The Rushey Inn and the Great North Road

A few of the famous coaching inns of the Great North Road still maintain their original purpose. Many are long gone, falling victim to the ravages of time, changing habits and road widening. Occasionally an inn has been repurposed – and this is the case with the Rushey Inn at Babworth, near Retford.

The Historic England listing describes a 15th century core which assumed its current form in the early 18th century. The inn stood proudly on the Great North Road for perhaps 300 years. It was then stripped of its road when in 1766 the townspeople of Retford arranged a diversion by Act of Parliament. Today, the “Old London Road” stutters in this vicinity: to the north its route can be traced along a “Green Lane” rough track heading towards Barnby Moor; to the south the road is disrupted by Gamston airport before it reaches Markham Moor.

About The Rushey Inn

Rushey Inn’s big claim to fame is that on 12th July, 1503 royalty stayed there.

“[Retford’s] bailiffs, aldermen and townsfolk met Margaret Tudor, on her journey to marry James IV of Scotland, at the Rushey Inn, Babworth, and paid two minstrels to entertain her, probably the town waits.”
Jackson, History of Retford

There must have been many other famous visitors but I’ve not yet seen such records (get in touch if you know better).

The inn fell out of use but the building appears to have remained little changed. It is currently divided into three cottages.

There are 19th century records of a smithy at the site.


More Information about The Rushey Inn

Top of page Image credit:  Alan Murray-Rust,  Historic England