About the Parish
Woodsetts = "Wodesete" = folds in the woods.
Woodsetts probably originated as an outlying hamlet of the manor of Anston. The first documentary evidence of its existence is an inquisition in 1342.
The poll tax of 1378 lists 26 taxable inhabitants paying 6d or 4d each. The total population was probably 50 to 60.
The name Woodsetts appears infrequently in the records of the medieval and tudor periods. Even in the 18th century, it was an isolated settlement. The first map of the village, in 1771, shows a cluster of cottages on Lindrick Road with a few more dwellings near Cotterell Woods and the isolated farm called "Audzus" (now Hoades farm). The Sheffield-Worksop turnpike road by-passed the village to the south with only a narrow cart track connecting the road to Woodsetts.
By the early 19th century, Sir Thomas White of Wallingwells was lord of the manor but the major landowners were the Duke of Leeds and the Wright family.
In 1801 the population of Woodsetts was 123. This figure rose slowly but steadily during the first half of the 19th century, reaching 135 in 1821 and 181 in 1841. The 1841 census gives a complete list of the inhabitants of Woodsetts. There were eight farmers, three carpenters, a blacksmith, a tea dealer, a publican, and two ladies of independent means. The remainder of the population were employed as agricultural labourers or farm servants.
Woodsetts was a township within the parish of Anston and the distance from the parish church was obviously a burden to the inhabitants. A number of early 19th century directories list the hamlet as lying in the parish of Laughton. This may reflect the fact that many of the inhabitants found it easier to attend church at Laughton. A campaign was started to create a separate parish for Woodall which culminated in May 1841 in the separation of Woodsetts from Anston and of Gildingwells from Throapham St John. The two hamlets were joined with the extra-parochial hamlet of Wallingwells to form the new parish of Woodsetts.
A total of £1,100 was raised by subscription, mostly from Sir Thomas Wollaston White of Wallingwells and Henry Gally Knight of Firbeck Hall, and a church was erected on a site donated by the Duke of Leeds. The original St George's church was a simple, square structure with plastered walls and a gallery and was consecrated on 18th September 1841.
By 1871 the population had risen to 249, inhabiting 56 buildings. Less than half the population had been born in the village. The range of occupations had widened to include miners, quarry workers, a wheelwright, shoemaker and carpenter. There were now two grocers and two general traders in the village, three dressmakers, a tea dealer and the public house, the "Butchers Arms". 1871 also saw the completion of the new vicarage, begun two years earlier.
At the end of the 19th century, Woodsetts remained an isolated rural village, centred around the crossroads. Most of the houses stretched along the Lindrick - Gildingwells Road. The outside world had begun to encroach into the parish in 1891 when a golf course was established on Lindrick Common.
A Methodist Chapel was erected on Gildingwells Road in 1896, services having previously been held in a private house. A Church Institute was erected in 1913 at a cost of £600. From 1923 the school population had grown to such an extent that the infants class had to be held in the Institute. The population had grown to around 300 and the original church was no longer adequate. The gallery was removed and a new chancel, apse and porch were added in 1924. The village gained a recreation ground in 1926.
The outbreak of war in 1939 saw the establishment of a Home Guard detachment in Woodsetts. It was known as "Gullick's Gurkhas" as the headquarters was in Mr Gullick's house. The main strongpoint and observation post was on the 13th green at the golf course. The club house at the golf course was used as a maternity home during the War. Over 1000 babies were born there, many to mothers who had been evacuated from London.
The years after the war saw increased house building in the village with council houses, old people's bungalows and private housing. By 1951 the population had grown to 429 and by 1961 to 512. The development of private housing estates in the 1970s brought great changes to the village as the population trebled from 589 in 1971, to 1,784 in 1981 and 1,819 in 1991. A new school opened in 1972 to cope with the growing numbers of children in Woodsetts, Firbeck, Letwell and Gildingwells.