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Daffodils, trees and blue sky with lake just showing in background

The Lawn

The Lawn, also known as Sutton Lawn, is in Sutton in Ashfield and is on the site of the former Sutton Hall. 

The park is mainly comprised of grassed areas with areas of woodland and avenues of trees. The lake is located in the south east of the park, and is well used by anglers and walkers.

Rumbles Café is located to the west of the site and is located close to the play areas, a skate park, ball court and outdoor gym. The site also has bowling and tennis clubs.

The Lawn Pleasure Grounds encompass the grounds of the former Sutton Hall, built as the residence of Samuel Unwin, a merchant hosier, and the land associated with his nearby Cotton Spinning Mill and Mill Lake. Sutton Hall and most of the Mill complex no longer exist, but the Mill ruins and adjacent lake form the focal feature of the park today.

What you'll find at The Lawn

People along the edge of a lake fishing

The Lawn has the Green Flag award and you'll find these amenities: 

  • free parking
  • Rumbles café - telephone: 07396 079985
  • toddler and junior play areas
  • multi user games area
  • skate park
  • outdoor gym
  • bowling greens
  • public tennis courts
  • tennis club house - see Sutton in Ashfield Lawn Tennis Club Facebook page for information
  • fishing club 
  • 3G synthetic pitch 
  • free dog poo bags (find them in the tiks pack at the park entrance)
  • Sutton Lawn junior parkrun.

Car parking

There is a free car park at Sutton Lawns. 

Park history

Sutton Lawn dates back to the mid-eighteenth century when Samuel Unwin built his magnificent castle-styled cotton mill and family residence, Sutton Hall.

Flowerbed, lawns and trees looking across to an enclosed tennis court

A 1795 survey describes The Lawn as being 13 acres 3 roods and 29 perches with a smaller piece about 4 roods. The survey then adds the Lower Lawn, being 4 acres 3 roods and 13 perches in size. The Dam being 7 acres. 

In 1779 Catherine Hutton, a visitor to the Unwins’ home, writing to her brother, describes:

"A shrubbery which is the seventh part of a mile in circuit encompasses their garden, and hence the plantation is continued down to a lake and a bath, and beyond are walks cut into a wood.”

The mill itself changed hands several times in the 1800s before coming into the ownership of silk throwsters, Allsop and Dobson in 1920. The waterwheel and windmill have long since gone but the listed ruins, now known as Dobson’s Mill, have been converted for residential use.

In 1863 Sutton Hall was sold and subsequently demolished in 1865. There has been some speculation that subterranean passages exist under the Lawn Grounds, although there is little substance to this theory.

A new house was built on the site of Old Sutton Hall in 1884 and the grounds of the property were leased by the Sutton Urban District Council, “for the benefit of the inhabitants, from representatives of the Unwin family, in 1903, becoming known as The Lawn Pleasure Grounds”.

A caretaker, Mr Henry Parnell was employed at a weekly salary of £1 1s and £50 per annum is paid in rent, the entire cost of maintenance being met out of the general district rate of the parish. It is a much favoured spot for the holding of al fresco gatherings.  The Lake (previously known as the Mill Dam) became a boating lake as part of Sutton Lawns Pleasure Grounds.

Opening hours

Check the Rumbles Cafe website and the Tennis Club House Facebook page for their opening times. 

Contact information

For pitch and court bookings telephone 01623 980055 (option 6) or email leisure.office@suttonacademy.attrust.org.uk