55.0
|Average precipitation days||11.0||8.3||10.0||9.6||8.8||9.2||7.9||8.4||8.7||10.2||10.2||10.5||112.7|
|Source #1: KNMI|
|Source #2: KNMI|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mansfield.|
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