Southwell is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, best known as the site of Southwell Minster, the seat of the Church of England diocese that covers Nottinghamshire. Its population is about 6,900.

The origin of Southwell’s name is not clear, but there a number of locations which claim to be the original “well”, most notably at GR708535 where a plaque has been placed; in the Admiral Rodney public house; one on the south side of the minster which was called Lady Well in the 19th century; and one by the cloisters called Holy Well. Norwell(pronounced “Norrell”) approximately eight miles northwest may support the notion of there being “south” and “north” wells in the area. The town lies on the River Greet, approximately 14 miles (22 km) northeast of Nottingham. In addition to the Minster (the cathedral and parish church of St Mary of Southwell), there are a number of other historic buildings in the town, notably the impressive prebendal houses along Church Street and Westgate, and the town’sMethodist church has the unusual feature of an old right-of-way running underneath it, necessitating a larger upstairs than downstairs seating capacity.

Southwell today

As the site of an Anglican cathedral, the town is sometimes considered to be a city, and was treated as such in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. However, its city status is not recognised by the government. Southwell has an active Town Council.

The town is something of an oddity for north Nottinghamshire, being visibly affluent, when compared with its near neighbours of Newark-on-Trent and Mansfield. Whereas agriculture and coal respectively have seen the fortunes of the other two towns fluctuate over the years, Southwell has remained an area of residence for many of Nottingham‘s more affluent residents.

In most parts of Nottinghamshire, ‘Southwell’ is pronounced SUH-thull, with a soft ‘th’ (as in ‘the’ or ‘there’) and a silent ‘w’. However, residents of Southwell itself largely pronounce the word as it is spelt.

The Town Council, following the 2015 elections, is composed of eight Liberal Democrat Councillors, six Conservatives and one Independent. The Chairman of the Council in 2015-6 is Beryl Prentice and the Chairman of Finance and Policy is Peter Harris.

There are two infant Schools [3+-5] Southwell Holy Trinity C of E Infants School and Lowes Wong Infant School.  Lowes Wong Junior School teaches local children from 7-11 years of age. The local secondary school Southwell Minster School also offers an education for the choristers of the cathedral and gifted musicians in its Junior Department. It gets the among the best GCSE results in Nottinghamshire for GCSE and AS/A level results (source: BBC News). The school supplies the Minster choir, and until recently there was a boarding section for choirboys in the town.

Normanton Prebend

It was here that the well-known Bramley cooking apple was first seeded by Mary Ann Brailsford in 1809. A local nurseryman Henry Merryweather, 17 years old, saw its potential and cultivated it from cuttings. The apple is now used across the cookery world, and is renowned for its acidic taste and the fact that it cooks to a smooth puree. One of the local football clubs, Southwell City, is nicknamed “The Bramleys”, and the town’s new library and youth centre is known as ‘The Bramley Centre’ in honour of the town’s contribution to British cuisine. In March 2009, a stained glass window was installed in Southwell Minister, commemorating the Bramley apple’s 200th anniversary.

The local community newspaper is The Bramley, 11,200 copies are delivered monthly to Southwell and surrounding areas.

Sports clubs include Southwell Rugby Club (known as the Redmen) who were formed in 1922/23. In the 2011/12 season the club won an historical Treble of RFU Midlands 4 (East) North League Champions, Nottinghamshire Junior Cup winners and Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire/Derbyshire Plate winners. Southwell Cricket Club and Southwell Amateurs Football Club who have not lost a game since early 2009 and consists of local players who were generally schooled in the area.

Southwell has a leisure centre run by a local trust, with trustees from the local community, although the district council also provides very limited support.

The town is accessed from Newark and Nottingham by the A612,and from north Nottingham and villages to the west by the B6386. The A617 primary route passes 2 miles to the north of the town in Hockerton, and the A1 and A46 trunk routes are both 7 miles away in Newark. The railway station at the nearby village of Fiskerton has had a small car park built in recent years to cater for Southwell commuters. Southwell is also served by Nottingham City Transport‘s rural Pathfinder 100 service  to Nottingham, and Stagecoach East Midlands (Mansfield) service to Mansfield and Newark. There are other infrequent services to nearby villages.