A History of Hucknall Torkard

"Hucknall Torkard is a large but indifferently built village, consisting principally of one long street, 7 miles N. by W. of Nottingham, and 8 miles S. of Mansfield. Its parish contains about 3,000 acres, and 2,200 inhabitants, many of whom are framework knitters, occupying small farms."

[From White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, pub. 1832]

In the Domesday Book, the name appears as 'Hochenale', but some of the oldest spellings appear to be 'Hokenhale' and 'Hokenale'. It is commonly thought to be a derivative of 'Oakenhall' or the Hall of the Oakwood, although the Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names suggests it means "nook of land of a man called Hucca".

The suffix of 'Torkard' is traceable to the family resident there 600 years ago, and was probably added in order to distinguish the parish from nearby Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, and also from Ault Hucknall in Derbyshire.

"The first mention of the Torkard family appears in 1180, when Geoffrey Torcard gave 'a cart to be continually wandering about to gather up his dead wood in Hucknall' which was to be given to the monks at Holy Trinity, Lenton, on condition that the monks should prey for the souls of himself, his ancestors and Alexander de Cluny."

[From The History of Hucknall Torkard, by J.H. Beardsmore, pub. 1909]

Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire goes one step further and states that the name derives from the 'De Torkard' family who were once Lords of Hucknall.



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