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The Lawn

The Lawn

Lawn Avenue
NG17 5FU


Grid Reference: SK 50073 58906


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.


Site facilities:-


Play Area

Skate Park

All Weather Pitch

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

A 1795 survey describes ‘The Lawn’ as being 13 acres 3 roods and 29 perches with a smaller piece about 4 roods.[1] The survey then adds the ‘Lower Lawn’, being 4 acres 3 roods (see note 1) 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.[2]  The Lake (previously known as the Mill Dam) became a boating lake as part of Sutton Lawns Pleasure Grounds.


Site management
The site is managed by Ashfield District Council. 

 Sutton Lawn Management Plan

To book an event on the park or to request a booking form please email events@ashfield.gov.uk or call 01623 457092

For sports and pitch bookings please call 01623 457092 / 457410 or email bookings@ashfield.gov.uk

To report a crime (including anti-social behaviour) contact the Police on 101

To report damage to the facilities please call 0800 183 8484 or email environment@ashfield.gov.uk


Green Flag Award

The park has held this national award since 2005. To achieve a Green Flag award a park needs to meet 8 key criteria:

  • a welcoming place
  • healthy, safe and secure
  • clean and well maintained
  • environmentally sustainable
  • committed to conservation and heritage
  • encourages community involvement
  • well marketed
  • well managed

For further information about the award visit: