Yes, you can do it! I went to Nottingham in May, 2000, visited Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield,Langton Hall, went to the Nottingham public library (a MUST) but missed going to the Archives. If you will be first in London, or another city in England, visit a book store and get an Ordnance Survey map, Landranger 120, covering Mansfield & Worksop as well as Sherwood Forest. Ordnance maps are truly excellent. This one was indispensable.
I went to Nottingham by train from London, but with the British train service you can probably leave from any other major city you will be in. Several trains a day to Nottingham leave from St. Pancras Station in London. You should be able to get the schedule from the Internet or get it when you are in Britian.
I stayed at the Moat House Hotel in Nottingham(if I remember correctly), which is conveniently located and not far from the library and archives. I talked to the concierge and arranged to have a car and driver the next day. You may prefer to rent a car.
You will want to visit St. Mary Magdalen Church in Sutton-in-Ashfield where Edward the immigrant was baptized and St. Wilfred's Church in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, which has many FR associations. Don't miss the plaque on the wall that lists the rectors and look for the name of Christopher Fitzrandolph, Rector from 1489 to 1515. (He was the uncle of another Christopher FR who married Joanne Langton) I would suggest most strongly that you write to the Rector of each of those churches and ask if you might arrange to visit the church on a certain day and send a couple of International Reply Coupons for postage. I had not written ahead but managed to see the churches anyway. Pure luck.
Be sure to stay in Nottingham long enough to visit the local history department on an upper floor of the library. The librarians are outstanding, knowledgeable and most helpful. Look at the card catalog that indexes Thoroton's History of Nottingham. If time permits, go to the Archives for some original records.
Also try to visit Lord Byron's home, Newstead Abbey, and St. Mary Magdalen's church in Hucknell where he was buried.(I missed both and want to go again just to visit them)
Prepare by getting info about Nottingham on the Internet, soak up as much FR history as you can. You will find the Brits love their history and are most gracious to those who are also interested. If you have more questions, just e-mail me. Just talking about it makes me eager to go again!
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