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Kirkby-in- Ashfield is a market town in the Nottinghamshire district of Ashfield. It is part of the larger Mansfield Urban Area, with a population of 25,265 (as of the 2001 National Census). Ashfield District Council’s headquarters are on Urban Road in the town centre.
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The Kirkby Castle
Kirkby Castle is said to have been built in the 13th century[weasel words]. In 1284, its owner, Robert de Stuteville, was fined by King Edward I for failing to appear at the Royal summons. However, in 1292, Robert, clearly forgiven, hosted the king for a night’s stay at the Castle.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was said to have passed through Sutton in Ashfield in 1530 after being summoned to London by King Henry VIII, before staying at nearby Kirkby Hardwick.
Coal and transportation
Kirkby-in-Ashfield was a major coal mining and railway hub in west Nottinghamshire, with three active coal mines and several railway junctions.
The later Midland Railway line from Nottingham joined the former Mansfield and Pinxton Railway from the Erewash Valley Line here. The Great Central Railway main line passed through the town on the south-west side, where it met the Great Northern Railway Leen Valley Extension line to Langwith Junction and the Mansfield Railway to Clipstone.
Stations for trains
Four stations served the town. There is now only one available:
Kirkby-in-Ashfield East was the town’s main station on the Robin Hood Line. It was demolished in the 1960s.
Kirkby on the Robin Hood Line opened in the 1990s, replacing the former Kirkby East station.
The now-defunct Mansfield Railway opened Kirkby-in-Ashfield Central. It was closed to passengers in the 1950s, and the site is now an industrial estate. Despite the fact that the old station master’s house can be seen.
Kirkby Bentinck was built on the Great Central Main Line, which connected Nottingham Victoria and Sheffield Victoria. The station was decommissioned in the 1960s, and the site was cleared. Despite the fact that the old station master’s house is still standing. This was the only mainline station in Ashfield and Mansfield District. The other is in Annesley and Hollinwell.
During the Victorian era, the town grew rapidly. However, the closure of the coal mines in the 1980s and early 1990s caused a significant slump in the local economy, and the area then experienced severe socioeconomic depression.