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Its centrepiece is an exceptionally large and handsome market square lined with a picturesque jumble of noble Georgian buildings.Beside the main church stood a weighty black cannon with a plaque saying 'Captured at Sevastopol 1855', which I thought was a remarkable piece of initiative on the part of the locals - it's not every day, after all, that you find a Nottinghamshire market town storming a Crimean redoubt and bringing home booty - and the shops seemed prosperous and well ordered.' Retford's Kings Park received national recognition in 2007 when it won the prestigious Britain's Best Park competition in the Midlands region. It is described as a 'jewel in the crown' by Bassetlaw council.The Pilgrim Fathers, a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts originated from villages of Babworth and Scrooby on the outskirts of East Retford between 15.

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However, it is thought to be the upturned base of a boundary marker - perhaps the 'Dominie Cross'.

Also in the Market Square is the war memorial unveiled by Sir Frederick Milner in 1921.

However, as the community grew it spread to occupy land on the other bank of the river, and it was this eastern part of the town that eventually became more important; hence Retford's alternative (and, for administrative purposes, still official) name of East Retford.

The highly unusual coat of arms for the town consists of two rampant choughs.

The memorial is in the form of an Eleanor Cross, an octagonal structure of late Gothic design.

The names of the men killed in World War I are on the lower eight panels, and on bronze plaques are the names of those who were killed in World War II.However Bill Bryson, the American author and former president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, praised the town.In his bestselling book Notes from a Small Island, he writes, 'Retford, I am pleased to report, is a delightful and charming place even under the sort of oppressive grey clouds that make far more celebrated towns seem dreary and tired.Bassetlaw Council recently invested £1.5 million in Retford market square and £2.5 million in Retford Enterprise Centre.Bassetlaw has a very low unemployment rate of 3.3%.It was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and then remained a municipal borough until 1974 when it was merged into Bassetlaw district.Its civic traditions are maintained by Charter Trustees.Just across from the Market Square is Cannon Square which has St Swithun's Church and a cannon captured from the Russians during the Siege of Sevastopol at the end of the Crimean War in 1856.From 2011, Retford was made the European town of respect.The town is in the valley of the River Idle and the Chesterfield Canal passes through the centre.The village of Ordsall, west of the River Idle and the East Coast Main Line railway, and the former hamlet of Thrumpton are suburbs.


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