Local Area
Photos - Now and Then
Nature Reserve

Historical Facts and Myths

Early references include :

  • CORTINGTOCHE (Domesday book 1086)
  • CORTLINGSTOCKE (Parliamentary commissioners in 1650

The meaning according to Elbert Elkwell "Corts' place or farmstead"
(The personal name "Cort" meant "short" in Anglo Saxon)

The Normans conquered England in 1066 and complied a sort of Income Tax return Domesday Book in about 1086. At that time several manors in Costock were held by Saxon thanes Gordic and Algar.

The first Norman lords were Roger and Ralph de Birun (later Byron), the de Birons took the tile de-Cortinstock. Robert de Biron gave the churches at Costock and Rempstone to Lenton Priory who held them until it was dissolved in about 1540.

Historic church where the soldiers sharpened their battle arrows

Costock parish church is tucked away in a quiet lane in the centre of the village. Although it may not be as architecturally ambitious or as graceful as some in the district of Loughborough, there are several items of interest connected with the church.

Perhaps the most outstanding is the remains of what was at one time a richly canopied recess in the well of the church, in which lies the battered figure of a priest in robes. It is said that the head of the figure was knocked off by soldiers during the civil war.


There is some evidence that the recess and figure is in memory of the Rev. John Trewman, who was instituted in 1425, for in his will (dated 14 May 1427) he expressed a desire to be buried in the chancel at Costock.

It is thought that the recess, or tomb, was built in the wall of the church to comply as near as possible with his wish.

Today much of the rich carving has been worn away, but the stonework has acquired additional significance historically for it is believed that the shallow depressions at the back were made by soldiers sharpening their arrows.

Certainly a battle was fought on the hill outside Costock. Bones found during excavations in the lane behind the church a few years ago showed that horses were buried there.

Built into the wall near the recess is a fragment of what has been called a Saxon preaching cross, although some believe it looks more Celtic than Saxon.

The stone was probably part of a structure which stood on the land which is now the churchyard and its presence indicates there were religious gatherings long before the church was built.

Old Bible

There is too some doubt about the date of the first church at Costock. What is old is mainly 14th century but a lancet window is 13th. The font bowl, which stands on a much more modern pedestal, is 14th century and the cover was made from an old chest, for it bears half the names of the churchwardens.

Just inside the church is a Bible printed in 1620 which was presented by Albert William Oldershaw in memory of his parent, who lived at Glebe farm until 1926 and attended this church for many years.

A memorial tablet records that Charles Sutton Millard, born 1834 and died 1912, was rector for 52 years and it was during his incumbency that the church was restored in 1863.

Mr Millard must also have been a wood craftsman of some skill, for much of the carving in the aisles was his work. Of the poppy head bench ends six are 15th century but over 60, heads of animals, men and angels but mostly floral, were carved by Mr Millard.

The Domesday survey of 1086 does not record that Costock had either a priest or a church. Andrew de Cortingstoc, conjectured by Thornston to be the son of William who held lands in the district at the time of the survey, gave two bovates of land to the Priory of Lenton.

Great Curse

His son Robert confirmed the gift and gave his churches of Cortlingstock and Rempstone to the Priory, with a great curse on his heirs if any of them should annul the gift. Almost a century later the patronage of the churches at Cortlingstock and Rempstone passed to the Priory.

It was on July 3, 1231 that the Archbishop of York confirmed to the Prior and Covenant of Lenton an annual pension of two shillings from the church, so it was obvious that there was a church at Costock over a century before the date given in the Diocesan Directory 1350.

Thomas Townsend, instituted March 18 1672, built a new parsonage house in 1676 at a cost of £200 and in his will gave a considerable library of books for his successors. He ordered that three catalogues of the books should be provided, one of which was to be in the custody of the patron of the benefice.

These books, with the press which contained them, were in the possession of the Rev. Henry Twinbury in 1705 but after that there was no trace of them.

This picture shows clearly the marks on the wall at the back of the tomb of the incumbent, John Trewman, who asked that he should be buried in the chapel of the church he served. It is believed that as it was not possible to carry out the request the tomb was placed in the wall so that he should be as close as possible.

The marks on the wall are said to have been made by soldiers who sharpened their arrows there before the battle which took place locally. They may also have thought rubbing their arrows there would make them fly true.
This picture shows part of Costock Parish Church. On the right can be seen some of the carved canopy in the tomb in the wall and it is in the stonework in the corner to the left of the tomb that there is the old 'preaching cross'.

Bronze Age bones dug up

The grisly remains of a human skeleton gave two brothers the shock of their lives when they dug it up at their home. Robin and Daniel Whitbread thought they'd stumbled on a murder victim in their parents' garden but they had unearthed a major archaeological find.

The boys Robin, 14, and Daniel, 12, were knee-deep in mud when they scraped back the dirt to reveal a pile of old bones - a 3,500 year old female skeleton to be exact.

At first the two brothers, who had been helping dig foundations for an extension to the family home in Costock, thought they had come across animal remains. 'We thought it was a cow', said Robin.

But as the pair dug deeper they found a perfectly preserved pair of gnashers, and realised it was no Fresian. 'But then we went digging again and I put my hand inside the skull' said Robin. 'It scared me. I thought someone had been murdered'.

Robin and his family called West Bridgford police, who recognised the bones were old - extremely old. They contacted Dr John Samuels, a leading local archaeologist.

In a report he estimated the skeleton, about 1.2m long, found lying face-up with the right arm across the chest, was from the Bronze Age, circa 3000BC. Dr Samuels also stated the skeleton seemed to be female, aged 16-20 years.

He said 'It's certainly interesting, because as far as I know there have been no similar finds around the area'. The teeth were in very good condition, probably because of the suger-free diet. This is the first real clue of Bronze Age settlement in the area.

The skeleton is pictured on display at the Castle Museum

Costock Looking Back

January 1975

The parish council at Costock agreed the contents of a lease from Notts County Council for use of 0.52 acres or thereabouts of land off Millers Lane for the purposes of provision of a play area. Couns. William Reginald Smith and Denis Malcolm Stead signed the lease on behalf of the parish council. The lease gave ‘full right and liberty for the tenants and all persons authorised by them in common with the landlords and other persons having the like right with or without vehicles at all times and for all purposes connected with the demised premises but not for any other purposes whatsoever to pass and repass to and from the demised premises or any part thereof over and along the road or way leading from the demised premises to Millers Lane’ at a yearly rent of £5

January 1988

Members of the parish council at Costock in January 1988 under the chairmanship of Cllr Mervyn Deaville discussed estimates for a new floor in the village hall, and felt that the village expenditure could not justify one of hardwood amnd after further consideration of the matter agreed to accept a quote in the sum of £3,962 from Messrs Fortescue for a softwood one. The meeting was told that the clerk had safely received a couple of letters addressed to The Town Hall, Costock. The council were to look at changing the night of their meetings from the third Wednesday of each month so as not to clash with table tennis bookings at the hall.

January 1989

The first meeting of Costock Parish Council in 1989 -- attended by Couns. RMW Deaville, GJ Harris, MR Humphreys, AJ Lane, DB McDonogh and AF Starmer – was told by a visiting speaker described as an expert on dog behaviour, that it was possible to train a dog to ‘perform’ at home on a specific command and in a suitable place. The visitor, Mr Malcolm Wood of the Keep Rushcliffe Tidy Group, was attending the meeting following an increase in
complaints in the village of dog fouling incidents, The council was told that that the school head teacher did not want a full sized football pitch
provided on the playing field but would be quite happy to have a five a side pitch. Councillors expressed concern that youngsters moving on to senior schools would be at a disadvantage if they had not had the opportunity to play football and learn the rules on a full sized pitch. At the time the council had a bank balance of £1172

January 1989

The village was told in January 1989 that funeral services had been held for two stalwarts of village church life in Costock. Eric Sneath was aged 86. He grew up, attended school and lived in the village for many years. He was a member of the church choir at the age of eight and was a constant and loyal member of the church for around 80 years. He worked for Brush at Loughborough after leaving school at the age of 14. Margaret Bates died a few weeks after reaching her 100th birthday. A memorial service was held in the parish church where a display was staged showing a number of items belonging to
her and which included the birthday card she had received in December from Her Majesty the Queen and a family bible, some old photographs and a very interesting scrapbook highlighting information about the village spanning many years. There was also a diary that Margaret had jotted down important events of the time from when she was 12 through to being 16 years of age. Margaret held several posts at the parish church, including Sacristan, choir mistress, PCC member, treasurer and bell ringer. And in her younger days she was always to be seen helping to keep the church clean and tidy, both inside and outside. And her gifts of cakes and jams to coffee mornings the church held were always eagerly snatched up and were legendary.

August 1989

No objection was made by the parish council to a planning application by Inn Partnership Ltd of Nottingham for the formation of six letting bedrooms at first floor level of the Red Lion public house along with the formation of manager’s accommodation on the second floor. Rushcliffe Borough Council approved the application.

May 2000

Plans by Greenhalls Group Plc for housing development on land adjacent to the Red Lion public house was opposed by the parish council. The development was planned on 1.78 hectares of land behind existing properties on old Main Road. A public meeting in the village was attended by over 50 residents when strong opposition to the plans was voiced. The application called in the first instance for 35-40 houses to be built but was amended to 6- 8
‘larger’ houses. Rushcliffe Borough Council refused the application and a subsequent public inquiry rejected the appeal made by the applicants against the Borough decision and the refusal was confirmed.

April 2003

Confirmation was given that the Countryside Agency had approved a £8,489 grant to the parish council towards cost of a refurbishment of the play area for the village. The sum was fifty per cent of the overall total cost for the scheme undertaken by the parish council. Individual prices for the various items of equipment being provided included £5000 for a roundabout and £4473 for a rocking horse.

May 2006

Rushcliffe Borough Council and British Telcom advised the parish council in May, 2006 of a change in the public payphone service for the village. They said that the cash facility at the village phone box was being withdrawn and in future it would only be available for use with a credit card or to take reverse charge calls or a 999 call. BT cited the reason for the change as the kiosk not taking sufficient cash to warrant its collection. It was understood that for a recent collection there had been less than 50p in the coin container and BT said it cost them £37 to visit a kiosk and take the money out.

February 2007

The Parish Council were told that St Giles parish church had been given permission by Rushcliffe Borough Council to fell four holly trees in the church grounds because the council agreed they were dangerous and were causing damage to a wall. Information from the organisation Enjoy England, which sought events to be held to mark St George's Day, was passed to the Village Hall Committee. Nottinghamshire Association of Local Councils asked the Parish Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support funding from the Lottery for the London Olympic Games 2012 appeal and it was agreed a letter to be sent. Rushcliffe Borough Council confirmed that the oak tree felled on Nottingham Road had the necessary go-ahead from them. Rushcliffe Borough Council confirmed that they were investigating the question of an unauthorised storage unit on land adjacent to the Red Lion inn. They also wrote in regard to a check they were making concerning the number of trees felled in connection with the scheme for construction of 25 two storey and three storey dwellings at land at Gables Farm, Main Street. Rushcliffe Borough Council confirmed the parish council choice of Holmestead Close for street naming for the Bars Hill development. Coun. Reg Adair, the Notts County Council member for the village, asked if the council had considered seeking a 20mph speed limit in the area of the village school and it was agreed to write to Notts County Council to seek their comments on the possibility of such a restriction.

July 2013

Costock Parish Council wrote to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol in regard to the appeal made by Mr Paul Cairns against the decision by Rushcliffe Borough Council to refuse his planning application for the redevelopment of the former Red Lion public house site on Old Main Road for housing.
The clerk Mike Elliott said he had pointed out to the inspectorate that the only parish council objection was to the section of the proposed development that the Borough Council had insisted on, for one of the properties to be part three storey. “We welcomed the plans other than there was one three-storey property which members did not agree with,” he said. “Members fear the pub site will become derelict if permission is not granted for this application,” he added. The parish council learned that Rushcliffe Borough Council had granted permission to Mr John Hayes for the construction of a new office building (use class B1), associated car parking and landscaping at Barrington House on Leake Road at Costock.