Scrooby Landscape

Gorse and Scots Pines on the Winz
Common at Scrooby (photo by Graham Robbins)

This sectons holds written pieces on the landscape around Scrooby; these are more personal responses than those in the history section.

If you would like to contribute something, please contact

Aerial View of Scrooby 1971. Original hangs in Scrooby Village Hall

Aerial View of Scrooby 1990. Original hangs in Scrooby Village Hall

The Nottinghamshire Landscape

For Nottinghamshire County Council's amazing document on the character(s) of the Nottinghamshire landscape, see this link.

Scrooby: Our Landscape

Scrooby is a village near Retford in North Nottinghamshire in the Midlands of England.

Scrooby sits in a lowland landscape between the Pennines to the west and the eastern coast of England to the east. The village lies at the southern extent of the Humberhead Levels. The rivers Idle and Ryton surround Scrooby and its parish, and determine its topography.

Scrooby's soils are for the most part dry and sandy; being formed from the Sherwood Sandstone and glacial deposits of sand and gravel. The lower river valleys have degraded peat above alluvium. To the west of the village lies the north-south belt of Magnesian Limestone, and to the east the clayey Mercia Mudstone deposits.

The majority of Scrooby's landscape is used for arable or grazing. Root crops including carrots, leeks and animal feeds, are rotated with wheat. Grassland pasture is grazed by horses, cattle and to a lesser extent sheep. Diary farming was practiced in Scrooby in the later part of the Twentieth Century, though the nearest cattle herd is now Scaftworth. Pigs are kept within the farmyard at Scrooby Top.

Beside the farmed landscape, Scrooby has a common; known as The Winz. The Winz is a surviving fragment of much more extensive commons which were enclosed as farmland in the Eighteenth Century.

The farming landscape is dominated by field hedgerows of Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna, Quickthorn, May, Whitethorn) and Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa, Sloe). The Winz and other scrubby land has extensive Gorse bushes (Ulex europaeus) and bracken (Pteridium aquilinum). There is sparse and broken woodland across the landscape. On the higher, drier land woodland typically includes Birch, Oak, Ash, and Sweet Chestnut. On lower wetter ground scrubby carr typically includes Alder and Willow. Particularly characteristic of the area is Scot's Pine.

The traditional buildings characteristic of Scrooby are the red brick eighteenth and nineteenth century farm houses and farm-workers houses. These houses are brick built, with pantile roofs and wooden sliding sash window frames. They often have distinctive decorative brickwork on the upper gables. The larger farm houses were until recently accompanied by extensive barns, outhouses, and enclosed yards known as 'stack yards'. These have almost all been converted into domestic accomodation during the 1980s and 1990s. Good examples of the larger farm houses are Holmefield Farm, Mill House, and Low Farm. These farm houses constitute the centre of the nucleated village of Scrooby.

More numerous than the large farm houses are the farm-workers houses which make up the majority of the historic building of Scrooby. These are also brick built with pan tile roofs and sliding sash windows. Several are now rendered and painted. Some include rough stone built masonry in the lower part of their walls. Good examples of such eighteenth and nineteenth century houses are Parish Cottages, Pear Tree Cottage, Ryton Cottage, Holly Cottage, Green Man Cottage (formerly The Homestead), Chirnside, Holmefield Cottage, The Old Forge, and Riverside Cottages.

More distinctive buildings in Scrooby include the timber-framed Old Vicarage and the former public house known as The Old George and Dragon.

The Magnesian Limestone historically quarried around Maltby and Stone to the west of Scrooby, is found in Scrooby's church wall, some barn and yard walls, the village pinfold and most prominantly in the Mill. The later building is an historic water mill straddling the old course of the river Ryton.

Later than the agricultural houses and cottages are a group of late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century villas. These are generally built in faced brick with sash or bay windows and a slate roof. Good examples include Woofenden, Northfield House, Kirkby House and Sheepcote House. The larger examples tend to be on the outskirts of the village.